The following are a list of recent Past Masters and a few noteworthy holders of the office from days gone by. The full list of Masters from 1664 to 2020 is available to download
2019 – 20 Richard Katz, FRSA
Richard Katz was installed as Master on 10 December 2019. He was clothed in Livery in 1981 and was Chairman of the Company’s Glass Committee from 2012 to 2018. Richard has had a long career in the glass industry including both executive and non-executive roles. He was Managing Director and owner of Epsom Glass Industries, a highly profitable niche glass manufacturing company within the pharmaceutical, lighting and electronics markets. Subsequently, Richard became Chairman and owner of the world-famous Royal Brierley Crystal Company holding Royal Warrants from both Her Majesty The Queen and HRH Prince Charles. Richard was also a Director of The British Glass Manufacturers’ Confederation and is the founding Director of Glass Futures Ltd, an organisation set up by the glass industry to develop alternative manufacturing methods to dramatically reduce the level of carbon dioxide in the manufacturing process, enhance training and productivity. Richard’s father, Eric, was also a member of the Livery and Richard’s son, Matthew, is a Freeman of the Company and will become a third generation Liveryman shortly.
2018 – 19 Leigh Baildham
Leigh Baildham was installed as Master on 11th December 2018. He became a Freeman of the Company in March 1999 and clothed in the Livery in June 1999.
Leigh began his career in the glass industry working as a territory salesman for Caithness Glass. During his time with the company he gained UK and international experience holding a number of positions over a thirteen year period. He has been a Charity Trustee for numerous Charities for almost thirty years now. Being involved with the Pottery and Glass Trades’ Benevolent Fund, the Rainy Day Trust and the Glass Sellers’ Charity Fund. A devoted bon viveur, enjoying cooking, fine wine and travel….
2017 – 18 John Poulten LLB MCI Arb
John Poulten was installed Master on 12 December 2017. He was Clothed in the Livery in 2006. He practised as a Solicitor for nearly 40 years. Upon retirement he became more and more involved in the family glass making business. In fact he can trace a glass blower member of his family in successive generations going back to the mid 18th Century. His is Chairman of Poulten & Graf Limited of Barking, Essex and joint Chairman of Poulten & Graf Holding Gmbh of Wertheim Germany. The Group is the only Anglo-German manufacturer of technical and scientific glassware with manufacturing facilities in Barking and Wertheim. He is a Life Member of the Royal Society of St George City of London Branch and a member of the City Livery Company.
2016 -17 Peter Rawlinson MA MSc
Peter was installed as Master on 13 December 2016 having been clothed in the Livery in 1979, after serving his time as an Apprentice. He is a third generation Glass Seller, his father was Master in 1962/3 and grandfather in 1945/6.
2015 – 16 William Knocker MA MSc CEng MIET
William was installed as Master on 8th December 2015 having been clothed in the Livery in 1989. He joined the Court as an Assistant in December 2009 and served as Chairman of a Think Tank Group established in 2012 by the Master to “consider how the future of the Glass Sellers should unfold”.
William served in the Royal Navy for twenty years, serving in HM Ships PHOEBE, LOWESTOFT, INVINCIBLE and GLOUCESTER and seeing active service in the Falklands and Gulf. Retiring in 1990 as Commander, he spent a year on the Sloan Fellowship Programme at London Business School, before joining Compaq Computer Corporation in the UK where he became Director of Marketing and eCommerce. He then joined IMS Health, an information, services and technology company dedicated to the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries.
2014 – 15 Gwenllian Rhys FRSA
Gwen was installed as Master on 11 December 2014 having joined the Court in June 2008. Clothed in the Livery in December 1993, shortly after the Company agreed to admit women, her involvement goes back to 1983. Gwen’s City connections include membership of the Queenhithe and Aldgate Ward Clubs. She is also a member of the Worshipful Company of Needlemakers, the Livery Company of Wales and the Lady Masters’ Association. She is founder of Women in the City.
2013 – 14 Sir Andrew Parmley MusM, Hon FGS, Alderman and Sheriff
Andrew Parmley was installed as Master on 12 December 2013. He was elected as the 689th Lord Mayor of the City of London in 2016 and took office on 11th November for the year. He served as Aldermanic Sheriff in 2014-15 following 12 years as Alderman for the Ward of Vintry. Andrew has been the Organist at St James’ Garlickhythe for 35 years. Andrew is a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists and Trinity College London, an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music, an Honorary Fellow and Visiting Professor of the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and he holds Honorary Doctorates from City, University of London and Strathclyde University.
Andrew is a member of seven other Livery companies. He was awarded Knight Bachelor in the 2018 New Years Honours for services to Music, Education and Civic Engagement.
2012 -13 Guy C D Harrison MIPA MABRP
Guy Harrison was installed as Master on 12 December 2012. He joined the Livery on 24th March 1987 and was elected as an Assistant to the Court in December 2003. He was for many years a Trustee and Hon. Treasurer of The Glass Sellers Charity Fund and is passionate about the many good causes that the Charity supports. He is an Insolvency practitioner and was fortunate to have been trained by Booth White & Co, who provided an excellent training in all Insolvency matters.
2011 – 2012 Vivian W H Bendall MRICS FNAEA Hon FASI IRRV
Vivian joined the Livery in June 1995 and was appointed Master at the Court Meeting on 8 December 2011. He served as Master in a year that saw significant developments in the Company. He set-up a Think Tank to consider the future of the Company and carry out a survey of Members. Many of the recommended changes are being implemented, such as setting up a “Glass Committee” to improve connections with and raise awareness of the Company and its activities among the wider glass industries. He was a Chartered Surveyor and sole principal of Bendall Chartered Surveyors, of Croydon. In 1975 he was elected as Parliamentary Candidate for Ilford North which he won in by-election in 1978. He held the Parliamentary seat for 19 years until 1997.
2010 – 2011 Martin W Scarth CEng MICE MCIOB
Martin Scarth was appointed to the Court in 2008 having joined the Livery in 1990. He had a long and successful career in the construction industry at Kier PLC. During 40 years with the firm he was closely involved in the company’s buy out in 1992 and floatation on the London Stock market in 1996. During his time as Master Martin encouraged the Glass Sellers connections with young people interested in glass by facilitating the support of an Apprentice. He also encouraged the development of connections with people working in the traditional glass industry and the Telecommunications, Media and Technology sector, which is one of the major users of glass in the 21st Century.
Other noteworthy Past Masters have included:
1679 John Greene
Greene imported large quantities of drinking glasses from Murano in Venice made to his own designs and in various finishes such as speckled, enameled or clouded. His drawings still exist as do his instructions as to how to evade Customs Duty. In 1690 he presented to the Company our present handsome marquetry Poor Box.
1940 and 1966 His Honour Sir Brett Cloutman VC MC QC
Sir Brett won the last Victoria Cross to be awarded in the Second World War by swimming under water and under fire to disconnect charges on a bridge which was due to be used by Allied troops.