Past Masters & Clerks

Margaret Clarissa Holland Prior

Immediate Past Master
Margaret Clarissa Holland Prior

Margie followed her father, Redvers Prior, into The Worshipful Company of Gardeners, joining as an apprentice. He had been Master of the Needlemakers' Company of which she is also a Liveryman.She is a Liveryman of the Coopers' and a Past President of the Bishopsgate Ward Club.

Margie's City of London connections also include twenty years as a magistrate on The City Bench.

She became the Clerk to the Firefighters' Company seeing it through to full Livery status in 2001.

Margie was the Award Organiser and Fund Raiser for the Carpenters' Award, a biennial national competition sponsored by the Carpenters' Company for thirteen years. This competition, for fine joinery and structural carpentry in UK buildings, is known now as “The Wood Awards.”

Margie was a judge and committee member for The Flowers in the City Campaign, a judge for The London in Bloom Awards and The London Children’s Flower Society, and a committee member for The London Gardens Society She was a founder member and membership secretary of The Friends of Guildhall Art Gallery.

Margie's working life was in the hardwood timber trade, which included study visits and meetings with government officials and ministers worldwide. This led to encouraging young people and children in outdoor education and conservation in the UK. She is a founder member of The Forest Education Initiative which has over eighty groups throughout the UK. At present she is a Trustee of The Tree Council.

Now living in Jersey, Margie has a small allotment, where she grows heritage and native varieties of tomatoes. She led the Community of St. Brelade from 2007—2010 to be runner up in 2008 and winning Gold and Best Coastal Town for Britain in Bloom in 2009. She then presented St. Brelade’s entry for the Entente Florale Europe 2010, the largest environmental competition in Europe, achieving Gold and Winner.

Margie founded and chaired The St. Aubin Residents’ Association and the ‘Stop the Drop’ Campaign, an anti-litter crusade. She has taken numerous parties from schools, groups and companies out on beach clean-ups and conservation work on the Jersey headlands.

Her other interests have been with NADFAS, Marie Curie (City of London) and Brooke Hospital for Working Horses and Donkeys. Margie is a Trustee of The Jersey Society for the Protection of Animals. She has worked with and supported organisations which provide horticultural and gardening training for ex-Service personnel and is a keen supporter of ex-Service personnel having horticultural therapy and of the promotion of land based careers.

Her daughter, Tara, is also a Liveryman and Margie’s Steward for this year. Her son, Ben, who lives in Edinburgh, is a Liveryman of The Carpenters’ Company.

Sir David John Mark Green CB QC

Past Master:
Sir David John Mark Green CB QC

Many in the Company identify with either a professional horticulture or a City background. David is a barrister and a keen suburban gardener, so he falls into the latter category.

He was educated at Christ’s Hospital, Horsham and St Catharine’s College Cambridge, graduating with a history degree. After a spell in the civil service, he qualified as a barrister in 1979. David practised in criminal law (both defending and prosecuting) from Chambers in the Temple from 1979 until 2004. He was appointed a Recorder in 1996 and took silk in 2000.

Thereafter he served as Director of the Revenue and Customs Prosecutions Office 2004-2010, returning to the bar prior to his appointment as Director of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) in April 2012. His extended term at the SFO ended in April 2018.

David encountered the Company through gardening. In 1997, his Chambers moved across Fleet Street from the Temple to Red Lion Court. There, he created a courtyard garden for the benefit of Chambers and its visitors. The garden won The James Miller Trophy in 1998 and The Best Courtyard Garden in 1999. The inspecting judges introduced him to the Company. He became a Liveryman in 2000 and joined the Court in 2006.

He also enjoys collecting plants (especially from cuttings), cooking, walking, fly fishing and history. He is an avid collector of items designed by Piero Fornasetti. In the garden, he prides himself on his hostas and topiary.

David is married to Kate. They have two daughters, a son, and one granddaughter.

Paul Rochford

Past Master:
Paul Rochford

Paul is a fifth generation nurseryman. He runs Joseph Rochford Gardens, a wholesale business supplying plants to the landscape industry.

