Incorporated Companies: The fifteen bye-trades

Historical Account of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Including the Borough of Gateshead. Originally published by Mackenzie and Dent, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 1827.

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Eneas Mackenzie, 'Incorporated Companies: The fifteen bye-trades', Historical Account of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Including the Borough of Gateshead, (Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 1827), pp. 679-698. British History Online [accessed 22 June 2024].

Eneas Mackenzie. "Incorporated Companies: The fifteen bye-trades", in Historical Account of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Including the Borough of Gateshead, (Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 1827) 679-698. British History Online, accessed June 22, 2024,

Mackenzie, Eneas. "Incorporated Companies: The fifteen bye-trades", Historical Account of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Including the Borough of Gateshead, (Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 1827). 679-698. British History Online. Web. 22 June 2024,

In this section



It is very difficult to trace the origin of those marine establishments called Trinity Houses, though they are not very ancient. They probably arose from the mutual formation of Masters and Mariners into a society, for the promotion of their interests, and the relief of their indigent and distressed brethren and widows, at a time when all charitable institutions assumed a religious character. They afterwards, by royal grants, or the powers conferred by the Lord High Admiral of England, rose into consequence, and have tended to promote and protect the navigation and commerce of the kingdom. (fn. 1)

"The Guild or Fraternity of the Blessed Trinity of Newcastle upon Tyne" first occurs as a corporate body, purchasing by their feoffees the scite of their present house, on January 4, 1492, of Ralph Hebborn, Esq. of Hebborn, for which a red rose, if demanded, was to be paid yearly at Midsummer for ever. It was then called "Dalton Place;" and by a resolution of the house in writing, still preserved, and dated January 4, 1505, a hall, chapel, and lodgings for their brethren, were ordered to be erected.

Robert Hebborn, Esq. son of their former benefactor, by a deed dated September 9, 1525, conveyed to this fraternity some additional buildings on the north side of Dalton Place, for which they were to pay yearly, on the vigil of St. Peter and Paul, if demanded, a pottle of wine. (fn. 2) At this time, it appears, they had an altar or chantry called Trinity Altar in All Saints' church, which they had probably founded long before. About 1530, they had either confirmed or granted to them the duty of primage and pilotage.

King Henry VIII. on October 5, 1536, granted a new charter of incorporation to this guild, consisting of men and women, to have a common seal, implead and be impleaded, with licence to build and imbattle two towers, the one at the entrance of the haven of Tyne, and the other on the hill adjoining, in each of which a light was to be maintained every night, for the support of which they were empowered to receive 4d. for every foreign ship, and 2d. for every English vessel entering the port of Tyne. This charter was confirmed by Edward VI. in 1548, and by Queen Mary in 1553.

Queen Elizabeth, in 1584, by charter, refounded this society by the name of the Master, Pilots, and Seamen of the Trinity House of Newcastle upon Tyne. Another charter was granted by King James I. dated January 18, 1606, constituting this society, under the above name, a body politic, and appointing a master, twelve elder brethren, two elder wardens with their two assistants, and two younger wardens with the like number of assistants. They were to have a common seal. Their jurisdiction was extended to Blyth, Sunderland, Hartlepool, Whitby, and Staithes—power is given them to impose fines on their offending brethren, and to appoint pilots for the river Tyne, with its creeks and members, who are to have for conducting every laden vessel 12d, for every foot it shall draw, and for every foot a light ship shall draw 8d. The duty of primage was confirmed to them from vessels from beyond the seas coming into the river, or its creeks and members: 2d. per ton of wine, oil, and other things sold by the ton (fish killed and brought in by Englishmen excepted), and 3d. per last of flax, hemp, pitch, tar, or other things sold by the last. Aliens are to pay this duty before they leave the port, and free merchants and inhabitants of Newcastle within ten days after their landing: all this to go to the support of twelve poor brethren, or their wives, or shipwrecked mariners. Lightage was also confirmed to them: of every owner's ship, English born, 4d. each time; and of every owner's ship that is an alien, 12d. The buoying, canning, marking, and beaconing of the river Tyne was also confirmed to them; for which they are to receive of each ship, whose owner is English, and burthen above 20 chaldron of coals, 4d.; of the same when under 20 chaldron, 2d.: and of every alien, 6d. They were also impowered to hold lands and tenements under £30 per annum clear value.

In 1607, the officers of the port of Newcastle were empowered by the Privy Council to enforce the duties of buoyage and lightage; and in 1617, the council ordered that the merchants of Newcastle should pay only 1½d. primage for every last of corn brought into that port. In 1618, the Trinity House ordered a gallery to be built in All Saints' church.

King Charles I. in June, 1633, was escorted to Tynemouth by this society. In the following year, they completed the purchase of a parcel of waste ground at PowPans, near North Shields, of George Ward, Esq. and which formerly belonged to Tynemouth monastry. About the same time, the present chapel of the Trinity House was fitted up and beautified; and in 1636, the bishop granted a warrant permitting the vicars of Newcastle to preach in this chapel for ever,

The Scots, under General Lesley, had possession of this house in 1640. In 1642, the society paid £100 to Sir John. Marley, for the maintenance of the garrison of Newcastle; and, in the same year, £66, 13s. 4d. in plate and money, for the same purpose. When the town was taken in 1644, this house was plundered by the Scots.

In 1645, the solemn league and covenant was administered in the chapel of this house; and in 1655, the brethren suggested to the council of trade the necessity of erecting two light-houses on the Fern Islands, with the owner of which they had been treating concerning such erection. This appears to have been approved of, as the agreement was signed the following year. In 1661, this house made a voluntary gift of £100 to the king; and, on October 21, 1664, his majesty, by a new charter, confirmed the privileges formerly granted to the house, with an exemption to the brethren thereof from serving in the trained bands, juries, and all other land-services, and as the members of the Trinity House at Deptford Strand are exempted; laying also an additional duty of 2d. upon every ship, towards the maintenance of the lighthouses, and the like sum in addition to what was formerly paid for buoys; as also an addition of 6d. and 4d. to the former duty of pilotage, to be paid by strangers only.


When Clifford's Fort, at the entrance of the Tyne, was built in 1672, the government enclosed about 509 yards of ground, including the light-house, belonging to the Trinity House, with a high wall towards the land, and a breast-work towards the sea, leaving a little door for the keeper of the light-house to go out at to mark the time of the tide; but even this door was afterwards built up, against which assumption of power the house remonstrated in the year 1725.

In 1675, this society induced Mr. Angel, of London, merchant, to erect the Spurnlights, though opposed by the Trinity Houses of Deptford Strand and Hull. Mr. Angel agreed to pay them £40 per annum for 1000 years. A halfpenny per ton was laid on English, and one penny per ton on all foreign vessels, for the support of these lights. This house, in 1680, opposed an attempt made by Sir E. Villars to obtain an additional toll for the support of Tynemouth light-house. In 1687, King James II. granted a new charter to this fraternity, with an addition of pilotage.

On February 24, 1728, this house gave public notice that Tynemouth bar, which had of late been much altered, was become so very good again, that ships might pass it with as much, or rather more water than ever; and that the light-houses, being rebuilt, would be lighted on the 25th of March following. In 1765, this fraternity petitioned parliament that all ballast should be laid upon the land; and in 1769, they petitioned the Lords of the Admiralty against the projected canal from Coventry to Oxford. In 1770, they offered a reward to such seamen as should, within four weeks, volunteer into the royal navy. In the following year, they transmitted an address of thanks to the Lord Mayor of London and Alderman Oliver, "for the supporting, with a patriotic, manly firmness and dignity, the freedom and privileges of their fellow citizens of London, and the natural rights of their fellow subjects in general."

