Over the centuries the self-regulating craft guilds of the City of London developed high standards of manufacture and service. Most were rewarded with a grant of livery. The founding of the World Traders Association movement gave rise to the creation of trading complexes in over 160 cities throughout the world. London was the first in Europe, built in St Katharine's Dock beside the Tower of London. [Though this subsequently closed in 1994.] Over 1,000 years earlier the same land was used by the Knighten Guild to trade in foreign goods, and in 1979 the then Lord Mayor, Sir Peter Gadsden, suggested that this tradition be revived by the creation of the Guild of World Traders to represent members of the international trading community in the City of London.
The founding Master was Mr Peter Drew OBE. From the outset the World Traders' were determined to be a working Guild, only accepting members from the international trade fraternity, with the aim of raising awareness and understanding of, and standards of practice in, world trade.
23rd November 1974 General Assembly of the World Trade Centers Association held at London Guildhall. Alderman Richard Charvet suggests creation of the Guild of World Traders in London.
26th November 1979 Lord Mayor Alderman Sir Peter Gadsden lays foundation stone of International House (part of the then London World Trade Centre complex) and reiterates the suggestion of the creation of the Guild of World Traders.
24th October 1985 First meeting of the Guild of World Traders in London
15th June 1993 Grant by Court of Alderman to become The Company of World Traders
9th November 1999 Petition to become The Worshipful Company of World Traders agreed by the Court of Aldermen, with effect from 1st January 2000
25th January 2000 Company receives its Letters Patent in a ceremony at Mansion House, from the Lord Mayor, Alderman Clive Martin.
Company Arms and Crest
The Arms of the Company were designed by the late Sir Colin Cole, then Garter King of Arms, and presented by him at the Installation ceremony of Alderman Sir Peter Gadsden, the new Master, in 1987.
The Arms incorporate five purses symbolising trade between the five continents, with the sword and wheel of St Katherine together with the water and quayside of the dock, to remind us of our foundation.
The arms are surmounted by a carbocle containing a medieval merchant's cap and the supporters are a dolphin borrowed from the Company of Watermen and Lightermen, who originally gave us sanctuary in the City of London, and the sea dragon of the City as a mark of our respect for its commands.
The motif on the Company tie is derived form the crest from The Arms of the Company being that part of the design at the top of the Coat of Arms. It comprises the Helm torse and Mantelling surmounted by the wheel of St Katherine upon which is a medieval merchant's cap.
The motto 'commerce and honest friendship with all' was chosen, taken from Thomas Jefferson's inaugural Presidential speech.
The Master's Badge of Office depicts the Company's coat of arms mounted on a piece of rock crystal, donated by the World Trade Centre of Rio de Janeiro, carved with an outline of five continents.
The Company Prayer
Father, we commit ourselves to work for peace through world trade.
May we use the gifts you have given us to your glory and to the benefit of all people.
Bless this City of London, the Worshipful Company of World Traders, its
Master, Wardens, Court Assistants, liverymen and freemen, and all whose livelihood
is in international trading. By the work of our Company, may we build peace.