Companies

Bricklayers

This company was in existence as the Linen Drapers and Bricklayers Company by 1602, when its aldermen and stewards were authorised by the Mayor to collect contributions towards the show of ‘Balaam and Balaam’s ass’ at the following Midsummer Show; the costs were shared with the linen drapers. The linen drapers tried to withdraw from the arrangement the following year, but the Mayor and Justices of the Peace ordered it to continue. In 1680, however, the linen drapers petitioned the city Assembly, claiming that the bricklayers were troublesome and unserviceable to their company, many of them being poor and unable to contribute to the defence of its privileges; the Assembly granted their request for separation. Three years later, the Assembly agreed to grant a charter or incorporation to the Bricklayers Company.

The Bricklayers Company was unusual in being governed by a master and wardens from its incorporation until c.1826 since when the more usual titles of aldermen and stewards have been used.

Until 1702, the Bricklayer’s Company met in the Smiths Meeting House in Commonhall Lane, but by 1835 it met twice a year at inns in the city.