In 1800, the master and brethren of the Trinity House of Newcastle, assisted by a committee of 15 ship-owners, applied to parliament for an act for the increase of their dues, the confirmation of their rights, and such new regulations as would promote the public good. They represented that the pilotage fixed by the charter of James II. had become an insufficient compensation for the labour, peril, and industry of the pilots. The toll was also proposed to be levied upon vessels sailing northwards, for the maintenance of beacons and buoys at Holy Island. In the session of 1801, a bill passed, authorising the house to augment their lightage, buoyage, and pilotage, and to make several necessary regulations.

The framers of this act had neglected to introduce a clause to compel the sale of scites; and when the house endeavoured, in 1805, to procure a proper place for building the Low Light-house, they were involved in great difficulties. They then petitioned the Board of Ordnance and the Duke of Northumberland for a lease or grant of part of the shore or sand-bank south of Clifford's Fort. After much altercation, a scite was procured at the Low Light Quay from Lord Collingwood and Co. containing 194 yards at five guineas a yard. Having, in digging the foundation, gone a foot or two beyond the quay, the duke's agent ordered the workmen to desist; but at last a compromise took place, and 20 guineas were paid for the encroachment upon the shore. The light-house was finished and lighted in May, 1810.

The premises belonging to this corporation, at the head of Trinity Chare, are, considering the situation, remarkably light, airy, and clean. The south yard contains, on the east, an alms-house, built in 1782, and, on the south, another, built in 1820. The school-house forms the north side of the yard. The alms-houses in the low and high yard are also very neat and convenient. The Trinity Hall is spacious, and ornamented with the portraits of King William and Queen Mary; the Bombardment of Algiers, painted by Carmichael, in a rich frame; and several other naval subjects. The Board-room is very neat, and adjoins a convenient office for the secretary. The vestibule of the chapel is very handsome, and adorned by several curiosities. Several marine monsters are suspended from the roof. A glass-case contains a complete model of the Ville de Paris, taken from the French. In another is a neat model of the Victory, made of bone, a model of the life-boat, &c. This entrance is separated from the chapel by a beautiful wainscot screen. The chapel, which is 37 feet by 25, contains 23 pews, capable of accommodating 100 persons, and are ornamented with carved work, probably as finished in 1636. The aisle between the pews is 7 feet 3 inches wide. There is a pulpit and a reading-desk, a stove in the centre, and, on the north side, an elevated seat for the master. (fn. 3)

This fraternity at present support, within their house, twelve men and thirteen widow pensioners, each having an allowance of 28s. per month, a coat and hat to the men, and a gown and petticoat to the women, once in two years. They are provided with coals, and have the gratuitous advice of the surgeon of the establishment when necessary. When sick, they are allowed wine, &c. if judged proper; and on all occasions they are treated with attention and kindness. There are also two classes of out-pensioners. Of the first, or Master's class, there are 60 upon the list, which is the number to which it is limited: each receives £7 per annum, and 20s. extra for each child under 14 years of age. The second class is limited to 40 pensioners, of which 23 are now upon the list, each receiving £5 per annum, and 20s. extra for children under 14. The summoner and the matron have apartments within the house. The total number of the brethren of this society is 340. The officers on July 2, 1827, were as follow, viz.—

Master, Fenwick John Shadforth, Esq. Deputy Master, Mr. Thomas Smith. Elder Brethren, Mr. John Anderson, Mr. John Ostle, Mr. Valentine Hutchinson, Mr. Rowland Hodge, Mr. George Fothergill, Mr. James Harle, Mr. William Burnett, Mr. Robert Airey, Mr. Charles Jackson, Mr. John Currie, Mr. John Thomas Carr, Mr. George Hodge. Younger Electors, Mr. William Helmsley, Mr. John Carr, Mr. Christopher Heymers, Mr. William Benson, Mr. Joseph French, Mr. Robert Clay. Younger Wardens, Mr. Thomas Shadforth, Mr. Henry Liddell. Younger Assistants, Mr. John Fram, Mr. Francis Archibald Pattison.

The following is the summary of receipts of the Trinity House for the years specified, extracted from the society's books: (fn. 4)

£. s. d.
1796 1406 7
1797 1190 16 6
1798 1231 9
1799 1300 18
1800 1714 7
1801 1974 16
1802 2039 16 11
1803 2299 8
1804 2261 17
1805 2266 6
1806 2188 1
1807 2182 11 1
1808 1912 8
1809 2041 4
1810 2810 12
1811 2660 7
1812 3141 7 10
1813 2767 9
1814 2933 15
1815 3171 9
1816 3522 13 8
1817 3866 17 6

Specialties.—Thursday, January 8, 1818.

£. s. d.
Bond of the mayor of Newcastle to Mr. George Stephenson, on trust for the Trinity House 600 0 0
£1200 pounds in the 3 per cent. consols, bought in the year 1806 690 0 0
£800, bought in the same stock in the year 1807 505 15 0
£1600, bought in the same stock 1816 979 6 8
£1003, 15s. 3d. in the navy 5 per cent. annuities, bought in 1817 1002 12 0
Lent to the committee for building the new light-house at North Shields 1500 0 0
Cash in Sir M. W. Ridley's bank, since the 21st of August 300 0 0
Balance this day 138 14
5716 7

An estimate of the value of the property belonging to the Trinity House, adjoining the same:—

No. £.
1. Trinity Hall, Board-room, office, and cellars underneath 1000
2. Entrance-hall, chapel, and cellars 500
3. Cellar, beadle's and nurse's house 450
4. Alms-house, low yard, containing 7 rooms 300
5. Alms-house, high yard, 6 rooms 250
6. School-rooms, cellars, &c. 300
7. Alms-house, south yard, 8 rooms, &c. 500
8. Brewery 300
9. Cellars, warehouses, and lofts 900
10. Dwelling-house 600
11. Cellar, warehouses, and lofts 800
12. Cellar, warehouses, and lofts 1200

J. Davison, Surveyor.

Secretaries to the Trinity House, with their Salaries.

