Coat of Arms
The Company received its coat of arms in 1466.
It is described as “A felde silver a Cheveron sable grayled iii Compas of the same” meaning “a field silver, a chevron sable (black) grailed and three compasses of the same”.
The compasses represent the carpenter’s tools, and the chevron may represent a roof support, the French for ‘chevron’ being ‘rafter’.
The Company motto “Honour God” probably dates back to at least the fifteenth century.
The Company’s first charter was granted in 1477 from King Edward IV. By this charter, and confirmed by subsequent charters, the Carpenters’ Company is a corporate body by the name of ‘The Master, Wardens and Commonalty of the Mystery of Freemen of the Carpentry of the City of London’.
As such, the Company may receive bequests and gifts of property, plead in any courts, and have a Common Seal.
In 1607, a further charter of James I extended the jurisdiction of the Company from the City to two miles beyond the City Walls, and a new charter of 1640 extended the Company’s powers to four miles.