Membership & Governance


Our members are the lifeblood of the Company, made up of approximately 1550 freemen and 285 liverymen.


Membership

Our Membership

More than half the membership of the Company comprises men and women 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, 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

Freemen, of whom there are over 1550 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.

Liverymen

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.

Assistants

The Assistants are in turn elected from within the Livery. The Court of Assistants, numbering up to 33, 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.

Governance

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 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 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 Goldsmiths Craft and Industry Committee

Responsible for directing the Company's support of the craft.

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 Charity Committee

Responsible for allocating the Company's 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.

The Modern Collection Committee

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

The Collections and Library Committee

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

The House Committee

Responsible for overseeing the maintenance of the fabric and the running of the Hall. It is supported by a 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.

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, Michael Prideaux

Michael spent much of his executive career at British American Tobacco, where he was a member of the Management Board and responsible for Corporate and Regulatory Affairs from 1998 - 2012.  He joined B.A.T.  Industries, then a diversified conglomerate spanning tobacco, financial services, retailing and paper and pulp in 1989. He was Chief Executive of Charles Barker City, a leading corporate and financial public relations, advertising and design business from 1983-89, having previously sold advertising space for the Financial Times from 1976-83.

Michael is Chairman of Trustees at Chelsea Physic Garden and also Chairman of the Old Etonian Association. He was Master of the Worshipful Company of Tobacco Pipe Makers and Tobacco Blenders in 2012.

Prime Warden Michael Prideaux

Second Warden, Timothy Schroder

Timothy is a  lecturer, writer and adviser on silver- and goldsmiths’ work based in London. A graduate of Oxford University, he joined the silver department at Christie’s in 1976, initially working under the legendary Arthur Grimwade. In 1984 he moved to California as Curator of Decorative Arts at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).

In 1989 he returned to London and after dealing for some years in antique silver, returned to the museum sector, first as Curator of the Gilbert Collection at Somerset House and then as a Consultant Curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

A Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, Timothy holds a number of pro-bono roles in the art world: he recently completed a term as chairman of the Silver Society; is a trustee of the Wallace Collection, and a trustee of the Silver Trust, the body responsible for the collection of contemporary silver at 10 Downing Street.

Timothy previously served as Prime Warden of the Goldsmiths' Company in 2015-16. He is Chair of the Goldsmiths' Company Collections Committee.

Third Warden, Richard Fox

Richard studied at the Royal College of Art gaining his Master of Design in 1981. He established his silversmithing business in Kennington where for over 23 years he built up a diverse client portfolio, subsequently moving in 2005 to Avenue House in Croydon.  With his wife Serena, a jeweller, together they currently co-direct Fox Silver Ltd and employ thirteen staff.  Their client base ranges from Formula 1, Rolls Royce Motor Cars Ltd, Pernod Ricard, Lambeth Palace, Bulgari, The Silver Trust and many other institutions and individual clients.  He has nine pieces in the Goldsmiths Company Collection spanning four decades.

Alongside his business interests he chairs the Goldsmiths' Craft & Industry Committee, the Working Group for the Goldsmiths' Centre and Antique Plate Committee.  He also sits on the Trustees of the Goldsmiths' Centre as an observer, is a committee member of the Business Growth Programme at the Goldsmiths' Centre and sits on various other sub committees.  

Richard was a founder member of the Association of British Designer Silversmiths, now Contemporary British Silversmiths and has served as Chairman and Treasurer.

He has four children, Sarah, James, Jessica and Thomas. Richard's interests are skiing, motor racing, sailing, travelling, gardening and trying to finish the restoration of his first car - a MGB Roadster.

Fourth Warden, Dame Lynne Brindley

Lynne is Master of Pembroke College Oxford. She took up the position in August 2013. Before that she was Chief Executive of the British Library from 2000 - 2012. Lynne came to the British Library from the University of Leeds where she was Pro-Vice-Chancellor. Previously she was a senior consultant with KPMG and has held leadership positions in information technology and knowledge management at Aston University and at the London School of Economics.

She was a non-exec Board member of Ofcom, the UK media and telecommunications regulator, until August 2017. She is a member of the Council of City University, and sits on the Wolfson Trust Arts Panel. She was a council member of the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) from 2009 – 2014.

Lynne started her professional career at Oxford University's Bodleian Library after studying music and gained a Masters Degree in Information Science from UCL.  She played a leading role in modernising national library and information provision across UK higher education and was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 2008 New Year's Honours List for services to education.

Lynne chairs the Library and Archives Committee and sits on the Education Committee.  She was a Trustee of the Goldsmiths’ Centre from its formation in 2007, and Chair from 2013- 2016.

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