FELLOWSHIP IS DISBANDED
There were accusations of embezzlement of funds; some of the Overseers spoke openly, criticising Cromwell. Eventually following serious charges that the Overseers were determined to keep out former Roundheads and were admitting Cavaliers who had fought for the king, Cromwell suspended the byelaws and the Fellowship was disbanded on 24th September.
Further periods of licensing ensued from l662 to 1676, again under the control of the Court of Aldermen authorised by a Proclamation by James II. Then, in 1694 came the first Act of Parliament which gave control of hackney coaches to five Hackney Coach Commissioners. This was the beginning of 300 years of continual licensing of London’s hackney carriages, which was celebrated in a magnificent banquet at the Guildhall, with the Guests of Honour HRH Prince Michael of Kent and the Lord Mayor of London in June 1994.
COMPANY INAUGURATED IN 1990
In the late 1980s, a cab driver was researching the history of London’s taxi trade for a book. This cab trade historian discovered the history of the Fellowship and in 1990, along with a number of others, formed “The Fellowship of Hackney Carriage Drivers”, which was inaugurated on 12th April 1990. Its first Court Meeting was held on 9th November 1990. In 1994, our first trip to Disneyland Paris took children with life threatening illnesses from Great Ormond Street and St Bartholomew’s Hospitals. The annual Magical Taxi Tour celebrated its 15th trip in October 2008, having taken more than three thousand children on the trip over the years.
On 9th January 1997 under the sponsorship of Alderman Sir David Howard Bt., B we successfully petitioned the Court of Aldermen for recognition as a City Company without grant of Livery and in May 1997 that status was achieved. In 2004, the Company received Worshipful Status from the Court of Aldermen and our Freemen were clothed in Livery at a wonderful service at the Priory Church of St Bartholomew the Great.
On 15th May 2013, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II granted the WCHCD a Charter of Incorporation. This became a legal entity in October 2013.
On 3rd April 2014, The Prince of Wales attended a service and reception at St Bartholomew the Great, West Smithfield to celebrate the presentation of the Royal Charter to the WCHCD. The framed Charter stood on display in the Church for the service, marking an important milestone in the history of the Company.