Company News

Election of Master Draper  2016 - 2017

William Francis Charlney Esq

Following election by the Court of Assistants, the Master and Wardens were sworn into office on 26 July 2016 and ceremonially crowned in one of the Company's oldest ceremonies at the Election dinner that evening.

William Charnley was born in 1960, educated at Rivington & Blackrod Grammar School and graduated from Lancaster University in 1983 with a Law degree.  William also has an MA from Cambridge University.
He started his solicitors training in 1985 with what is now Addleshaw and Goddard becoming a Partner in 1989.  He has since been a partner at Simmons & Simmons, McDermott Will & Emery, Mayer Brown and is currently with King & Spalding where he has been since 2012 and heads the European Corporate Practice.
He holds additional posts of:  Fellow of Hughes Hall, University of Cambridge; Honorary Fellow of the Law Faculty, University of Lancaster; Lecturer Hertford College, University of Oxford and Non-executive Director, Bank & Clients plc.
William Charnley became a Freeman of the Drapers’ Company by Redemption in 1997, was called to the Livery in 1999 and was appointed Junior Warden and a Court Assistant in 2010.  He will be elected Master Draper from 27 July 2016 to 25 July 2017. 
His recreational interests are impressionist and modern Scottish art, keeping fit, country pursuits, classic motor cars, music, food and wine.
He is married to Kathryn and they have two children, a son and daughter.  Kathryn is a solicitor specialising in environmental law.


The Company Barge at the Lord Mayor's Show - 14 November 2015

On Saturday 14 November, the Company Barge (Royal Thamesis) took part in the annual flotilla that escorts the new Lord Mayor from Westminster Boating Base down the Thames to HMS President, prior to his parade through the City.  Sadly the winds were so strong this year that Gloriana, the Lord Mayor’s usual mode of transport down the Thames, was unable to leave St Katherine’s dock so a standby pleasure cruiser was used in her place.    The Barge set off from Putney at 7.15am to collect the Master and his wife Crescent, from Westminster Boating Base, before the arrival of the Lord Mayor and his entourage.  

The crew comprising the Barge Master (Andrew Thomson), Assistant Barge Master (Nevill Rogers), Tristan Rogers (his son), Patricia Newton, Celia Devereux, Tom Foakes, Robert Hicks, Eric Chipperfield and the Clerk, felt extremely well dressed in their matching waterproofs as it began to rain soon after they left Westminster...  

The Hall had nearly 200 Drapers families and friends for lunch, all of whom braved the grim weather to see the Lord Mayor’s procession.  




Open House - 20 September 2015

Once again the Hall was open to the public as part of the Open House scheme and continued to be popular as ever. We had nearly 3100 visitors of all ages in total for the day, the largest number recorded to date.  There were 300 visitors just in the first half hour.
Visitors expressed their amazement and delight on seeing the interior of the Hall and the treasures on display, which many had not expected when they came in from Throgmorton Street.  They were also very pleased at the Company’s open door policy, which meant that people were able to take their time and enjoy the experience without the need to queue. 
Our grateful thanks to the 34 Drapers who volunteered their time to act as stewards, dealing with questions about the Company’s work, its history and activities and generally making the day a great success.