Ambitious merchants joined a livery company to become freemen of the city and for the status and social benefits of membership.
Winged bulls are the supporters of the Butchers' livery company.
The freedom and rights of citizenship of the city could only be obtained through membership in a livery company.
It is a livery company, and very rich, governed by a prime and five other wardens, and a court of assistants.
c.1300, "household allowance of any kind (food, provisions, clothing) to retainers or servants," from Anglo-French livere (late 13c.), Old French livrée, "allowance, ration, pay," originally "(clothes) delivered by a master to his retinue," from fem. past participle of livrer "to dispense, deliver, hand over," from Latin liberare (see liberate). The sense later was reduced to "servants' rations" and "provender for horses" (mid-15c.). The former led to the meaning "distinctive clothing given to servants" (early 14c.); the latter now is obsolete except in livery stable (1705). Related: Liveried.