Worshipful Company of Grocers is one of the
Livery Companies of the City of London.
The Company was founded in the fourteenth century (1345) as the
Guild of Pepperers
, which was first known in the twelfth
century (1180). By 1373 , the Guild was known as the Company of
Grocers of London.
In 1428 , the Company acquired a Royal
. The Company was responsible for maintaining standards
for the purity of spices
and for the setting
of certain weights and
. Its members included London's pharmacists
, who separated into the Worshipful Society of
in 1617 .
As part of the work of the Worshipful Company, a school was founded
in Hackney for the sons of middle class gentlemen. This school, The
Grocers' Company School, was handed over to the London County Council and changed its
name to Hackney Downs
School, which was eventually closed in 1995 .
schools had, as their school badge, a camel
over a shield
. The Camel and Cloves
to this day by old boys of the school through the Clove Club (their
history of the Company, Some Account of the Worshipful Company
of Grocers of the City of London, by John Benjamin Heath (Governor of the Bank of
may now be read online: Google Book
Search digitized a copy from Harvard
Library in September 2005.
The Company's motto is "God Grant Grace"
The Grocers' Company today
Today, the Grocers' Company exists as a charitable
institution. It is responsible for the maintenance of
School and The Elms School (founded 1614), and is represented on the council
of University College
In the order of precedence
Companies, the Grocers' Company ranks second, after only the
making it one of the Great Twelve City Livery
The Company also maintains banquet
facilities at Grocers'
It is said that the Grocers' Company used to be first in the order,
until Queen Victoria
found herself in procession behind the Grocers' camel which was
emitting unfortunate smells. As a result, the Mercers
promoted.Oundle School in Oundle near
Peterborough has the Badge of the Grocers Camel as their school
The company is affiliated to HMS Gloucester
, a Type 42 Destroyer