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Merchant and Craft Guilds
A History of the Aberdeen Incorporated Trades
Part III. Chapter XII - The Weaver Trade


WHEN the first grant of trading privileges was made to Aberdeen the weavers and fullers (litsters or dyers) seem to have looked upon themselves as distinctive classes of burgesses, entitled to rank with the wealthier class of merchant burgesses, and certainly superior to the ordinary plebeian craftsmen. In the charter granted to the town by Alexander in 1222, we find that the weavers and fullers or waulkers are specially mentioned as being excluded from the merchant guild—a reservation which also occurs in the charters granted about the same period to Perth and Stirling—and notwithstanding several attempts to break through it, this exclusion was maintained, and the weavers and litsters had to take their place among the rest of the craftsmen.

In 1444 Robert of Petit and William Hunter were sworn in as deacons to the "wobster" craft in Aberdeen—a clear indication that little attention was being paid to the Act of Parliament passed in 1427 putting down deacons, and declaring the meetings of the craftsmen illegal conspiracies.

Although coupled together in Alexander's charter, the weavers and litsters [The weavers and dyers do not seem to have always dwelt in peace and concord, as the following extract would show :- 17th December, 1582.—The said day the provost, baillies, and consall, modifeit the amendis of William Ronaldsone, walker, quha was convict ohefoir for the selandering and mispersoning of David Castell, wobster, to compeer on Friday next the xxi. day of this instant, within the tolbuyht of the said burght, and thair, in face of court and oppin audience, sitting upoun his knees, ask the provost, baillies, and pairtie offendit forgiveness, confessing his falt and offence, revoking the words spoken be him as falss and untriew, promisenand never to do the lyik in tyme coming under the pane of banischement of the toune. —Council Register, vol. xxxi., p. 36.] formed separate societies. The weavers do not seem to have considered it necessary to apply to the Council for a formal Seal of Cause; they were content apparently, with the recognition by the Town Council of their power under Act of Parliament to elect a deacon, which


WEAVERS [15th May, 1682].—Azure, three leopard's heads erased argent, each having in mouth a weaver's shuttle or; in the middle chief a tower of Aberdeen. Motto: Spero in Deo et Ipea facit.

was done from 1444. In 1530 [Council Register, col. xv., p. 341.] they entered into an agreement declaring that they would act independently of the Town Council; but the Council would not tolerate this independence, and several offending "wobsters" were tried before the Sheriff and fined for their "strubulence." A few years previously the litsters attempted to do something of the same kind, by declining to join in the Corpus Christi procession, but the Town Council interposed their authority and compelled them to take their place among the rest of the craftsmen.

The weavers made no further effort to separate themselves from the rest of the craftsmen, and on the "sett of the burgh" being established, under which six deacons were annually chosen to vote at the election of Provost and office-bearers, the Weavers formed one of the six crafts on whom that privilege was conferred.

Like the bakers and shoemakers, the weavers were sharply looked after by the Town Council in regard to the price of their work, and at intervals a standard was fixed after the following fashion

14th October, 1584.—The quhilk day the provost, baillies, and counsale upoun the greveous complaint gevin in upoun the wobsteris for the gryt and exhorbutant pryces taken be thame for the weyving of all soirtis of claytht extorsenand thairby the inhabitants of this burght, and taking for thair labouris at thair awin pleassour and appetit, express agains guid ordeur, law, and consounce, as the said complaint mair fullelie proportit, quhilk being considerit be thame and haveing consideratioun quhow that the eln of ilk sort of claytht mycht be wrocht be the saidis wobsteris haveing ressonabill proffeit and ganes of the pryces following :—That is to say, the eln of tartan of all sortis, vid.; the elu of carsayis, iiid.; the eln of quhyt plaiding, iiid.; the eln of hewit plaidis of all soirtis, avid.; the eln of lynning, vid.; the eln of hardene, iiid.; the eln of braid dornick, is.; the eln of narrow dornik, xiid.; and the wobster refusand to observe this statute, and being convick for contraveining thairof in ony poynt to be depryvit of his fredomn; as alswa it was statute and ordanit that na wobster within this burght mak ony clathyt, lynning, or wolne in any tome cuming, under the pane of deprivation of him of his fredoume being callit and convict thaerfore.—Council Register, vol. xxxi., p. 505.

