Originally, the organisation was a trade association of wool and cloth merchants. It was one of the most powerful companies in London politics, over one hundred Lord Mayors having been members of the Company. Today, the company exists as a charitable, ceremonial, and educational institution.
The Company ranks third in the order of precedence of Livery Companies, thus being one of the "Great Twelve City Livery Companies." The Company's motto is Unto God Only Be Honour and Glory.