Incorporated Companies
Companies not of the bye-trades

Sponsor

Institute of Historical Research

Publication

Author

Eneas Mackenzie

Year published

1827

Pages

698-706

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'Incorporated Companies: Companies not of the bye-trades', Historical Account of Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Including the Borough of Gateshead (1827), pp. 698-706. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=43404 Date accessed: 16 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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COMPANIES NOT OF THE FIFTEEN BYE-TRADES. (fn. 1)

GOLDSMITHS.

This ancient company was incorporated with the Plumbers, Glaziers, Pewterers, and Painters, in 1536, and separated from them in 1717. (fn. 2) In 1702, this society obtained an assay-master.

BRICKLAYERS AND PLASTERERS.

An ancient record of this society, which is still in their possession, dated "the viith day of Nouember, in the yere of ouyr Lord God A thousand four hundreth and four and ffyffty," enjoined them to meet yearly at the feast of Corpus Christi, to go together in procession as other crafts did, and play, at their own charge, two plays, viz.: "The Creation of Adam," and "The Flying of our Lady into Egype." After the plays, the wardens were to be chosen by the common assent of the fellowship; each man of the said craft to be at the procession when his hour was assigned him; that they should not take any to apprentice, nor set any to work either within the town or without, but such as be the king's liegeman, on pain of 20d. one half thereof to go to the fellowship, and the other half to Tyne Bridge; that no Englishman, not being a freeman, should work in the town, on pain of a pound of wax; that if any free brother, or his wife, should die, all the lights of the fellowship should be borne before them, according to the custom of the said fellowship.

In 1614, this fraternity had their meeting-house in a lower story of the White Friar Tower, in the same room with the Meters, and under the hall of the Masons. Another ordinary of this society, dated January 19, 1660, constituted them a fellowship, with perpetual succession, who should meet on the 24th of February, in every year, and choose two stewards, who might make orders, plead, and be impleaded, &c. in the courts of Newcastle; that they should not be molested by the company of Masons, or the Slaters; that no foreigner should work in the town, under a penalty of 6s. 8d.; that none should employ an alien born, under the like penalty; that apprentices should serve seven years, and that no second should be taken till the first had served three. January 21, 1691, an order was made by the corporation of New castle upon Tyne, that the Slaters and Tylers should not exercise the trade of Bricklaying and Plastering, otherwise than in making and mending chimney-tops above the slates, and plastering them; but that the annual acknowledgment from them to this society should cease to be paid in future.

Nevil Tower appears to have been repaired by this society for a meeting-house in 1711, and has continued to be their hall ever since. The society consists of 111 members. On enrolling the indenture of an apprentice, £20, £10, and latterly £6, was paid; but some of the members refusing to comply with this charge, 2s. 6d. being all that can be demanded by law, the company, in a hasty fit of resentment, resolved to sell their property, to prevent those apprentices who paid only the legal sum for enrolment from enjoying any benefit therefrom. Accordingly, in 1826, their property in the Bird and Bush Yard and Silver Street was sold for £1090, (fn. 3) 0,00,15,19 1788 1788 0 0

ROPE-MAKERS.

The ordinary of this society, dated April 14, 1648, citing one of more ancient date, made them a fellowship, with perpetual succession, to meet on the 6th of June every year, and choose two wardens, who, with the fellowship, should make bye-laws, sue and be sued, &c. in the courts of Newcastle; ordered that they should not be molested by the company of Coopers, Pulley-makers, and Turners; that no brother should set an alien to work; that they should take apprentices only once in four years, but put their own children to the business, at their pleasure; and further enjoined that they should not impose upon the public by excessive prices. January 30, 1695, there is an order in the books of this fraternity, that every brother should pay a fine of 6s. 8d. for every hundred weight of hemp unsound, "for rope yarn for either shipp, keel, water-gins, cole-pitts, or lead-mines." In 1697, the common council of Newcastle, granted to this society part of the room at the west end of the Correctionhouse, in the Manors, formerly the hall of the Coopers, for a meeting-house. Their present hall is Austin Tower, near the south-east corner of the new gaol; but they generally hold their meetings at a tavern. The company at present consists of about 40 members, and their average annual income amounts to £115.

SAIL-MAKERS.

