Gold and silver wyre drawing was brought to the City of London by European craftsmen and was well established by the 15th century.
The Company of Gold and Silver Wyre Drawers was first incorporated in 1623 in the reign of King James I and received their Royal Charter in 1693 from King William and Queen Mary. The Company was granted Livery status in 1780 and is numbered 74 on the City Livery list.
Although the activities are largely charitable, the Company is re-establishing contact with its roots to promote wider interest and understanding of the art of gold and silver wire drawing and its uses, both ancient and modern.
The Livery Companies or Guilds began in medieval times as "fraternities" or "misteries" to protect the interests of particular trades and to maintain high standards of business conduct and product quality. They also helped in the education of future generations in the particular ways of the trade or craft, and supporting those members of the company or their families who had fallen on hard times or were suffering poor health. Charitable fundraising and giving to a variety of worthy causes have largely taken the place of the original trade functions.
Today, there are 110 City of London Livery Companies, some of very ancient origin (eg Weavers, Goldsmiths, Fishmongers) and some very new (Management Consultants, International Bankers, Tax Advisors). Liverymen play an integral part in the life and governance of the City to this day in electing the Lord Mayor and the Sheriffs at Common Hall in Guildhall.