The Royal Company of Merchants of the City of Edinburgh, is a charitable organisation for business and professional people which is dedicated to supporting the young and the elderly. Nowadays usually known as The Merchant Company, it has been enriching the life of Scotland’s capital for more than 300 years. The Merchant Company’s original purpose was to protect trading rights in the City of Edinburgh. Today, over 540 businessmen and women are Members of the Company, actively involved at the heart of the city in educational and charitable works, as well as continuing to hold a central role in the civic life of Edinburgh. The Company is also Scotland’s most pre-eminent livery company.
Our headquarters, the beautiful Merchants’ Hall, is one of Edinburgh’s hidden jewels, and is available to hire as a unique venue.
Although the precise reason has been lost in the mists of time, the Stock of Broom has long been the emblem of the Company. Broom represents sturdy roots, vigorous growth and fullness of flowering making it a very appropriate symbol for the Company.
Today the Stock of Broom is used by the Treasurer to give the parting toast, The Stock of Broom, at formal Company functions. The quatrefoil cup has engraved lines representing growth, with four panels of stylised broom. It was presented to the Company by James Kennedy, Master from 1957-59.
At every formal Company Meeting the Company Prayer, which was taken from the original prayer composed in 1682 by William Annand, Dean of Edinburgh, is recited by the Chaplain of the Company.
“Almighty and Eternal God: Thy servants now assembled implore, according to Thy precious promises, the pardon of all our offences, and Thy Holy Spirit to deliver us from falling into the snares of sin and Satan: Keep us O Lord, in peace, purity, brotherly love and concord, by removing pride, prejudice, passion, covetousness, and whatever may offend Thy Blessed Majesty. Bless our Queen and all The Royal Family, the Councillors and all the Incorporations of this city; The Master and all the Members of this Society, that we may have fellowship with Thee. The sea is Thine, and Thy hands formed the dry land: prosper us in our present undertaking with the bounties of both; Above all, with the bounties of Thy Spirit, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”
Composed by The Very Rev Dr Charles L. Warr, first Chaplain of the Company, the Company Grace is said at every Company dinner.
“Almighty God, Lord of the Universe, of Whom are all things; the sea is Thine and Thy Hands formed the dry land; and from Thy bounty alone cometh whatsoever we enjoy. Bless we beseech Thee, these and all Thy mercies to our use, this table to our fellowship, and ourselves in Thy service, Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”