The Dyers’ Company

Welcome to the website of The Wardens and Commonalty of the Mistery of Dyers of the City of London.  The Dyers’ Company is one of the ancient Livery Companies of the City of London.

The Company has encouraged and supported the Craft of dyeing since the 12th century; its present day activities centre on the continuing development of colour science and the use of colour in textile design through strong educational connections. Promoting the use of colour across the many different fields of human activity, the Company’s long term aim is to attract new talent into the commercial and academic sectors, and to support the continuing quest for excellence among industry practitioners.

Please take look at our timeline for a complete History of The Dyers Company.

 

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A Moment in History

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1188


First historical mention of the Dyers Company

1347


The order to join guilds

1349


Appointment of special officers

1362


Trade Regulations

1388


The 1388 Inquiry

1390


Dyers mentioned in Canterbury Tales

1398


The Loving Cup

1423


Dyers hire Brwers' Hall

1453


Progress by water

1471


Incorporation of the Company of Dyers

1472


Confirmation of The Dyers Charter of incorporation

1474


The first Dyers Hall at Three Stars

1515


Order of Precedence is set

1516


Controversy and variance in the precedence

1545


The Dyers first benefactor Sir Robert Tyrwhitt

1550


The Royalty of Swans

1552


Colours fixed by Parlimentary Statute

1556


Foreigners admitted

1572


Death and legacy of Sir Robet Tyrwhitt

1578


Obtaining Ordinances from Queen Elizabeth

1578


The coat of arms

1585


Encampment at Blackheath

1586


The Purchase of White Cock

1587


The Dyers Purchase Lands in Dow Gate

1597


Corn supplies

1609


Swan-upping

1609


James I and the Ulster Plantation

1617


The discreditable Cloth Project

1639


Charitable gifts bequeathed

1666


The Great Fire and loss of Dyers' records

1671


1667 & 1671 Dyers' records

1681


Second Dyers Hall destroyed by fire

1708


A welcome financial return

1715


A private insurrection

1719


The duty to uphold craft standards

During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries the Dyers continued to consider it their duty to uphold the standards of their craft in the City and in widening fields.

1721


Purchase of further almshouses

1722


Steward and Annual Feast

1725


Livery List and gift of Swans

1727


Swan Upping and Dinner at Putney Heath

1729


Condition for Nomination for the Court

1731


A question of boundaries

1735


Austerity and Summons

1738


Additional Almshouses

1768


Loss of Court Room

1770


A new Dyers Hall

1776


The Seal

1777


Almspeople moved

1779


A government request

1806


Declining an invitation to Lord Nelson's Funeral

1815


Revival

1838


Dyers Hall rebuilt

1841


Change in Almshouses

1841


Gift by Mr. George Maguire

1846


The swans and cygnets

1851


St. Mark’s Hospital

1852


Change of Clerk

1854


Gold medals for Prime Wardens

1856


Mauveine, the first synthetic dye

1857


Dowgate Hill

1861


Dyers crossing borders

1862


Aliens Petition

1863


Armourers and Braziers

1875


Severe winter

1877


R.S.P.C.A. intervention

1878


City and Guilds

1881


St. Paul’s Great Bell

In 1881 the Dyers subscribed to a fund with which to buy a Great Bell for St. Paul’s Cathedral.

1884


Founding of The Society of Dyers & Colourists

1908


Dyers’ Research Medal

1910


Sir Winston Churchill

1914


War Gifts

1915


Working for the War Office

1932


Gift of Swans to Victoria, B.C.

1936


Almshouses moved to Crawley

1939


War preparations

1940


Dyers’ Hall bombed

1948


Norwich School

1950


Almshouses

1960


Affiliation with 30th Signals Regiment

1987


Naval affiliation with HMS Brilliant

1989


Affiliation with 617 Squadron 'Dam Busters'

1997


2nd Naval Affiliation HMS Grafton

1998


The Millenium stained glass window

2007


3rd Naval Affiliation HMS Vanguard SSBN

2015


Affiliation with The Queen’s Gurkha Signals

2018


Refurbishment of Dyers Hall

2020


Continuing connection with the Craft of Dyeing

2020


The Dyers and Covid 19

Photo of James Rothwell Prime Warden 2020-21

Wardens

The Prime Warden is the Chairman of the Company.  He is responsible for steering the deliberations of the Court at their meetings, and during his term of office will represent the Company at a wide range of events, receptions and dinners both in London and throughout the UK.

The Renter Warden is responsible for the ‘house-keeping’ of the Company; he supervises expenditure, oversees the accounts and undertakes an annual audit of the Company’s wine cellars and valuables.  He also makes regular visits to the Company Almshouses.

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Education

In common with many other London Livery Companies, The Dyers are proud to be associated with a number of schools, both in Inner London and elsewhere. These connections have developed over time and often through the direct connections or good offices of our Prime Wardens.

Swan-Upping

The Dyers’ Company and the Vintners’ Company have possessed a Royalty of a Game of Swans on the River Thames for many centuries.  Neither Company has a record of the original grant, but certainly since Tudor times the Dyers’ Company, in conjunction with the Monarch and the Vintners Company, has supervised the wellbeing of swans on the Thames, and this continues today, most visibly during the annual Swan Upping.

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