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Wright & Slaters

The wrights, slaters, tillers, daubers (house painters) and thatcher’s first appear in the 16th century as an association of craftsmen in the building trade; they produced ‘The Nativity of Our Lord’ in the Chester cycle of Mystery Plays. In 1584 the Assembly ordered the wrights, sawyers and slaters to be incorporated as a reward for work they has done ‘at the new house of shambles’. By 1658, the Company was known as the Carpenters, Slaters and Sawyers Company, but was often referred simply as ‘The Carpenters’. The thatcher’s craft in Chester suffered a severe blow in 1671, when the Assembly decreed that all houses in the main street of Chester should have slate or tiled roofs, in order to minimise the risk of fire.

Because their trades were so closely related, it is not surprising that quarrels broke out between this Company and the Joiners, Carvers and Turners Company. In 1653, for example, the Assembly tried to settle one dispute by ordering that both companies should have liberty to buy and sell all such timbers and boards as they needed.

In 1794, the Company was known by its present title, but in 1835 they were again known as the Carpenters, Slaters and Sawyers Company. At that time, it comprised 21 or 22 members, who met at least once a year in a local inn.