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The Fishmongers’ Company is a body incorporated by Royal Charter. We are not a trading company. We submit annual accounts to HM Revenue and Customs and pay tax on our income after the deduction of allowable expenses. We do not publish our accounts.

The Company is not itself a charity but is the corporate trustee of numerous charities, including two large charities established by the Company itself, the Fishmongers’ Company’s Charitable Trust (Registration No: 263690) and the Fishmongers’ Company’s Fisheries Charitable Trust (Registration No: 284888). We make substantial annual grants to these charities, whose accounts are available from the Charity Commission’s website.

The Company’s constitution is set out in the historic Charters and is similar to other Livery Companies. Membership, or Freedom, of the Company can be obtained by “Patrimony”, for sons or daughters born to existing Freemen (male or female) or by “Redemption” when the Court (see below) agrees to admit an applicant for a fee. Freedom by Redemption is normally limited to persons with a close recent family connection to the Company but whose parent was not a Freeman at the time of their birth or to long-serving members of the Company’s staff. In addition each year the Company’s Fish & Fisheries Committee nominates a candidate with strong ties to the UK fish sector for appointment as a Freeman (and election to the Livery – see below).

Of the Company’s 800 members, nearly half are members of the Livery. Election to the Livery is at the discretion of the Court. The main practical differences between Liverymen (male or female) and other Freemen is that Liverymen have the right to vote in certain elections of the Corporation of London and they are invited to more of the Company’s official dinners than other Freemen.

The governing body of the Company is the Court, which consists of 34 members of the Livery: a Prime Warden, 5 other Wardens and 28 other Assistants. The original members were appointed by Charter and subsequent appointments have been by co-option. The Court usually meets nine times a year. It is chaired by the Prime Warden, who is elected by the Court and serves for one year. The other Wardens, also elected by the Court, serve for six years. The Committee of Wardens usually meets ten times a year and makes recommendations to the Court. There are separate Committees of the Court to consider Finance, Fish & Fisheries, Education & Grants, Property & Investment, the Hall and other matters.

The Company has a staff of about 40, headed by the Clerk. These include office staff, fisheries inspectors, catering staff and staff responsible for the security and maintenance of the Hall.


As with other Livery Companies the main income of the Company comes from the property and other investments accumulated over the centuries. We have inherited significant freehold property, mostly in the City of London. We also receive income from use of the Hall as a conference and banqueting venue.

Our main outgoings are charitable donations, office staff salaries, Hall maintenance and catering costs. The last item includes the costs of providing half a dozen large-scale dinners or lunches a year for Liverymen, Freemen and the Company’s or members’ guests.