Broderers´ Company

Arms of the Broderers' Company. Arms of the Broderers' Company.

Officially known as the Worshipful Company of Broderers, the Broderers' Company is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. The Company is also known as the Brotherhood of the Holy Ghost of the City of London. The term broderers refers to male workers in embroidery.

The early history of the Company is unknown, as many of its records were destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666. It would appear that the organisation of Broderers existed since at least 1376. In 1561 Queen Elizabeth I (1533–1603) granted the Company its Royal Charter. Finding further details about the Company is difficult because in 1940 the Broderers’ Hall (36 Gutter Lane, off Cheapside) and its archive were totally destroyed during the Blitz of the Second World War (1939-1945).

The Broderers were closely associated with St. Benet’s Church, Paul’s Wharf (also destroyed in the Great Fire), and in addition to their work as embroiderers, many of the Company’s members were involved with charitable deeds relating to members of the Broderers’, their families and others. Later, as embroidery became less economically important, the role of the company as a charitable foundation became more significant. The Broderers, for example, are one of the supporters of the Royal School of Needlework. During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries many Masters of the Broderers’ Company were also King's (Queen's) Embroiderers, a position within the Royal Wardrobe (a term applied to one section of what became the British Civil Service).

The Worshipful Company of Broderes may be compared with the Worshipful Company of Merchant Tailors, the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths, the Worshipful Company of Mercers, the Worshipful Company of Drapers, the Worshipful Company of Weavers and the Worshipful Company of Haberdashers 


  • HOLFORD, Christopher (1910). A Chat about the Broderers Company, London: George Allen and Son. [] 
  • WARDLE, Patricia (1994). 'The King’s Embroiderer: Edmund Harrison (1590-1667), Part 1', Textile History, 25, pp. 29-59.
  • WARDLE, Patricia (1995). 'The King’s Embroiderer: Edmund Harrison (1590-1667),' Part 2', Textile History, 26, pp. 139-184.
  • (retrieved 19 April 2016).


Last modified on Saturday, 29 October 2016 18:38
More in this category: Embroiderers' Guild of America »