Companies

Merchant Drapers

Stewards of the Draper’s Company are named in a Pentice Court roll in 1436-37 and the Company is listed in a Mayor’s book of 1475-76. Like the saddlers and shoemakers, it was involved in prize giving for the sports on the Roodee. The drapers were associated with the hosiers in producing ‘The Creation of the World’ in the Chester cycle of Mystery Plays. In 1555-56 the Drapers paid 8d rent for their carriage house on the City’s ground near the end of Grey Friars Lane. This Company’s importance is illustrated by the fact that it provided 16 Mayors in the 16th century. Perhaps best known is Henry Gee, Mayor in 1533-34 and 1539-40, in whose mayoralties regulations were made about education and poor relief. Horse racing on the Roodee dates from his second term of office.

The Company was granted a charter by Elizabeth I which was confirmed by James I in 1605. In spite of its earlier importance, the company was reduced by 1835 to just 2 members and held no meetings.