Taylors Company


Newcastle Upon Tyne

The Taylors Company of Newcastle Upon Tyne

A tailor is a person who makes, repairs, or alters clothing professionally, especially suits and men’s clothing.

Although the term dates to the thirteenth century, tailor took on its modern sense in the late eighteenth century, and now refers to makers of men’s and women’s suits, coats, trousers, and similar garments, usually of wool, linen, or silk.

The term refers to a set of specific hand and machine sewing and pressing techniques that are unique to the construction of traditional jackets. Retailers of tailored suits often take their services internationally, traveling to various cities, allowing the client to be measured locally.

Traditional tailoring is called bespoke tailoring in the United Kingdom, where the heart of the trade is in London’s Savile Row, and custom tailoring in the United States and Hong Kong. This is unlike made to measure which uses pre existing patterns. A bespoke garment or suit is completely original and unique to each customer.

Taylors in Newcastle

The oldest record of this fraternity is dated October 8th 1536, and enjoined, that every brother, at his setting up shop, should pay a bottle of oil to the fellowship; as also thirteen-pence a year to the stewards for “our Lady-light;” and that each apprentice, or person hired by the week, should pay four pence per annum, and each hireling three-pence a year to their play when it should be performed: also, that any person born a subject of the King, and free of Newcastle, might set up shop on payment of £40, with a pound of wax and a pot of oil, on his admittance; as also thirteen-pence to our Lady-light, and eight pence to the play, which exhibited “The Decent into Hell.”

That no Taylor should work on Saturdays after eight o’clock in the evening, and should keep holy the Sundays, vigils, and festival days, on pain of six pounds of wax for every default. That the society should pass their accounts on St. John’s day, in every May, and having chose twelve electors, the said twelve should chose four stewards, the secretary, and auditors. It further ordered, that every brother should be at the procession on Corpus Christi Day, before it passed the New-Gate, on pain of forfeiting a pound of wax; and that each brother should attend in his livery. And that the common light of the fraternity should go before the corpse of every brother when it is carried to church for internment, and continue their lighted during mass time, and till the body was interred; but if there be a dirge, then the light to be extinguished during the dirge.

There is another ordinary of this society, dated August 12th 1624, confirmed March 2nd 1679; also September 15th 1707, January 17th 1731, and October 17th 1737. This society, in 1773, in commemoration of a rule of court having been obtained August 10th in that year, against the magistrates of this town, confirming the resident freemen, and widows of freemen, in their right to the Castle Leazes, Town, and Nun’s Moor, for ever, together with £300 costs of suit, presented each of the members of the committee, who conducted the cause for the burgesses, with a gold ring, in the signet of each of which, under a crystal, was represented, Liberty stepping out of her temple, with a label proceeding for her mouth, inscribed – Town Moor saved, August 10th 1773. On the inside- “Concordia parve res crescent:” By concord small things increase. Round the inner verge- “Taylors Company to … (naming each member); and round the outer verge – “Vox Populi Vox Dei:” The voice of the people is the voice of God.

One of the rings was auctioned in Newcastle and was bought on behalf of the Freemen of Newcastle upon Tyne by the Stewards Committee, and remains in their charge.

Most probable date of Incorporation: 1536


Senior Steward

Peter Foggin 
4 Wharmlands Grove 
Denton Burn 
Newcastle upon Tyne 
NE15 7UE