The Armourers and Brasiers’ Company
The Company originated as a guild of armourers in the City of London in 1322 and has occupied the same site since 1346. The present Company was formed in 1708 by incorporating the Brasiers who were workers in brass and copper.
Early objectives of the Company were preserving a monopoly in making armour in London, and maintaining its quality by inspection and hallmarking. Continuing excellence in craftsmanship was ensured by a rigorous apprenticeship system. A young person entering the trade would be bound to a master for seven years after which, on production of a satisfactory ‘master-piece’, he could become a Freeman of the Company. Later he could seek election as a full member or Liveryman (i.e. with the right to wear the distinctive clothing or ‘livery’ of the Company).
In recent years the Armourers & Brasiers have carried forward their ancient traditions of metalworking and technological education by concentrating their charitable giving on the support of individuals and educational projects in materials science. In particular the Company seeks to encourage young people to see the excitement of materials science as a choice for university and career, to the ultimate benefit of British industry.