Butchers Company


Newcastle Upon Tyne

The work of the Butcher

Butchery is a traditional work. Primary butchery consists of selecting carcasses, sides, or quarters from which primal cuts can be produced with the minimum of wastage, separate the primal cuts from the carcasses using the appropriate tools and equipment following company procedures, trim primal cuts and prepare for secondary butchery or sale, and store cut meats hygienically and safely. Secondary butchery involves boning and trimming primal cuts in preparation for sale. Historically, primary and secondary butchery were performed in the same establishment but the advent of methods of preservation and low cost transportation has largely separated them.

Butchers in Newcastle

There is an enrolment of an ordinary of this society in the archives of the corporation of Newcastle, dated July 20th 1621.

This enjoins them to meet every year on Ash-Wednesday to choose their two wardens; that apprentices should serve at least eight years, five of which to expire before a second could be taken, that no brother should be partner with any foreigners called crockers, on pain of forfeiting £5. that none should kill after nine o’clock on Saturday night, nor keep open shop after eight o’clock on a Sunday morning; that no brother should buy, or seek any licence to kill flesh in Newcastle during Lent, without the general consent of the fellowship, on pain of forfeiting £5. that none should kill either at Lent or any other time, within the liberties of the High-Castle, “being in the county of Northumberland” on the like pain for each offence. But that any butcher, though not a brother, might expose good meat to sale in the market, from the hours of eight in the morning till four in the afternoon.

On February 9th 1713, they made an order to change the day of their head-meeting from ash-Wednesday to the proceeding Wednesday in every year. There is an order, that no free brother should blow a calf’s pluck, or any part of a calf, except calf’s close-ear, nor any other goods but cow’s udder, under a penalty of 6s. 8d. unforgiven.

Their hall is on the south side of the Black Friars.

From: ‘Incorporated Companies: The fifteen bye-trades’, Historical Account of Newcastle-upon-Tyne:

Most probable date of Incorporation: 1621

Senior Steward

F. H. Alder 
Woodhill Farm 
Newcastle upon Tyne 
NE20 0JA