Membership & Governance

Our members are the lifeblood of the Company, made up of approximately 1,400 Freemen and 360 Liverymen and Associates.


Our Membership

More than half the membership of the Company comprises people engaged in the trade, which includes silversmiths and jewellers as well as those in allied areas such as design, retail and auction. The remainder of the membership incorporates a broad range of backgrounds and experience, with industry, commerce, education and the arts well represented.

The Company’s affairs are regulated by the Court of Assistants (our Board), whose members chair a variety of Committees consisting of liverymen and freemen.  A permanent staff headed by the Clerk (CEO) runs the Company on a day-to-day basis for the Court.

As with most other Livery Companies, the membership is made up of Freemen, Liverymen, and Assistants.


Freemen, of whom there are over 1,400 in total, enter the Company by one of three routes:

  • By Service – on completion of an indentured apprenticeship to a master who is a freeman. The apprentice will have had to bring his or her 'masterpiece' to the Hall for inspection by the Wardens.
  • By Patrimony – for any person born after the date of a parent's freedom, having attained the age of 25 and been elected by a Selection Committee.
  • By Redemption – by application and on paying an entrance fee, having been elected by a Selection Committee.

Enquiries concerning membership of the Company should be addressed to the Deputy Clerk.


A Call to the Livery is made by the Court of Assistants every two to three years, as necessary, to maintain a sufficient total within the Livery. The election process is by application and subsequent selection from the Freedom.


The Assistants are in turn elected from within the Livery. The Court of Assistants is the governing body of the Company. Each year, four members are elected to become Wardens, who meet regularly and act as the Company's executive committee. The senior warden is known as the Prime Warden and serves for a year, changing over in May.

The Court of Wardens and Court of Assistants are the governing bodies of the Company, with overall responsibility for its affairs. The Court of Assistants appoints the members of the 11 Committees which direct the day-to-day running of the Company. The Committee members are drawn in the main from the Livery and sometimes the Freedom; there are also co-opted advisors and Company staff who provide support to each Committee. There are always two members of the Court of Assistants sitting on each Committee, one of whom is the Chairman and they are elected indefinitely at three year intervals. Liverymen and freemen are elected initially for three years, with the opportunity to serve a further term of three years. Liverymen are also given the opportunity to experience the workings of the Committees by being invited to sit on the Committee for three years as supernumerary members.


The Court of Assistants

This is the Management Board of the Company.  Chaired by the Prime Warden, the Court is made up of the four Wardens and all Assistants aged 80 or under.  Its prime purpose is to scrutinise and ratify the actions and recommendations of all the Company's committees and the Court of Wardens.  By virtue of also being Directors of the Company’s corporate trustee, the Assistants are also responsible for the overall administration of the Company’s charities.

The Court of Wardens

Chaired by the Prime Warden, this comprises the four Wardens with the Clerk and senior staff in support.  It is responsible for all matters relating to the policy and direction of the Company.

The Investment Committee

Responsible for all key issues relating to the Company's investment and property portfolios.

The Assay Office Management Board

Responsible for directing the Company's hallmarking business.

The Communications & Marketing Committee

Responsible for the promoting the Company and its activities, for maintaining the websites and social media, and for Goldsmiths' Fair. The Fair is supported by the Fair Advisory sub-committee.

The Charity Committee

Responsible for allocating general charitable grants.

The Education Committee

Responsible for directing the Company's grants and initiatives aimed at assisting schools and teachers.

The Antique Plate Committee

Responsible for scrutinising silver articles suspected of contravening the Hallmarking Act.

Contemporary Craft Committee

Responsible for directing the purchase and commissioning of contemporary articles for the Company's collection.

Collections Committee

Responsible for overseeing the maintenance of the Company's collection of silver, jewellery and fine art.

Library and Archives Committee

Responsible for the management of the library and archives, spanning nearly 700 years of history.

The House Committee

Responsible for overseeing the maintenance of the fabric and the running of the Hall. It is supported by a Food and Wine Sub-Committee.

The Membership Committee

Responsible for overseeing all aspects of the Company membership of Freemen and Liverymen. It is supported by an Events Sub-Committee.

The Digital Committee

The Digital Committee is responsible for the oversight and coordination of all IT and digital services across the Goldsmiths’ Company.

Court of Wardens

Chaired by the Prime Warden, the Court of Wardens comprises the four Wardens with the Clerk and senior staff in support.  It is responsible for all matters relating to the policy and direction of the Company. The positions on the Court change annually, as the Prime Warden holds the post for one year, before returning to the Court of Assistants.

Prime Warden, Lord Bridges KCVO

Mark Bridges has practised as a Solicitor since 1980 and was a Partner of Farrer & Co in London from 1985 until 2019, when he became Senior Counsel to the firm.

His practice included global and domestic tax planning, philanthropic and constitutional law. This also involved lecturing in many countries on diverse topics, such as international regulatory systems, tax and trusts and philanthropy.

He has a passion for music, both as a performer and listener as well as an adviser on constitutional and governance issues for charities connected with the world of music.  He has served as a Governor of the Purcell School, Treasurer of the Bach Choir, Council Member of the Royal School of Church Music, and as Chairman of Music in Country Churches.  He has been a Governor of Sherborne Girls, as well as Chairman of Hanford School.  He is currently engaged, with his family, in setting up a new charity in memory of his son Edmund with the purpose of commissioning new Church music from leading composers.

