1) A role within the Sheffield cutler's company.
The Sheffield cutlers operated at first under manorial supervision but when the last resident lord died they formed their own company and this was incorporated by Act of Parliament in 1624. Provision was made for the election of various officers, with ‘one Master, two wardens, six searchers, and 24 assistants’. Something of the assistants’ role emerges in the company’s records and they were expected to attend all formal meetings: in 1773, for example, an assistant named William Parker was absent on several occasions when he was known to be in health, which brought him a reprimand and the threat of a fine. The office continues to the present day.