Person NameForfar Weavers' Incorporation; 1627-1846
ActivityThe power to grant incorporated status to trades rested with the magistrates of royal burghs. The Forfar weaver records commence in 1627.An incorporated trade was granted the right to monopolise and control their trade within the burgh. They set strict guidelines controlling workmanship within the Incorporation. They protected work for the craft within the burghs against outsiders, prevented apprentices from being drawn away from their masters and stopped irregularities and irresponsible craftsmanship amongst their members.An entry fee had to paid to gain admission to the Incorporation. The son of a burgess paid the lowest fee, the son-in-law of a burgess paid more and a stranger paid the highest fee. Their names would be recorded in the minute books.Trades Incorporations were governed by a Deacon with the aid of a Boxmaster and a council of craftsmen who were elected annually. This group fixed wages and prices, set rules of conduct for the members of the Incorporation and governed the training and the conduct of apprentices. They held a court which could fine craftsmen for contravening the rules and held the ultimate penalty of expulsion. The Industrial Revolution made the incorporations redundant and they were officially abolished in 1846. Weaving was a major industry in 18th and 19th century Scotland and particularly important to towns and villages in Angus. In Forfar, it is estimated that weaving capacity stood at 2,589 looms in 1838, many of which were in people's homes, although a number of looms were thought to be idle. Forfar weavers were well-known for the production of Osnaburgs, a coarse woven cloth named after the German town where it originated.
Corporate NameForfar Weavers' Incorporation
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