Bakers and Brewers Company of Newcastle upon Tyne
The making of bread and beer being a corporate monopoly, this mystery was, in remote times, specially protected by the government of the town.
Among the articles agreed upon in full guild of the town of Newcastle upon Tyne, held at St Mary's hospital on the Friday before Valentine-day, 1342, and confirmed by the King, October 20th that year, the following occurs:
'The assizes of bread and beer to be held according to law. The master bakers, and not their servants, to suffer the penalties ordained by statute. Measures, ells, and weights to be proved twice a year, or at least once.'
By an inquisition taken at Newcastle upon Tyne, January 4th 1446, it appeared that common baking and brewing for sale were restricted to that town, and no where else within the port of Tyne.
An Ordinary of this society, now lost, appears to have been in their possession A.D. 1583.
There is an ordinary of this society, dated November 4th 1661, enrolled in the books of the corporation, setting forth that their ancient ordinary was lost, and enjoining them to meet yearly on the 23rd of November, unless it should fall on a Sunday, and then the day after, to elect the twelve of the society and four wardens, who were empowered, by the name of the art and mystery of bakers and brewers, to prosecute, sue and implead, and be prosecuted, sued, &c. only within the courts of Newcastle upon Tyne; to make laws for the government of the society, impose fines, &c. forbidding any brother to strike another at any meeting with fist, hand, elbow, dagger, staff, stick, rod or otherwise, on pain of twenty shillings; and ordering that no apprentice should be taken under seven years, nor second till the first had served six years. As also that the society should attend the burials of their brethren, on pain of a penalty of three shillings and four-pence for every omission.
Their meeting house is in the Black Friars.