In Edward IV.'s reign the elections of mayor, sheriffs and other officers and members of parliament were transferred to liverymen.
In London four ale-conners, whose duty it is to examine the measures used by beer and liquor sellers to guard against fraud, are still chosen annually by the liverymen in common hall assembled on Midsummer Day.
masters and wardens were ordered to associate with themselves the honest men of their mysteries, and come in their best liveries to the elections; that is to say, the franchise was restricted to the "liverymen" of the companies.
The delegation of the franchise to the liverymen was thus, in point of fact, the selection of a superior class of householders to represent the rest.
When the corporation lost its control over the companies, and the members of the companies ceased to be traders and householders, the liverymen were no longer a representative class, and some change in the system became necessary.