Welcome from the Deacon Convenor and the Incoprorated Trades of Edinburgh.
Welcome to the website of the Convenery of the Incorporated Trades of Edinburgh.
We are delighted that you have found us and we invite you to explore the information contained here, that outlines the history of each of our ancient trades.
These pages have been meticulously researched by our historian, Henry Steuart Fothringham OBE, and maintained here on the website by our Convenery officer and webmaster, Gordon Rutter, to whom we are extremely grateful to both for their kind efforts.
The origins of our ancient crafts are lost in the distant past for there have been trades here for as long as there have been people settled and living in the place that we now call Edinburgh, today our capital city.
To explain the incorporated status for each trade, these came about, through charters issued by the city, known as seals of cause, granting each recipient craft, the exclusive rights and privileges to work exclusively within the royal burgh. These craft monopolies existed from the Middle Ages through to 1846, when these exclusive privileges were abolished across the country, opening up free trade.
Today we are the equivalent of the livery companies of London and yet, to many, largely forgotten. Our website therefore, is our window to the world, sharing as it does, our unique Edinburgh Traditions, showcasing the 15 Trades of Edinburgh, of which 14 still exist today.
We do hope that you enjoy what you find here.
Ian Robertson, Deacon Convener of Trades
The website is currently being updated. All of the old information is here but changes are currently being applied to ensure the website is up to date.
Above you will see a menu that will explain who we are and what we do. To the left hand side of this page is a list of Edinburgh’s Incorporated Trades, each Incorporation has its own information, with links to their websites, where appropriate. There is also a Gallery for each Incorporation, highlighting some of the important historic items in our collection at Ashfield and elsewhere.