John Cleburn, 1605
William Nicholson, 1609 Salary £8
Robert Chambers, 1616 8
Robert Harragatt, 1626 10
William Parker, 1627 10
William Gibson, 1634 14
Thomas Stobbs, 1659 20
George Swaddell, August 2, 1669 30
John Bee, October 6, 1701 40
Thomas Brown, 1715 40
Henry Shadforth, December 7, 1725 Salary £40
Robert Bailiff, August 1, 1728 40
Thomas Peighin, August 21, 1733 40
Thomas Aubone, January 8, 1739 40
Purvis Sissons, June 21, 1785 50
Henry Shadforth, November 2, 1795 50
Thomson Chapman, December 12, 1808 90
Edward Henderson, deputy, 1818 50
Henry Shadforth, ditto 90
Thomas Gibson 200


The old ordinary of this society, the original of which is still in their possession, is dated the last day of August, 1527. By the authority of the mayor, sheriff, and aldermen, justices of the peace, with the consent of their own body, it enjoins them to assemble yearly at the feast of Corpus Christi, go together in procession, and play their play and pageant of "The Bearing of the Cross," at their own expense; each brother to be at the procession when his hour is assigned, on pain of forfeiting 6d. To take no Scotsman born to apprentice, nor set any to work under a penalty of 40s. for each default, whereof half to go to the fellowship, and half to the work of Tyne Bridge, without any forgiveness; to admit any person who had served an apprenticeship with a brother of the society, a member thereof, on the payment of 13s. 4d. and 12d. for a pot of ale; as also any man of that craft, being the king's liege man, and desirous to be of the fellowship, a brother thereof, with power to set up shop on the payment of £20, and 12d. for a pot of ale. The searchers to search four times a year at least. That any brother falling into poverty should be supplied out of the common box, at the discretion of the stewards and the twelve; and that any brother misbehaving at meetings, should forfeit six pounds of wax for every default; and that any brother lying in wait to beat, slay, or murder any of his brethren, should be put out of the society for ever; that any brother calling another "Scot," or "mansworn," in malice, should forfeit 6s. 8d. without any forgiveness; that every apprentice should serve seven years, and pay at his entrance a pound of wax; that they should settle their accounts every year, on the Monday after Corpus Christi day, and choose their stewards in manner following: the whole society first to choose four discreet brethren, who, after being sworn, should choose other four, which eight, being all sworn, should choose the stewards and searchers for the year: that every brother should be "at the Sante Augustine's" in the day of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, and go "the none of the same day to the dirige and sowle masses to be done for the brederes and susters" of the fellowship, on pain of forfeiting 6d. for each default; that every brother take for the working of a dozen broad cloth 4s.; for a dozen "strates wollene" 20d. to be measured by the long wand; for a dozen lyn-cloth, yard broad, bleeched, 12d.; also "sise and brood-lynn and hardone," 10d. a dozen "sanclothe," 12d.; a dozen "karsais," 18d.; for a dozen lyn-cloth, five quarters broad, 18d. &c.

Another ordinary, having the sanction of the mayor and burgesses of Newcastle, in Guildhall assembled, dated August 12, 1608, and inrolled in the books of the corporation, confirmed to them that no foreigner or person not free of the fellowship, living in or about the High Castle, near the liberties of that town, should take any work in prejudice of this society, on pain of forfeiting £5 for each default. And that none should buy any linen or hardone yarn, to carry out of the precincts of the said town, under a penalty of 40s. This society has a warrant renewed yearly from the mayor of Newcastle, to seize bad yarn, &c. and still continue to receive annual contributions from the pedlars, who keep booths on the Sandhill.

In 1682, Carliol Tower was repaired by this society for a meeting-house. It was again repaired and beautified in 1821; when the company paid £50 towards the expense, and the corporation the remainder. There are 13 members in the company, They possess no property except the tower.


The ancient ordinary of this society, dated October 10, 1442, (fn. 5) enjoined that they should go together in procession on Corpus Christi day, in a livery, and afterwards play the "Baptizing of Christ" at their own expense. Every man to be at the procession when his hour is assigned him, at the New Gate, on pain of forfeiting a pound of wax; to go also with their pageant, when it should be played in a livery, on the like pain; that no alien born should be taken apprentice, or allowed to work within the town, or without, under a penalty of 20s.; that the society should uphold the light of St. John the Baptist, in St. Nicholas' church, as long as they were of ability; that no barber, apprentice, nor servant should shave on a Sunday, neither within the town nor without, by a mile's space.

There is another ordinary of this society, dated September 25, 1671, confirming the former, and making them a body politic by the name of the Barber-Chirurgeons, and Wax and Tallow Chandlers, ordering them to meet yearly, and choose two wardens, who were to be sworn; that apprentices should serve seven years; and that when any brother had taken a cure in hand, no other should meddle with it till it was completed, on pain of forfeiting 20s. for the first, 30s. for the second, and 40s. for the third default, half of which to go to the brother who first dressed the patient. It further enjoined, that none should wash, dress, or trim on a Sunday, on pain of forfeiting 2s. for every offence, giving the company power to make bye-laws, and to choose annually two searchers, who were to be sworn.

In 1648, this society petitioned the corporation for a scite whereon to build a Meeting-house, with land for a garden, to be planted with medicinal herbs; when a portion of the Austin Friars' garden was granted them for 61 years, at the annual rent of 6s. 8d. This lease was renewed on November 4, 1771, for the like period of 61 years from the expiration of the old one. Their present hall, which was built in 1730, stands upon piazzas, having a grass plot in front, with gravel walks adorned with statues. The company consists of 45 members. Their only property, exclusive of the Hall, is an adjoining house, which yields a yearly rental of £17. A benefitsociety has been formed by many of the members of the fraternity; but no benefits are to be paid until a stock of £500 be accumulated. Three-fifths of this sum has been subscribed. (fn. 6)


The ordinary of this society, dated August 8, 1636, signed the day following by the judges of assize, who certify their having perused and ratified the same, enjoins them to meet yearly on the 27th of December, to choose two wardens, and the like number of overseers; prohibiting them from working on Sundays and holidays observed by the church, giving them power to make bye-laws, and restricting apprentices from working tide-work till they had served three years.

Another order of this society, dated August 6, 1674, was also confirmed by the judges; as was another also, dated July 26, 1689. Besides the above, this fraternity have since made many additional orders by their own authority.

This society, which consists of 22 members, have no property except their hall in the Wall Knoll, or Carpenter's Tower, and which was built in the year 1716. They suffered a severe loss lately, and at present not more than five or six members attend. (fn. 7)


The ancient ordinary of this society, dated January 20, 1426, enjoined them to go together yearly at the feast of Corpus Christi in procession, as other crafts did, and play their play at their own charge; each brother to attend at the hour assigned him at the procession, on pain of forfeiting a pound of wax; that none should take a Scotsman born to apprentice, nor set any such to work, under the penalty of 40s. whereof 26s. 8d. to go to the fraternity, and 13s. 4d. to "Sente Nicholas Kyrkwarke." No brother to take any more than one apprentice in seven years. All turners and pulley-makers coming to Newcastle, to be bound by the same ordinary. An after clause forbade the employing of any Dutchman; and, by another after clause, the company of ropers was united with this society.

By an ordinance of the corporation of Newcastle (17th of Elizabeth) which consolidates the companies of coopers, pulley-makers, turners, and rope-makers, it is ordained, "That none of these companies shall take any apprentice but one in four years, except the children of brethren;" and by a bye-law of this consolidated company, in the year 1786, it was enacted, "that for the enrolment of every apprentice so taken, a brother shall pay £10, or any apprentice at all during the servitude of another, £5." (fn. 8)

January 30, 1650, the corporation of Newcastle ordered this company a lease for seven years of a place in the Manors, to be a meeting-house. The company of Plasterers appear to have met with this society soon after the restoration. The following entry occurs in their books:—"June 5, 1667, received of the Plaisterers for their part of the plaistering of the new meeting-house, £1, 4s. 6d." October 7, 1699, a warrant was granted to this society by the mayor of Newcastle, to search all herrings, &c. a power which is still continued in their hands. In 1725, a legacy of £20 was left by Mrs. Margaret Stephenson to this society, to be divided, and let out to two brethren for a certain number of years, without interest. The company consists of 70 members. Previous to 1791, they met in a room above the Water Gate, on the Sandhill. At present, they hold their meetings at a tavern, but have petitioned for Pink Tower, which it is expected will soon be converted into a handsome meetinghouse.


