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Welcome to the York Butchers’ Gild

Welcome to the website of the York Butchers’ Gild (or the Company of Butchers of the City of York, to give it its full title).

The Company is one of the seven York Guilds in existence in the early twenty-first century. Each of these seven has arrived at its modern form by a different historical route, but the Butchers’ Gild is one of three that has maintained a continuous history from its thirteenth century roots.

The Guilds have retained traditions that stretch back into the mists of time and add greatly to the rich pattern of life in the City of York. Notably, the Butchers partake of a Baron of Beef for their Shrove Tuesday feast, marking the day when all flesh is eaten before the lenten fast.

In the past, the Butchers, in common with the other Guilds, played a key role in the governance of the City, in the maintenance of trade standards and in the training of apprentices. Charitable and religious occasions were, and are, important. The Butchers produce the ‘Crucifixion’ in the York round of Mystery Plays.

The Gild welcomes contact with similar bodies worldwide, and with any butchers with a York connection. There are perhaps two hundred Yorks, Yorkes or other derivatives around the globe, are you such a butcher?


About the Gild

Learn more about the history of the York Butchers’ Gild and their continued role in York civic life

The Master

The Master of the Gild for 2023 to 2024 is Stewart Houston CBE.


Keep up to date with the latest News from the York Butchers’ Gild, and discover more in our Library Articles