Judy Tayler-Smith - Prime Warden 2022-2023
Judy was born, grew up and still lives in the City of London with her husband Simon. Her education was at the University of London and the Institute of Archaeology UCL, where she studied History, Archaeology and Egyptology. She also studied at the WSET School, where she obtained advanced qualifications in Wines, Spirits and Other Beverages. Being a City-born child, Judy established her involvement with the Civic City in 1986, when she became an Officer of the City of London Corporation.
From 1986 - 2002 she worked for the Corporations’ Libraries and Archives Department, both at the City Business Library and at the Guildhall Library. She received the Freedom of the City of London in 1996 from her employers. She has also been Archivist for the Worshipful Company of Upholders (2009 – 2017) and Archivist for the City Livery Club (2010 -2015).
Judy is a well-known face throughout the City, having chaired/sat on numerous committees and governing bodies over the past 36 years; including six successful Shrieval campaign committees.
Although currently Prime Warden of the Worshipful Company of Basketmakers, this is Judy’s fourth time on the Livery Masters ‘circuit’. The other three occasions were as Master of the Worshipful Company of Upholders (2017- 18); President of the City Livery Club (2012-13) and Foreman of the Guildable Manor of Southwark (2018- 19), an ancient Guild/Court Leet under the jurisdiction of the City of London and Old Bailey.
Other City roles have been Master of Cripplegate Ward Club (2013-14); President of Farringdon Ward Club (2015 - 16) and the first lady Master of the Tanners Company of Bermondsey (2016-17).
Currently she is a Council Member & the Charity Funding Coordinator for the Royal Society of St. George Westminster Branch. She is on the Committee of ‘Women in the Livery’ and is a member of five Past Masters Associations. She is a life member of the Guild of Freemen and a member Royal Society of St. George City of London Branch.
Judy is also a regular visitor to Scotland. She is a Burgess (Freeman) of Glasgow and currently in her third year as Trades Master for the Incorporation of Wrights, one of Glasgow’s ancient Guilds. She has been a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland since 2002, a life member of the Burns Club of London and a member of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society.
Aside from Archives, Judy’s other career has been in wine. She is a Dame Grand Commandeur, Chancellor and Master of Arms for the UK and Ireland for a French chivalric Champagne order, the Confrérie du Sabre d’Or; and Dame Officier of the Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne. In 2000 she founded the City Livery Wine Circle which is still going strong; she was their Chairman (2006-08) and Hon. Secretary (2002-2011). She has also been Chairman of the International Wine and Food Society, London Branch (2008-10).
Judy’s main interests include the City of London, Scotland, collecting antiquities, jewellery, science fiction/fantasy films and books, classical music/opera, fine dining, wine and champagne.