We are extremely proud of our heritage and continue to observe many of our Company’s long-standing traditions. Our smoking cap and snuff traditions are specific to our Company, while the passing of the Loving Cup is a tradition followed by all Livery Companies.
The Smoking Cap
A relatively modern tradition, the smoking cap ceremony was first introduced by Past Master Walter Kahn, shortly after our Company was re-established in 1954. The smoking cap is used by the Master at all our official lunches and dinners.
The smoking cap ceremony originally signified the moment when guests were allowed to smoke. Until 2007 the livery offered fine cigars, cigarettes, tobacco and hand-made clay pipes to members and their guests seated around the tables. Nowadays only snuff is taken at the table and electronic cigarettes if they are permitted by the venue. Read more...
The Taking of Snuff
Following the smoking cap ceremony, snuff may be taken at the table. For those who wish to take it, a souvenir tin of snuff is offered at each place setting at our Livery dinners. There are a number of descriptions of how to take snuff, but the genteel method can be described in 11 separate steps.
Snuff is created from a carefully-selected blend of the finest tobacco leaves which are subsequently milled, ground and sieved to become a finely-textured powder. Stored in wooden drums for varying amounts of time, the powder is then flavoured using the finest essential oils, such as attar of roses, lavender and violet, patchouli, sandalwood and cinnamon. Snuff recipes are closely-guarded secrets, often passed down through generations, and often known only to one or two members of the snuff maker’s company. After flavouring, the snuff is left to mature before being packed and sold. Read more...
The Loving Cup Ceremony
The passing of the loving cup, traditional to all Liveries, is a splendid feature of our Company’s dinners.
Filled with spiced wine, historically known as ‘sack’, the Master and Wardens drink from it in turn, before the cup is then passed down the table to all guests. Read more...