The History of Leith

October 19, 2011

The Leith guilds

The Leith guilds had the monopoly of trade within the town, and all who were not members were unfree men in the eyes of the Leithers, just as they themselves were unfree in the eyes of Edinburgh. At an earlier date, in 1630, the Tailors’ Guild complained to the Session and Bailies against the uncouth (stranger) tailors in the town, and the Session and Bailies thought the complaint a very just and reasonable one, and determined to prohibit the ” uncouth” tailors from plying the needle any longer within the bounds of the town. The Kirk Session of the parish church, from the Reformation down to 1833, seem to have exercised many of the powers now vested in the Town Council, and the two Edinburgh bailies who were deputed by the city to rule Leith were in virtue of their office always members of the Kirk Session.
After the Reformation the trade guilds, under the name of trade incorporations, became more important bodies than before in Leith, and wielded a large influence both in Church and local affairs.

source-The Story of Leith

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