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Weavers

The weaving trade in Chester was both important and organised by 1399, when many master weavers took part in an affray against the journeymen opposite St Peter’s Church on the feast of Corpus Christi. Stewards of the Company are named in a Pentice Court roll in 1438-39 and by the middle of the 15th century, it was apparently associated with the fullers and the chaloners. The former, based in the fulling mills on the Handbridge side of the Dee, carried out part of the cloth finishing process; the latter were blanket makers. The weavers and walkers (or fullers) appear together in a list of companies in 1475-76 and in the Chester cycle of Mystery Plays produced the last play, ‘The Last Judgement”.

In the 15th century, the journeymen weavers had their own company, but it had disappeared long before the weavers received their charter from the Mayor and Citizens in 1583.

For most of the 18th century, the company met in a building in St John’s Churchyard, probably the Hermitage, used earlier by the Shoemaker’s Company. By the end of the century, however, the Company held its meeting in local inns, for example the ‘Boot’ in Eastgate Street, the ‘Pied Bull’ in Northgate Street and the ‘Blossoms’ in Foregate Street. By 1835, the Company had 10 members.