Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers
The Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers is one of the Livery Companies
Livery Company
The Livery Companies are 108 trade associations in the City of London, almost all of which are known as the "Worshipful Company of" the relevant trade, craft or profession. The medieval Companies originally developed as guilds and were responsible for the regulation of their trades, controlling,...

 of the City of London
City of London
The City of London is a small area within Greater London, England. It is the historic core of London around which the modern conurbation grew and has held city status since time immemorial. The City’s boundaries have remained almost unchanged since the Middle Ages, and it is now only a tiny part of...

, UK.

The Company was founded by a Royal Charter
Royal Charter
A royal charter is a formal document issued by a monarch as letters patent, granting a right or power to an individual or a body corporate. They were, and are still, used to establish significant organizations such as cities or universities. Charters should be distinguished from warrants and...

 of Charles I
Charles I of England
Charles I was King of England, King of Scotland, and King of Ireland from 27 March 1625 until his execution in 1649. Charles engaged in a struggle for power with the Parliament of England, attempting to obtain royal revenue whilst Parliament sought to curb his Royal prerogative which Charles...

 in 1629 AD; it was granted the status of a Livery Company in 1809. The Company was empowered to set regulations and standards for optical devices; this was eroded by the Industrial Revolution
Industrial Revolution
The Industrial Revolution was a period from the 18th to the 19th century where major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transportation, and technology had a profound effect on the social, economic and cultural conditions of the times...

, after which mechanical advancements made trade restrictions difficult to enforce. The Company acquired the right, however, to set examinations that optician
An optician is a person who is trained to fill prescriptions for eye correction in the field of medicine, also known as a dispensing optician or optician, dispensing...

s had to pass before practising. This power was surrendered to the British College of Ophthalmic Opticians (now titled the College of Optometrists
College of Optometrists
The College of Optometrists is the professional, scientific and examining body for optometry in the United Kingdom, working for the public benefit.-History:...

) in 1979, who took over the examination of optometrists, and in 1986 power of examination for dispensing opticians was surrendered to the Association of British Dispensing Opticians
Association of British Dispensing Opticians
The Association of British Dispensing Opticians is the main professional association for opticians in the UK.-History:Opticians, like dentists or pharmacists, are one part of the British health service not covered by the NHS...


Now, the Company supports charities, including Vision Aid Overseas
Vision Aid Overseas
Vision Aid Overseas is a registered charity in the United Kingdom, which provides optical aid and services to developing countries in Africa.-History:...

, and research in the field of optics
Optics is the branch of physics which involves the behavior and properties of light, including its interactions with matter and the construction of instruments that use or detect it. Optics usually describes the behavior of visible, ultraviolet, and infrared light...

 and conducts training and professional development including the two-year correspondence course for optical technicians that has national accredication in the British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 National Qualifications Framework
National Qualifications Framework
The National Qualifications Framework is a credit transfer system developed for qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland....


The Spectacle Makers' Company ranks sixtieth in the order of precedence for Livery Companies.

External links

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