The League of Mercy was founded on 30th March 1899 by Royal Charter of Queen Victoria. It was instigated by the then Prince of Wales who became its first Grand President. Subsequently two further Princes of Wales (George V and Edward VIII) succeeded him in this office. Central to the activities of the League was always a notable ceremony at which distinguished volunteers received a medal known as THE ORDER OF MERCY. On 30th March 1999, exactly one hundred years to the day after its founding Charter, the League of Mercy became a UK Registered Charity which continues to award the ORDER OF MERCY to those who have performed distinguished voluntary work in a number of areas of care. These include: the sick, the injured or disabled, young people at risk, refugees, the homeless, the elderly, the dying, those who are impaired in mind.
This is the home of The Armourers' and Braziers' Company
of the City of London which acquired this site in 1428. The buildings were
extended and converted over the years and in 1666 survived the Great Fire of
London which was checked only a few yards away from where we sit.
In 1795, the Hall was again enlarged but in 1839, the Court of the Company decided to rebuild the Hall completely which, together with its furnishings, cost £10,533, Essentially this building is the present hall which was designed by John Henry Good, the Company's Surveyor.
On the 29th December 1940, during the Blitz of London, the surrounding area was devastated by bombs and fire. The Armourers' and Braziers' Company are eternally indebted to an unknown fireman who, seeing the curtains of the Court Room ablaze, broke into the Hall and extinguished the flames. Thus the Hall survived once again and is one of the jewels amongst the Livery Halls
of the City of London.
The League of Mercy was first founded by the then Prince
of Wales (later King Edward WI) in 1899. Subsequently, George, Prince of
Wales (later King George V) and Edward, Prince of Wales (later King Edward
VIII) became its Grand Presidents. They were followed in that role by
When the 1948 National Health Act abolished these hospitals, the League was quietly wound up, after performing its task extraordinarily well for half a century. Central to the activities of the League was a notable annual ceremony at which some dozens of people received a decoration known as THE ORDER OF MERCY. This was bestowed as a recognition of ‘personal services gratuitously rendered in connection with the purposes for which the League was founded’.
The League of Mercy was re-founded on
Each year from many nominations made by individual charities, the Trustees of the League, after carefully examining supporting evidence, choose up to thirty outstanding volunteers and invite them to receive THE ORDER OF MERCY. This is a silver gilt representation of the original 1899 design depicting Sir Joshua Reynolds’s figure of Charity. The names of recipients appear in the London Gazette.