It is one of the oldest mercantile corporations in England. The Company is rare, if perhaps unique, in being ‘ of England ‘ and not bounded by any one city or municipality. The Company’s commercial significance in the 14-16th centuries was in the control of the export of wool to the continent of Europe from 1314 through Calais and later Bruges.
Today the Company runs a growing charitable trust with scholarships and projects in the wool, textiles and agricultural sectors, as well as university student travel bursaries.
The Staple company has over 100 Freemen who meet and dine in Yorkshire and London. It is governed by its Court of Assistants; the Mayor serves for one year from the Michaelmas Court meeting in October.