As some of you know the Livery has been seeking approval of a Royal Charter for a while.
Past Master Christopher Sawyer kindly offered to underwrite the costs associated with this Charter and elicited the help of Keith Lawrey in 2017 to compile the petition. Keith has helped a number of other Liveries in the past. Early in 2019 the draft Charter received approval from the Court of Aldermen and the petition progressed to the Privy Council Office.
Her Majesty The Queen approved an Order referring to the petition on 10 April 2019 which was published in the London Gazette. On 7 October 2019 at a meeting of the Privy Council held at Buckingham Palace, Her Majesty The Queen approved an Order granting a Charter of incorporation to The Worshipful Company of Scientific Instrument Makers. However, the Charter could not come into legal effect until the Great Seal was affixed to the vellum copy of the Charter by the Crown Office at the House of Lords.
A scribe Tim Noad was appointed, and we started to plan a presentation by Prince Michael of Kent at the banquet in June 2020. Tim beavered away to produce the illuminated front sheet of the Charter shown above which he has been storing for us until the physical sealing could take place. He drew on our coat of arms, the Master’s chain and contemporary instruments to produce the illustrated page.
Unfortunately, lockdown then happened. As a result The Privy Council and the Crown Office had to work from home, where they obviously didn’t have access to the Royal seal and wax necessary to complete the Royal Charter.
Fortunately, on 4 February 2021 the Crown Office created an electronic sealing of the Charter and it came into legal effect. We now await the sealing of the velum and the subsequent framing of the Charter so it may go up in the Hall. We hope to share this with you by the summer.
Our thanks go out to the Privy Council for helping us with this matter.