The ordinary of this society, dated December 18, 1663, constituted five persons of the occupation a fellowship, with perpetual succession, and enjoined them to meet yearly on the 10th of August, and appoint two wardens, who, with the fellowship, might sue and be sued, &c. in the courts of Newcastle, and have power to make byelaws: that apprentices should serve seven years; that every brother should attend at meetings; and that none but those who were free of the town, and this fellowship, should exercise their trade. This ordinary was confirmed by the judges August 15, 1664. September 28, 1713, the corporation of Newcastle granted a lease of the meeting-house at the Close Gate, formerly that of the Carpenters, for 21 years, to this fraternity, at the rent of 2s. 6d. per annum. March 19, 1770, mention occurs in the common council books, of the tower at the south end of the town's wall, as having been used as a meeting-house by the House-Carpenters, and afterwards by this society. They now hold their meetings at a tavern, and consist of 14 members.

Upholsterers, Tin-Plate Workers, and Stationers.

The ordinary of this society, dated July 22, 1675, constituted six Upholsterers, three Tin-plate Workers, and two Stationers, a fellowship, with perpetual succession, and ordered them to meet annually on the 25th day of July, and choose four stew morial. This king granted the further privilege of digging coals, stones, mines, minerals, &c. therein, for the use and benefit of the burgesses. (fn. 4)

A colliery that was working on the Town Moor at the time of the Commonwealth, extended 100 acres under the superficies, and was valued to the town at £35 per annum. The colliery on this Moor was advertised to be let April 16, 1763. Nothing more occurs on this subject until September 29, 1825, when the corporation granted a lease of the Town Moor colliery, for the term of 31 years, to the late C. J. Brandling, Esq. on the following terms:—"Certain rent £500 to commence on the Sept. 29, 1826—for 500 tens. Tentale rent 20s. per ten. Certain rent after the first five years £600 for 600 tens. Tentale rent, as before, 20s. per ten. The surface is not to be broken or entered upon, on any pretext whatever. The lessee has a power of determining the lease at the end of the first four years of the term, and afterwards at the end of any three years, by giving twelve months notice."

The Nun Moor lies on the west of the Town Moor, extending from where the Thorn Bush stood, near Barras Bridge, to the grounds at Kenton. It belonged to the Nuns of St. Bartholomew, and, after the dissolution, was sold by John Branxholme, to Robert Brandling, of Newcastle, merchant, for £20. About the year 1650, it was purchased of Mr. Charles Brandling, of Gateshead, by the corporation of Newcastle, who annexed it to the Town Moor. (fn. 5) By an inquisition taken 37 Henry VIII. Nun Moor is certified to be within the county of Northumberland.

The Castle Leazes, anciently called the Castle Field, according to a tradition menards—two Upholsterers, and one of each of the other branches, who, with the society, shall have power to make bye-laws, impose fines, &c.; that apprentices should serve seven years, and no second be taken till the first had served three; that they should not interfere with each other's callings; and that no person not free of the town and this society, should exercise their trade in Newcastle. This society holds its meetings in a room in the Guildhall, and consists of 15 members. (fn. 6)

Meters.

The ordinary of this society, dated August 3, 1611, enjoined them to meet on the 20th day of September in every year, and choose four wardens, who were to pass accounts, and make an equal division of their money on the day following. There was a card or table of rates and duties of the same date. October 18, 1670, upon the alteration of measures, another ordinary was granted to this society. June 30, 1726, a new card or table of rates and duties was appointed by act of common council.

The Free Meters claimed and exercised the exclusive privilege of measuring all corn imported and exported, for which they made rather extravagant charges, particularly to non-freemen and foreigners. Their charges were 5d. a last for freemen, 10d. for non-freemen, and 1s. 10½d. for aliens. These demands were resisted a few years ago; and the company at last gave up the point, at the assizes in 1821, without a struggle, on Mr. Justice Bayley giving an intimation, "That the action could never be supported when the charges were unreasonable;" the learned judge declaring that "every custom must be reasonable."

Porters.

The oldest ordinary of this society is dated 1528. September 25, 1648, the common council of Newcastle made an order to revoke the ordinary of this fraternity for refusing to go down and lend their assistance, on the revolt of Tynemouth Castle. September 27, 1667, a second ordinary was granted to this fraternity, which constituted them a body politic, 16 in number (vacancies in which by death or removal were to be filled up by the mayor of Newcastle), and ordered them to meet on Michaelmas day, and choose two stewards, with power to make bye-laws, sue, &c. in the courts of Newcastle; accompanied with a table of wages. January 1, 1670, an other ordinary was granted to this society. December 14, 1704, a new table of wages was appointed them by the common council. (fn. 7)

Scriveners.

