This is a unique pictorial record of the Incorporated Trades of Edinburgh: their heritage and development since the Middle Ages right up to modern times. Beautifully illustrated and comprehensively cross-referenced, this publication, the third in a remarkable ‘Heritage’ series, should delight all readers who love the City of Edinburgh.
This book describes the important events leading up to and following the establishment of the Convenery of Trades and its various constituent Incorporations, all with their foundation documents (Seals of Cause), Deacons, Patron and Matron Saints, heraldry, journeymen and apprentices. Highlighted are many historical events which have been of great importance in the lives of the craftsmen of Edinburgh, including the Battle of Flodden, the signing of the National Covenant, the Union of the Crowns, the Jacobite Uprisings and the Industrial Revolution.
Unexpected connections have been made between the Incorporations and many interesting characters: for instance, Thomas Smith and Robert Stevenson, both Hammermen, the founders of a dynasty of lighthouse engineers; Joseph Bell, President of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, who taught Conan Doyle and became the model for Sherlock Holmes; and William Jamieson, the entrepreneurial Mason, who manufactured bricks in Portobello and contributed so much to the construction of the New Town.
It is a treasure-chest of knowledge about every Trade, and an enjoyable ‘dipping-in’ book. The diverse Crafts, community leaders and fascinating characters are all portrayed in this easy-to-read compendium. A panoramic Prospect of 18th-century Edinburgh, complete with the coats of arms of all the Incorporations, is to be found at the back of this well-researched volume.