At least two of the candidates in the forthcoming mayoral and Police & Crime Commissioner elections are Merchant Venturers.
'Independent' mayor candidate George Ferguson has promised to leave the Merchant Venturers if elected.
Labour's PCC candidate John Savage has not. http://www.thisisbristol.co.uk/police-commissioner-speaks-Merchant-Venturers/story-17060117-detail/story.html
The society financed exploration as well as the barbaric transatlantic Slave Trade. Compare with the Merchant Adventurers.
The Merchant Adventurers were a trading company incorporated in 1407 that, by the mid sixteenth century, controled three-quarters of English foreign trade, supplanting the Hanse. It's continental mart was at first in Bruge. In 1446 it moved to Antwerp, in 1493 to Calais, and in 1496 back to Antwerp. Transferring to Hamburg in 1567 it again obtained a Dutch base on the 1580's. It was subsequently attacked for exercising a monopoly and lost its royal charter in 1689.
HTV Bristol's Merchant Venturers documentary ITV West 1995
Bristol's Society of Merchant Venturers documentary BBC Inside Out West 2005