The Barbers’ Company is made up of 230 Liverymen and a variable number of Freemen, but normally about 110.
There are five means of entry to the Freedom:
- by Servitude, open to individuals between the ages of 14 and 21 who have been bound as an Apprentice to a member of the Company (their “Master”).
- by Patrimony, open to one child of a Liveryman of the Company who was born after the parent became a member of the Company.
- by Redemption, where an individual is sponsored by a member of the Court having been proposed by a member of the Company.
- by Presentation, when the Court honours an individual for some specific reason.
- and Honorary Freemen, offered by the Court to individuals who have held prestigious positions of relevance to the Company or have undertaken some special service for the benefit of the Company.
Freemen are recruited through a mixture of family connections, introduction by a Company member, and by interview. Once admitted, they can attend some Company functions and are encouraged to be as active as possible in Company activities.
Freemen will normally wait at least 3 years before being considered for advancement to the Livery. Liverymen can attend Livery functions and are eligible to elect the Lord Mayor and Sheriffs.