16 August 1449
Statute for the tailors trade
A certain statute made by the mayor and council, with the consent of the
tailors, for the regulation of the tailors' craft, viz. that each year
within the two months after Michaelmas, all resident craftsmen will be
advised by the sergeant-at-mace to appear before the mayor in the gildhall
to elect two burgesses of the most
suitable of their number to be their headsmen. Which burgesses thus
elected are to take oath to [see performed] the following:
[i.e. supervise] the craft among
Not to allow any newcomer to set himself up in the craft unless he
has proper knowledge of it (which shall be determined by mayor and
Any newcomer admitted to the craft who does not wish to be a burgess
shall pay, for the right to set up in the craft, 40d. each to mayor,
community, and headsmen (the last to be put towards the cost of the
Corpus Christi day procession); any wishing to become a burgess shall
pay only the 40d. to the headsmen/procession.
Craftsmen shall be answerable to the headsmen for resident
seamstresses, a farthing a week or 2d. a quarter, and double for outsider
Any craftsman who is not a burgess but has an apprentice shall pay
40d. towards the cost of the Corpus Christi procession.
If anyone complains of bad workmanship by a craftsman, and the
latter is found guilty, he shall compensate the aggrieved party in the
presence of the mayor and headsmen.
If a craftsman speaks slander of the deeds of any man, and the
slanderous accusation cannot be proven, he shall be punished according
to the judgement of mayor and headsmen by forfeiting 40d. towards the
Corpus Christi procession.
If anyone not of the craft slanders any [crafts?]man,
and the slanderous accusation cannot be proven, he shall be punished
according to the judgement of mayor and council.
If there are any disputes between members of the craft, they are not
to bring the complaint to court, but before the headsmen who will try to
arbitrate a settlement; failing that, the headsmen shall bring the matter
before the mayor. Failure to comply will result in a fine (prescribed in
an existing statute). If any headsman shows partiality or lets anything
other than good conscience rule his judgement, the aggrieved party may
complain to the mayor; or if any headsman fails to arbitrate, so that
the dispute is not resolved and the parties resort to the courts, the
delinquent headsman will be fined.