The weavers were continually being annoyed by Old Aberdeen weavers encroaching on their privileges, and various measures were taken to punish the offenders. In 1686 the Weaver Trade of Old Aberdeen compelled one of their number named George Porter, "to restore and give back again ane warped wob quhilk he received from ane certaine person in Aberdene to be wrocht, and that in respect the diacon of the Weaver Traid, with assent of the said traid, did complain to the deacon upon the said George Porter for taking in and resetting the foresaid wob for warping as said is, and this to the effect that peace and unitie in all tyme cuining as has been done in tymes bygane." We have, in connection with the Weaver craft, an instance of the Town Council interposing its authority for the purpose of allowing a new branch of industry to be introduced into the town. In 1597,- [A Council Register, vol. xxxvii., p. 106.] they granted to a Fleming, named Michael Wandail, a special permission to manufacture grograms, worsets, and stamings, free from any molestation from the Weaver craft, on condition that he trained an apprentice in the knowledge of his business.

In 1772, encroachments by unfreemen having become more frequent, a petition was presented to the Sheriff by the weavers, along with the hammermen, tailors, and shoemakers, against what they designated the "encroachments of the Old Aberdeen sub-wobs." The Sheriff-Substitute found that "the free craftsmen of the burgh of Aberdeen have the sole liberty and privilege of working craftsmen's wark for the burghers and inhabitants of the said burgh, who bear scot, lot, watch and ward within the same, and that men living in the suburbs or town of Old Aberdeen, Spithill, or Collidge Bounds, and pairtts adjacent thereto can not work for burghers and inhabitants of the said burgh; and ordains the defenders to desist from working any craftsmen's wark and from carrying out or bringing in either be themselves, wives, bairns, servants, or others in their name, any wark belonging to burghers and inhabitants of the said burgh of Aberdeen, under the penalty of ten pounds Scots money toties quoties." In 1740 an example had to be made of a "bletcher" for encroaching on the privileges of the Trade, and he "bound and enacted himself that he sail never take in any wark from any other inhabitants of the town or freedom of Aberdeen, to make the same either by himselif or his servants, under the penalty of one hundred merks Scots."

The oldest minute book of the Weaver Trade is a remarkably interesting volume, and contains a greater variety of statutes and ordinances than some of the others. The preface runs:—"Acts, statutes, and ordinances to be observed and keepit among the brethren of the Weaver Craft of the burgh of Aberdeen in all tyme cuming, sett dour in the year of God, 1591, restivet 1672, and appointed to be keepit."

ANENT KEEPING THE SABBATH.

Item, it is statute and ordained that ilk maister with his family repair discreetly to the church upon the Lord's Day before and afternoon, and continuing till God's worship be ended, and if it sall happen any maister of family be found absent, and cannot give ane lauful excuse for his being absent, then and in that case, he is to pay to the craft threttie shillings and four pennies. In lyke manner each servant that sail transgress the lyke manner they are to pay the lyke sum to the craft, and ane visitour to be appointed for giving true information there-anent, and thereupon made act.

ANENT BEHAVIOUR ON THE SABBATH.

Item, it is statute and ordained that no freeman be fand walking abroad betwixt sermons or aifter sermons, but sail keep within doors decentlie and orderlie, he and his whole family, exercising or meditating upon that they have been hearing (considering it is the Lord's Day): and if any sail contravene the said Act, master or servant, sall be looked upon as disorderlie, and sall pay to the boxmaster six shillings aucht pennies, and this Act to be observed in all tyme cuming.

ANENT TAKING THE LORD'S NAME IN VAIN.