The ordinary of this society, dated September 13, 1675, appointed eight Scriveners a fellowship, with perpetual succession. "James Turpin, Scribe," occurs in 1586. In these times, the business of a Scrivener consisted principally in making leases, writings, and assignments, and procuring money on security. This society must soon become extinct, as it consists of only two members, Richard Lacy and Richard Rogerson; while every attempt to increase the fellowship has been defeated.

Hoastmen.

This society appears to have existed as a guild or fraternity in Newcastle upon Tyne from time immemorial; (fn. 8) and by a clause in the Great Charter granted by Queen Elizabeth to that town, they were incorporated as a free and distinct fraternity. Forty-eight persons are named therein for the better loading and disposing of pit-coals and stones upon the Tyne, and for their own better support as a society, with the title of Governor, Stewards, and Brethren of the Fraternity of Hoastmen in the Town of Newcastle upon Tyne—a common seal is granted them. The governor and stewards are to be annually elected on the 4th of January. Power is given them to load and unload any where on the Tyne between Newcastle and Sparhawk, yet as near to Newcastle as they can. In return for these privileges, the Hoastmen granted to her majesty and her heirs for ever, one shilling for every chaldron of coals shipped in the port of Tyne for home consumption. (fn. 9)

In 1602, there were 28 acting Fitters or Hoastmen; (fn. 10) but in the next year, in consequence of a complaint made by the Twelve Mysteries, a number of persons belonging to these fraternities were, by an order of council, admitted Free Hosts. On May 6, 1618, an information was made in the Star Chamber against several Hoastmen and Skippers of Newcastle upon Tyne, for adulterating coals. Judgment was given on this occasion against R. Bewic, J. Cole, R. Hodgson, W. Jennison, T. Hall, and H. Maddison, to be committed to the Fleet, and pay a fine of £20 each, to his majesty's use: the decree to be read in the open market at Newcastle upon Tyne, two several market-days.

During the reign of Charles I. great abuses and extortions crept into the coaltrade, chiefly under royal authority. The civil war also injured this trade, and inflicted great calamities upon the city of London. The Hoastmen paid 3d. per chaldron towards the support of the royal cause; and when the king was a prisoner in Newcastle, they defrayed one-half of the expense of the coals used by his majesty and his retinue. (fn. 11)

The Hoastmen, on June 21, 1659, were called upon, by order of the committee for preventing abuses in monopolies, to answer the complaints exhibited against them by Ralph Gardiner, Esq. (fn. 12) In 1674, the Hoastmen endeavoured to procure an act of parliament, to regulate the great abuses and exactions upon the collieries for their way-leaves and staith-rooms. A design of renewing the Hoastmen's charter was opposed by the Twelve Mysteries of Newcastle, and nothing was effected.

In 1682, the Hoastmen of Newcastle made an order, that no one in future who was free of any of the Mysteries of that town, otherwise than by patrimony or servitude, should be admitted to the freedom of their society, unless by particular favour. The Hoastmen, in 1690, made an order, that the custom of gift coals at London should be wholly laid aside. In 1697, the mayor of Newcastle granted a warrant to four persons to seize on coals, grind-stones, and rub-stones, sold by foreigners, i. e. those not free of the town and Hoastmen's Company.

February 4, 1706, a fruitless attempt was made to rid the Hoastmen of Newcastle of the duty of 12d. per chaldron, which had been granted by that society to Queen Elizabeth, and her successors, kings and queens of England, for ever. November 20, 1749, this fraternity made an order to repeal a former one, dated July 2, 1742, resolving thenceforth to admit any person free of the Mysteries according to the charter of James I. By another order on the same subject, dated May 22, 1751, it was enacted that each Mystery man, coming to be admitted a Free Hoastman, should bring a certificate under the hands of the clerk or stewards of such Mystery. (fn. 13)

This respectable fraternity consists of 29 members. They hold their meetings in the Mayor's Chamber. In 1824, it was calculated that 839 persons had been admitted to the freedom of the company. (fn. 14)

