Our History

Our History

Agriculture can be said to be England's oldest and most important industry, with the growth of the City dependent on the supply of food to support its growing population for centuries. Whilst evidence suggests some livery companies were active as early as 1155, it is thought farmers were not represented until much later, since they operated outside the square mile, unlike the related trades of Bakers, Butchers, Poulters, Woolmen and Fruiterers.

The Company’s origins stem from the Chairman's Committee of the British Red Cross Agricultural Fund, which was set up during the Second World War to raise funds for the war effort. The whole of agriculture and its ancillary trades combined to raise over £8.5million.

To perpetuate the Fund’s good intentions plans were initiated to create a livery company:

  • 1946: Company of Agriculturalists of the City of London formed
  • 1952: Worshipful Company of Farmers grant of Livery approved
  • 1955: Royal Charter gained

The Livery Companies of London, of which the Worshipful Company of Farmers stands 80th in precedence, were originally founded as Trade Guilds to regulate the crafts and professions operating in the 'square mile' of the City and to help run the civic government of the City, including the election of the Lord Mayor and the Sheriffs through assemblies at the Guildhall. They took part in ceremonial events and collective acts of worship, whilst pursuing an ethos of charity, welfare and education associated with their trade/profession.

Masters of The Worshipful Company of Farmers

1946-1953 The Rt Hon Lord Courthope, MC, DL *
1953-1954 Sir Richard W. Haddon, CBE *
1954-1955 V. H. Parker, MBE *
1955-1956 W. J. Cumber, CBE *
1956-1957 Sir Cleveland Fyfe, CBE *
1957-1958 F. N. Matthews, MBE *
1958-1959 Sir Thomas Neame *
1959-1960 F. C. Hawkes CBE *
1960-1961 The Rt Hon Lord Cromwell, DSO, MC, JP *
1961-1962 S. W. Cheveley, OBE *
1962-1963 The Rt Hon Lord Swaythling, OBE *
1963-1964 E. G. Parsons, CVO, CBE *
1964-1965 H. C. Tinsley, MBE *
1965-1966 P. B. Taylor, TD, JP, DL *
1966-1967 W. L. Cardy *
1967-1968 E. Hitchcock *
1968-1969 H. C. H. Graves, OBE *
1969-1970 N. R. Whitwell, JP *
1970-1971 W. M. Balch *
1971-1972 F. H. Garner *
1972-1973 R. S. Borner, OBE, VRD *
1973-1974 The Rt Hon The Earl of Lonsdale *
1974-1975 B. L. Barker *
1975-1976 Lt Col C. A. Brooks, OBE, TD,DL *
1976-1977 Sir Nigel Strutt, TD, DL *
1977-1978 M. C. Cheveley *
1978-1979 A. Q. Hitchcock, CBE
1979-1980 R. J. Harrison, JP *
1980-1981 C. G. Metson, OBE *
1981-1982 M. H. Hinton, JP *
1982-1983 Major Sir Charles Graham, Bt. *
1983-1984 K. E. Roberts, OBE, JP *
1984-1985 C. T. Muddiman *
1985-1986 D. G. Pearce
1986-1987 T. W. Kemsley, JP
1987-1988 S. F. B Taylor
1988-1989 R. M. Older, CBE, DL *
1989-1990 A. C. Streeter, DL
1990-1991 R. J. Upton, JP, DL
1991-1992 Sir Henry Neville, KCVO *
1992-1993 A. J. Tritton *
1993-1994 Mrs E. R. Wheatley-Hubbard, OBE *
1994-1995 M. C. Foreman *
1995-1996 J. S. Borner *
1996-1997 W. M. Cornish
1997-1998 The Hon Sir Richard Butler, DL *
1998-1999 C. F. Pertwee, DL
1999-2000 J. H. Cossins, CBE, DL *
2000-2001 R. A. Brooks
2001-2002 HRH The Princess Royal, KG, KT, GCVO
2002-2003 C. T. Redman
2003-2004 P. H. Gibbons, DL *
2004-2005 N. J. Fiske
2005-2006 The Lord Plumb of Coleshill, DL
2006-2007 Sir Graham Wilkinson, Bt.
2007-2008 T. A. Copas
2008-2009 J. F. Thorpe, OBE
2009-2010 J. D. Courtney
2010-2011 W. F. Balch
2011-2012 P R Faulkner
2012-2013 J K Reynolds
2013-2014 Baroness Byford DBE DL
2014-2015 A J Alston
2015-2016 TH Wheatley-Hubbard
2016 - 2017 P Wynn
2017 - 2018 J A Sayers
2018 - 2019 R S N Carne
2019 - 2020 D J H Bolton (current Master)

* Deceased