An ordinary of this society, dated July 3, 1579, constituted the House Carpenters and Joiners a body corporate of themselves, with perpetual succession and power to sue and be sued, &c. in the courts of Newcastle; ordered that they should meet yearly, and choose three wardens, two of whom were to be House Carpenters, and the third a Joiner; and that whenever the general plays of the town, called Corpus Christi plays, should be played, they should play the "Burial of Christ," which anciently belonged to their fellowship: that no apprentice should serve less than seven years; no Scotsman to be taken as such under penalty of 40s. nor to be made free on any account. It further enacted, that the Joiners should work at the sealing of houses within, the making "dorments and windows," "drawn tables of frame-work, and tables with turnposts," "buffet-stools," "forms," "cupboards," "almeries," "pressers," "chairs, and sconces of frame-work," "Casements," "trellising of windows," "buttries of framed work," "framed chists," and all others pinned with wood, "as also every other kind of joiner's work." That the two trades should occupy in common the making of buttries, or any other kind of work with "sealing linck," i. e. one board growen in another, and nailed with iron nails; "chists for corpses, and all other chists not pinned with wood;" "removing of beds, cupboards, and draw-tables, together with making of doors and windows mulder work." And that half of their fines should go to the maintenance of the great bridge, and the other half to the fellowship. (fn. 9)

George Collingwood, House-Carpenter, departed this life the 23d December, 1698, who, by his last will, devised to the stewards and society of this house 40s. to be paid on the 1st of May yearly for ever, and to be employed towards the putting out an apprentice to one of this company of House-Carpenters yearly.

Sir Fenwick Bulmer, Knt. a free burgess of this town, presented to the incorporated company of House-Carpenters, April 19, 1824, the sum of 100 guineas; the interest to be divided amongst the poor widows of this company at Christmas annually for ever. (fn. 10)

In consequence of the intended removal of the West Gate, over which they formerly had their hall, a plan for a new meeting-house was laid before the company, May 27, 1805, and approved. The new building, which is of stone, was finished in 1812: it is a handsome structure, situated nearly on the scite of the old gate, and was estimated to cost upwards of £1000. The company consists of 114 members.


The ordinary of this society, dated September 1, 1581, constituted them a body incorporated of themselves, with perpetual succession; enjoined them to meet yearly to choose two wardens, who might sue and be sued in the courts of Newcastle, make bye-laws, &c. That whenever the general plays of the town, anciently called Corpus Christi plays, should be played, they should play "The Burial of our Lady St. Mary the Virgin;" every absent brother to forfeit 2s. 6d.: that no Scotsman should be taken apprentice, under a penalty of 40s. nor ever be admitted into the company on any account whatever; each brother to be sworn; that apprentices should serve seven years; that at the marriages and burials of brethren, and their wives, the company should attend to the church such persons to be married or buried; that one half of their fines should go to the maintenance of the great bridge, and the other half to the said fellowship. July 1, 1674, the society appear to have met in the White Friar Tower, with the Wallers, or Bricklayers, and Metters.

George Maxwell, Mason, who died September 14, 1732, bequeathed the rental of five messuages in Newcastle to this society, for the relief of brethren reduced to poverty by sickness, and of their necessitous widows. May 19, 1742, this fraternity, on their petition, obtained of the corporation of Newcastle a grant of the Cutler's Tower, in the Carliol Croft, which they have since repaired in a handsome manner. The company consists of 15 members. They possess part of the public house in the Close known by the sign of the Waggon, and some property at the foot of the Tuthill Stairs.


The ordinary of this society, dated March 28, 1589, separated them from the House-Carpenters, and constituted them a fellowship of themselves, with perpetual succession. It enjoined them also to elect two wardens, who might sue and be sued, &c. in the courts of Newcastle, make laws, &c. and that whenever the mayor, aldermen, and sheriff of Newcastle, commanded any general play to be set forth, or martial exercise to be performed, they should appear, and perform such parts in them as should be respectively assigned them, on pain of forfeiting 2s. 6d. for every time they were absent; that apprentices should serve seven years, five of which to elapse before a second could be taken; that no Scot should be taken apprentice, or ever admitted into the fellowship. It enjoined also the appointment of two triers of work, as expressly and particularly named in the joint ordinary of the House-Carpenters and Joiners. (fn. 11).


This fraternity formerly had their meeting-house over Pilgrim Street Gate, in which there was an escutcheon with this inscription:—"Mrs. Margaret Stephenson, relict of Mr. John Stephenson, merchant of Newcastle, departed this life August 23, 1729, and, by her last will and testament, gave to the company of Joiners of Newcastle aforesaid, twenty pounds, to be lent to two such brethren of the said fellowship, as shall want stock to set up with, for four years without interest, and so to be transferred to other two such brethren of the said Joiners at the end of every four years for ever." On another ibid.—"Barbara Farbridge, relict of Charles Farbridge, a brother of the company, died April 13, 1743, aged 60, bequeathed to the poor widows of deceased brethren twenty pounds, the use of which to be paid by the stewards on St. Peter's day, yearly, for ever." (See page 113.)

The present hall of the society, built at their charge, is situated in High Friar Street. It is a handsome and commodious structure of brick. On the front of the building is this inscription, "Joiners Hall, erected 1802." The society consists of 48 members.


The ordinary of this society, dated September 20, 1578, citing another of older date, constituted 20 free millers a fellowship, with perpetual succession, and enjoined them to choose two wardens every year, who might sue and be sued, &c. in the courts of the town; and that when the general plays should be performed, they should play the ancient one of the society, called "The Deliverance of the Children of Isrell out of the Thraldome, Bondage, and Servitude of King Pharo," on pain of forfeiting 20s. for absence; that no stranger or alien born should be taken apprentice, or set to work, on pain of 6s. 8d.; and that apprentices should serve seven years; that no corn should be ground upon Sundays; that each miller in the counties of Northumberland or Durham, who brought corn from Newcastle market, should pay them an acknowledgment of 6d. per annum, and pay 2s. 6d. every time he should be found in the wheat or malt market before two o'clock in the afternoon on market days, unless to fetch away the corn which his customers had bought there; and that none such foreign millers should buy corn there, under a penalty of 2s. 6d. for each default. It further enjoined, that the wardens of this society should make oath in the town-chamber concerning the fines, half whereof to go to the support of the Newcastle part of Tyne Bridge. April 8, 1672, a singular order occurs in the books of this fraternity, that if any brother should attend the burial of another with a black hat, he should be fined 6d. for every such default. This society at present consists of 14 members. They have no hall, but hold their meetings at a tavern,


The ordinary of this society, dated October 1, 1546, enjoined them to go together in procession at the feast of Corpus Christi, bear the charges of the lights, pageants, and play, and be there at the hour assigned them, on pain of forfeiting a pound of wax. It further enjoined, that none born out of the king's dominion should work with them, unless he were denizen, or for urgent causes to be admitted by the mayor and justices of the peace, on pain of paying £40 sterling; that they should not work on holidays, or on Saturdays longer than five o'clock at afternoon, on pain of forfeiting a pound of wax; that each brother should be sworn on admission; and that the Armourers, Curriers, and Hatters, should not interfere in each others occupations. March 27, 1671, order for the seizure of French hats, except such as were sold by those of the company. In 1719, this society made an order, that no Quaker should be taken apprentice, on pain of forfeiting £100. July 3, 1620, they made an agreement to repair Herber Tower for a meeting-house. There are at present 15 members.