Paul is committed to offering disadvantaged young people the opportunity to find their place in the world through the Future Gardeners pre-apprenticeship training scheme. He is also keen to promote the benefits of horticulture for those with mental health problems. He is an enthusiastic walker and mountaineer and has scaled the highest peaks across four continents. Through sponsorship of his climbs Paul has raised money for horticultural projects, most notably Tree Aid, a charity supporting tree planting and reforestation in sub-Saharan Africa.

He is married to Katy and has four daughters and two granddaughters.

Bernard Reginald Trevor Williams

Past Master:
Bernard Reginald Trevor Williams

Born in Gloucestershire, Bernard started in horticulture very early. Working in Eastern Europe, he became Operations Director for a 'blue chip' food company. After Perestroika he built operations across the USSR. After retirement Bernard studied at Capel Manor College and has worked in the travel industry. He is now President of The Royal National Rose Society. Bernard is an enthusiastic amateur gardener, and has a special interest in Roses and Viniculture. He is married with three children.

Stephen Geoffrey Bernhard

Past Master:
Stephen Geoffrey Bernhard

Having joined the Livery in 1983 and been elected to Court in 2004, Stephen has been deeply involved in many aspects of the Company’s life, following in the steps of his father Jeffrey. Stephen qualified in Horticultural Management at Pershore Institute in 1966, and trained in landscaping in Holland and the USA. Chairman of a manufacturing business supplying specialist machines to golf courses globally, he is married to Jenny and has a daughter Alex and a son James, both of whom are liverymen.

HRH The Earl of Wessex KG, GCVO

Past Master:
HRH The Earl of Wessex KG, GCVO

HRH The Earl of Wessex KG, GCVO, youngest son of HM The Queen, is a member of three other Livery companies but honoured the Gardeners by making his debut as a Master with us in 2013 to 2014.

Nicholas Clive Evans

Past Master:
Nicholas Clive Evans

Nicholas’ early passion for gardening developed into a professional career in amenity horticulture in 1969. After starting at Wakehurst Place, he qualified at Plumpton and Reaseheath Colleges and then worked for East Sussex County Council on elm disease control. He then became the County’s Landscape Clerk of Works. After a short period as Course Manager at Longfield Park Racecourse, he was appointed Garden Manager at Capel Manor College in 1983, and later became Executive Director of Estates and Buildings. Nicholas is married to Stephanie and has two daughters, Emily and Felicity. Nicholas was Deputy Master for 2013-2014, the year when HRH The Earl of Wessex was Master.

Previous Masters of the Company

This list, down to 1932, is taken from a silver salver of 1809 presented to the Company by Col. Sir Benjamin Hansford, KCB, Master in 1915, with corrections and additions from the Company’s Minute Book for the years 1761/1872.

