The Presentation of the Lord Mayor’s Hat
By tradition, the incoming Lord Mayor is presented with his official tricorne hat by the Master Feltmaker at a ceremony at Mansion House. Officially the Lord Mayor has not taken office until he is in possession of this hat. Here we see the new Lord Mayor, Alderman Lord Mountevans Jeffrey Evans with the Lady Mayoress together with Master Feltmaker Peter Simeons, and the Feltmakers’ Upper Warden, Jeremy Brassington, and Third Warden, Bill Gammell, after the ceremony.
Our Installation Dinner
The first week of October each year sees the installation of our new Master which takes place at the Court meeting which precedes the Installation Dinner. As usual, this took place at Haberdashers’ Hall, and our new Master is Peter Simeons, who was previously our Upper Warden. At the same meeting, it was confirmed that the other wardens each move up a rank, and Nigel Macdonald was elected to be the new 4th. Warden. The Master’s principal guest at the dinner was His Honour Judge Simon Davis.
The Feltmakers’ Banquet
The highlight of our summer is the Banquet, held once again this year in the sumptuous Egyptian Hall at Mansion House. Mansion House is, of course, the home of the Lord Mayor, and both he and the Lady Mayoress were our guests for the evening. For more details, click here.
The Worshipful Company of Feltmakers of London
The Worshipful Company of Feltmakers is today the Livery Company of the hatters.
The first reference to Feltmakers is in London in 1180. In 1269 the Cappers became officially established. Hurers made shaggy caps and in 1311 the Hatters were active. The Hurers and Cappers amalgamated with the Hatters and then merged with the powerful Haberdashers in 1502. Many feltmakers were already members of the Haberdashers and, as the Haberdashers controlled the retail outlets and the raw materials, this unification seemed sensible.
In 1583 the Feltmakers petitioned Queen Elizabeth I for their own Charter but it was not granted until 1604, when King James I came to the throne. In 1667, King Charles II granted an expanded Charter extending their powers.The Company was granted Livery in 1733, number 63 in order of precedence.
In 1870-74 many famous politicians joined the Feltmakers. Between them four had been Chancellor, two First Lord of the Admiralty, two President of the Board of trade and two Foreign Secretaries.
The hatting trade flourished in the early part of the 20th. century. Twenty-seven Mayors were elected in 1914-18. In 1927 there were 9 Knights on the Feltmakers’ Court. During the second half of the 20th. century, the trade declined. There are now some 170 Feltmakers drawn from the higher ranks of many professions, businesses and trades as well as the hatting industry. The Feltmakers have produced two Lord Mayors and are flourishing again.