Whilst the World Traders is a modern Livery Company, we enjoy adhering to the ancient traditions of the City of London Livery Companies. As with the original Companies, the World Traders forms part of the fascinating ecosystem of the City of London over which the Lord Mayor of London presides. We are delighted to have also received the Royal Charter.
The World Traders is presided over by the Master, the Wardens and the Court and the Master and Wardens wear gowns at the most formal events. Members of the Company enjoy the ancient tradition of the Loving Cup at World Trader banquets where the Cup is passed from person to person throughout the room, with the Member who has received the Cup guarding the back of the next person in line. We have many guests at our events from other Livery Companies and have been honoured to receive the Lord Mayor on many occasions. The World Traders enjoy an active role in the Lord Mayor’s Show in November which marks his or her appointment to the role.
The following are just some of the fascinating and enjoyable traditions still practiced in the City of London. The World Traders actively engage with ancient City traditions and help members to feel part of a rich and vibrant culture that has lasted for centuries.
The Silent Ceremony
The Lord Mayor is formally admitted to office in November, the day before the Lord Mayor’s Show. The ceremony is known as the Silent Ceremony because, apart from a short declaration of office by the incoming Lord Mayor, no words are spoken. The outgoing Lord Mayor ceremonially hands the City insignia to his successor.
Common Hall is summoned by the Lord Mayor, by formal notice to the Masters and Wardens of the livery companies that they should give notice to their liverymen to attend at Guildhall on a certain day. The Sheriffs and other officers are elected on Midsummer Day, and the Lord Mayor on Michaelmas Day (or the next weekday). Voting is by a show of hands but if a poll is demanded, one is held a fortnight later.
United Guilds Service
The enormously popular United Guilds Service takes place each year, filling St Paul’s Cathedral to capacity. Members of all companies join with the Lord Mayor and Aldermen, with great ceremony and an address by a leading churchman.
Although carts are no longer used for transport in the City, the traditional Cart Marking ceremony still takes place each year. Since the fourteenth century or earlier, only licensed and marked carts could ply for hire. The ceremony takes place in Guildhall Yard, and Carmen bring their trucks, veteran and vintage vans, waggons and carriages to be inspected by the Master of the Carmen’s Company and branded or marked.
Since about the late fifteenth or early sixteenth century, the Vintners’ and Dyers’ Companies have had the right to share a royalty on the swans on the Thames with the Monarch. Each year in July the swan-upping voyage, counting and marking the swans, takes place on the Thames