The ordinary of this society, dated July 30, 1656, appears to have been a mutual agreement signed and sealed by themselves, to remain in force till they should obtain one under the authority of the magistrates of Newcastle. (fn. 12) It ordered that no stranger, not having duly served an apprenticeship to their calling, should be set to work, on pain of forfeiting the sum of 40s.; and that any brother working a day's work privately, should forfeit 6s. 8d. for each default; and that they should choose a warden yearly, on the feast of St. Mark, who should keep the books of the fraternity, and do all other offices belonging to a steward, as in other companies. In their old books their officers are styled "a box-master, and two key-keepers." They have at present two stewards. The society consists of about 10 meeting members. The tower near St. Andrew's church, where they meet, appears to have been rebuilt about April, 1707. In 1771, it was thoroughly repaired and beautified at the expense of the society.


The ancient ordinary of this society, dated March 12, 1451, enjoined them to go together in a livery, yearly, at the feast of Corpus Christi, and play their play at their own expense; each to be at the procession when his hour was assigned him, on pain of forfeiting a pound of wax: that no apprentice should serve less that seven years, nor a second be taken till the first had served six; that no brother should take a Scot to apprentice, on pain of forfeiting 40s.; that if any brother had taken a slate quarry, or any place to cover with slates, none should undermine him, under a penalty of 13s. 4d.; that none should work upon St. Catherine's day, on pain of forfeiting a pound of wax. An order was added, December 28, 1460, that no brother should take less than 6s. 8d. for handling a rood of slate covering.

Another ordinary, dated September 28, 1579, cited an agreement between the Slaters and Bricklayers, and incorporated the societies with perpetual succession, enjoined them to choose two wardens annually, who might sue and be sued, make byelaws, &c.; that at the general Corpus Christi plays, they should play "The Offering of Isaac by Abraham," where every brother was to attend, on pain of forfeiting 2s. 6d.

Another ordinary of this society, dated March 16, 1677, separated them from the company of Wallers, Bricklayers, and Dawbers, alias Plasterers; and made them in deed and name a fellowship, by the name of Slaters and Tylers; ordered them to meet yearly on St. Catherine's day; to work no kind of black mortar or clay, but to make ovens and chimneys, or funnels. March 30, 1619, the Joiners appear to have granted the use of their hall to this society. November 11, 1654, they appear to have met with the Coopers in the Manors. (fn. 13)

In 1821, Gunner Tower, a little to the south of Forth Lane, was converted into a meeting-house for this society, which at present consists of 35 members.


The ordinary of this society, anciently consisting of Goldsmiths, Plumbers, Glaziers, Pewterers, and Painters, and dated September 1, 1536, enjoined them to go together on the feast of Corpus Christi, and maintain their play of "The Three Kings of Coleyn;" to have four wardens, one Goldsmith, one Plumber, one Glazier, and one Pewterer or Painter; to be sworn on admission not to interfere with each other's occupation; that no Scotsman born should be taken apprentice, or suffered to work in Newcastle, on pain of forfeiting 3s. 4d. one half of which to go to the upholding of Tyne Bridge, and the other to the society. Among other orders in the old books of the society, the following occurs: "September 7, 1730, no brother to lend his diamond, except to a free brother of this company, on pain of forfeiting 6s. 8d." (fn. 14) This society, which consists of 50 members, hold their meetings in Morden Tower. (See page 110.)


