In 1528, the Crown granted the Incorporation of Weavers in Glasgow an exclusive charter to practice weaving in that burgh. In 1681, however, they lost the exclusive privilege of weaving linen and hemp. Around 1760, a number of craftsmen in Glasgow began operating as silk-weavers despite being neither freemen of the Incorporation of Weavers nor, in some cases, freemen of Glasgow Burgh. In 1775, after the Incorporation of Weavers brought a complaint against a number of them, Bailie Duncan Niven had them imprisoned and fined. After obtaining a bill of suspension and liberation, these silk-weavers brought an action of oppression and damages against certain members of the Incorporation, and against Bailie Niven. At the same time, the Incorporation of Weavers requested a declaration that only members of their guild could practice silk-weaving within Glasgow. These actions were conjoined and came before Lord Gardenstone, who reported the case. The Court found that if the silk-weavers wished to practice their craft, they must join the Incorporation of Weavers. The case reports only cover the action of declarator brought by the Incorporation of Weavers.

Published Reports

William Morison, The Decisions of the Court of Session (1811), pg. 1975
Sir David Dalyrymple of Hailes, Decisions of the Lords of Council and Session, from 1766 to 1791 (1826), pg. 781