|The Guildhall Art Gallery, London.|
|Clothworkers Hall - Dinner 1856|
So what has this to do with "At 6's and 7's"?
Of the 48 guilds, a list of precedence was drawn up, based on wealth and political power. Competition to be high on the list was fierce.
The Great Twelve Livery Companies.
|The Skinners - Coat of Arms.|
In the middle ages, the Lord Mayor of London held an annual parade on the Thames, during which the guilds sailed past on barges [incidentally, this is where 'float' originates. The barges 'floated' past and the term became associated with processions.] However, events came to a head when rivalry between the Merchants Taylors and the Skinners erupted over which of them had the honour sixth place. They treated the Lord Mayor's parade as private boat race, fighting broke between the two barges and lives were lost. It took nearly a century for a compromise to be reached, when in 1484 the Mayor, Robert Billesdon, proposed that Merchant Taylors and Skinners should alternate sixth and seventh place, swapping over each Easter.
|Merchant Taylors - Coat of Arms.|
|Merchant Taylors hall, Threadneedle Street.|
(*2) Most companies originally admitted women to their ranks, but this was stopped around 1800.
Margarete of |