Person NameSelkirk; Tailors Corporation; 1610-
ActivityThe Five Incorporated Trades of Selkirk, who were incorporated by the town council, were: the weavers, 1608; the souters, 1609; the tailors, 1610; the fleshers, 1679; and the hammermen, 1681. The erection of Galashiels, in 1599, into a burgh of Barony may have prompted the craftsmen to organise themselves into guilds. The copies of Selkirk’s sett of 1704 and 1709 define the role of the crafts. On 29 September (Michaelmas) each year they chose 2 baillies, a dean of guild and the treasurer. The Town Council, whose members were not elected annually but continued in their positions as long as they remained prosperous, was comprised of the Five Incorporated Trades’ four elected members and their predecessors of the year before, plus a deacon and ‘colleague’ from each of the 5 crafts, ten merchant councillors, and five trade councillors who represented the other non-incorporated trades.Each craft was administered by its deacon and his colleague - who acted as his deputy, the clerk - who maintained the records, the boxmaster - who was the treasurer, a quartermaster, and the ‘Officer’- who notified the members of meetings and enforced the deacon’s decisions – eg destroying sub-standard goods. Each guild had its own rules for its members, but most apprenticeships lasted 5 or 6 years and they had to be examined by the deacon before becoming a full member. There were varying scales of fees for apprenticeships and membership, and regulations for the standard of workmanship. Women were admitted as members and daughters were allowed to assist their fathers. The importance of the craft guilds waned in the 18th century, due to the effects of the Industrial Revolution, and their role became more ceremonial.
Corporate NameTailors Corporation
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