Company banner 2021

Our Court and Company Officers

The role of the Court

The Court is the governing body of the Livery Company. It is made up of the Master, four Wardens, the Officers of the Company and at least 12 Assistants.

Our Master and Wardens are appointed annually at an Election Court. They are then installed at an Installation Court held each June. The Master and the Wardens lead the Court and the General Purposes Committee.

Past Masters play a significant role in the life of the Livery Company, supporting the Court and attending its meetings.

Who we are

Court1 june 2022

Left to right: Paul Taberer, Elise Rasmussen, Henry Tuck, Tony Scanlan and Jacqueline Burrows

Master: Paul Taberer - Appointed Master in June 2022. He joined the Livery Company in 2014 and has served on the Court since 2016. He is Chairman of the General Purposes Committee.

Senior Warden: Elise Rasmussen - Appointed in June 2022. She joined the Livery Company in 2013 and has served on the Court since 2015.

Renter Warden: Henry Tuck - Appointed in June 2022. He joined the Livery Company in 2016 and has served on the Court since 2018. Henry is Chairman of the Membership Committee.

Third Warden: Tony Scanlan - Appointed in June 2022. He joined the Livery Company in 2013 and has served on the Court since 2015.

Fourth Warden: Jacqueline Burrows - Appointed in June 2022. She joined the Livery Company in 2002 and has served on the Court since 2007. Jacqueline is the Honorary Archivist.

Court2 2022 june row2

Left to right: Sandra Stocker, Ian Venters, Mark Anderson, Jacqueline Burrows and Canon David Parrott

Clerk: Sandra Stocker

Treasurer: Ian Venters

Beadle: Mark Anderson

Honorary Archivist: Jacqueline Burrows

Honorary Chaplain: Canon David Parrott




Documents banners

1573: Sir Frances Drake brings the first recorded cargo of tobacco to England from the New World.

1601: East India Company forms and exotic imports including tobacco pour into the country.

1604: King James publishes the pamphlet, Counterblaste to Tobacco. He imposes heavy taxes on the product.

1613: More than 7,000 ‘tobagies’ sell tobacco, owing to its popularity. Domestic cultivation and smuggling increase in order to avoid high taxes.

The First Company: 1619-1643

1619: King James I bans tobacco growing in England. He orders that all tobacco must come into the country through London and that pipes are to be made solely by a group of pipe makers based in Westminster, to whom he grants a Royal Charter.

1634: King Charles I re-incorporates the Company under the name of the Tobacco-pipe Makers of London and Westminster and England and Wales. This becomes a City of London Company, often meeting in the Painter-Stainers’ Livery Hall.

1642: Tradespeople are affected by civil war.

1643: The Company fails to pay annual rent due to the King and forfeits its Charter as a result.

The Second Company: 1663-1868

1660: With the restoration of Charles II, the company is re-established and reorganised by the City of London.

1663: The company is granted a Royal Charter of Incorporation but is still without a Grant of Livery at this stage. It remains solely concerned with tobacco-pipes.

1690: A Charter for regulating tobacconists and tobacco cutters is granted to the Grocers’ Livery Company.

1800s: By the 1800s there are no more than 200 ‘citizen’ pipe makers in London, many of whom are poor and lacking education. Around half of these pipe-makers were Freemen of our Company. As a result, the Company’s income - derived from membership fees (‘quarterage’) and apprenticeships - is very low.

1856: Act of Common Council allows non-freemen to trade in the City of London, effectively cutting off the Company's income.

1868: The Company closes.

The Third Company: 1954-Present Day

1954: Key members of the Briar Pipe and Tobacco Trades meet to revive the old Company. The name is changed to the Worshipful Company of Tobacco Pipe Makers and Tobacco Blenders, accounting for the wider tobacco trade.

1956: New Grant of Arms is designed by the College of Arms, retaining the old Company’s motto, ‘Producat Terra’ (‘Out of the Earth’).

1959: Members launch an appeal to raise money for charity. A benevolent fund is set up, with a focus on further education.

1960: A Plea for Livery is presented to, and duly accepted by, the Court of Aldermen.

1990s: The Company raises more than £40,000 to purchase the entire contents of the defunct Broseley Pipe Works at Ironbridge, Shropshire.

1995: The fully-restored factory opens as a museum and artefacts are displayed.

Our Traditions

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]

Our Treasures



Our Company is proud of its treasures, each of which play a significant part in our traditional ceremonies, and at our lunches and dinners.

Ballot Box: our Edwardian stained oak and mahogany ballot box is used at Court meetings to vote for new candidates wanting to join the Livery, and on other sensitive matters.

Ceremonial Mace: emblematic of the authority invested in the Master, Wardens and Assistants. [Read more]

Loving Cup: A two-handled silver-gilt cup and cover, made in London in 1841 and presented to the Livery in 1955 by Past Master Alan Adler (father of Past Master John Adler and grandfather of Past Master Fiona Adler) for use as a loving cup.

Salzman Collection of 18th Century Blue and White Tobacco Jars: a collection of tobacco jars with brass covers, donated in 1963 by Elia Salzman, founder of the Elia Salzman Tobacco Co Ltd of London. Jars like these were originally filled by tobacconists with particular blends of tobacco. Some of the collection is kept in the dining room of the Guildhall.

Silver Cups: A large silver tyg (three-handled mug) made by William Hutton of London in 1886, and a later silver cup and cover, both presented to the Livery by Past Master Edmond Hardcastle in 1969.

