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Annual Mary Parsons Service Celebrates Sheffield Silversmiths

Published: 8th January 2024

In 1817, a lady called Mary Parsons left a bequest in her will for the amount of £1,500 - in those days a considerable amount - to benefit old, infirm and poor Sheffield silversmiths. This generous gesture was made in memory of her brother John, who was one of the earliest Sheffield platers and silversmiths in Sheffield.

The annual service took place at Sheffield Cathedral and was officiated by Revd Canon Justin Dodd, who kindly offered to remember Mary and John Parsons and the Silversmithing history of the City in his sermon and in prayers on the 27th December.


Attending the service, along with representatives of the trade and charity beneficiaries, were Chairman and Assay Master, Mr Ashley Carson and Trustees, Brett Payne, Chris Hudson and Emma Paragreen, representatives from The Cutlers Company George Kilburn DL, High Sherrif Jaydip Ray DL and Company member of the Worshipful Company of Pewterers.

Ashley Carson, who has been the Chairman of the Mary Parsons Charity since 1993, spoke of the service saying; "I am really grateful to Sheffield Cathedral for giving profile of this unique Charity, remembering John and Mary Parsons and the Silversmiths and metalworkers of the City of Sheffield in the The Feast of St John the Evangelist service, it seems especially relevant in the 250th anniversary year of the Sheffield Assay Office."

Beneficiaries of the Mary Parsons Charity received their cheques, commemorative pens, and Hendersons relish after the service and tea, coffee and mince pies were served.

If you would like to find out more about the charity more information is available here, as well as on the Sheffield Assay Office website.

In the meantime, anyone wishing to make a donation for 2024, cheques should be made payable to 'Mary Parsons Charity' and sent to: Sheffield Assay Office, Guardians' Hall, Beulah Road, Hillsborough, Sheffield, S6 2AN

The Sheffield Assay Office was established in 1773, under an Act of Parliament and today the company assays and hallmarks the precious metals - silver, gold, platinum and palladium. Sheffield Assay Office is one of only four UK assay offices who all work to uphold the Hallmarking Act of 1973 and continue to ensure consumer protection for customers purchasing precious metals.

To find out more about the whole range of services offered by Sheffield Assay Office, such as our hallmarking and analytical services, please email us at or complete the contact form on our website at,

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