Footnotes

1 Diamonds are first mentioned in the 16th century, when they were carried about as a toy for writing on glass. The old glaziers used, instead, emery, sharp-pointed steel, and a red-hot iron, by which they directed the rents. By an order dated 1598, none of this fellowship was permitted to "worke or sell his own glasse under seven-pence one foot;" and another, in 1615, says, "No brother to work any Normandye glasse under eight-pence the foot."
2 The Glovers are noticed with the company of Skinners.
3 The following is an important case:—" Suppose a freeman of Newcastle go to work by the piece or by the week, as a journeyman with, and in the shop of a non-freeman in Newcastle.—If that journeyman bind an apprentice to himself, and he work with his master either by the piece or by the week as above stated, the master always paying his apprentice's wages, would such servitude gain such apprentice his freedom of Newcastle?"
"I think the apprentice would be entitled to his freedom under such a service as is here described, unless a service of this sort is contrary to some regulation or bye-law of the company to which the master of the apprentice belongs. Rt. Hopper Williamson.—Newcastle, 10th January, 1824."
The company, being six in number, still hesitating to enrol the indenture, Andrew Morrison, the master, asked counsel's opinion on the proper mode of applying to the court of King's Bench for a mandamus against the company, and received the following answer:—"The indenture having been tendered for enrolment according to the usage of the company in like cases, and enrolment having been refused, a mandamus may be immediately moved for in the court of King's Bench, on proper affidavits of the binding of the apprentice, and the subsequent application to the company for enrolment of the indenture, and their refusal to comply with such application. No notice is necessary to be given to, or served upon, any of the members of the company, previous to moving the court for a mandamus to compel them to enrol this indenture; but if there is any reason to expect that the application for enrolment will be Complied with at the meeting of the company in August, it seems worth while to postpone having recourse to adverse measures till after that period. Rt. H. Williamson.—Newcastle, 24th May, 1824."
John Clayton to Mr. Dawson, dated 3d December, 1824:—"Dear sir, The Goldsmith's Company have, under my advice, determined to inrol the indenture of Christian Bruce Reed, at their next quarterly meeting: any further proceedings are therefore unnecessary."
In 1249, the king commanded the bailiffs and good men of Newcastle upon Tyne, to choose in full court by the oath of four and twenty burgesses, four of the most prudent and trusty of their town for the office of moneyers there, and other four like persons for the keeping of the king's mints in that town; also two fit and prudent goldsmiths to be assayers of the money to be made there, and one fit and trusty clerk for the keeping of the exchange, and send them to the treasurer and barons of the exchequer, to do there what by ancient custom and assize was to be done in that case. By an act of parliament, 2 Henry VI. c. 14, it was ordered how silver should be touched and marked in Bristol, Chester, Exeter, Newcastle upon Tyne, &c.
Matthew Prior was sworn assayer at Newcastle in 1759; and when an attempt was made to take the office from the town, he gave evidence before the House of Commons on the subject. Being asked if he knew whether his scales were good ones, he professed his conviction that they were remarkably true. "What would cast them?" asked a member. The reply to this question was full of the shrewdness and argumentative illustration for which the man was remarkable: "Why, sir, they would be cast by one of the hairs from the back of my hand!" Another anecdote of this gentleman is told in the Newcastle Magazine for 1821:— "In one of his jovial moments, he observed that he durst do what a certain alderman in the town durst not do for his life. This came to the alderman's ears, and he asked Matthew what was the meaning of his observation. The assay master recollected that the alderman was a person of considerable wealth, and one, as many of such men are, from whom ideas of rank and property were inseparable. 'Sir,' said he, 'I dare do what you dare not do for your life.'The repetition of the language was still more irritating to the alderman, and he exclaimed, in a passion, 'Well, sir, and what is it you dare do?' 'Why, sir,' replied Matthew, 'I dare spend the last sixpence I have in the world!'"
