Guilds & Trade Incorporations

Outgoings and Obligations of the Trades

The Trades had to pay their dues in taxes to the Town, at the same time as maintaining their own administrations.

The policing of standards required the documentation being recorded by the Clerk (who was paid for this work), as well as the hiring of the Messenger to enforce matters. There was an obligation to look after widows and families of past members who had fallen on hard times, or who were sick, or who had died. Hence the Trade was an early form of pension or family support.

The opposite side of the income from the Church pews rentals were that the trades has an obligation to maintain and repair and sometime rebuild the Church. The cleaning of pews, the provision of lights, and decoration of the pews required to be paid for too. Indeed there had to be a Trades officer at the Church door to ensure a barrier to unauthorised use. In addition, collective buying of meal was seen as a major part of early Trade life with the members and their families benefiting from grain being bought for them at a lower price than the normal market rate.

The Trades also from time to time gave in charitable ways, with, for example, the Mason trade in Dundee having contributed to the building of a new lunatic asylum in 1817, and all of the Three United Trades contributing to Dundee Royal infirmary during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.