The latest news about and from the Worshipful Company of Butchers

20 New Liverymen make history

Published on: 26 September 2021

For the first time in our proud and ancient history, a New Liverymen Clothing and Ceremony Event was held on 23 September 2021.

For the first time ever, The Clerk to the Chamberlain’s Court, Murray Craig, convened the Chamberlain’s Court in the Court Suite and imparted the Freedom of the City of London to 18 Freeman in a group ceremony, followed by an admission of 20 New Liverymen.

A historic moment for the Butchers' Company

The Freedom of the City of London has been granted by The Chamberlain's Court since the 13th Century and allowed a Liveryman to ply his trade within the square mile of the City of London. Other special privileges include the right to be hung by a silken rope if convicted of treason or murder and to be able to take sheep across London Bridge toll free! 

The 23rd September marked the end of a special journey for 20 new Liverymen, as some parted with their Freedom Fines over 18 months ago and have waited patiently through the pandemic to join our Livery. It was only fitting that the Court thanked them for their patience and welcomed all with a special lunch. 

Murray Craig made the occasion very special with many a humorous anecdote drawn from his 25 years as Clerk. He informed our New Liverymen that they were in great company with other notable Freedoms granted to Dame Judy Dench, Pavarotti and The Arch Bishop of Canterbury. An honour indeed.  

The new Freemen of the City then attended an extraordinary Court meeting at Noon, to Clothe 20 Liverymen into the Butchers' Company. The Clerk led the group ceremony and The Master welcomed all as the new Liverymen were clothed. It was quite a moving ceremony.  

The Court were delighted to welcome and clothe the following Freemen as New Liverymen:

  1. Jim Avery
  2. Judith Batchelar OBE
  3. Ben Bayer
  4. Nicola Chandler
  5. Andrew Clarke
  6. Katherine Doherty
  7. Michael Dumenil
  8. Timothy Gray
  9. Dr Jane Guise
  10. Mathew Hill
  11. Oliver Kohn
  12. Marc Murphy
  13. David Nelson
  14. Andrew Parsons
  15. Robin Rolls
  16. Veronica Skeet
  17. Ian Smith
  18. Stephen Smith
  19. Robbie Singh Swan
  20. Mark Taylor

New Liverymen gallery images with surnames A-H below:

New Liverymen Images gallery with surnames I-Z below:

Photograph’s were taken and then all adjourned to the reception where a glass of Dumenil Champagne, generously donated by Past Master’s Adams and Dumenil, was enjoyed before a fantastic 3-course luncheon was served in the Great Hall. 

I recently stepped down as Chair of the Recruitment Committee, but was delighted to Propose the toasts and welcome our guest Speaker, Murray Craig and the newly clothed Liverymen, thanking them again for their patience. 

Finally, The Master took wine with the 20 new Liverymen, who all received rapturous applause from the room. Olly Kohn gave an excellent response before the stirrup cup and it is understood that celebrations went on long into the evening! 

To right the wrong that the Butchers' Company were missing from the waiting room of the Chamberlain's Court, the Master presented Murray with a display of miniature Butchers' tools. A fitting artefact for all visitors to see at the Guildhall, now and in the future, to remember a momentous day for our Livery.

It was truly a day of so many Recruitment and Livery celebratory firsts: 

  • Our first virtual Freedom of the Livery - Tim Finney, Dr Jane Guise and Andrew Duff
  • The first virtual Freedom of the City - Olly Kohn
  • The first Liveryman to be clothed virtually - Andrew Duff
  • Our first ‘Young Butcher’ to join the grown ups - Matt Hill
  • The first time we have ever had Freedom of the City ceremony conducted at our Hall
  • And, the first time we have ever admitted 20 New Liverymen on the same day.

Warden John Allton Jones