4 On February 29, 1636, this company consisted of 11 members.—October 2, 1637, Ordered "by the consent of the company of Waulers and Bricklayers, that every brother of the said fellowship shall pay sixe pence each weeke towards the maintaineing of a suite against forreners."—March 17, 1645, "It is ordered and agreed uppon, with the consent of the most pte of the company of Wallers and Bricklayers, that Thomas Grey shall be a ffree brother amongst us and ffree of the saide company. In consideration whereof we have received of him xxs. and he ingaiges himselfe to pay fforty shillings more; twenty shillings thereof on Martinmas Day next, and the other twentie shillings the 17th March, 1646: besides he is to make a breekfast ffor the said company, and give every man a pare of gloves, according to the custome of the said company."— "1652, Item ye day of bargaining wth. ye Metters about ye Tower, spent 1s."—February 27, 1654, an order for fining Richard Garbut for working with William Jameson, a refractory brother, is signed by seven members, all of whom affixed "his mark."—"Att a side meeting, the 28th Nov. 1655, John Watson is fined for deniing to meete with ye company, being lawfull warned, 6d. Henry Hedley is likewise fined for calling William Johnson, one of the stewards, slavering hash, and deniing to meete, 3s. 4d.—On February 24, 1659, Thomas Coates and John Wann were appointed Searchers, whose duty consisted in examining buildings and reporting to the company such as were insufficient.—St Luke's day, 1659, Robert Robson and Richard Garbut fined each 3s. 4d. "for working insufficient worke."—"1673, Item paid to the Companie of Maisous for repaireing the Tower and ingageing to keepe the same waterthight for seaven years according to the Magestrates order 44s."—"Augt. 1, 1681, A complaint made by the searchers: A place in the fforth viz ye wall that is insufficient. The fforth att Sandgate Insufficient worke. The wall in the Dean att the foot of the painter hoofe Insufficient worke."—"Att a meeting, 3d October, 1687, Thomas Robson, for siteing on with his hate when their ordinary was reed, fined 6d. Peter Edwards, for specking in att ye meeting house door after he was putt out by order of the company, fined 6d."—"Att a meeting May 24, 1708, the company complains of Jno Wann for saying the worke in the ffryer Chare was like a cow with calfe."—October 3, 1720, "Robt. Longstaffe complaines of Jno. Robson for calling him a rogue and a thief, and for sayeing he stole a yard of ground from the church yard."—In 1721, the company agreed to rent Henry Pearson's close, near the Forth, for a brick-garth; and, in 1723, they treated with Mr. Swinburn for ground for building a lime-kiln.—July 29, 1812, Thomas Hewson complains against Joseph Galloway for calling him Black Gob.— The books of this company abound with fines imposed on refractory brothers, with prosecutions against fo reigners, and complaints for "unbrotberly words."
5 The following orders occur in the books of this fraternity:—April 3, 1766, no Upholsterer to employ a Taylor in his business, on pain of £5. May 14, 1716, that all suits for or against any branch of the company, should be borne by the whole, on pain of £10, to be paid by any one refusing. July 25, 1723, that no brother should employ the journeyman of another without his consent; penalty 20s. July 27, 1730, that every brother, upon his marriage, shall give to each other brother of the company, and to the clerk, a pair of gloves.
6 "I suspect that the Free Porters' office was a place of more consequence formerly, both as to respectability and profit, than it is at present; and that they were anciently properly the body guards of the magistrates, or perhaps of the town. As late as the accession of George I. they were armed with a sword and a dagger, in addition to the halbert, which is the only weapon they now carry when they attend the magistrates, &c. on the day the mayor is elected, and the sheriff at the execution of criminals. This conjecture of mine is, I think, confirmed by Mr. Brand, who observes that the ordinary of this fraternity was revoked, for a time, on their refusing to go down to lend their assistance on the revolt of Tynemouth Castle. I am at present in possession of a sword and dagger, which were formerly worn by one of this brotherhood. The sword is a handsome mourning one, and is one of those that were presented to the members of this community, by the magistrates, on the death of Queen Anne."—MS. Note of the late D. Stephenson, Esq.
On December 16, 1742, John Simpson, Esq. mayor, granted a warrant to the Free Porters, authorising them to seize and take, to the use in the act in that case made and provided, all goods, wares, and merchandize, that should be shipped, loaded, or unloaded, at any other place on the river Tyne, between Sparrow Hawk and Hedwin Streams, than the town of Newcastle upon Tyne.
