Rules of Livery Membership

1. Name

The name of the Livery is ‘The Worshipful Company of Coachmakers and Coach Harness Makers of London’ (known as The Coachmakers).

​2. Status

The Coachmakers is a City Livery Company by Royal Charter.

3. Objects

The Coachmakers seeks to promote excellence in aerospace, automotive and other transport industries by Awards to Industry and the provision of bursaries and educational trusts. It seeks to maintain close links between the City of London and Her Majesty’s Armed Services by affiliations with a unit from the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force.

4. Management of the Company

The Company is managed by a Court comprising the Master, Senior Warden, Renter Warden, Junior Warden and up to 23 Assistants and six Stewards. The Master is an ex officio member of all Livery Committees. The Master’s official representative is the Immediate Past Master. The Court appoints a Clerk to the Company who is effectively the Chief Executive Officer. The Clerk is accountable to, and responsible for, advice to the Court and for the administration of the Livery, including the presentation of ideas, the development of policy, and the management of finances with the Renter Warden, Trustees and Accountant. The Clerk is an ex officio member of all Livery Committees and represents the Livery on external Clerk associated committees. He accompanies the Master on representational duties when invited. The Court appoints other subordinate Committees to assist in administering other activities covering policy making, financial investment, management of Coachmakers’ bursaries and charities. Committees also manage social and sporting activities and the Company’s communications. The Court shall meet no fewer than four times per year. A quorum shall consist of three members, one of whom shall be the Master or a Warden. The Master, Wardens and Chairmen of other committees are elected at a meeting of the Court on 1 September each year (The Election Court Meeting). If this date falls on a weekend the Court meeting takes place on the first Monday of September.

5. Charter and Ordinances

The founding of the Coachmakers is based on the granting of a Charter by King Charles II on 31st May 1677. A Grant of Arms was made on 17th July 1677 and the Ordinances of the Company were confirmed on 7th December 1677. The Oaths to be taken by the Master, Wardens, Assistants, Liverymen, Freemen, Clerk and Beadle on taking office are contained in the Ordinances of the Company. A second Charter was granted to the Company by King James II on 12th May 1687. Finally, a Charter of Restitution was granted to all Companies of the City of London on 23rd October 1688. Copies of these documents are held in the Clerk’s office.

6. Categories of membership

The categories of membership are:
(a) Royal Liverymen.
(b) Freemen – this category has restrictions on rights and privileges.
(c) Liverymen – they are full members with all rights and privileges.
(d) Liverymen Honoris Causa – appointed by the Court to cement links with our affiliated military units or to recognise some other special link or service to the Livery.
(e) Honorary Freemen – appointed by the Court to include spouses of deceased Past Masters
(f) Companions of the Livery – spouses, at the time of death of deceased Liverymen approved by the Court.
(e) Craft Freemen – persons involved in the ancient craft of the Livery who have achieved pre-eminence including young persons who win awards and bursaries.

7. Procedure for Election of Members

To be elected, a candidate must be proposed and seconded by two Court members and accepted by the whole Court. Court approval is achieved by circulating to all Court members a copy of the candidate’s application form supported by the candidate’s proposer and seconder. Following the circulation of papers to the Court by the Clerk and subject to there being no dissent registered to the Clerk, candidates will be deemed to have been elected. The Clerk will file on the agenda of the next Court meeting those candidates who have been so elected. The Court may review these nominations. The Clerk will write to elected members advising them of their election. Candidates will return acceptance forms required by the Clerk immediately. Candidates not returning papers by the date determined in the letter advising success in being elected, will be reviewed. Those who have returned papers will be sworn to the Freedom at the next possible Court meeting. Candidate application forms will provide data for initial entries in the database of members. Application forms and supporting documentation will be retained for posterity by the Clerk. Livery Freemen make two visits to the Chamberlain’s Court within three months of being sworn to the Freedom of the Livery to gain admittance to the Freedom of the City of London. Once granted the Freedom of The City of London, Livery Freemen are clothed in the Livery at the next Court meeting and become entitled to all rights and privileges of the Company.

