The Worshipful Company of Pattenmakers
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History of the Company
The first record of the ‘Mystery of Patynmakers’ is in the year 1379. For some time after there was a thriving trade in the City of London centred on Rood Lane, in which the church of St Margaret Pattens now stands.

The patten was a form of under-shoe consisting of a ring to which a wooden platform or sole was fastened by metal uprights. By fastening the shoe on top of this with a leather strap, the wearer could walk through the mud of the City and arrive clean shod. With the paving of the streets, the trade died out and it is thought that the last working pattenmaker died in the 19th century. However, a pattenmaker was still listed in a trade reference in the 1920s.

The Company’s early records were believed lost in the Great Fire of London in 1666. The Company was incorporated by Royal Charter by King Charles II in 1670 and granted Livery in 1717.

In 1981 the Company was granted a third Royal Charter which gave it additional powers, including that of appointing a Warden to the Trade. This Charter also conferred upon the Company the power to appoint a patron. The Company has been particularly proud that HRH The Duke of Gloucester KG GVCO accepted this office; he has expressed particular interest in design matters within the shoe trade.

In 1976 a close association was formed with the shoe trade. Despite a diminishing workforce in the United Kingdom, the manufacture and sale of footwear is still important and about 25% of the Livery membership is associated in some form with that trade.

The Lord Mayor’s Show
Only the ‘Great Twelve’ Livery Companies attend the Lord Mayor’s Show by right, but the Pattenmakers have been accorded the singular privilege of joining the civic procession every third year. This situation stems from the 1600s when the Pattenmakers had their own procession on the same day as the Lord Mayor’s. The intermingling of the two processions, as each moved from tavern to tavern, eventually led to the present and doubtless more peaceful arrangement.