Person NameArbroath; Shoemakers' Incorporation; 1592-1937
ActivityThe power to grant incorporated status to trades rested with the magistrates of royal burghs. The Arbroath Shoemakers' Incorporation was established in 1592, though extant records only date from 1728. They met in the porch of the parish church. In 1815 the Trades erected a Trades Hall on the High Street for their meetings. They soon had to sell this to pay their debts. The Shoemakers were only behind the Hammermen and the Glovers in importance. 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 be paid to gain admission into 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 and set the 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. The Arbroath Shoemakers continued as a society until 1937.
Corporate NameShoemakers' Incorporation
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