In accordance with long tradition, the annual Skinners’ Election Procession will take place today (*). A new Master and Wardens will be elected in the Company’s Hall on Dowgate Hill, and afterwards all the officers and members of the Company will process the short distance to the church of St James Garlickhythe on the Thames riverfront for a special service.
(*) The Company received its Charter from Edward III in 1327. It was originally a religious fraternity dedicated to Corpus Christi, which is why its election day is on the feast day of Corpus Christi (which falls on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday).
The annual “Cakes and Ale” ceremony takes place today in the Stationers’ Hall (*). The ceremony takes place every Shrove Tuesday at the bequest of Alderman John Norton, who was the Master of the Stationers’ Livery Company in 1607, 1611, and 1612. It is followed by a special service in the Chapel of St Faith in the Crypt of St Paul’s Cathedral.
(*) The present Hall was originally built in 1673, after the Great Fire of 1666 had burned down the previous one. It was subsequently extended in 1776, 1825 and 1885, and restored in 1957 (after having been damaged by bombing during the Blitz of the Second World War).