The Furniture Makers' Company is delighted to receive its Royal Charter
which recognises its pre-eminence, stability and permanence in its role in
the furnishings industry.A Royal Charter, a formal document, is issued by a
monarch as letters patent, granting a right or power to an individual or a
corporate body. They were, and are still, used to establish significant
organisations such as cities (with municipal charters) or universities.
Charters are more significant than warrants and letters of appointment, as
they have perpetual effect.
The monarchy has only ever conveyed 980 Royal Charters, of which only 750 remain. The earliest dates from 1066. Notable recipients are The Universities of Oxford, Cambridge & Durham, The British East India Company, The British South Africa Company, P&0, the BBC and The Bank of England.
As a modern Livery Company granted Livery by the Court of Aldermen in 1963, the granting of a Royal Charter by Her Majesty the Queen recognises the reputation for excellence gained in a relatively short period by all the officers and members of the Company who are all current or past practitioners in the furnishings industry.
The Furniture Makers was formed as a Guild in 1952. The
first Master of the Guild was Stanley Wharton. The Senior Warden was Sir
Herman Lebus CBE JP and the Junior Warden Alderman Ralph Perring LCC. The
Furniture Makers owe to this trio a considerable debt of gratitude; to Mr
Wharton for his patience, time and wisdom in the many interviews and
meetings which resulted in the Guild coming to fruition; to the late Sir
Herman Lebus for the sponsoring of the Guild’s Coat of Arms, and for the
work which he undertook in connection with the building up of a framework
for administering Guild Scholarships; to Mr Alderman Perring (later Sir
Ralph Perring Bt) for his continuous help and guidance which culminated in
the Grant of Livery to the Guild in 1963 when he was resident at the Mansion
House as the 635th elected Lord Mayor of London.
On Thursday 29 March 1963 the Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers became the 83rd City Livery Company of London and only the sixth new City Livery Company to be formed since early in the eighteenth century. Fifty years later we celebrate that event and all that has been achieved over those years.