Smoking Cap and Stand: smoking caps were popular as informal gentleman’s wear from the late 1840s through to the 1880s. The caps were usually made of velvet or felt and often quilted inside. Some had tassels attached for added flair. Gentlemen originally wore them for warmth and to reduce the smell of smoke in their hair. [Read more]

Snuff Mulls: our Livery owns three silver-mounted ram’s horn snuff mulls, which are used at our formal dinners. They were presented by Past Master Nigel Rich, Past Master Richard Tranter and Past Master Charles Miller respectively. [Read more] Our most magnificent ram's head mull (nick-named Cedric) was presented by Singleton & Cole and is kept in the Guildhall.

Tobacco Paraphernalia and Prints: our own collection of tobacco paraphernalia, including antique prints of tobacco pipe making, are on long-term loan to the Broseley Pipe Works Museum near Ironbridge in Staffordshire. Examples of some of the prints can be viewed on this website in the Print Library.

Our Coat of Arms

Over the 400-year history of our Company, we have received two Grants of Arms, both of which were prepared by the College of Arms in the City of London.


The first Grant of Arms was made in the 17th century to the Tobacco-pipe Makers of London and Westminster and England and Wales.

This has now been superseded by the second Grant of Arms, made in 1956 to the Company of Tobacco Pipe Makers and Tobacco Blenders.

Common to both coats of arms is our Company motto, Producat Terra (Out of the Earth).

Our Affiliations

The Irish Guards Association

The Irish Guards Old Comrades Association was formed after WW1 to enable friends to keep in touch with one another and to help members of the Regiment to find suitable employment. The provision of welfare assistance soon began, particularly wounded Old Comrades. Now named The Irish Guards Association and fulfilling a similar role, the Association has five Branches, London (by far the biggest), West Midlands, North of England, Ulster and the Republic of Ireland.

The Governing bodies of the Association are the Regimental Council and The Association Headquarters Committee.

Management of each branch is carried out by: A Chairman and Deputy Chairman – to be ex IG Serving Officers. A Committee consisting of Chairman, Deputy Chairman, Honorary Secretary, Honorary Treasurer, Welfare Officer and other members at each Chairman’s discretion.

Each branch carries out various social events each year and come together for St Patrick’s Day and the Annual March to the Guards Memorial.

The Irish Guards Regiment is affiliated to The Worshipful Company of Girdlers. It was formed on 1st April 1900 by order of HM Queen Victoria to commemorate the Irishmen who fought in the Second Boer War for the British Empire. They are known affectionately throughout the British Army as ‘The Micks’.

The Irish Guards are part of the Guards Division which comprises the Coldstream, Grenadier, Scots, Irish and Welsh Guards along with the two Mounted Regiments the Life Guards and the Blues and Royals. The Irish Guards are the only Guards Regiment to have a Mascot – an Irish Wolfhound. The administrative headquarters for the Regiment is Wellington Barracks, London. The Irish Guards Regimental Band are also based here. The 1st Battalion is Stationed (or Based) in Mons Barracks, Aldershot.

Colonel – in Chief – HM The Queen
Colonel of the Regiment – HRH Prince William, Duke of Cambridge
Regimental Lieutenant Colonel – General Sir Mark Carlton-Smith
Regimental Adjutant – Major (Retd) Niall Hall

The Irish Guards role is mechanized Infantry and all five Guards Regiments have the honour of guarding HM the Queen on a rotational basis.

Number 15 (Loos) Company of The London Guards formerly The London Irish Rifles, 'D' Company of The London Regiment

In November 2021, the MOD unveiled a report which unveiled significant changes to full time and reserve soldiers, including our affiliation – The London Irish Rifles 'D' Company – and to The London Regiment.

In April 2022, The London Regiment was re-designated The London Guards and The London Irish Rifles, D Company of The London Regiment was re-designated Number 15 (Loos) Company of The London Guards. Number 15 (Loos) Company became a reserve Company of the Irish Guards, and will wear Irish Guards Cap Stars and Uniforms. They will continue to train as reservists but will have more opportunities to train with regular soldiers and more potential to deploy on operations with the Irish Guards. They will remain at their base in Camberwell.

History of the The London Irish Rifles

The London Irish Rifles was originally formed in 1859 during the Victorian Volunteer Movement and named 28th Middlesex (London Irish) Rifle Volunteer Corps. In 1880, it was renumbered the 16th Middlesex Rifle Volunteers.

During the Second Boer War, the battalion sent eight officers and 208 private soldiers for active service. In recognition of their service, the London Irish was granted their first battle honour, "South Africa, 1900-1902". In 1908, the London Irish was transferred to the Territorial Force and renamed the 18th (County of London) Battalion, the London Regiment (London Irish Rifles).

Since 1993 and the incorporation of the London Irish Rifles as a company of the London Regiment, soldiers from the London Irish Rifles have served in Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan and Cyprus. During Operation Telic, the company contributed to the formation of Cambrai Company (Operation Telic 3) and Messines Company (Operation Telic 4), both of which were commanded by officers of the London Irish Rifles. Soldiers from the company also deployed to Afghanistan with Somme Company in 2007 (Operation Herrick 7), Amiens Company in 2010 (Operation Herrick 12) and Arras Company in 2011 (Operation Herrick 13).

The London Irish Rifles moved from their historic home, Duke of York’s Headquarters, Chelsea to Flodden Road, Camberwell in 2000.

We are always very proud to welcome representatives from the Irish Guards Association and Number 15 (Loos) Company, The London Guards to our Livery dinners and functions.