Companies

Bricklayers

This company was in existence by the 15th century and is amongst 19 listed in the Mayor’s book for 1475-76. There are also many references to individual butchers, for example in 1406-1407, when several were presented for taking excessive wages and for putting entrails of beasts under their stalls to the harm of passers-by. In the 16th and 17th centuries, there were conflicts between the Company and the City Assembly. In 1579, the whole Company was committed to the Northgate Gaol for failing to provide sufficient meat for the City and were only released when they humbly submitted to the Mayor. They are said to have been granted a charter by the Mayor in 1665.

In the Chester cycle of Mystery Plays, the Butchers performed “The Temptation”. At the Midsummer Show, they were represented by a devil dressed in feathers, but in 1600 the Mayor, Henry Hardware, ordered them to have a boy riding for them instead, like the other companies.

In the 17th century, the Butchers rented a meeting room in the Phoenix Tower but by 1835, when they had 12 members, they were meeting three or four times a year at an inn in the City.