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:

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 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 (Law Clerk)                   Non - Trade 

Mr Charles Turner (Deputy Chairman)        Non – Trade