Constitutional Arrangements and Governance
The reference in the Charter to the senior members being ‘Assistants’ is that they are the formal court of governors of the company, they ‘assist’ the Master and Wardens. The two ‘Wardens’ are those who are senior to the other Assistants and subordinate to the ‘Master’ whom is the chair for one year. Although the Charter designates one of these as the ‘Upper Warden’ the second is simply described as the ‘other Warden’ rather than as the ‘Under’ or ‘Junior’, a nice point of terminology. The Clerk of the company has to be ‘learned in the law’ (§6) the current one being a member of Lincoln’s Inn. When the entire membership are called together by the Court they are called ‘the Comonalty’. The company approached the Privy Council Office Chief Clerk in June 2013 and as a consequence of that meeting and the PCO’s advice the way is clear to expand the membership and to include ladies as Members, Assistants, Wardens and Master. This is crucial as there has been a major revival in civic guilds activities in London and nationally during the last ten years and expansion can allow the company to extend and improve its activities and charitable/ voluntary efforts.
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The Tanners Company of Bermondsey