Structure & Governance
The Clothworkers’ Company was incorporated by Royal Charter in 1528, under the seal of Henry VIII. The Charter sets out The Company’s rights and privileges, which were, over time, confirmed or altered by successive monarchs. The Ordinances contain high-level rules and regulations for the governance of The Company, and are modified by Standing Orders (the most recent set of Standing Orders was agreed in 2014).
Login to the Members' Area for governance documents.
The Court and Committees
The Court of Assistants is our governing body, akin to a board of trustees. The Court is headed by the Master, who serves as chair for one year and represents The Company on ceremonial occasions. The Master is assisted by four Wardens, the two most senior are the prospective Masters for the following two years; Assistants must have served a term as Warden to be eligible to serve as Master. A variable number of Assistants, promoted from among the Livery, fill the remaining seats on the Court. The work of the Court is assisted by a number of subsidiary committees. Clothworkers can find out more about the Court of Assistants and committee participation from the Members’ Area.
A professional team supports the Court and manages our day-to-day operations. The Clerk is the equivalent of a chief executive. The Director of Finance, Property and Investments is the Clerk's deputy and deals primarily with investment, property, legal and personnel issues. The Beadle manages ceremonial events and the operations of the livery hall. Staff support the conservation and care of our archive and collections, finance, membership communications and events, office administration, maintenance, and more.
Philip Portal (2021-22) is the Master of The Clothworkers' Company.
We have had more than 500 Masters and Masters excused service.