We are different from many Modern Companies in that membership is not restricted to our own trade. We welcome men and women, smokers and non-smokers, who have a particular interest in the tobacco industry or the Livery movement as a whole.
We expect all who join us to play an active part in our Company and make a positive contribution to our aims, including our charitable fundraising. In addition, we require all Freemen and Liverymen to make an annual contribution to our benevolent fund.
Our members meet at some of the most historic and beautiful private buildings in the City of London, as we are not tied to one Livery Hall. We organise many of our social events, especially those for our Smoking Club, in places with good outdoor facilities.
Members of our Company serve either as Freemen or as Liverymen:
ADMISSION TO THE FREEDOM OF OUR COMPANY
Joining a Livery Company can be done in three different ways, the most common being redemption.
Redemption: Candidates, aged over 21, must be proposed and seconded by Liverymen of the Company of at least two years’ standing (this rule may be waived in certain circumstances).
The Court must formally approve by ballot each application before the Freedom of the Company is granted.
Following approval, the candidate comes before the Court to receive the Freedom at a formal ceremony and to pay the membership cost (‘fine’). No further fee (‘quarterage’) is payable in the first year, but quarterage is payable annually, set at a rate fixed by the Court each year. (Discounted rates apply for members under 35 years old).
Patrimony: Sons and daughters of a Freeman of the Company, born after their admission, are permitted to join the Company when they reach the age of 21 years old.
Servitude: Members may be granted admission having served an apprenticeship, according to the custom of the City of London. However, our Company no longer uses this method of membership.
ADMISSION TO THE LIVERY
Once admitted to the Freedom of the Company, candidates can apply to become a Freeman of the City of London. Should this be granted, candidates may then take up the Livery of the Company in a ‘gowning ceremony’ held before our Court.
Any Freeman taking up the Livery must pay a one-off membership fee – known as a ‘fine’.
Further details and application forms are available through the Clerk.