Today there are 110 livery companies in the City of London. These developed from the craft and trade guilds of medieval periods and in earlier times controlled the manufacture and sale of goods and services in the City of London.
The term livery refers to the garments that these companies adopted to distinguish their members. To become a member of a livery company you must be a Freeman of the City of London.
Liverymen play a key part in the elections each year for the office of Sheriff and the office of Lord Mayor. There are two Sheriffs in the City of London and they are elected annually by the Liverymen.
The Liverymen also choose two candidates from the City’s Aldermen to be considered for the office of Lord Mayor. The Court of Alderman then decide which of these two will take up office from the following November.
EC3 is home to three of these livery companies and one working Guild.