The Great Twelve: The Senior Livery Companies of the City of London

Fenella Billington


Society members with Fenella Billingham (centre) and Marsha Elms, Chair (second left).

This lecture was an introduction to the Senior Livery Companies of the City of London, their medieval origins and their role in modern society. Some Companies maintain fine Livery Halls with historical and art treasures. They support charitable causes and play an important role in education. Only Liverymen and Liverywomen may elect the Lord Mayor and Sheriffs of London.

Fenella Billington has an MA in Art History from Manchester University. As a Liverywoman of the Worshipful Company of Skinners in London, she took the history of the Company and its art treasures as the subject for her master’s thesis. She is a tour guide and a freelance speaker for The Arts Society, The Art fund and the National Trust.


Fenella’s brooch depicts the two livery companies, the Skinners and the Merchant Taylors which take turns to be position six and seven in the ranking of livery companies, leading to the expression ‘at sixes and sevens’.


Monday 24 February, 2020


11·30 am - 1·00 pm