The Harleston & Waveney Art Trail is extremely grateful to the Skinners’ Company Lady Neville Charity for supporting the initial development of our website. In appreciation, we thought it would be interesting to inform you about this historic charity.

The Skinners’ Company Lady Neville Charity

Skinners’ is one of the ‘Great Twelve’ of the 108 City Livery Companies, with a history going back some 700 years. Each year it alternates with the Merchant Taylors Company rating between 6th and 7th, the result of a fierce dispute in the order of precedence in 1484, resolved in 1512. The phrase ‘at sixes and sevens’ comes from this. Skinners’ developed from the medieval trade guild of the furriers: the members of the guild dressed and traded in furs that were used for trimming and lining the garments of the richer members of society.

The Company’s mission is “to foster education and training; to house the elderly; to assist people in need; to support charitable causes, and to these ends increase the prospects and fellowship of the Company”. Skinners’ is the trustee for four grant-making charities, of which the Lady Neville Charity is one. The Lady Neville Charity was set up in 1978 using funds from an earlier bequest. Its aim is to provide grants that will make a clear and significant contribution to grassroots charitable and not-for-profit organisations working in four designated priority fields. These are Disability, Local History, Local Community, and Performing and Visual Arts, this latter being the one under which it granted the cost of setting up the Art Trail’s website.