One of the Great XII Livery Companies of the City of London, our links to the Iron trade reach back 700 years. An unassuming, inclusive and welcoming Company, our charitable endeavours unite our past, present and future. We administer six charities, focussed on the education of the young, the care of the elderly, metals and materials science.
We enjoy each other’s company with members actively engaged in our charity work, running the Company and participating in varied social events. The Ironmongers are well regarded for their sporting activities; organising and enjoying many inter-livery events across the UK and overseas.
This combination forms a fun and life-long community that delivers sustainable social change.
The earliest records suggest that the Ironmongers, then known as Ferroners, were an effective body in 1300, when they took action against the smiths of the Wealds of Kent and Sussex over the quality of iron cart wheels in the City of London. By 1328 they were firmly established, joining in the elections of the City officials and choosing four of their members to treat with the Mayor and Sheriffs. The Ironmongers' received a grant of arms in 1455, describing them as the "Honourable Crafte and Fellasship of Fraunchised Men of Iromongers", and a charter of incorporation from Edward IV in 1463. Further information can be found on our Archives page.
Two salamanders form the crest of the Company's arms; mediaeval salamanders reputedly being able to survive fire. The charter granted power to appoint a "Master and two Keepers or Wardens". A subsequent Act of Parliament required Companies to prepare ordinances for approval by certain of the King's officers over matters such as the preservation of trade secrets, the qualifications of members, the regulation of apprenticeships, domestic matters of the fraternity and the settlement of internal disputes.
The Company suffered extortion under Henry VIII, Philip and Mary and Charles I, and a similar attempt in 1684 under Charles II, which called into question the validity of the charter of the City itself and those of the Livery Companies. Although the latter was halted by James II, the Company was fined a considerable sum by Judge Jeffrey in 1668 to redeem their charter. Since Stuart times the Livery Companies have been left in relative peace.
As the focus of the iron industry moved to the Midlands and the north of Britain so the activities of the Company have become more focused on education and charitable work. Giving is the common thread between our past, present and future.
We are small, dedicated, friendly group of professionals who are committed to turning our history and experience into future opportunities for as many as we can support. We enjoy this commitment and sharing our home, our archive, our network to the benefit of all.
If you are interested in becoming a Member of our Company of course we’d love to hear from you.
We compete in a number of sporting activities with other livery companies and enjoy hosting a number of inter livery events including the Inter Livery Ski Championships in Morzine and The Great Twelve Sailing Challenge on the Isle of Wight.