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Arms and Motto on Stained Glass Window in Cutlers Hall

The Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire is a trade guild of metalworkers based in Sheffield, England. It was incorporated in 1624[1] by an Act of Parliament. The head is called the Master Cutler. Its motto is Pour Y Parvenir a Bonne Foi (To Succeed through Honest Endeavour).

In the original act of Parliament, the company was given jurisdiction over:

"all persons using to make Knives, Blades, Scissers, Sheeres, Sickles, Cutlery wares and all other wares and manufacture made or wrought of yron and steele, dwelling or inhabiting within the said Lordship and Liberty of Hallamshire, or within six miles compasse of the same".[2]
The Cutlers Hall in Sheffield City Centre

This was expanded to include other trades by later acts, most notably steelmakers in 1860. In the same year the Company was given the right to veto any proposed name of a limited company anywhere in the United Kingdom which contains the word "Sheffield".[3] They also supply marks to approved cutlers and promote Sheffield steelware.

The company has been based at Cutlers' Hall (opposite the cathedral on Church Street) since 1638. The current hall is the third to have been built on the site. The second was built in 1725 and the third in 1832.[4] It was extended in 1867 and 1888. It is now a Grade II* listed building.[5] It is used for formal functions and award ceremonies for local businesses.

Members of the company are called freemen and currently number 447. The Master Cutler is elected each year from the freemen within the company. He or she also has 2 Wardens, 6 Searchers and 24 Assistants. The Company also employs a Clerk for administration and a Beadle to perform ceremonial duties.[6] Since 1625 the Company has held an annual feast, inviting prominent people in order to showcase Sheffield's industry.[7]

The Master Cutler for 2011–12 was Pamela Liversidge, the first woman to hold this position.[8]

The Master Cutler for October 2017 – 2018 (the 379th) is Ken Cooke.[9]


  1. ^ "Sheffield in the Eighteenth Century". R A Leader. The Sheffield Independent Press Limited ( Retrieved 10 August 2013.
  2. ^ Sheffield Records Online Sheffield Master Cutlers and Apprentices
  3. ^ "Guidance - Incorporation and Names". Companies House. Companies House. Retrieved 10 August 2013.
  4. ^ "Sheffield The Story Of The English Towns (1919)". J. S. Fletcher. The MacMillan Company New York ( Retrieved 10 August 2013.
  5. ^ Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1247108)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 10 August 2013.
  6. ^ "The Company". Archived from the original on 4 January 2019. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  7. ^ "A to Z". Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  8. ^ "Historic date for first female Master Cutler". Sheffield Telegraph. Johnston Press. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
  9. ^ "New Master Cutler: 'We should not undervalue Sheffield'". Sheffield Star. Sheffield. 4 October 2017. Retrieved 17 January 2018.

Further readingEdit

  • Clyde Binfield, David Hey (1997) Mesters to Masters: A History of the Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire (Oxford University Press) ISBN 0198289979

External linksEdit