The History of Leith

September 21, 2007

Crafts and trades

Craft guilds or incorporations were formed in the Middle Ages and were an important part of burgh life then and in later centuries. Each craft jealously guarded its own monopolies and standards of workmanship, acquired property to raise funds, provided for its own poor, shared the patronage of an altar to its patron saint in pre-Reformation times and a seat in the parish church after the Reformation. Where records survive they are likely to include lists of members, accounts and minutes dealing with regulations, donations to poor members, apprenticeships and elections of officeholders and actions against outsiders trying to trade in the burgh. The Scottish Association of Family History Societies has published a useful selective bibliography of ‘Scottish Trades and Professions’, compiled by D R Torrance (1991). for more click here

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