Saddlers & Curriers

Saddlers are recorded in Chester from 1392-93. In 1472, their company was given a monopoly by Edward IV to last for 40 years. In the 16th century cycle of Mystery Plays, the Saddlers produced ‘The Castle of Emmaus and the Apostles’. In 1639, the company was granted another charter, on this occasion by the City. The saddlers amalgamated with the curriers, who were leather dressers. The Company was one of the three responsible for presenting prizes for the Shrove Tuesday races held on the Roodee after 1540.

During the 16th and 17th centuries, they fought to protect their craft against the shoemakers and the cutlers. Their dispute with the latter was over the sale of spurs.

The Saddlers originally had their own meeting place, the Saddler’s Tower on the city walls at the east end of Abbey Street. It was demolished in 1774. By 1835, in spite of the continuing demand for their products, the Company had only 5 members.