Membership of the Company

There are two categories of members - Freemen and Liverymen. Admission to the Freedom of the Company is the first stage towards full membership. Freemen are eligible for benefits under certain of the Company's Charities but do not share in the full privileges of the Livery. Freemen may, and indeed should, apply for admission to the Freedom of the City of London which carries its own privileges and is a necessary intermediate step before admission to the Livery of the Company.

Admission to the Freedom and Livery of the Company is by Patrimony, by Servitude or by Redemption, the fees payable being regulated accordingly and may be varied from time to time at the discretion of the Court. An applicant must be 21 or over at the time of his admission.

Admission to the Freedom, other than in the case of Patrimony, to which there is a right, and to the Livery, is solely within the discretion of the Court.

Applicants may be admitted by Patrimony if their father was a Freeman or Liveryman of the Company at the time of their birth.

Servitude implies that the applicant was bound apprentice to a member before attaining the age of 21 and served for at least four years.

Alternatively, a boy of 16 or over may be apprenticed to a practising Cooper for a period of from five to seven years with the intention of becoming a qualified Cooper. On completion of his service he will be required to pass an examination when he will be granted a Certificate as a Registered Cooper. Thereafter he may be admitted to the Freedom of the Company at the discretion of the Court.

Redemption means purchasing membership of the Company as a Freeman or Liveryman when admission by Patrimony or Servitude is not available.

Application for admission to the Company may be made upon an appropriate form obtainable from the Clerk. Following preliminary consideration of their application, all candidates are invited for interview before the Freedom and Livery Committee which makes its recommendations to the Court in December. Candidates are apprised of the success or otherwise of their applications early in the New Year and successful candidates are admitted to the Freedom at either of the Court meetings in February and April. If appropriate, and following successful application for admission to the Freedom of the City of London, Freemen are admitted to the Livery at a Special Court meeting held on the same day as, and immediately prior to, Common Hall.

Application for admission to the Freedom may be made on the application form available here: http://www.coopers-hall.co.uk/sites/45/upload/userfiles/Members%20Documents/freedom-application-form-2011.doc. Following preliminary consideration of their applications, candidates are invited for interview before the Freedom & Livery Committee which makes its recommendations to the Court in December. Candidates are apprised of the success or otherwise of their applications early in the New Year and successful candidates are admitted to the Freedom or the Livery, as the case may be, at a Special Court meeting held on the same day as, and immediately prior to, Common Hall. Except in exceptional circumstances, Freemen are not admitted to the Livery under the age of 24 and they must have obtained the Freedom of the City of London and have shown a wholehearted commitment to the Company's work and social life before applying for admission to the Livery.