Item, it is statute and strictlie appointed that none of the craft in any fellowship or company, and especially in ane fenced court, sail tak the name of the Lord in vain: and if it sall happen ony to do, then and in that case, he sall pay to the present boxmaster of the same craft six shillings aucht pennies, and this act to be good.

ANENT BAD WORK.

Item, it is statute and ordained for preventing of prejudice and slander that no freeman of the foresaid craft sail sell nor way put any work whatsoever is made within his own house till first he call for the chosen sworn visitours and show the same unto them; and if there be any fault found be them with the said work, then and in that case, they are to mak report to the present deacon and maisters that ane speedy course may be taken for preventing of any and such scandals, and if there sail be ane real fault found in the said work, it is to be confiscat by the deacon and his maisters for the use of the craft, and this act to be observed in all tyme curving.

ANENT THE PRICE OF WORK.

Item, it is strictlie statute and ordained for preventing of slander that ilk weaver within the traid be watchful and accurat in receiving of his work, and not to entrust the same to no servant whatsomever, and if scandals sall arise, then and in that case, he is to have allowed him of ilk work proportionally to witt for every small plaid four ounces, as, also for ilk stone of serg yairn half ane pund, and for ilk stone weight of serge or plaiding ilk stone ane pund, and of a wheeling plaid six ounces, and of each quivering four ounces, or if the quivering be grosser six ounces, and proportionally ilk work equilland ; and this act to be observed in all tyme curving.

ANENT WORKING ON THE LORD'S DAY.

Item, it is statute and ordained that no weaver, himself, wife, nor servant, nor none in his name sall be found searching and sic work upon the Lord's Day, or any other day, then and in that case, if any sail be found guilty sail pay twentie shillings scots for the first fault, to pay fourty shillings scots, and that to come in for the use of the craft, and this to be observed in all tyme curving.

ANENT INSUFFICIENT WORK.

Item, it is statute and ordained that if any person sail complean to the deacon for insufficient work, both parties sail be convened before the deacon, his maisters, and the work to be sighted by them, and if the said work sail be insufficiently done ; then, and in that case, the person sail be counted upon the offender's expenses, as also the payment of the work to come in for the use of the craft for the first fault, the second fault double, thirdly to be looked upon as ane infamous neighbour, to be abolished out among the incorporation of the craft, and this to be observed in all tyme cuming.

ANENT DELAYING WORK.

Item, it is statute and ordained that, if work sail happen to be long wrocht, the owner giving ane complaint to the deacon, thereupon the deacon sail convene his present maisters, together with the pairties, and they sail decreet a set time to work the work, then and in that case, if he sail contravene the same, he sail pay to the craft twenty shillings Scots for the first fault, and the next fault forty shillings Scots, and this to be observed in all tyme curving.

ANENT UNDERTAKING WORK.

Item, it is statute and ordained that no weaver sail tak upon them to lay no work by the loom not having all necessars belonging therunto, and giving cause to the owner to complain to the deacon, he sall pay to the present boxmaster twenty shillings for the use of the craft for the first fault, and to be doubled ; and thereupon made act.

ANENT THE AVOIDANCE OF SLANDER.

Item, it is further statute and ordained for avoiding of slander, that no neighbour sail tak upon them to cut out either webb or plaids to gif satisfaction to the party without the deacon's consent for the suppressing of slander, then, and in that case, if any slander sall arise, they sall pay to the present boxmaster forty shillings Scots, for the use of the craft, and this to be observed in all tyme cuming.

ANENT USING NICKNAMES.

Item, it is statute and ordained that whatsomever weaver of the craft sail use bywords or nickname his neighbouris either out of hatred, malice, or envy, he being lawfully called and accused before the deacons and maisters, and it made out against him, sail pay for the first fault twenty shillings Scots, and his fine to be double, ay and until the offender amend the fault, and this to be observed in all tyme cuming.

ANENT GIVING THE LIE.

Item, it is statute and ordained that whatsomever freeman of the craft sail speak rudely or give the lie or yet speak without leave askit or given in presence of the deacon in an fencit court, or in ane private meeting, he sail pay to the present boxmaster for the use of the craft forty shillings Scots toties quoties, and this to be observed in all tyme cuming.