  • 1. The Mariners of this port were early distinguished for their skill and bravery. In a naval expedition to Scotland in 1335, they burnt the town of Dundee. Edward III. by writs in 1341 and 1344, commanded the mayor and bailiffs of Newcastle to send up to his council two of the most skilful Mariners, to consult with on affairs of the greatest importance to the navigation of his kingdom. In 1380, the Mariners of Newcastle and Hull took a Scotch pirate, with a cargo to the value of 7000 marks. All the ports of England, in 1346, furnished a proportioned number of vessels for the siege of Calais. London sent 25 vessels and 662 Mariners, and Newcastle 17 vessels and 414 mariners.
  • 2. The following curious entries have been extracted from the old books of this house. They tend to illustrate the manners of former times, the practices of the society, the rate of wages, and the value of sundry articles. The first entries in the book commence in 1530. 1530 "Item awyng to Thomas Bell for my lorde admyrall seyll at London 46s. 8d."— "Item paid for sygnet and prevye seyll £4, 6s. 8d."—"Item pd. to Kynge's Grayce for the great seayll £8s. 2s." 1539 "Pd. for a deryge and pawx and for bereyng of a poor woman 8s. 6d."—"Item pd. for a key and washing of th' alter close, and for two towells 24d."—Total income, £41, 6s. 4d. 1540 "Item pd. to the bedfolk this year at serten tymes 5s. 10d. Item paid for 20 chalder of colls to the bedfolk 17s. 4d."—"Item pd. for 1 chaldr. of colls to make fyer agaynste Mydsomer 10d. Item for expens of the Trinite ewyn, Mydsummer ewyn, and Seynt Peter's ewyn 14s. 9d."—Their priest's salary was £4 per annum, "Item pd. to the prest of his waygis for 3 quarters £3." 1541 "Item pd. for weshin the alter close in the churche 12d."—"Pd. to a workman for workyng 3 days at Shelles at 6d. every day 1s. 6d."—"Pd. to Wylles wyff for candells, 34 lbs. 4s. 3d."—"Pd. for a man of Chester that carried a letter to London 8d." 1542 "Item pd to Wyllm Hette for helping the morne mess 2s."—"Pd. for one pottell of wine for howsefarme 4d."—"Item pd. for expens of Trinite Sownday 8s."—"Pd. for 2 ould shirtes and for makyng them whyte 1s. 4d."—"For expenses in the chamber when the Mariner was prest to go in the Elizabeth 6d." 1544 "Pd. the pore folk in the plagg tyme 5s." 1545 "Item pd. for sallmes and deryge 6s. 8d."—"Pd. for straw for the gests beds 5d."—"Pd. for the buryel of 2 pore men 1s. 2d." 1546 "Pd. to the tynkler for workyng and naylyng 12 whyt platts for keypyng in the lyghts at Shelles 8d." 1552 "Pd. half a barrell of tare on Midsomers eaven 2s."— "To the minstrells on Sant John and St. Peters. eaven 1s. 2d."—"For Robt. Tailors livery jacket, to Robert Littall 12s."—"For Bobt Tailors wig 6s. 8d." 1580 By a document, it appears that 1005 English ships and 212 aliens arrived in the Tyne from the 14th, May to the 21st January. Lightage, each English ship 4d. and each foreign 1s. amounting to £27, 12s. 4d. Primage amounting to £2, 4s. Amongst the disbursements occur—"A pair of showes for Ally Cooke 14d.;" half a pound of soap 2d.; a quart of oil 1d.; paid Todricke and his 2 sons for 5 days work 10s.; for 10 chalders of coles £2, 10s. 1597 The brothers agreed to sue Thomas Dickson, rope-maker, of Sandgate, because he "did unreverently and without dyscretion slander the holl brethern and fellowship of this house in the open courte of this town of Newcastle." 1598 July 12, Three pounds granted for the repairs of Scarborough pier. 1602 February 14, The house ordered that every seaman should be paid 13s. 4d. for a voyage from Newcastle to London. 1618 December, Agreed "to build a gallery beside the porch of All Saints." 1622–3 "For mendyng the byble—mendyng the lok of the great dore 2s. Edward Burton's wyf and 4 ship broken men 6s. The musytions for musyck upon election day 10s. For bread to the poor on election day 12s." 1632 "Given to the church towards the repair of the orgines 1s. For men paintyng and gildinge the great yatte in the Brod Chair 4s." 1634 January 12, Every elder brother ordered to furnish himself with a silver whistle and chain, and every younger brother with a silver whistle and scarfe. February 17, The chapel ordered to be finished with pews. There is a stone over the chapel door inscribed "June 7th, 1634." The same year, some new rooms in the square were ordered to be finished. 1635 January 2, Ordered that any man having taken his freedom in the Shipwrights' Company, or any other mechanic trade, shall never be received in the society or body politique of the Trinity House.— September 14, "Paid for wherry hire and charges when livery and seisin was made of the sandy ground on which the lowe light-house stands 9s. 6d." 1636 "Paid for a diner for the vicker, the doctor and the rest of the clargie that daie the vicker preached in the chap being the first sermon, 28 March, £3, 1s. 6d."—"April 25, pd. about the procureing of my Lord Byshop of Durham his warrant for sermons to be preached in the Trinity chapel for ever £1, 10s. Given to Mr. Yelderd Alvey, vicker of Newcastle, for a present from the house in wine and wheate in regard he made the first sermon in the chappell £2, 5s. 10d." 1637 "For a letter that came by post from London 6d. A barrell of strong beer 6s. 8d."December 31, Ordered that "Mr. Joseph Alvey be dismissed and expelled from reading prayers in our chappell hereafter." 1638 "March 26, paid for wine when the Lord Bushopp of Durham came to see the chappel 2s. 6d. April 23, pd. for 4 gallons of sacke and 2 loves of suger containing 7 lb. 7 oz. weight, sent to Mr. Dr. Jenison after he preached in the chappell £1, 14s." 1640 "Bread and a half barrell of bear which was given to the English soldiers that lay in the house 8s.— Pd. the Generall Lesley's servt. for a warrant for a safe guard to the lights 2s. 6d.—October 5, pd. for carring wood out of the roomes the soldiers came to 1s. 2d. Pd. a wright for nailing up doores and making up pertitions when the Scots came 2s. 8d. &c."—"November 2, given to prisoners that were shott in the scremedge at Newbourne 2s."—"The great sess the Scottish army inflicted upon us" is mentioned November 30. 1643 "January, For wherrie hire when Mr. Dixon and Mr. Stobbs went to Sheeles to attend her majesty the queen 7s. Pd. for a warrant for pressing the boates and men to bring up the friggat with the ammunition 1s. 1644 March 17, "Pd. for beare which was bestowed on Mr. Thwing, scolemaster, while he was writing the covenant in parchment 1s. 6d. Paid for a skin of parchment for it 8d. 1645 "For a book of platts of the shires in England and Wales 3s. 6d."—"February 16, given to Dr. Jenison for a gratuitie, when he preached in Trinity House chappell January 5th, when he administered the covenant £1, 10s." 1648 Given towards building a bridge over the runner near the Low Lights 10s. 1649–50 "For entertaining Sir Arthur Hazelrig in the house 11s. Cleaning the seller where the (Scots) prisoners was 6s. 6d. 1650 "September 23, pd. to two men that watched the presoners and the garde that they did no harme the first night that the Scotts presoners came to the Trinity house 2s." 1651 January 23, Part of the chapel to be taken down and rebuilt. 1658 December 6, "Paid Mr. Thomas Hockin for one whole yeares rent of the ground whereon the upper light-hous at North-Sheeles stands, due 11 Nov. last past 4s. 8d." 1659 Towards building the new church at North Shields £10. 1660 October 31, William Gibson, merchant, and Master and Mariner, died, having bequeathed to the poor of this society 20s. yearly, to be paid on December 24 for ever. 1665 March 15, Ordered that the Great Garth or Yard be used as a place of recreation for the brethren of the house, and that the deals and rafts it contains be removed. 1684 To counsels in delivering up the charter to my Lord Chief Justice Jefferies, and expenses, £30,17s. 7d. 1686 For the relief of the French prisoners £5. 1693–4 Ordered that the new master be allowed £3 towards the expenses of his feast. 1699 The Trinity House, on February 25, accompanied the mayor and aldermen to view the ground at the lower end of North Shields, where a coal-staith was proposed to be erected. The house gave their reasons against the erection. 1701 The purchase of a farmhold in Coopen, from Mr. Robert Preston, cost, with all charges, £400. 1703 May 3, Ordered that a new upper light-house at North Shields be built to the northward of the old one. 1711 John Bee, by will, dated 5th June, bequeathed £100, to be lent out without interest for the space of 2 years to 2 younger brethren, on giving security. 1715–6 January 20, Ordered that prayers be read every month-day, and a sermon be preached every quarterday; the Rev. Mr. Wildcock to be chaplain. It seems that the civil war and changes in the government had caused these pious observances to be discontinued. 1721 June 5, A large room for public meetings ordered to be built over the cellars of the old chapel, and the old gallery to be repaired and kept up "for a mathematical school house." The widows' apartments were built in 1724. It appears that the hall and new buildings cost, the former £669, 7s. 6d. the latter £115, 6s. 7½d. 1732 Two brethren dismissed for refusing to take the Test and Corporation oaths. 