| The following is based upon the Customs and Etiquette Leaflets
of the Worshipful Company of Environmental Cleaners with some detail
taken from other Worshipful Companies.
During the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, when the first
Trade Guilds were formed, the members were drawn from a very
close-knit community. Indeed, it was a pre-requisite that, to
be a member of a Trade Guild in the City of London, one lived
and worked within the City boundaries. Although today the City
is but a square mile (or just slightly over) in those days the
City was even smaller.
It can be easily appreciated therefore that there was little
need for formal rules to govern conduct at gatherings of Guild
members. In any case, it was not until many years later that
social formalities became accepted and were applied. Even then,
as members of the Guilds (or livery companies) were drawn from
within the City boundaries, accepted patterns of formality and
protocol were widely known and readily accepted.
Today, almost all livery companies draw their members from
a much wider area than the narrow confines of the City of London.
It follows therefore, that not all members may be aware of the
livery customs and etiquette and the aim of this item is to inform
and thus make the Companies functions more pleasurable for
all who attend.