8. Accountant

At the Audit Court meeting each year a Company Accountant shall be appointed. The duties include keeping proper books of account as are necessary to give a true and fair view of the state of the affairs of the Company and its charitable funds. Responsibilities include the submission of all returns as may be required by law in relation to the accounts to be rendered at the due time. Financial statements made up to 31st August each year shall be prepared for submission to the Audit Court.

9. Independent auditors

At the Audit Court meeting each year independent auditors as authorised under the Companies Acts shall be appointed whose duty it is to audit the accounts of the Company and its charitable funds for the current year.

10. Trustees

All charitable funds shall be vested in a minimum of three Trustees appointed by the Court and shall be held by the Trustees subject to the disposition of the Court. The Trustees are responsible under the governing charity document for controlling the management and administration under charity law. Trustees will normally serve for a period of five years.

11. Financial year

The financial year of the Company shall end on 31st August in every year to which day the accounts shall be balanced and reported upon by the accountants at the Audit Court Meeting

12. Members’ addresses

Every Member shall furnish the Clerk with an up-to-date address postal and email which shall be recorded in the Roll of Members on the Livery database. Members are required to maintain accurate data on the database themselves and make their own amendments as their circumstances change. Any notice sent to such address listed on the database shall be deemed to have been duly delivered.

13. Entrance fees (fines)

On election to the Freedom of the Livery candidates shall pay an entrance fee (fine). Candidates under 35 years of age shall pay at a rate of 50 per cent of the full fee. Candidates who are sons or daughters of current Liverymen, and those elected by patrimony or as Honoris Causa shall be required to pay an entrance fee (fine) of £5 and an annual subscription or equivalent donation which may vary annually. A fee shall be paid by a Liveryman on election to the Court as an Assistant and when elected to Junior Warden. A Liveryman appointed by the Court ‘Honoris Causa’ will also pay a fee on election to the Court as an Assistant and when elected to the post of Junior Warden. These fees are set by the Court annually. The rates of entrance fee are held in the Clerk’s office. All cheques are to be made payable to ‘The Coachmakers Company’ and sent to the Clerk.

14. Subscriptions

All members in categories 6b and 6c are required to pay an annual subscription at the rate per annum of their category of membership currently in force. This is set by the Court annually and a copy is kept in the Clerk’s office.

15. Senior members

Full members who have attained the age of 70 years or over and who have been a member for such a number or years as to give them a combined age and years of membership of 90, shall pay an annual subscription of 50 per cent of the full subscription for their category of membership.

16. Part year subscriptions

A Freeman elected after 1st March shall pay a subscription for that year to 31st August of 50 per cent of the full rate for their category of membership.

17. Review of subscriptions

The Court may vary the subscription. Any variation shall be notified to members during the month of July next after making the decision to make a variation.

18. Date and payment of subscriptions

All annual subscriptions shall be payable in advance on the first day of September each year by direct debit. Subscriptions may be made by cheque when agreed with the accountant.

19. Subscription in arrears

(a) If a member fails to pay the annual subscription on or before 1st November after it has become due, the Accountant will formally advise the Clerk who will send a formal notice to the member, copied to the Court, calling attention to such failure.
(b) If payment has not been made by 1st December next, the Master will write to the member advising that his name will be presented to the Court as a defaulter. If payment is not forthcoming immediately the Court shall be invited to classify the member as a defaulter and this shall be signified in the Livery Roll and promulgated.
(c) No member whose name has been promulgated as a defaulter shall be allowed the privileges of the Livery, which include attending functions even as a guest.
(d) If at any time a member whose name has been promulgated as a defaulter for non-payment of subscriptions shall give the Court a satisfactory explanation, he may, at the discretion of the Court and upon payment of all sums due, be reinstated on the Livery Roll as an active member without payment of an entrance fee (if any).

20. Livery Roll

The Members of the Company shall be listed from admission to the Freedom on the Livery Roll to be held by the Clerk. A list of the members specifying the name and seniority of such members together with a set of rules, regulations and by-laws shall be printed and circulated at intervals to be decided upon by the Court.

21. Resignation

A member wishing to withdraw from the Livery must give notice in writing to the Clerk before 1st September in any one year or they will be liable for the subscription of the ensuing year. The Rules of Membership are printed in the Livery Directory and posted on the Coachmakers’ website.