The Guardians of the Standard of Wrought Plate

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The Guardians of the Standard of Wrought Plate is a body of 30 people created by an Act of Parliament in 1773. The Guardian's duties where primarily to choose four Wardens to oversee the daily running of the Sheffield Assay Office.

The Guardians were a diverse group of people from across religious, political and social barriers, some being business rivals and some related by blood and marriage, but all with a common uniting aim being a desire to set up an Assay Office so that the silver industry could expand in Sheffield. Originally all local people, the number of silversmiths on the body was limited to nine, to avoid them being able to exert any undue influence.

Many of the original Guardians were known to each other through their involvement in other concerns. For example The Town Trustees, The Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire, The Silver Platers' Trade Association and other related organisations.

Today, there are still 30 Guardians assisting the Assay Master, who meet twice a year in April and October. The Guardians advise on different areas of the business, providing valuable information relating to bullion, prices, law, trading standards, enforcement etc. 

The current Sheffield Assay Office Guardians include:

Matthew Sibley                                         Non - Trade

Mr Peter Broadbent                                         Non - Trade

Professor Sir Keith Burnett                                   Non – Trade

Mr John Coulter                                                Non - Trade

Mr Nick Dodd                                                    Non – Trade

Professor Roger Eccleston                             Non - Trade

Mr James Frampton                                          Non – Trade

Mr Philip Gregory                                              Non - Trade

Mr John Hamshere                                           Non - Trade

Mr Peter Hayes                                                  Non – Trade

Mr Chris C S Heaton                                         Non - Trade

Mr Nicholas J A Hutton                                     Non - Trade

Mr Christopher J Jewitt                                     Non - Trade

Mrs Pamela E Liversidge                                 Non - Trade

Mt Craig McKay                                                  Non - Trade

Mr John Mothersole                                          Non – Trade

Mrs Kim Streets                                                 Non - Trade

Mr Charles J Turner                                          Non - Trade

Mr Matthew Sibley                                       Non - Trade 

Mr Robert Grice                                                Enforcement

Mr Steve Gifford                                                        Trade

Mr Chris Hudson                                                        Trade

Miss Joanne Leach                                                   Trade

Mr Corin Mellor                                                          Trade

Mr Chris Knight                                                          Trade

Mrs Sue E Payne                                                       Trade        

Ms Jackie Tear                                                           Trade

Mr Atul Unadkat                                                         Trade

Mr Mathew Hawker (Staff Guardian)                SAO Staff Rep

Mr Danny Smith ( Staff Guardian)                  SAO Staff Rep

Executive Committee

Mr Simon A Batiste (Law Clerk)                Non - Trade

Mr Peter Hayes (Chairman)                       Non - Trade

Mr Chris C S Heaton                                   Non - Trade

Mr Chris Hudson                                          Trade

Mrs Pamela E Liversidge                           Non – Trade

Mr Matthew Sibley                                       Non - Trade 

Mr Charles Turner (Deputy Chairman)   Non – Trade