The Free Porters claimed the exclusive porterage of all goods and merchandize brought into and shipped from the Tyne. As they charged much higher rates, particularly from non-freemen, than other men would have done the work for, many merchants, about 25 years ago, resisted the imposition, by employing such porters as they pleased. The company commenced several actions, but never went to trial, and ultimately gave up their claim, by doing the work at the same rate as other people.
7 The cause of their appointment is given in a statute of Henry IV. in 1404:—"And also it is ordained and stablished that in everie citie towne and porte of the sea in England, where the saide marchants aliens or strangers be or shall be repairing, sufficient hoostes shall be assigned to the same marchants by the maior, sheriffes or bailiffes of the said cities, townes and portes of the sea: and that the said marchauntes aliens & strangers shall dwell in none other plase, but with their said hoostes so to be assigned and that the same hostes so to be assigned shall take for their travaile in the maner as was accustomed in olde time." Hoast- men seem to have been a kind of mediators between buyers and sellers. By an act passed 10 Henry VIII. Hoastmen were prohibited from buying goods of their Hosts. The stranger who arrived in the port of Tyne to buy coals is called "the oaste."* This society are also called Fitters at Newcastle. In their old books, the word frequently occurs. Under April 28, 1625, is the following entry:—"To fitt and load coles abord of the keeles, &c." There can be no doubt of this society having formed a part of the Merchants' Company, before their incorporation by Queen Elizabeth.
8 Camden derives the name Hoastman from the Latin word oustmanni, i. e. the eastmen, as trading into those parts. The Baltic trade is called the East trade in Newcastle.
9 See page 608. For a description of the coal-mines, see Hist. of Northumb. vol. i. p. 79; and for a history of the coal-trade, p. 150 et seq. of the same volume.
10 The first meeting after the granting of the charter was held on the 8th July, 1600, when it was ordered, "That John Rand, one of the brethren, should, before the feast of Michaelmas then next, leave his dwelling in Gateshead, and settle himself to reside in this town, upon pain of doing the contrary to forfeit the sum of ten pounds, to be levied of his lands, goods, and chattels."
"In the 5th of James I. a quo warranto was brought against the mayor and burgesses of Newcastle, and also against the Hoastmen there, alleging that each of them claimed two-pence a chalder of coals, &c. The mayor and burgesses prescribe their two-pence, and the Hoastmen disclaim it. This was exemplified 7 James."—Aubone MS. quoted by Brand.
11 February 12, 1650, there was an order of the common council of Newcastle, to enforce the payment of an impost of 3d. per chaldron received on all coals in the chamber of that town. March 3d following, the Trinity House of Newcastle made a resolution to maintain their claim to 3d. per chaldron received by them, from time immemorial, of the Hoastmen, for their free parts of ships; and which the mayor and common council, by the above order, were for taking away from them, to add to the revenue of the corporation.
12 March 7, 1662, the Hoastmen made an order, "That head-fitters, inhabitants of Sand-Gate, might take in oasts in their own houses between six o'clock at night, and six in the morning, and not elsewhere without the walls of the town."
In 1655, about 320 keels were employed upon the Tyne, each carrying 800 chaldrons of coals, Newcastle measure, on board the ships.
13 Several acts have passed regulating the loading of ships with coals; and, in 1711, an act passed to prevent combinations of coal-owners. As the nature of these combinations is not generally understood, the following form of agreement is inserted. One has been chosen for publication of the date 1791, in order that no person may complain of the disclosures it contains.
"Loftus's, 17th December, 1791.—At a general meeting of the coal trade, William Cramlington, Esq. in the chair. Present, Mr. Bigge, Mr. Peareth, and Mr. Reay; Mr. Bell, Mr. Richard Bell, and Mr. Brown; Mr. Marley and Mr. Burdon; Mr. Rayne; Mr. Forster, for Duke of Northumberland; Mr. Buddle; Messrs. Lisle and Row; Mr. Brandling; Mr- Hood; Messrs. Surtees and Harrison, for Sheriff Hill; Mr. Ismay; Mr. Blackett; Mr. Allen and Mr. Aubone Surtees; Mr. Ismay; Mr. Crawford,. Absentees, Mr. Russell, Mr. Walton, Mr. Colpitts, Mr. Lamb.
