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Please note that this item is not new and will show moderate signs of wear commensurate with age. Reflections in the photograph may detract from the true representation of this item.
Freemen 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.
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 are 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.