1737 In this year, and for some years after, a gold ring, presented by Sir W. Blackett, Bart. was preserved and transferred with some ceremony to the new master. 1738 September 21, Mr. M. Giles fined £40 for breaking open the door leading from the chapel to the green room, where the papers and records were kept. The offender afterwards was fined £40 more, for intruding upon the company. 1739 Given towards repairing Gateshead church, 10 guineas. 1745 The town being fortified, this society was requested to send as many seamen as were necessary to work the great guns. Many of the brethren volunteered to work the guns on the batteries raised at the siege of Carlisle; but on joining the army, the siege was so far advanced, that their services were not required. They, however, received the thanks of the general, for their loyalty and alacrity in assisting his majesty's forces. 1746 In February this year, the Duke of Cumberland, on his return from Scotland, was presented with the freedom of this society in a gold box. 1750 This house subscribed 10 guineas annually to the Infirmary.—20 guineas are now paid. 1752 August 14, The master and brethren of the Trinity House, at the request of the mayor and common council, sounded the river. 1754 The master and brethren of the Trinity House went down the river, at the request of the mayor and common council, and sounded the river and middle ground. 1755 January 17, The Trinity House petitioned the House of Commons to restrain Richard Liddle from using his new invented machine for removing of earth, ballast, sand, &c. in the river Tyne.—The house in the Broad Chare, lately occupied by Mr. Row, was bought. 1756 Captain Taylor requested the assistance of the house to impress seamen. The pilots ordered to assist. 1759 "Paid for relieving the French prisoners in Tinmouth, 2 guineas." 1760 Great repairs to the houses in the Broad Chare. 1763 Subscribed 5 guineas for the support of the Lunatic Hospital in Newcastle. This was paid for 14 years. 1773 December 30, Oil lamps ordered to be fixed in the light-houses instead of candles. 1775 The lower light-house at North Shields was raised at the expense of the house. 1779 The freedom of this corporation, and a letter of thanks, were sent to Admiral Keppel, in a gold box of elegant workmanship, for "his spirited, gallant, and judicious conduct, on the 27th and 28th of July, 1778. 1779 This society paid 500 guineas for 52 seats in All Saints' church, for the accommodation of the brethren. 1789 May 15, His Royal Highness the Duke of Clarence was elected a member of this house, the freedom of which was presented in a gold box. 1791 About £400 was expended in building the new board-room, &c. 1794 Oil lamps and reflectors were recommended for Tynemouth lights, in lieu of the coal fire.—Bee's legacy ordered to be lent to one person. 1796 Sir J. B. Warren, Bart. and Sir Edward Pellew (now Lord Exmouth), were presented with the freedom of this corporation.—John Atkinson, an elder brother, offered £100, to be lent in the same manner as Mr. Bee's bequest. 1798 Expended in building alms-houses in the high yard, £280. On the ceiling of the rigging-loft, when taken down, were the initial letters E. R. 1583, in a circle. This year, a voluntary contribution of £100 was paid to government. This society also offered to form an artillery company, to be attached to the Newcastle Armed Association, which was not accepted. They, however, raised a subscription (including £25 from the funds) that amounted to £110, and built a gun-boat, that carried one eighteen-pounder for the defence of the harbour. 1800 The west gable-end of the chapel was rebuilt, and fronted with a handsome flight of steps, defended on each side by a neat iron railing. 1800 The pilots have always been under the peculiar jurisdiction of the Trinity House. In 1657, it was ordered, that "if any brother take upon himself to pilot any ship whatever upon the Lord's Day, he shall pay, every time offending, the sum of 20s."This corporation, in 1794, resolved to prosecute any officer in his majesty's service who should impress, or deprive any pilots of their branches. 1801 In October this year, the mayor consulted the house respecting the appointment and duties of a harbour master, agreeably to a clause in the new act. 1802 Altering the Low Light-house cost £200, and roofing the hall, &c. £300. Paid Messrs. Clayton and Scott's expenses respecting passing the act, £361, 6s. 1803 The loyal and charitable contributions of the house this year amounted to £320. In March, the house elected a new officer for superintending the pilots at Shields. His salary was fixed at £200 per annum, to be paid out of a toll of 6d. on each ship in and out, the surplus to be applied for a fund for relieving maimed, disabled, or distressed pilots, or their widows. This surplus amounted, in 1803, to £119, 3s. 9d.; in 1804, to £189, 4s. 8d.; in 1805, to £195, 17s.; in 1806, to £197, 8s.; in 1807, to £153, 10s. During this time, £472, 7s. 2d. was expended on objects of charity. The office of Ruler of Pilots upon the river was instituted in 1720. The pilots of Shields readily complied with the requisition of the house, in July, 1803, to enrol such of themselves as were able into a corps of Sea Fencibles. In December this year, a Ruler of Pilots was appointed for Sunderland; but he was violently and perseveringly obstructed in the execution of his office by the ship-owners of that port, who discarded the licensed pilots, and employed their own servants. At this crisis, the Trinity House acted without energy or authority; and the licensed pilots, being reduced to a state of starvation, in 1805 revolted from obedience to the house. Mr. Brown, the Ruler, was recalled in May, 1806, having received from the house, above what he got from the pilots, £293, 16s. and was now voted a pension of £20 per annum. The law charges during this contest amounted to £105, 4s. 1805 A memorial was received from the ship-owners of Shields, complaining of the harbour lights.—Ordered a new reflector for the Low Light-house. 1806 An address and a gold box, value £90, were voted to Admiral Lord Collingwood. 1807 John Swinburn was appointed the first Ruler of the Pilots at Blyth. His fee is 6d. for each ship in and out. He collected, the first year, £82, 7s. 6d. 1808 Three buoys were laid on certain shoals and rocks near Holy Island, for which every loaded ship that passed paid 1s. Laying a sewer this year in Trinity Lane cost £50. 1814 The expenses of building the Low and High Light-houses, and purchasing the scites, to May this year, were as follow:—General charges, £2404, 6s. 11d.; Low Light-house, £5663, 5s. 8d.; High Lighthouse, £2078, 6s. 9d.; total, £10,745, 19s. 4d. Of this sum, £4700 was borrowed. The total supposed cost estimated at £12,000, and the income at £650. The distance of the Low and High Light-houses is 234 yards; and the perpendicular height from the surbase of the Low Light-house to the surbase of the High Light-house is 71 feet 10 inches. 1816 December 2, Ordered "that any man marrying after he has become an in-pensioner, do immediately quit the premises. This order is not intended to affect such pensioners as are already married, so long as they conduct themselves orderly to the satisfaction of the board." 1817 January 14, the Rev. H. D. Griffith, M. A. was elected chaplain to this society, on the death of the Rev. George Emerson. 1818 March 2, Ordered "that no free burgess of Newcastle upon Tyne, or son of a free brother (not having served at sea seven years, as an apprentice to a member of this Trinity House), petitioning to be made free of this company, shall be admitted to the freedom thereof, unless he or they shall have been employed and gone to sea for seven years or more, in the occupation and capacity of a mariner, and at the time of his petitioning, as aforesaid, does or do actually pursue, and declare his intent to follow and pursue the same occupation and business of a mariner." April 7, Ordered, pursuant to custom by the board, "that no person is or can be eligible to be elected or appointed an officer of this house, necessarily implying a seat at this board, except he be dwelling or has his usual place of residence within the liberties of Newcastle upon Tyne at the time of his election, or that he possesses an office in the said town, or regularly carries on his profession or business within the aforesaid town.* And it is further agreed and ordered, that no person shall be eligible to be elected or appointed an officer to sit at the board, except he has been previously master or commander of a ship."
  • 3. The common council, on February 24, 1736, required the Board of the Trinity House to shew cause why the house enrolled apprentices bound to masters living distant from Newcastle; when the Board replied that "they could not deny, or hinder free brethren of the house to enrol their apprentices."