"Resolved unanimously, that the regulation of the vend be continued for three years longer, from 31st December next.—Resolved unanimously, that an advance of 1s. per chaldron take place throughout the whole trade, except on the oversea coals, which are still to be sold at 12s. but on no account lower.—Resolved, that nothing more than statute measure be given, and the monthly quantities strictly adhered to.—Resolved, that if the quantities given out by the committee for the last month in each year be not exceeded, no allowance to be made to those collieries which may happen to be short.—Resolved, that when the collieries above bridge are prevented by frost from vending the quantity allowed them by the committee in the month of December, that those below bridge be suffered to vend what the others may be short, accounting for it in the first, second, and third months of the next year, in such a way as may appear reasonable to the committee.
"Quantities.—The owners of Walker, Willington, and Bigge's Main, asked 30 thousand certain for each of their collieries.—Mr. Marley, for the partnership, said he thought they would have no objection to allow these three collieries 30 thousand certain.—Mr. Rayne said he would write Lord Mountstuart, to request his sentiments.—Mr. Forster said the Duke of Northumberland was perfectly satisfied with his quantity, and would conform to any measure the trade might think proper to adopt.—Mr. Buddle, for Mr. Silvertop, had no directions respecting quantities.—The owners of Byker said the same with respect to their colliery as Mr. Forster did for the Duke of Northumberland.—Messrs. Allen and Aubone Surtees will take 15 thousand for Gateshead Park instead of 17½ thousand.—Mr. Brandling asked an addition of two thousand chaldrons for his colliery, which the trade think reasonable, and are willing to allow him.—Mr. Surtees declined giving any answer for Sheriff Hill, until he had an opportunity of consulting Mr. Waldie.—Mr. Hood for Mr. Simpson, Mr. Cramlington, the owners of Greenwich Moor, Mr. Blackett, the owners of West Denton, and Mr. Crawford, are all satisfied with their present quantities, and are willing to allow the three collieries before mentioned each 30 thousand certain.—Messrs. Surtees asked 15 thousand for Benwell colliery for the first year, and 17½ thousand for the two succeeding years, which quantities the trade are willing to allow them.
"Resolved that copies of these resolutions be sent to each coal-owner, and that the absentees be requested to return their answers to the chairman against Saturday next, at 11 o'clock in the forenoon, when another general meeting will be held. It is understood that unless the absentees agree to these resolutions, and the coal-owners upon the Wear resolve to stipulate their vends, the regulation upon the Tyne is not to take place."
The vends at this meeting were fixed on the following basis, viz. Walker 34 parts, Willington 34, Wallsend 34, Bigge's Main 34, Sir H. Liddell, Bart. and Partners, 62, Lords Mountstuart and Beauchamp 30, Duke of Northumberland 26½, Team 26, Mr. Silvertop 22, Mrs. Montague 22, Byker 18, Gateshead Park 17½, Mr. Brandling 15, Mr. Simpson 15, Sheriff Hill 15, Mr. Cramlington 14, Greenwich Moor 13½, Wylam 13½, Usworth Main 13½, West Denton 9½, Heddon Main 8, Ryton Moor 8, Marley Hill 8; total parts 493. Total vend, 431, 989 chaldrons.
14 Companies extinct.—Waits, or Musicians, were an ancient fellowship. Originally, they were musical watchmen, who paraded the streets during winter, to prevent theft or robbery. They were also the privileged minstrels at weddings and feasts. The corporation provided them with instruments, and, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, paid "five waites sallary £20."
Cooks.—The ordinary of this society, dated September 10, 1575, cites a more ancient one. They received dues of all persons that cut or sold fish, or dealt in pies or pasties; and were bound to keep up the bonefires on the Sandhill on Midsummer and St. Peter's eve. This company must have become extinct about 1692, as a fish-cutter on the Sandhill was then appointed. Chaucer describes our cooks as skilful, but great cheats.
Spicers.—This society existed in 1517. An ineffectual attempt was lately made to revive this craft. Furbishers occur in 1516.—Sword-slippers are mentioned in St. Nicholas' register in 1576 and 1586.— Bowyers, or Bow-makers, are mentioned in 1516.—Fletchers, or Arrow-makers, also occur is 1516.—Spurriers seem anciently to have inhabited part of Middle Street, then called Spurrier Gate. This company was extinct before 1655. In Brand's time, an attempt was made to revive the fraternity of Spurriers.
The craft of Girdlers and of Keelmen occur in a decree of the Star Chamber, dated May 2, 1516. The Vintners are mentioned in the books of the Merchant Adventurers, 6 Edward VI. In 1656, the Wherrymen of Newcastle petitioned the corporation of that town to be made an incorporated company, without effect.