Records of Clothworking and Textiles

Illustration of shearmen at work, 1814Despite its craft origins, the Company holds few records relating to clothworking. 

The Orders of Court regularly document fines being levied for poor workmanship and disputes arising between members. 

In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, they also contain references to wider issues such as the regulation of the trade in the City of London (many clothworkers could be found in the Merchant Taylors and Dyers’ Companies for example) and the impact of the export of (unfinished) cloth on artisan members.

Additionally, the Archive contains a Receipt Book for fines for bad workmanship, 1704-1747 and a book of Reviews of Defective Cloths, 1719- 1747; however, these are the only records we hold relating specifically to the Company’s craft activities. 
Review of devfective cloths, 1722
The Company’s control of clothworking was limited to the City of London and its immediate suburbs. As such we do not possess any information on individual clothworkers active outside the capital.  Nor do we hold or collect the archives of other British clothworking or textiles guilds, companies or concerns, irrespective of their date or location. 
 
For the location of records of British textiles companies, please consult the National Register of Archives maintained by The National Archives.