Livery Companies are an important part of the tradition of the City of London and our Company can trace its roots back over three hundred and fifty years.
In 1654, the Parliament which was the first of Cromwell’s Protectorate passed one of its first Acts which provided legislation setting up The Fellowship of Master Hackney Coachmen. This was under the authority of the Court of Aldermen, on similar lines to other trades in the City of London such as the Watermen and Billingsgate Porters. Though the Act was only to remain in force for three years, it was the forerunner of every future Act of Parliament concerning hackney carriages, including coaches, horse drawn cabs and taxis until the present day. The Court of Aldermen’s writ was within the ‘Late Lines of Communication’. This was a reference to a chain of defences erected around London during the Civil War in 1642, from Vauxhall to where the Elephant & Castle is today and from there via Aldgate to Oxford Street, Marble Arch site and back to the river on the north bank of the Thames. At that time, the number of coachmen were restricted to two hundred and the Act named the first thirteen overseers, who were entrusted the task of choosing the remainder.