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Worshipful Company of Barbers

The Worshipful Company of Barbers is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. The organisation's records date as early as 1308. Barbers aided monks, who were at the time the traditional practitioners of medicine, in surgery, for Papal decrees had prohibited the members of religious orders from spilling blood. Soon, surgeons with little expertise in the art of the barbers began to join the Company.

In 1368, the Surgeons were allowed to form their own Guild. However, the Barbers' Guild retained the power to oversee surgical practices. The Barbers' Guild continued its oversight after it became, under a Royal Charter of 1462, a Company. The Surgeon's Guild later merged with the Barbers' Company in 1540, but separated into the Royal College of Surgeons in 1800.

The Company no longer retains an association with barbers, despite retaining links to surgeons, instead existing as a charitable institution.

The Barbers' Company ranks seventeenth in the order of precedence of Livery Companies. The Company's motto is De Praescientia Dei, Latin for From the Foreknowledge of God.

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