ANENT "SUBWOBS."

Item, it is strictly statute and ordained that no freemen of the craft sail tak upon him or plead for any unfreeman or subwob either before the court, deacon, convener court, or before the magistrates; and furthermore that no freeman of the traid sail tak in hand negatively or positively to plead or speak one for another, then and in that case, if any person or persons sail be found to contravene the foresaid presents to be deprived of any privilege or benefit that they may have of the traid hous until he supplicat the traid, and also to pay three pounds toties quoties for ilk tyme this act is contravened for the use of the poor.

ANENT THE PROTECTION OF WIDOWS.

Item, it is statute and ordained with consent of the whole traid in one .voice that no freeman within the same sall accept or tak his neighbour's relict, customs until first he enquire at the customar with whom she did work obefore, and she having consented to enquire at her former traidsman concerning her former prices and goodness of work and payment, by so doing it may be ane means to prevent prejudice and to keep up the prices, then and in that case, who sall be found guilty to transgress this present act sail pay into the present boxmaster twenty shillings Scots for the use of the poore, and this to be observed in all tyme cuming.

ANENT DEALING WITH UNFREEMEN.

Item, it is statute and ordained that no neighbour whatsomever of the craft sail tak upon hand directly or indirectly to lend to any extranean or sub-wob graith, reed, or any other material belonging to the weaver trade, then and in that case, if any sail contravene this present act he sail be looked upon as ane unruly member, and sail pay in to the present box-master twentie shillings scots for the use of the poore, and to be observed in all tyme cuming.

ANENT FEEING APPRENTICES.

Item, it is statute and ordained that no servant sail be feed out of the deacon's presence that sail stand as effect unless he be presented before the deacon and his old master to be admonished, and that there be no kynd of private promising nor conditioning, but all to be ratified before the deacon; and if any sall be found to contravene, the same sail pay in to the present boxmaster thirteen shillings four pennies as also that no neighbour of the said traid sail be found to let or lend loomes, but allenarly the sum of sixteen shillings ilk year and none exceed the foresaid sum, then and in that case if any shall be found to contravene, the same sail pay into the present boxmaster the sum of five pounds scots for the use of the poor, and this to be observed in all tyme cuming.

ANENT JOURNEYMEN.

Item, it is statute and ordained that every extranean that comes into the town to fee with any of the freemen sail pay for his entry thirty shillings scots to the present boxmaster, and that within twenty-four hours after his entry to his maister, and that his said maister shall not conceal the same as he sall be answerable and conform to his oath of entry.

ANENT THE SIZE OF PLAIDS, ETC.

Item, it is statute and ordained with the consent of the haill craft for the punishment of vice and the avoiding of slander that no freemen of the traid taks work on hand to mix or putt two sundrie folks yairns in one Webb plaids, lining stuff or any other work whatsomever ; in Tyke manner, the whole traid hath condesended and agreed upon (and dooth discern) that every fingering plaid sail be eleven ells and ane half of length, three quarters of breadth, and every fuilling plaid eleven ells at the least, and every quivering to be six quarters broad and two ells of length at the least, and this act to be observed, providing always the parties do not agree, and whosoever sail be found to contravene this present act sail pay for his first fault fourty shillings and each fault thereafter to be double, and lie to be committed always for an unfaithful member hereafter.

ANENT NIGHT WALKING AND BREAKING SERVICE.

Item, it is statute and ordained that whatsomever journeyman having lawfully feid before the deacon sail happen to break out of his maister's service without leave askit and grantit, or sail be found out of his bous aifter ten o'clock at night sail pay for his brak of service to his maister (for the day) three four (l) pennies, and for night thirteen shillings and four pennies to be payt to the present boxmaster for the use of the poor.

ANENT APPEALING TO THE SUPERIOR COURTS.

