The Company is always pleased to hear from prospective new members who have an affinity with its interests and traditions. The core profession of the Company is that of the Scrivener Notary (the Company sets notarial examinations) but membership is by no means confined to that profession.
There are three ways of becoming a member: by SERVITUDE (if you have been apprenticed to a member), by PATRIMONY (if your father or mother was a member when you were born) or by REDEMPTION (payment).
The procedure for electing a new Member into the FREEDOM of the Company by PATRIMONY or REDEMPTION is as follows:
The candidate should be known to and sponsored by two Members of the Livery, one of whom must be a member of the Court of Assistants, and traditionally should show a connection with the "science, art or mysterie of Scrivening". The latter term is now quite widely interpreted to mean:
- Officers of Arms, and those with interests in heraldry, genealogy and calligraphy;
- those whose professional activity involves close connection with the Law, the Church, Accountancy, Banking or Insurance; and
- those involved in the wider world of commerce or industry.
The candidate must complete and sign a Form of Application which must then be countersigned by his or her sponsors so that the Application may be placed before the Selection Committee of the Company for its consideration.
A candidate who has been approved by the Selection Committee will be put forward to the Court for Election into the Freedom of the Company.
The candidate will then be notified by the Clerk of the Court's decision and, if successful, will be invited to attend at a subsequent meeting to take the Freeman's Oath and receive a Certificate of Freedom.
After Election to the Freedom of the Company, the candidate is eligible for Admission into the Livery once he or she has been admitted to the Freedom of the CITY OF LONDON and has produced the Freedom Certificate.
The procedure for electing a candidate by SERVITUDE differs somewhat, in that such a candidate, as an enrolled Apprentice, will first have served the necessary period of apprenticeship and, secondly, in the case of a Notarial Trainee, will have passed the Scriveners Apprentices Examinations which are held in January and July. It should be noted that there is a distinct difference between Apprentices (who enter by Servitude), and who can be of any profession or qualification, and Notarial Trainees.
The Court has absolute discretion in the matter of Admissions.
There are Fines and Fees for entering into the Freedom and Livery of the Company as well as an annual quarterage (subscription) charge. Members are also expected to contribute to the Sexcentenary Charity Fund, from which the Company makes all its grants, bursaries and donations.