Lord Bridges was a Government appointed Trustee of the UCLH Charities Trust between 1990 and 2010, Solicitor to the Duchy of Lancaster from 1998 until 2012, Private Solicitor to The Queen between 2002 and 2019 and Deputy Chairman of the Leeds Castle Foundation from 2007 to 2020. He is currently a Vice President of the International Academy of Estate and Trust Law. 

Mark is married to Angela, and has three surviving children - Venetia, Camilla and Drusilla.

Prime Warden, The Lord Bridges

Second Warden, Charles Mackworth-Young CVO

Charles Mackworth-Young is a physician specialising in Rheumatology. He read Medicine at Cambridge, followed by Archaeology and Anthropology. After attending St. Bartholomew’s Medical College (Barts) he held junior doctor positions at centres in and around London, including the Royal Postgraduate Medical School.  He spent two years training in laboratory research at Tufts University New England Medical Centre, USA, and continued this on his return.

Since 1990 he has been Consultant Physician at Charing Cross Hospital, where he has held various administrative positions. In 2017 he was appointed Professor of Practice at Imperial College. His research has focused on the origins of autoimmune diseases and the treatment of arthritis. He has also had particular interests in medical training and in ethics.  Other positions have included Medical Director at King Edward VII’s Hospital, a charity that includes a focus on the care of veterans, and Specially Appointed Commissioner at the Royal Hospital Chelsea. He was appointed CVO in the 2020 New Year Honours.

Charles became a Liveryman of the Goldsmiths Company in 2003 and an Assistant in 2011. He has taken a particular interest in the educational and charitable activities of the Company.  Charles is married to Iona, formerly an art historian, and they have three grown up children. He has been a ski instructor and rider, and claims to have been educated by Radio 3. He plays the trombone in an orchestra and disturbs the neighbours with his piano.

Third Warden, Richard Reid

Richard is a Chartered Accountant and spent the majority of his career at KPMG, having been appointed a partner in 1991. He was born in Kuala Lumpur and lived in the Far East for 13 years.

His career has included restructuring companies and dealing with appropriate financing arrangements for them; advising companies on various corporate activities and auditing large international groups. He also ran one of the UK Firm’s  four business groups, Consumer and Industrial Markets.  

Richard set up closer working relationships with China in 2007 as the country looked to internationalise their businesses into the UK and Europe in particular. This role was then expanded to Chairing the Firm’s High Growth Markets Practice which covered China, India, Korea and Brazil, with particular emphasis on China.

Richard was appointed Chairman of KPMG in London in 2007, retiring from the Firm in 2015.

One of the key values in KPMG which Richard felt very passionately about was working with the local communities. He was asked to Chair Safer London and the East London Business Alliance, both of which he did 6 years until 2014. He was also instrumental in setting up the City Academy in Hackney in 2009, which KPMG jointly sponsored with The City of London Corporation and oversaw the Firm’s involvement in the Academy as it expanded.

Richard was also on the Board of British American Business, the Audit Committee of Victoria & Albert Museum and a Council member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants. 

He Chaired the China Advisory Group, part of CityUK, established to strengthen links between Uk Financial Services and China.
Richard is currently on the board of Associated British Foods plc ; Deputy Chairman of Berry Bros & Rudd; senior advisor to Bank of China UK; chairman of Themis International and  Chairman of National Heart & Lung Foundation. 

Richard is married to Jane and they have three grown up children and currently five grandchildren.

Fourth Warden, Ed Butler CBE DSO

Ed is Chief Resilience Officer at Pool Re, the Government backed terrorism reinsurance scheme, and a Senior Independent Advisor to the Board of EDF Energy Generation, the operating company for the UK’s nuclear industry. 

He has extensive experience spanning nearly 40 years of international relations, counter terrorism, intelligence, security and risk management much of which was gained during 24 years on front line service with the British Army and for the last 14 years in the commercial arena. Ed was privileged to command 22 SAS over 9/11 and to be Commander of British Forces Afghanistan in 2006, before retiring as a Brigadier in 2008. Ed has been formally recognised by Her Majesty's Government on six occasions for his service to the nation.

He has an Honours degree in Politics and International Relations from Exeter University and an MA in Military Technology and Defence Studies from Cranfield University. 

Ed is Chairman of the Lloyds Patriotic Fund, Chairman of the Development Committee for the Clocktower Foundation (which looks after the welfare needs of serving SAS men and their families), and the City Colonel for the Rifles’ Regiment for Greater London. He enjoys all country pursuits and maintains a small flock of Jacob sheep.  Ed is married with two grown up children. 

He is very proud to follow in the footsteps of his late father, The Right Honourable Sir Adam Butler, who was Prime Warden of the Goldsmiths’ Company from October 1999 until January 2001.

Trade Warden, Joanna Hardy

Joanna has over 30 years' experience working with jewellery, beginning her career as a goldsmith before joining De Beers as a rough diamond valuer. Joanna then went to work in Antwerp as a polished diamond dealer before joining Philips the auctioneers in London. She then moved to Sotheby’s in Bond Street and for fourteen years was their senior jewellery specialist and auctioneer, where she was responsible for jewellery auctions worldwide in New York, Geneva and London. 

Joanna is now an independent fine jewellery specialist, conducting masterclasses, curating exhibitions and giving lectures worldwide. She is author of the books Collect Contemporary Jewellery, Emerald, Ruby, and Sapphire, an accredited lecturer for The Arts Society, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and is a regular jewellery specialist on the BBC Antiques Road Show.

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History of the Company

The history of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths, one of the Twelve Great Livery Companies of the City of London, founded in 1327.


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