Item, it is statute and ordained that whatsomever freeman of the fore-said traid sail mak his redress to any superior judge in meeting not belonging to our own traid, he sail be holden as perjured, and conform to his oath at his entry; and sail pay for his transgression the sum of fourty shillings Scots to the present boxmaster for the use of the poore, and this to be observed in all time cuniing.

ANENT PRECEDENCE IN THE KIRK.

Item, it is statute and ordained, the whole traid being convenit for the maist pairt (for the tyme), having taken to their serious consideration the great abuse they have in their church loft be young freemen who presume to place themselves before some old deacons and present maisters, against all equity and sense and reason, tharefore the said haill craft in ane voice has statute and ordained in all tyme to cum, in presence of Doctor William Guild, foundator of the whole traids of this burgh, that the present deacon sail have his own place in the first roome, and next him the old and late deacons in the next roome, and thereafter the present maisters of the said traid carrying office, and last of all everie honest man of the said traid sail have his place conform to his admission, and in case any other young man of the said traid who has not carried office sail contravene this present act, and presume to place themselves in any of the foresaid roomes until the second bell, both forenoon and afternoon, being desired by the present deacon or maisters to remove, before the last bell, to give place to the said deacon and maisters, sail pay twenty shillings Scots to the common box of the said traid toties quoties for ilk brak.

ANENT BUYING SPANZIE.
[The skin of the spanzie was used for making reeds.]

Item, it is statute and ordained be the deacon, maisters, and hail members of the Weaver Traid that no freeman presume in any tyme hereafter to buy any spanzie privately or publicly for their own comoditie from merchant or stranger, but they salt acquant the deacon of the calling therewith; and that it is only expedient that the deacon and maisters of the calling to buy the said spanzie for the use of the foresaid traid, and none but they only ; and whatsoever person or persons sail be found to transgress the said act sail be halden as perjured, and a braker of his oath at his entry; and, further, sail be convicit in ane unlaw of ten pounds Scots to the present boxmaster for the use of the poor of the said traid, and never to be looked upon as ane lawful member, and never to carry the office of ane deacon or maister in tyme to cum, it being lawfully provided that ilk reedmaker is to have as much spanzie as serves to mak reeds for the use of the calling, and no more, and ordains this act to stand for a memorial in all tyme cuming.

ANENT WATCHING UNFREEMEN.

Item, it is statute and ordained with ane unanimous consent of the said whole traid that everie freeman thereof sail watch and wait unfree-men and to catch them with unfree work, ilk ane tyme and place about, according to the order of their names as set down in the book, and any that disobeys and contravens herein sail pay six shillings Scots, to fee and hire ane other to supply their place in the business toties quoties.

ANENT REFUSING TO ATTEND MEETINGS.

Item, it is statute and ordained that everie neighbour of craft who is lawfully warned and charged by the deacon's officer to court or convention, then and in that case if the foresaid person sail not give obedience so that the deacon be constrained for to send and poynd them, or if he or any other sail deforce the said officer from taking of ane sufficient poynd he sail be holden as disobedient and salt pay to the use of the craft twenty shillings Scots, and this act to continue firm and sure always.

ANENT WORKING GEAR.

Item, it is statute and ordained that everie member freemen of the craft sail be sufficiently provided of working gears so that they may be able to serve the king's lieges according to their aith at their entry, and that it sail be leisim to the deacon and his maisters to mak search once in ilk year and to punish accordingly at their pleasure.

Item, it is statute and ordained that all freemen of the said traid sail be sufficiently provided of weights, back, and broad, and elwand and staks be of sufficient weight and length, and to be sighted yearly by the deacon; as also that any neighbour of the traid who sail occupie any of his neighbours work loomes more non ante without leave asked or given, sail pey in to the present boxmaster twenty shillings Scots money, and this to be observed in all tyme cumiug.

ANENT MEANS TO CARRY ON BUSINESS.

