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Cappers and Pinners

The trades of capper or capmaker, pinner and wiredrawer probably existed in Chester from the late 15th century. Pinners made pins and other small items from iron wire; wiredrawers made wire by pulling iron rods through holes in metal harder than the iron itself. The curious spelling (wierdrawer) is a throwback to the original spelling. The cappers made firing caps for guns. The Cappers Company was in existence by 1523-24, when it petitioned the Mayor and Aldermen, complaining that, because of competition, mainly from the mercers, it was too impoverished to produce its play. Perhaps because of this, the Cappers were joined by the Pinners and Wierdrawers in producing ‘King Baalk and Baalam with Moses’, probably by c.1540. By 1603, the Linen Drapers had amalgamated with the Cappers, Pinners and Wierdrawers.

By 1835, the Cappers, Pinners, Wierdrawers and Linen Drapers only had two members, uncle and nephew, one of whom was not resident in Chester. It had not met since 1819.