Person NameWeavers' Incorporation of Arbroath; 1600-1899
ActivityThe power to grant incorporated status to trades rested with the magistrates of royal burghs. 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 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, 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 Arbroath, it is estimated that 2,000 handlooms were at work in 1838, many of which were working from home.
Corporate NameWeavers' Incorporation of Arbroath
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