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The Mary Parsons Charity Service for retired Silversmiths

Published: 16th November 2018

The Mary Parsons Charity Service for retired Silversmiths

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 Sheffield Assay Office now administers this unique charity and plays an active role in generating funds from the sale of the Bradbury’s Book of Hallmarks and obtaining donations from the public and the trade. Every year on December 27th, the feast of St John the Evangelist, silversmiths still gather in Sheffield Cathedral to benefit from Mary Parsons' bequest.

Assay Master, Ashley Carson who has been the Chairman of the Mary Parsons Charity since 1993 comments:

"Over the years we have had a strong desire to keep this worthwhile charity going. It now relies on donations and support from the Sheffield Assay Office and the trade. The service is a great occasion to bring the silversmiths’ of the City of Sheffield together to give thanks for their skills and craftsmanship”

The Annual service will take place at 11:00am on the 27th December 2018, at the The Cathedral Church of St Peter and St Paul, Church Street, Sheffield S1 1HA. 

For anyone wishing to make a donation, cheques should be made payable to 'Mary Parsons Charity' and sent to:

Sheffield Assay Office, Guardians' Hall, Beulah Road, Hillsborough, Sheffield, S6 2AN

You can find out more about the Mary Parsons Charity here.

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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