The Guild of Mercers’ Scholars is the oldest organisation of its type and one of only two in the City of London; its origins date to an early lunch meeting in June 1947 of Liverymen of City of London Companies who all had in common that they had attended Mercers’ School. This luncheon was held at Tallow Chandlers’ Hall by courtesy of Old Mercer Major Stanley W Wells MBE who was Master of that Company. The Old Mercer Liverymen were joined by the Headmaster of Mercers’ School and the Master and Wardens of the Mercers’ Company.
With the closing of Mercers’ School in 1959 it was decided, in order to protect the long term future of the Guild, to invite membership from former pupils from other schools in the Mercers’ Cluster, a policy that has had considerable success, with many former pupils of those schools having now passed through the Master’s chair. Today the Guild has over two hundred members, plus over forty Apprentices working towards Freedom of the City and full membership of the Guild.
The Guild has had a number of names since its formation in 1948. It was founded as the “Old Mercers City Liverymen”, but renamed the following year to “The Old Mercers Civic Guild” to extend membership to Freeman of the City of London as well as Liverymen. In 1951 The Guild was remodelled along the lines of a Livery Company and again the name changed to “Civic Guild of Old Mercers”.
The most recent change, in 2006, the Court responsible for the day-to-day running of the Guild, and with the blessing of the Mercers' Company, changed the name to the Guild of Mercers' Scholars. This more widely reflects the wider nature of the Guild in the 21st century, and its membership drawn from the cluster of Mercers’ schools and associated Mercers’ Company educational connections (including the Arkwright Scholars) and not just from the original Mercers’ School.