Past Masters




There is an unbroken list of Masters Cutler since 1624, some of whom served for more than one year and is a roll call of nationally and internationally acclaimed manufacturers of cutlery, silver and steel.

Many of the Masters took on additional public roles during the 17th and 18th centuries, when Sheffield did not have a Mayor and Corporation.

In the 19th and 20th centuries, many Masters became Mayors and Lord Mayors of Sheffield, Presidents of the Sheffield Chamber of Commerce and played a role in the formation and management of Sheffield University and as Trustees on innumerable charities.

Bronze bust of Robert Hadfield,
Master Cutler, 1899

Ever wondered what a Master Cutler does?

Each year, the Company's public face is the Master Cutler who represent the Company and Sheffield manufacturing.  The weekly diary sheets show how busy this can be, however, it is very rare to have an insight into the Master's experiences.  The Company was recently given some personal papers of the late Norman Hanlon, Master Cutler in 1975 and among them was a talk he gave to Sheffield Probus describing his year of office.  This is only the second such information, the other is the from Charles Belk's year in 1885.

Download a brief summary of Norman Hanlon's year.

 Date list of Masters Cutler 2018 download

Featured Master -William Ellis

.During the First World War, the Master Cutler, William Ellis, served throughout the war, because the Senior and Junior Wardens, who would have been next in line, were both on active service.

The Cutlers' Company made a contribution to the war effort. The Cutlers' Company was asked to co-ordinate the collection and renovation of razors, to be distributed to the troops. By the end of 1918, 300,000 razors had been collected and a total of 250,000 had been repaired and refurbished.

The war had a great impact on Sheffield manufacturers, both in producing armaments, but also importing raw materials and exporting goods.  The Cutlers' Company became a centre for issuing export licences to manufacturers all over the country to ensure nothing of military value was exported.