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History of the Hammermen of Glasgow
A Study typical of Scottish Craft Life and Organisation by Harry Lumsden, LL.B. and Rev. P. Henderson Aitken, D.Litt (1912)


The object of the following volume has been twofold: (First) To supply to those interested a History of the Incorporation of Hammermen of Glasgow from the earliest times for which records can be found, to the present day; (Second) To give to the general reader a typical and systematic study of the life and organisation of a Scottish craft in its most important relations. Craft histories are already numerous, but so far as the authors are aware the writers of the great majority of them have not attempted to show the craft as an organism playing a considerable part in the greater organism of the burgh. This has been one of the chief"aims of the present work, and as a consequence it has sometimes been found necessary to draw upon the experience of other crafts or other burghal or even State institutions, to explain or illustrate a phase of craft life in which the records of the Hammermen may have been deficient. For the same reason, copious use has also been made of the records of the Trades House and of the Town Council of Glasgow in whatever connection the Hammermen are referred to in these archives. The authors have divided their labours in accordance with their original scheme. Book I., dealing with the constitution and organisation of the craft, the rights and duties of the craftsmen, and the relation of the craft with the Guildry and the Town Council has been written by Mr. Lumsden, and concludes with a short sketch of the transition to reformed institutions. Book II., which depicts craft life and work, private and public, at kirk and market, in change-house and writing-rooms, at hospital and hall, has been taken up by Dr. Aitken. He has also written the general introduction.

The work has been made much easier by the many facilities and kind assistance rendered by Mr. Hugh Moncrieff, Clerk of the Incorporation; and the unique collection of examples of craftsmanship recently housed in the Scottish National Historical Exhibition at Kelvingrove, has made it possible to provide illustrations of hammermen handiwork, many specimens having been actually made in Glasgow by craftsmen whose names may be found in the membership roll.

The Hammermen of Edinburgh
And their Altar in St Giles Church being Extracts from the Records of the Incorporation of Hammermen of Edinburgh 1494 to 1558 with Introductory Notes by John Smith, Author of "A Handbook and Directory of Old Scottish Clockmakers".


UMEROUS books have been written about Edinburgh, all dealing more or less with the rise and progress of the city in by-gone years, and diversified in scope and treatment. Nothing has, however, fully described the part the humble craftsman played in this development, especially during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Possibly this has been owing to lack of original and authentic details, as the chief sources of information have been either unknown to, or entirely overlooked by the compilers of Edinburgh history. Fortunately there remains preserved to us some of the Records of the various Trade Incorporations which flourished in the city during these two centuries, and these portray in a wondrous and vivid manner an account of the daily life and habits of these sturdy and independent men.

The present volume gives for the first time a series of extracts from the Records of the Incorporation of Hammermen of Edinburgh one of the oldest of these crafts the original manuscripts of which cover, without a break, their transactions from 1494 to the present time. The first volume only has been drawn upon for the present, but it covers a period of great historic value. Interesting side-lights are thrown upon incidents referred to in contemporary history which are as yet imperfectly understood.

The Introduction and Notes give prominence to the part religion played in the daily life of the craftsmen in Pre-Reformation days; and an attempt has been made to identify the site of the altar with which so much of it was associated. The latter may seem to many quite unnecessary, but when we consider what has been done in St Giles Church within recent years to commemorate events, persons, and sites pertaining to the Post-Reformation period of the building, surely it is of importance to throw light upon its Pre-Reformation history. The opinions expressed are prompted by a sincere desire to help towards removing the uncertainty which has existed regarding the interior of St Giles Church before the Reformation; and are the result of a careful study of the Records.

The details are given with remarkable precision and clearness year by year, but as much sameness occurs in the entries for Saints' and festival days, needless repetition has been avoided, while care has been taken to note any changes which took place. The various lists of Craftsmen form a valuable and reliable directory of our old Edinburgh citizens, and are given entire.

I have to thank the Deacon, and Clerk of the Hammermen's Incorporation for so kindly and freely granting me permission to make the Extracts from their Records; and for allowing me to facsimile the Seal and "Seills of Cause," which illustrate this volume.


The Perth Hammermen Book (1518 to 1568)
With an Introducatory Sketch by Colin A. Hunt


On the motion of John Stewart, Esq., Deacon, you resolved to print the oldest portion of your “Auld Buik,” with such Introduction and Notes as might elucidate the history of the Incorporation, and entrusted to me the preparation of the same for the press. I have now to express a hope that your resolution has been fitly carried out.

In connection with the preparation for the press, I have to acknowledge the kindness of A. G. Reid, Esq., Auchterarder. His advice was always given from a hearty interest in the subject, and his stores of information on Scottish antiquities have been of real service.

I have pleasure in subscribing,

“Ane of the Brether,”


Scottish Pewter-Ware and Pewterers
By L. Ingleby Wood (pdf)

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