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The Livery Companies and Freemasonry

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This blog article is based upon an earlier comparison of the similarities and differences that exist between the Livery Companies and Freemasonry which previously appeared on my website (www.cityandlivery.co.uk). This article has been updated several times based upon more recent discoveries and a deeper understanding of the role of Freemasonry and how its relationship with the Livery came about.

Two organisations separated by a common ethos?

To the casual observer it may appear that the City of London Livery Companies are a branch or offshoot of Freemasonry since they have a passion for dressing up in unusual outfits, for participating in arcane ceremonies and they use similar titles for many of their officers, to wit: Master, Past Master, Warden, Steward, Almoner, Chaplain, etc. However some of these titles are also used by many other organisations including the ancient universities. They are reflective of the social structures and officials who were commonplace at the time when earl…