1605-06 Thomas Young
1607 John Markham
1616-19 William Wood
1622 John Grene
1623-24 James Burley
1632-37 John Hinch
1638 George Bayly
1641-50 Samuel Hurley
1665-67 John Goodspeed
1661-62 Bodwyn Cuper
1670-71 Richard Staples
1683 Alexander Gray
1684-85 Thomas Murray
1688 Robert Chandler
1690 John Hurles
1691 Thomas Cooke
1692 Hugh Berry
1693-94 John Cadman
1695-96 Joseph Arthur
1699 Francis Ballard
1764-65 Aaron James
1766-67 Joseph Knight
1768-69 John Shelmerdine
1770-71 Richard Edwards
1772-73 Abraham Dalton
1774-75 Henry Manley
1776-77 Richard Wortley
1778-79 William Redhead
1780-81 John England
1782-83 Charles Hunt
1784-85 Moses Marshall
1786-87 Thomas Heath
1788-89 Richard Hughes
1790-91 John Bowes
1792-93 Thomas Good
1794-96 Benjamin Kennett
1797-98 William Burnes
1799-00 Thomas Shearley Bagley
1801-02 George Stubbs
1803-04 James Field
1805-07 Robert Bagley
1816-17 Robert Bagley
1818 George Ives
1819 John Gaywood
1820 Warwick Bagley
1821-24 Thomas Nash
1833 Thomas Nash
1834 William Bagley
1835 Warwick Bagley
1891 The Rt. Hon. Sir Joseph Savory, Baronet (Lord Mayor 1890)
1892 Sir Trevor Lawrence, Baronet, KCVO
1893 The Revd. William Wilks MA
1894 Beaumont Shepheard JP
1895 Major George Lambert VD FSA
1896-97 Nathaniel Newman Sherwood
1898 Sir William Farmer (Sheriff)
1899-00 Philip Crowley FLS
1901 Constant Edmund Osman
1902 The Rt. Hon. Sir Marcus Samuel, Bt. (Lord Mayor 1902) (created Baron Bearsted of Maidstone 1921 and Viscount Bearsted of Maidstone 1925
1903 George William Burrows
1904 Frederick George Ivey
1905 George Corble
1906 William Thomas Crosweller
1907 Sir Thomas Robert Dewar JP (created a Baronet 1917 and Baron Dewar of Homestall 1919)
1908 Captain Robert Inigo Tasker JP (Knighted 1931)
1909-10 Charles Bayer
1911 Alderman Sir Horace Brooks Marshall (Lord Mayor 1918, created Baron Marshall of Chipstead 1921)
1912 Sir George Rowland Blades JP (Lord Mayor 1926, Knighted 1918 and created a Baronet 1922 and Baron Ebbisham of Cobham 1928)
1913-14 Samuel George Shead (Knighted 1915)
1915 Benjamin Hansford CB (Knighted 1939)
1916 Joseph Francis JP
1917 Lieut-Colonel Joseph Francis OBE JP
1918 Colonel and Alderman Sir Charles Cheers Wakefield, Baronet (Lord Mayor 1915 created Baron Wakefield of Hythe 1930 and Viscount Wakefield 1934)
1919 Major Samuel Weil
1920 Sir Francis Agar (Knighted 1926)
1921 Donald Carmichael Haldeman JP
1922 George Herbert Thompson
1923 Victor Brown JP CC
1924 James Jenry Solomon
1925 William Thomas Roberts
1926-27 Colonel Sir John Smith Young CVO
1928 George Ernest Wendover Beeson
1929 John Edward Newman Sherwood JP
1930 Sir John Slocombe Pearse CC (Knighted 1935)
1931 Edward Dean
1932 John Weir
1933 Alexander Henry Dence
1934 Alderman Sir George Thomas Broadbridge
(Lord Mayor 1936, created a Baronet 1937 and Baron Broadbridge 1945)
1935 Albert Edward Cressall
1936 Arthur Northcott Pitts
1937 Lieut-Colonel Stanley Samuel Gilbert Cohen
1938 Ernest Thornton Thornton-Smith
1939 S. H. Baker (died in office)
1939 Sir Robert Inigo Tasker DL JP MP
1940-41 Frederick John Baucher Gardner MC FCA
1942 Marcel Porn MI Mech. EMI Mar.E
1943 Frederick Charles Thomas Lane FCA
1944 Robert Emmanuel Hirch
1945 Colonel Sir John Cornelius, Joseph Dalton
1946 Walter Frederick Bishop CBE
1947 Alderman Sir Harold Walter Seymour Howard JP (Lord Mayor 1954, created a Baron 1955)