  • 4. The old rusted anchor, affixed to the outside wall of the Trinity House, near the entrance from the Broad Chare, is said to have belonged to one of the ships of the Invincible Armada, which was wrecked within the jurisdiction of the society. The writer has seen a very old memorandum, in which it was affirmed that the anchor belonged to the ship of the pirate Blackbeard.
  • 5. Most of the particulars respecting the Trinity House were selected from numerous extracts taken from their archives and books, and now in possession of the editor. The Board, on being applied to for a continuance of the accounts for the last few years, refused to give such information, alleging that the publication of their accounts was unprecedented, and contrary to the oath of secresy taken by the members of the Board. But as the act of parliament, obtained by this house in 1801, was granted in consequence of representations founded upon a public statement of their accounts, it is evident that the oath of secresy does not extend to their pecuniary concerns, but must be confined to the Free Masonry of navigation. Indeed, no corporate body, who levy duties upon the public, can be justified in concealing the particulars of their receipts and disbursements. However, the progress of liberal ideas must soon destroy the old, suspicious, and useless affectation of concealment. It is said that the above sums exceed the neat annual income of the house, because balances in hand, deposits in the bank, and sums lent, have been occasionally included in the gross receipts. But any person acquainted with accounts may easily, by examining the above Specialities, and calculating the increase of the coal trade since 1818, ascertain pretty nearly the real income of this corporation.
  • 6. A bill of fare for the Barber-Surgeons, and Wax and Tallow-Chandlers' Company, October 28, 1478, in the reign of Edward IV.:—"To 2 loins of veal, 8d.; 2 do. mutton, 8d.; 1 do. beef, 4d.; 2 leggs mutton, 2½d.; 1 pigg, 6d.; 1 capon, 6d.; 1 rabbit, 2d.; 1 doz. pigeons, 7d.; 1 goose, 4d.; 1 gross eggs, 8½d.; 2 gallons wine, 1s. 4d.; 18 gallons ale, 1s. 6d.; total, 7s. 6d." N. B. 124 men dined off the above.
  • 7. The following are extracts from their old books:—"Accounts 1691.—Disburst about the man that was given the company for dissection."—"April 6, 1711, four statues ordered to be bought, not to exceed fifteen pounds."—"April 9, 1711, a skeleton ordered to be bought in London, not to exceed six guineas."—"December 11, 1711, ordered by a full vote in the company that perrywigg-making be from thenceforth accounted as a part and branch of the company."—"June 14, 1742, order that no brother shave John Robson, till he pays what he owes to Robert Shafto."
  • 8. The following curious entries occur in their old books:—"1613, Robart Harrigad, for a carvell, 1s."— 1622, William Keisley, for working on a ketch on a holiday, 7d.—Of two for working on a "flebote" on a holiday, 7d.—1624, received for a pott "fower heates on a keele, 21d."—1651, about this time the company appear to have had ways at the Close Gate, where large ships were built.—"27 December, 1622, pd. for betredging the towre 24s. 2d."—1630, mention occurs of Skis Thursday being our Lady-day in Lent.—June 24, 1673, a brother fined for challenging another to fight, and giving him his glove.—Ten brethren fined for working on January 30, 1651, "being a thanksgivinge-daye."—December 27, 1672, a brother fined for telling one of the twelve "he turned his cloake upon the other shoulder."
  • 9. In the cause the king, on the prosecution of William Coates, against the wardens of the Coopers* Company of Newcastle upon Tyne, for refusing to enrol the indentures of John Oxnard, an apprentice to the said W. Coates, a free Cooper, tried in the King's Bench at Easter term, 1798,—Lord Kenyon, Chief Justice, with Sir William Henry Ashurst, Sir Nash Grose, and Sir Soulden Lawrence, ordered a peremptory mandamus against the wardens. Lord Kenyon said, "How the two companies (viz. Coopers and Pulleymakers, Turners, and Rope-makers) could be consolidated together, I cannot conjecture. The legislature or the crown only can make a fraternity. However, the defendants having assumed that character, we are to take it as against themselves. But when the corporation of Newcastle chose to consolidate the two companies, they certainly had no right to superadd bye-laws in restraint of trade; and a prohibition not to take more than a certain number of apprentices is a bye-law in restraint of trade. On the act of parliament, also, I think the bye-law is void: that statute says that only a small sum, 2s. 6d. shall be taken for the enrolment of indentures of apprenticeship; whereas the defendants insist that, under this bye-law, £10 shall be taken for it."
  • 10. On April 18, 1737, the wardens of the House-Carpenters and Joiners' Company agreed upon a schedule of the sorts of work peculiarly belonging to each, and also of the several sorts of work in common which both might execute without distinction. September 5, 1782, this society presented Sir M. W. Ridley with the freedom of their incorporation, a medal, and a ring, as a token of their approbation of his parliamentary conduct. December 26, 1795, Sir M. W. Ridley again received the thanks of this company, for his opposition to the sedition and treason bills.
  • 11. Sir F. Bulmer, of the Strand, London, was for many years an eminent druggist. Being the Senior Gentleman of the Band of Gentlemen Pensioners, he was knighted at the coronation of his present majesty. He died May 7, 1824, aged 79. On receiving the above benefaction, the House-Carpenters' Company voted him a handsome silver snuff-box, on which the arms of the company were engraved.
  • 12. The following entries occur in the books of this society:—Disbursements, 1652.—"Item for drawing of a petition, 1s."—"About ye prentices when ye maior sent for us, 1s. 6d."—"Spent about viewing ye town, 1s."—"1675, To make friends wth. comon councellmen wt. was spent wth. them, 2s. 6d."—"1721, Given to Joshua Bilton to pay the doctress, 8s."—"1722, Spent waiting of Mr. Mayor at parliamenteering, 1s.— ffor two bottles of wine & one of sack, 6s. 6d."—"1726, The beadles drinks for ye whole year, 8s.—Paid towards ye ffreeman's plate, 21s.—Spent with the people yt. put out ye ffire in the meeting-house, 10d."— "July 18, 1727, Paid for ten quarts of wine for the three candidates, 20s.—Paid for three pound of ffine biscates for them, 4s. 6d."—"October, 1714, for candles to illuminate the meeting-house att the king's accession, 1s. 6d." Orders.—On Easter Tuesday, 1673, "Whereas complaint was made of some of the company for speckling of wood to make it looke like reall speckled wood, and to place it in worke by them made, making the kings subjects believe the same to be reall, whereas it is not soe. Therefore to prevent the doeing of the same for the future, It is voted by the most part of the company that such wood artificially speckled shall not be made use of for the time to come, and if any shall transgresse any more therein to be fyned 6s. 8d. for every offence."—On St. Peter's day, 1673, "Whereas there was an order lately made not to speckle wood artificially to look like reall speckled wood. It is this day upon further consideration ordered, that they may artificially speckle wood and make use of it on work, provided they doe not affirme it to be reall speckled wood wch. if they do affirme they are to pay for every offence, 6s. 8d."—December 10, 1684, "The company is discharged from working for Gawen Preston until Matthew Hills be satisfied."—February 8, 1685, "Ordered yt. from henceforth noe brother of ye company of Joyners shall keep or sett up a coffin or other signe at 2 places but onely either at ye house or shopp of such brother, upon penalty of 6s. 8d. fine to be pd. by every brother soe offending."
  • 13. Paving is a modern invention. Paris was partly paved in the 12th century. Holborn, and many of the other principal streets in London, were first paved in 1417, and the great market in Smithfield not till 1614. St. Bride's Street, in Dublin, was only paved on one side in 1666. At this period, many of the streets in Newcastle probably remained unpaved.
  • 14. By certain ordinances and bye-laws of this society, dated November 25, 1786, they were much restricted, by the imposition of excessive fines, in engaging apprentices; but, in the year 1787, the payment of these fines was successfully resisted by John Taylor, a member of the society; the stewards for the time being having declined to inrol an indenture of apprenticeship, until the sum of £15 should be paid. They were served with an order of the court of King's Bench, June 22, that year, to shew cause why a writ of mandamus should not issue, directed to them, commanding them to inrol in the proper book of the said company the indenture of apprenticeship whereby John Hunter was bound apprentice to John Taylor, on the 19th day of February preceding. A meeting of the company was in consequence held on the 23d June, when it was the unanimous opinion of the said company, that they were unprepared to shew cause against the said rule within the time therein limited. The mandamus was accordingly issued, and the indenture inrolled in 1789.