History of the Company

The Founder Master, Alderman Sir Peter Gadsden, a former Lord Mayor of London, and several eminent engineers formed The Company of Engineers on 29th June 1983, with the main objective "of affording the means of professional and social intercourse and mutual information between its members, those who practise engineering and those who benefit therefrom, so as to promote the development and advancement of the science, art and practice of engineering in the City of London and elsewhere".

A petition to the Rt.Hon. The Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen of the City of London for the granting of Letters Patent for the creation of a Livery Company of the City of London to be called “The Worshipful Company of Engineers” was submitted on 5th July 1983. The Grant of Livery as the 94th Livery Company was approved by the Court of Aldermen on the 13th September 1983, and Letters Patent were presented to the Founder Master on 1st November 1983.

Members of the Company inspect a Super Sentinel steam lorry during a visit in 1988/89, including Phillip Edwards, Bryan Gibson (then Clerk, later Master), David Mitchell (then Master), Geoffrey Ford and Peter Hammersley (Past Master).

On the founding of the Company, it was limited to a maximum of 300 in the Livery. The Court of Aldermen agreed amendments subsequently including raising the maximum number in the Livery to 350. Furthermore while all Liverymen must be Fellows of a Chartered Engineering Institution or Fellows of the Royal Academy of Engineering, it has also been agreed that Chartered Engineers who are Members of their Institutions may also be admitted as Freemen.

In 2003 the Court directed that the Company should seek a Royal Charter and discussions began with the Clerk to the Privy Council to produce a draft Petition, Charter and Ordinances. Detailed Regulations were also developed for internal use. After due consultations and with advice from the Charity Commission, arrangements were agreed for H.M. The Queen to approve the grant of a Royal Charter of Incorporation on 11th February 2004. The Charter was presented to the Master, Sir David Davies, by HRH The Duke of Kent at Merchant Taylors’ Hall on Tuesday 27th April 2004. The Company then began its next phase as a separate legal public entity with a new form of corporate governance but sustaining essentially its traditional objects but with the added potential to increase its influence in the field of the profession of engineering.

For more information on the history of the Worshipful Company of Engineers, see “A Well Engineered Company, the story of The Worshipful Company of Engineers 1983 – 2008”

Photo Courtesy of Rolls Royce PLC