History

Curriers Hall DrawingThe ‘Art & Mystery’ of the Currier is as old as history. The craft is described in Homer and the first recorded mention of currying in England dates from the 11th century.

The Curriers’ Company has a long and complex history, dating from 1272 when the “Mysterie of Curriers” first became a trade association.  In the 14th Century,  the Curriers constituted themselves into a guild and religious fraternity associated with the Carmelite Friars in Fleet Street.  In 1415,  they obtained their ordinances by an act of Common Council,  giving them full autonomy.  By around 1580,  the guild of Curriers was recognised as a Livery Company of the City of London, and a grant of arms was made in 1583 but it was not until 1605 that King James I granted the Curriers their first Charter of Incorporation as 29th in the order of precedence.

Over the ensuing 4 centuries,  the Company built no less than 6 Curriers’ Halls in the City,  the last one being constructed in 1876.  Unfortunately,  the difficult economic circumstances of the early 1920s forced the Company to sell its 6th and last Hall on London Wall – illustrated here on the right.

It moved in with its long-standing trade and Livery partner, the Worshipful Company of Cordwainers, with whom it still enjoys a close relationship to day.  Along with many other Livery Halls, the Cordwainers’ Hall on Cannon Street was itself destroyed by enemy action in 1941and the Curriers have been without a hall since then.  However,  since 1942 it has enjoyed excellent hospitality at Tallow Chandlers’ Hall,  where it holds all its Court Meetings.

The trade of the Currier, that of dressing and preparing leather as a workable material for other craftsmen to use to create leather goods, is now largely incorporated as part of the process of tanning, but its origins and techniques are explained in this article here: “The Art and Mysterie of the Currier”.