Deacon Mervyn Donald and Master Mathew ReidOn the weekend of the 10th & 11th May 2014, the Deacon Convener and Deacon of the Shoemakers Incorporation, along with their wives, were invited to attend the livery dinner and charter service following the installation of the new Master of the Company of Cordwainers in York, Mr Mathew J Reid.

The Company of Cordwainers is one of the seven York Guilds & Companies, The Guilds, founded in the medieval period or earlier, have retained traditions that stretch back into the mists of time and add greatly to the rich pattern of life in the City of York. However, by 1808 for unknown reasons the Company ceased to function but in 1977 a number of people connected with the footwear and leather trades revived the Company. The Original letters of Ordnance are held in the York Minister Library. Cordwainers were shoemakers and derived their name from the Spanish city of Cordova, which manufactured the finest leather from goat’s skins.

The weekend started with an evening meal with the Masters and Clerks of the London Livery Companies who were also attending as guests of the Master Elect. The meal organised by the Livery Company of Saddlers was an excellent opportunity to meet fellow guest and there partners and to talk over similarities within our various organisations.

Representatives from Scotland also included the Deacon Convener from Dundee, The Deacon Convener from Irvine, a Past Deacon from the Kirkcudbright Trades and the Late Deacon and Ex Deacon of the Cordwainers of Glasgow.

On the Saturday morning tours were arranged of York Minster and also a walking of the historic City of York, however to due to illness of the guide who was to take the walking tour was unable to , so this was rearrange as a visit to the Mansion House of York. This was then followed by light lunch in the Treasurers Hall, a few minutes from the Minster. After a free afternoon we met in Merchant Adventurers Hall for the Livery Dinner.

After dinner, the Rt Hon Lord Mayor of York, Councillor Julie Gunnell toasted the Company of Cordwainers followed by a response from the newly elected Master Mr Matthew Reid. He thereafter toasted the guests and a response was given by Professor David Flemming, Vice Chancellor at York St John University.

On Sunday we all met up in the Bedern Hall and processed to the Parish and Guild Church of All Saints, Pavement, York. The service was led by Reverend Jane Nattras, with readings from Master Mathew Reid and the Lord Mayor.

After the service the formal party and their partners processed through the Shambles back to Bedern Hall for a reception and official photographs.

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