Livery Terminology

Many Companies became Livery Companies by being granted Royal Charters and their titles start “The Worshipful Company of . . . ” Also often mentioned is the phrase the “art and mystery” of a Livery Company which is the medieval term for work. The term “livery” comes from feudal times when an allowance of clothing was given by ‘barons, monastries, colleges or guilds to their own retainers. The Guilds were allowed to wear liveries as a form of identification at a time when others were not — which is how they came to be known as “the Livery Companies”.