The Company of Merchant Adventurers of the City of York
In 1357 a number of important men and women came together to form a religious fraternity and to build the Merchant Adventurers’ Hall. By 1430 most members were mercers, and alongside the fraternity they set up a trading association or guild. They used the Hall to transact their business affairs, to meet together socially, to look after the poor and to pray to God.
Today the Guild (or Company as it is now called) is no longer a trading association. It holds the Hall in trust, administers charities, operates the Hall as a museum and plays an important role in the civic and business life of the City of York. The Company uses its guild hall for meetings and events and holds services in its chapel.
In 2007 the Company celebrated the 650th anniversary since the organisation was founded and work began on building the Hall. A number of projects were launched to mark this event, including an oral history project, to survey a number of Company members about their lives and roles in the Company, and also interview members of other York guilds.