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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. IV


264 OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH. frhe Cowgate. The skinners would seem to have been created into a corporation in 1474, but references to the trade occur in the Burgh Records at an earlier date. Thus, in 1450, there is recorded an obligation by the skinners, undertaken by William Skynner, in the name of the whole, to support the altar of St. Crispin in St. Giles?s Church, ?in the fourth year of the pontificate of Nicholas the Fifth ;? and a seal of cause was issued to the skinners and furriers conjointly in 1533, wherein they were bound to uphold the shrine of St Christopher in . St. Giles?s, and several Acts of Parliament were passed for their protection. One, in 1592, prohibits ?<all transporting and carrying forth the realm, of calvesskinnes, huddrones, and kidskins, packing and peilling thereof, in time coming, tion of ? the goodwill and thankful service done to us by our servitor, Alexander Crawford, present deacon of the said cordiners and his brethren.? We first hear of a kind of ?? strike,? in the trade in 1768, when the cordiners entered into a cornbination not to work without an increase of wages, and reduction of hours. The masters prosecuted their men, many of whom were fined and imprisoned, for ? entering into an unlawful combination,? as the sheriff termed their trade union. Charles I. In 1703, by decree of the Court of Session, the bow-makers, plumbers, and glaziers, were added to the masons; and to the wrights were added the painters, slaters, sieve-wrights, and coopers. These incorporated trades held their meetings in St. Mary?s Chapel, Niddry?s Wynd, and were known as ?The United Incorporation of St. Mary?s Chapel? In 1476 the websters were incorporated, and bound to uphold the altar of St. Simon in St Giles?s, and it was specially stipulated that ?(the priest shall get his meat.? Cloth was made in those days by the weavers much in the same fashion that is followed in the remote Highland districts, where the woo1 is carded and spun by the females of the household j but Edinburgh was one under the paine of confiscation of the same for His Majesty?s use.? Edinburgh has always been the chief seat of the leather trade in Scotland, and the troops raised after the American War were entirely supplied with shoes from there. In 1475 the wrights and masons were granted the aisleand chapel of St. John in the same church, when their seal of cause was issued. Their charter was confirmed in 15 17 by the Archbishop of St. Andrews. in 1527 by James V., and in 1635 by THE CHAPEL hND HOSPITAL OF ST. MARY MAGDALENE. (Aflcran EtckiqHlisrlim 1816.)
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The Cowgate.] THE CORPORATIONS. 265 of the first places where woollen goods were made, and had, at one time, the most important wool market in Britain. The hatmakers were formed into a corporation in 1473, when ten masters of the craft presented a petition to that effect; but the bonnet-makers did not receive their seal of cause till 1530, prior to which they had been united with the walkers and shearers, with whom they were bound to uphold the al+a of St Mark in St Giles?s Church. In the articles and conditions it contained ; but it is said that a seal was issued In 1508, Thomas Greg, (? Kirk-master of the flescheour craft,? OD behalf of the same, brought before the Council a complaint, that certain persons, not? freemen of the craft or the burgh, interfered with their privileges, and had them forbidden to sell meat, except on Sunday and Monday, the free market days, ? quhill thai obtene thair fredome.? The coopers were incorporated in 1489, binding - INTERIOR OF THE CHAPEL OF ST. MARY MAGDALENE. - 1685 an Act of Parliament confirmed all their privileges, together with those of the litsters, or dyers. About the middle of the seventeenth century, owing to the spread of the use of hats, instead of the national bonnet, among the upper classes, this society was reduced to so low a condition that its members could neither support their families or the expense of a society. The fleshers were a very old corporation, but the precise date of their charter is not very clear. In 1483 regulations concerning the fleshers dealing in fish in Lent, &c, were issued by the magistrates, whom they petitioned in 1488 for a seal of cause, which petition was taken into consideration by the Council, who ratified and confirmed the whole of 83 themselves to uphold the altar of St. John in St. Giles?s Church. The walkers obtained their seal of cause in August, 1500. They had an altar in the same church dedicated to SS. Mark, Philip, and Jacob, to which the following among other fees were paid :- Each master, on taking an apprentice paid ten shillings Scots ; and on any master taking into his service, either the apprentice or journeyman of any other master, he paid twenty shillings Scots ; if any craftsman was found working with cards in the country, he was to forfeit the sum of fifteen shillings Scots, to be equally divided between the work of Si Giles?s, their altar, and the informer. It is also
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