The Company of
Cutlers in Hallamshire Since 1624

Freemen & Friends

Welcome to the page for Freemen and Friends

Information and news for and from the Freemen and Friends of the Company.
This page will be updated as and when news or events occur.


Lists of both Freemen and Friends of the Company can be downloaded from the links below.

2020 Diary

Please be aware that during the Covid 19 Crisis, the Company Office will be on minimum manning.

See the Annual Review, 2018-2019, for the lists of Freemen and Friends.


Masters in difficult times

Following the disruption to his year in office, the  Master, Nicholas Williams, will serve a second year, and this has prompted a search for other occasions when Masters served more than their initial year.

The 1624 Act of Incorporation states that the Company must be elected each year – a Company consisting of a Masters, two Wardens, six Searchers and twenty-four Assistants.  Each Company elects the one for the following year, drawing on Freemen who can be elected to replace any retiring Company Members.  The records for the 18th century, it shows that men were elected for a few years, then left the Company and were perhaps re-elected sometime later.

If a Master died during his year, it was usual for the Immediate Past Master to resume duties.  This has happened a few times.  However, in 1838, George Wostenholm but did not take the oath, telling the Company he was going to America, and was excused from taking office.  Samuel Hadfield (MC in1837) stepped in.  Wostenholm again refused to take office in 1842 and was fined £30 – almost £3,000 purchasing power today.  He eventually became Master in 1856.  This was not so unusual in the 19th century for elected Masters to refuse, or defer their year, as many were involved in building up their businesses, especially in overseas markets.

Problems electing a new Company became more serious at the start of the First World War, when William Ellis was elected.  Few Company meeting were held and because the Senior and Junior Wardens were on active service, Ellis was again elected in 1915.  With no idea how long the War would last, it was decided to keep the same Company for the duration.  William Ellis eventually served from 1914 to 1917.

During the Second World War, William Wood, who had been Master in 1924-1925, was re-elected to serve, being Master from 1940-1944.



The Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire
The Cutlers' Hall
Church Street
S1 1HG

Tel: +44 (0) 114 272 8456