1948 Leonard Arthus Reddall FCA CC
1949 Clement Edward Page Taylor OBE DL JP
1950 John Wilson Whitlock JPMA LLB
1951 Major Kenneth Ernest Schweder
1952 Richard Bertram Ling FRIBA FRICS MIStructE
1954 Sir (Benn Jack) Brunel Cohen KBE
1955 The Rt. Hon. Harry Louis Baron Nathan PCTD FBA
1956 Donald Byford
1957 Martin Hulbert Longman
1958 Geoffrey Joseph Gollin MA
1959 Francis Henry Lymbery
1960 Isidore Kerman
1961 Hamilton Edward de Coucey Howard (afterwards Alderman Sir Edward Howard, Bt. Lord Mayor 1971)
1962 John Ellis Talbot MP
1963 The Rt. Hon. Roger Carol Michael, Baron Nathan
1964 Maurice James Thurston
1965 Arthur James Dale Robinson
1966 Major-General Kenelm Charles Appleyard CBE TD DL JP
1967 The Rt. Hon. Anthony Gerard Edward Noel, Earl of Gainsborough
1968 Leslie Haggar Kemp FRIBA
1969 Frederick Ernest Cleary MBE FRICS CC
1970 John Paul Schweder
1971 John Louis Stevenson FCA ACIS CC
1972 The Rt. Rev. Bishop Robert William Standard MA
1973 Norma Alexander Royce FRIBA PPCI Arb
1974 Arthur Joseph Carton
1975 David Martin Hulbert Longman
1976 Clive Raymond Crosse
1977 John Brunel Cohen OBE DL
1978 Denis Arthur Huggons FCA
1979 Charles Ellis Talbot
1980 Leonard Jack Redial FCA
1981 Roger Louis Payton
1982 John Godfrey Keeling OBE
1983 Rear Admiral Maurice James Ross CB DSC
1984 Peter Duncan Marriner
1985 William Patrick Maclagan
1986 Alan Bruce Hurrell
1987 His Hon.Gilbert Frank Leslie
1988 Edwin George Chandler CBE CC
1989 Gordon Herbert Denney
1990 Alderman David Howarth Seymour Howard (afterwards Sir David Howard Bt., Lord Mayor 2000)
1991 Richard Creighton Balfour MBE
1992 David Edward Dowlen
1993 Ernest Michael Upward
1994 Norman Ashley Chalmers
1995 David Edgar Francis Gollin
1996 Ian Bennett Flanagan OBE
1997 Robert Peter Franklin
1998 Roger Louis Payton/Norman Ashley Chalmers
1999 The Ven. Peter Anthony Delaney MBE
2000 Vivian Robinson QC
2001 Allan Hugh Keep Edwards
2002 Thomas Hugh John Gough
2003 Deputy Mrs Janet Owen MBE
2004 Caerveth Ramsay George Shewell-Cooper
2005 Guy Rodney Charlton Petty
2006 Deputy William Barrie Fraser OBE
2007 Alderman Sir Gavyn Farr Arthur
2008 Deputy Christine Mackenzie Cohen OBE
2009 Louise Robinson
2010 Dr Stephen Ridley Dowbiggin OBE
2011 Daniel Richard Caspi
2012 Rex Michael Thornborough RD*
2013 HRH The Earl of Wessex KG GCVC
2013 Nicholas Evans FI Hort (Deputy Master)
2014 Stephen Geoffrey Bernhard C.Hort. FCIH
2015 Bernard Reginald Trevor Williams

2016 John Paul Rochford

2017 Sir David John Mark Green CB QC

Previous Clerks to the Company

1691 William Herbert
1764-1795 George Stubbs (or earlier)
1795-1815 George Stubbs The Younger (Master 1801/02)
1816-1832 Francis Bligh Hookey
1833-1853 John Finch
1853-1872 Charles Shepheard
1872-1890 Beaumont Shepheard (son of the above) (Master 1894)
1890-1894 James Curtis (Honorary Assistant 1894)
1894-1902 Robert Gofton-Salmond
1903-1937 Ernest Arthur Ebblewhite JP
1937-1946 Stephen William Price MC DL (Deputy Clerk 1925-1937)
1947-1958 Arnold Francis Steele MBE CC
1958-1969 Frank Nathaniel Steiner CC
1969-1973 John Grierson Fleming
1973-1984 Frank Nathaniel Steiner
1984-1985 Peter De Villiers Rudolph
1985-1990 Alistair Laird McGeachy
1990-2005 Colonel Nicholas George Steel Gray
2005-2009 Trevor John Hines
2009-2012 Commander Robert Edward Woolgar OBE