“The Worshipful Company of Cutlers is one of the ancient Livery Companies of the City of London. It ranks 18th in the order of precedence of the Companies.
The trade of knife-making and repairing was formed in the thirteenth century as a guild; the Cutlers’ Company received a Royal Charter in 1416. The Company, like many other City Livery Companies, no longer has a strong connection with its trade, which for the most part relocated north to Sheffield, where a similar association, the Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire was established. Thus, the Livery Company remains primarily as a charitable institution. The Company funds and administers a variety of educational initiatives such as scholarships and awards.
The elephant and castle crest gave rise to a public house displaying the crest as its sign, on the site of an old cutlers’ inn at Newington, south London, which in turn gave its name to the area which became known as Elephant and Castle.
The Company’s motto was originally Pervenir a bonne foy, which later became Pour parvenir a bonne foy, an Anglo-Norman phrase meaning To succeed through good faith.
The Company’s livery hall is located on a site in Warwick Lane once occupied by the Royal College of Physicians, near Newgate Street. It was designed by T. Tayler Smith, the Company’s surveyor, and was opened in 1888. It is a brick building, the façade decorated with a terracotta frieze depicting the processes of knife-making by the sculptor Benjamin Creswick, who had worked as a knife-grinder in Sheffield.”
“Benjamin Creswick, RBSA (1853–1946) was an English sculptor.
Benjamin Creswick was born in Sheffield, the son of a spectacle-maker. He started his working life as a knife-grinder, but took up sculpture with the encouragement of John Ruskin. In 1887 he modelled a terracotta frieze showing the processes of knife-grinding for the exterior of Cutlers’ Hall, in Warwick Lane in the City of London. In the same year he made a frieze for Henry Heath’s shop in Oxford Street, London, showing hat-makers at work.
Creswick worked on various projects with A.H. Mackmurdo, such as the decoration of Pownall Hall in Cheshire, and contributed to the display by Mackmurdo’s Century Guild at the Inventions Exhibition in 1885, though he did not join the guild until the following year.
He spent some time in Liverpool and Manchester, before moving to Birmingham, where he was Master of Modelling and Modelled Design at the Birmingham School of Art from 1889 to 1918. He exhibited at the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists in 1914, becoming an associate, and subsequently a member, of the RBSA, and eventually its Professor of Sculpture. He was responsible for a number of architectural sculptures, which can still be seen on Birmingham buildings.
He lived at a house called Elmwood, in Jockey Road, Sutton Coldfield, then in Warwickshire.
His biography was co-written by his great-granddaughter, Annie Creswick Dawson.”