Worshipful Company of Mercers

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The Worshipful Company of Mercers is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. It was incorporated under a Royal Charter in 1394. Originally, its aim was to act as a trade association for general merchants, and especially for exporters of wool and importers of velvet, silk and other luxurious fabrics. However, by the sixteenth century, many members of the Company did not retain connections with the original trade. Today, the Company exists as a charitable institution, supporting a wide variety of causes. In education, the Company has administered St Paul's School since 1509, and retains close links with Collyer's College, Dauntsey's School, Abingdon School, Peter Symonds College and Gresham College, all founded by Mercers.

The Company is the premier Livery Company of the City; it ranks first in the order of precedence. It is thus one of the "Great Twelve City Livery Companies". The Company's motto is Honor Deo, Latin for Honour God

The Mercers' Company is based at Mercers' Hall, Ironmonger Lane (off Cheapside), London EC2. From the 14th century onwards the Company held its meetings in the Hospital of St Thomas of Acon on Cheapside. Between 1517 and 1524 the Company built a small chapel of its own on this land, with the first Mercers' Hall above it, fronting Cheapside. The building was destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666. The second Hall, designed by Edward Jarman and John Oliver, opened in May 1676. The Hall was extensively refurbished during the period 1877 to 1881. The frontage was remodelled by George Barnes Williams and the interiors were redesigned by John Gregory Crace, the renowned and fashionable Victorian designer. The Hall was completely destroyed by fire in 1941, during the Blitz. The third and present Mercers' Hall was opened in May 1958. The architect was E Noel Clifton of Gunton and Gunton. The Hall incorporates fittings from the old Hall, including some 17th century woodwork and Victorian stained glass. The Mercers' Company is the only City Livery Company to have its own private chapel.

Among famous Mercers were:

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