Company Treasures

A Pair of Loving Cups

Presented in 1854 by James Scott Smith of the Whitechapel & Phoenix Distillery, Master 1849.


Presented by the Chairman and Directors of the Distillers Company Ltd. (now Diageo) to mark the Mastership of their colleague Michael Boileau Henderson, Master 1982-1983.

Eight Decanter Labels

Showing the Company’s Coat of Arms, produced in 1988 to commemorate the 350th Anniversary of the Company’s Incorporation. The first set was sent to Buckingham Palace as a gift to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by members of the Livery.

Four Goblets

One gold goblet (Master) and three silver goblets (Wardens) (silver), Gift of E. Price Hallowes, Master 1930-1931.


As used by the Master at Court Meetings, presented by Charles Curtis, Master 1855-1856.

Pair of Quaichs

Presented to the Company by The London Scottish Regiment in 1966.

South Africa Medal with seven clasps

Was presented to the Company by H.M. King Edward VII in commemoration of the part taken by the Company in raising and equipping the City of London Imperial Volunteers in 1900.

Tercentenary Appeal Fund Cup

1672-1972, 107 Liverymen contributed to the Fund.

The Beadle’s Stave Head

A silver mounted beadle’s staff, the finial decorated with cast acanthus leaves topped with the Company arms, 6ft long, probably circa 1690.

Victorian Silver Gilt Rose Water Dish and Ewer

In form of a baluster still. Presented in 1849 by Joseph Benjamin Claypole, Master. The still is placed on the master’s table at all Company functions.

Loving Cup

Presented as a gift to the Company in 2018 by Father of the Court and Past Master Charles Minoprio. The cup was commissioned by Charles from Graham Stuart, a silversmith in Scotland.

The Loving Cup

The Loving Cup

The Ceremony of the Loving Cup, which is traditional in all Livery Companies, is said to date back to Saxon times (before the Norman Conquest of 1066), and to derive from the assassination of King Edward the martyr whilst drinking, by command of Elfrida, his wife.

It was customary for our forefathers in drinking parties to pass round a large cup, from which each drank in turn to some of the company. He who thus drunk stood up and, as he lifted the cup with both hands, his body was exposed without defence to a blow. An enemy with the intention of murdering him often seized upon the occasion. Consequently, when one of the company stood up to drink, he required the companion who sat next to him to be his pledge. If the pledge consented, he stood up and raised his drawn sword in his hand to defend the drinker whilst consuming the drink. It is believed that the Distillers’ Company is the only Livery Company to circulate daggers (as a symbol of the drawn sword referred to above) with the Loving Cup.