Legal Subject: Charter

Case Date Legal Subject Abstract
Incorporation of Weavers in Glasgow v. James Freeland and Others 29 Jan 1778 Charter, Weaving, Silk 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.