Item, it is statute and ordained with uniform consent and assent that neither extraneans nor prentisses sail presume or be accepted to be freman, until he be in ability with forty pounds beyond that whilk sail mak him freeman, together with an stand of sufficient armour wherein to serve the King's Majesty ; as also sufficient work loomes for prosecuting of his handywork, and that he sail refer himself to the will of the Traid in all poynts as effeirs, and this act to be strictly observed in all tyme cuming.

ANENT APPRENTICES' FEES.

Item, it is statute and ordained that whatsomever freeman of the traid sail receive twa prentices sail pay of entries for the first thirteen shillings four pennies, and for the second forty shillings, and upwards if he have any more prentisses ; and this to be observed in all tyme cuming.

ANENT THE TRADES PROPERTY.

It is statute and ordained that the whole trades common necessaries such as ane stand of arms, complete with a twa handed sword, nichpiece, and Acts of Parliament,-box, writs, bonds, pencills, and staves with all other kynd of necessaries belonging to the said incorporation sail be weill keepit and upholden upon the traids own charges, and likewyse sail be delivered to every new deacon at the tyme of their election, and if any deacon sail pretend any expenses for the keeping of any of those materials, they salt be looked upon as a person doing prejudice to the common good ; and if any prejudice salt befall them, to mak them up upon his own expenses, and to pay into the present boxmaster forty shillings for the use of the poor.

ANENT THE BOUNTY TO SERVANTS.

Item, it is statute and ordained that no freeman salt tak upon hand to give to any fiall servant a half of their bounties, but that the fiall sail leave that to his maisters discretion and modification, and whatsomever maister he be that sail contravene this present act sail be holden as contumacious and contravener of good ordour, and sail pay into the present boxmaster forty shillings scots to the use of the poore.

ANENT PAYMENT OF SERVANTS.

Item, it is statute and ordained that no servant sail tak upon hand to go to any of his maisters customers to receive or uptak any money without leave askit of his maister, and in case of necessity the said servant man have nothing to work the work upon, then, and in that case he sail require of his maister some payment to work the same work, and if his maister sail require to give him any, he salt mak his redress to the deacon, and after the deacon having heard and considered with his maister the foresaid premises to determine according to reason, but if the foresaid sail do in the contrair, then he is to pay to the present boxmaster twenty shillings scots for the use of the poore.

ANENT ENTRY MONEY.

Item, it is statute and ordained unanimously with consent of the haill traid that in all tyme cuming every prentiss of the calling who has duly served his maister, being ane freeman, and being an indentur, pay betwixt them, when he is to be received freeman of the traid and supplicat for that effect, he sail pay of composition to the traid of hand money upon the Trinity table the sum of fifty merks annual scots money, and to be free of any banquet, dinner, or anything of that nature to be craven be the traid from him ; and also, that everie extranear who sail enter freeman of the traid in all tyme hereafter sall pay to the traid of composition and band money as said is the sum of fore score merks usual scots money, and sicklyke to be free of banquet, dinner, or anything of the lyke nature to be craven of him be the traid, the said prentiss paving ane rex dollar with ane bill and fourty shillings scots money of say and the extrauear the double thereof.

ANENT FINDING BAIL OR CAUTION.

18th February, 1693.—The said day it is statute and ordained by voice of court that no freeman of the said incorporation sail meddle to become cautioner for any freeman's prentiss to the Magistrates of Aberdeen anent his liberation out of the tolbooth of Aberdeen unacquanting the deacon and maisters of the said calling under the failzie of forty pounds scots, to the effect none might prejudice their neighbours of the said traid in tyme cuming.

ANENT "OUTRIGGING" SOLDIERS.

3rd March, 1694.—The said day it is statute and ordained that the journeymen proportionally amongst them refund to the traid such expenses as the traid hath been at for outrigging ane soldier for serving of his Majesties in this present joyntur, and that no freeman give their mark until they pay in their proportions, and whatsomever freeman receives them sail pay to the journeyman he gives wark to, and thereupon required act and instrument.

ANENT VISITORS AT THE MARKET.

