Charter: The Pewterers’ Company is governed by Royal Charter, the first being granted by King Edward IV in 1473. Additional charters were granted in successive reigns, the most recent being the Queen Anne charter in 1702. This was amended by a Supplemental Charter in 1982 and is further clarified by Standing Orders, which are kept under regular review.
The Court of Assistants: The governing body of the Company is known as the Court of Assistants, which forms the Board of the corporate body of Pewterers. The Court is headed by the Master and comprises 2 Wardens and a variable number of Assistants. They are comparable to the chairman, deputy chairmen and non-executive directors of the Company. The work of the Court is assisted by 4 main committees which report to Court. (Membership and General Purposes, Finance, Hall and Pewter Promotion. There are also three Charitable Trusts).
The Master: The Master of the Company is elected annually and serves for one year from the Thursday before Michaelmas. Apart from being the chairman of the Court, he represents the Company at a wide range of events during his year in office.
Wardens: There are 2 Wardens, the Upper Warden, who has responsibility for ceremonial, and the Renter Warden, who has responsibility for financial matters and menus. They are prospective Masters for the following two years. An Assistant has to have served as Warden in order to be eligible to serve as Master.
The Livery: The Livery comprises the more senior members of the Company, from whom the Court of Assistants are elected. Liverymen also have a role in City government, by being entitled to vote for the Lord Mayor and Sheriffs at Common Hall.
The Freedom: The first step in joining a Livery Company is normally by becoming a Freeman by one of four means:
Servitude (Apprenticeship): still welcomed by many Livery Companies, including the Pewterers, although difficult to achieve in today's training environment.
Patrimony: if either parent was Free of the Company at the time of the birth of the candidate.
Redemption: if sponsored by a member of the Court and found acceptable.
Presentation: in very special circumstances.
Apart from Freedom by Presentation, there is a fine (entry fee) to be paid at this stage and at each following stage in progression through the Company: to Liveryman, Steward and Court Assistant.
Company Officers and Staff: The Clerk, Captain Paddy Watson RN acts as chief executive of the Company and is responsible for the management of its day to day business. He is assisted by a small staff. On the administrative side there is the Secretary, Julie Gray, who deals with Court, committee, programme and membership matters, the Events and Marketing Co-ordinator, Eleanor Mason Brown, who deals with pewter, marketing and charity matters and a part time Accountant. The Beadle, Nick Gilbert and the Housekeeper deals with Events and Hall Management.
Officers - 2015 - 2016: Clerk Captain - Paddy Watson Royal Navy, Beadle - Mr Nicholas Gilbert
Staff: PA to the Clerk - Julie Gray, Events and Marketing - Eleanor Mason Brown
Annual Company Events:
|Mistress Pewterers lunch|
|March:||United Guilds Service.|
|Dinner to the Lord Mayor.|
|June||Pewter Live (Design Exhibition)|
|Common Hall - Election of Sheriffs.|
|July:||Election Court, Church Service and dinner.|
|September:||Crowning Court - New Master takes office|
|Common Hall - Election of Lord Mayor.|
|Lord Mayor's Show.|
|December:||Carol Service and festive supper.|
In addition, the Livery and Freedom Committee organises informal social, sports and educational events, as well as a programme of regional visits. Recently these have been to Edinburgh, York, Cornwall and Sheffield (the largest centre of the pewter industry where manufacturers are visited regularly). There are also regular visits to other Livery Halls and City institutions.