5th December, 1690.—The said day the haill court ordains two of the masters, by course, to wait upon the cross weekly for tryall of the insufficient work, and this to continue in all tyme cuming, the two visitours going their course with them.

ANENT INSOLENT SERVANTS.

4th September, 1705.—The said day, the traid considering that, by the indulgence of some of their members towards their servants, the saidis servants were become insolent, therefore, and for redress whereof they statute and ordain that no muster give of what shall come with any web or at werping thereof, but ane proportion pairt with the rest of his servants, and as the said shall think fit and convenient, declaring that hereafter all servants whatsomever within said trade shall have no pairt, portion, or concern with any gratuities given to the maister by customers but what allenarly the maister shall give out of goodwill and kindness, and not as ane obligation on him; and ordains the deacon and maisters for the tyme to take tryall hereanent in tyme cuming and punish the transgressors as they shall find reason.

ANENT RAISERS OF TROUBLE.

4th September, 1705.—The said day the court having taken to their serious consideration the great abuses that arises among the members of the said incorporation to the traid's ruin both as to public and privat, and for several other weighty reasons doe therefore unanimously statute, enact, and ordain that any master who shall hereafter make any abuse either in courts, meetings, or without ye samen, the then deacon shall extrude and put out among them such members and fyne and amerciat them conform to the merit of their transgression ; and that the transgressor shall not be called to the courts or meetings of the said traid, nor have any concern therein or with any member thereof ; certifying every member of the said traid if they be found corresponding with the said transgressors any manner of way untill he shall happen to be again received he shall be amerciat in the sum of fourtie shillings, toties quoties, and be holden and repute as ane fomenter cf trouble and division.

Judging from the number of acts passed in regard to insufficiency and delay in the execution of work, the weavers in olden times seem to have been somewhat independent of their customers. The following is a sample of minute which occurs very frequently, binding them to execute orders. The wife in every case is the complainer, she doubtless having the wool to prepare :-

Upon the 16th day of October, 1637, compearit Alexander Still and obliged himself to work to Alexander Findlater's wyff three pair of fingerin plaids betwixt this and the seventeenth day of September, and in the case of failzie of the said day sail pay six prices, whilk is ten pounds, of his awin consent thereto for ilk plaid thereof and thereon made act which is subscribed by my hand.

"To mak and perfect ane sufficient essay within fourty days," or to "mak ane holland wob," was the common form of essay prescribed to applicants for admission into the Weaver Trade. At one time the weavers were very numerous in the city, and their society was the most influential of all the crafts, but the sound of the hand loom has almost entirely ceased, and there are now few practical weavers alive. The rules of admission to the incorporation have in consequence been relaxed; but still an applicant must show that he is engaged in business connected with the sale and manufacture of woven goods.

The first property purchased by the Weavers was the Angell Croft, in 1695. The other properties belonging to this Trade are land at Borrowstown, Parish of Newhills ; Whitemyres, part of the fourth lot of the lands of Shetocksley ; lands of Pitmuckston; and feus at Craibstone Rig, Gordon Street, Wellcroft, Denburn, and Green.

In addition to a panel containing the arms of the Trade and the following lines and acrostic, there are also hanging in the West Committee Room adjoining the hall two shields with the arms and mantlings boldly carved and coloured :(see opposite page 292.)

As the Weavers' shuttle passeth in its place,
So help us Lord to spend our days in grace,
That so our hearts may still united be
To Jesus Christ and all Eternity.

When all the arts, crafts, callings, and vocations,
Even in the world, are censured in their stations,
Advyse & view; think weill then altogither,
With seriusnes then with your scuffs consider;
Ere our industrius works, beyond all Arts,
Respected are, most gainfull in all parts
Surely therwith are prince and people clad
Yea, birth day, baptisme, wedlock, buriall-bed
Of monarchs, princes, Kings and Emperors,
Ther glorious ensigns, all are works of ours
And that most blessed body of our Lord,
In lyfe and death was with our works decor'd.
Then, the Weavers' Art, it is renouned so,
That rich nor poor without it can not go.


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