1st Edition

A History of the Carpenters Company

By B W E Alford, T BARKER Copyright 1968
    286 Pages
    by Routledge

    First published in 1968, A History of the Carpenters Company deals with developments in the carpenter’s craft as well as with the Company's own internal growth. It examines the effectiveness of efforts to enforce regulations dealing with wages, apprenticeship, and building, which emanated from both the Company and the Common Council of the City of London. The Great Fire of 1666 had profound effects on the organization which struggled on with a meager income until railway compensation and the enhancement of property values, in the second-half of the nineteenth century, transformed it into one of the wealthiest of the City Livery Companies. The Carpenters’ unusually complete records have not only enabled the authors to trace the acquisition of property, but also to illustrate the legal fictions used to protect this property from unscrupulous demands of Tudor and Stuart monarchs, and, at the same time, to question some of the existing general accounts of the apparent rise in charitable activity during that period. The domestic life of the Company, its charities, and successive halls, are all described.

    Throughout, an attempt has been made to trace the social and economic life of the Carpenters against a backcloth of London and National History. This book is an important historical reference work for students of British history.

    Preface 1. The Origins of the Company 2. The Company and the Control of the Craft, 1400 - 1600 3. Income and Property, 1438 - 1600 4. Demarcation Disputes and Weaker Craft Control, 1600- 1670 5. Income and Property, 1600- 1666 6. A Period of Stagnation, 1666- 1700 7. A Century of Unspectacular Progress 8. Growing Prosperity, 1800- 1880 9. The Coming of the Welfare State Appendices Collected Notes Index


    B. W. E. Alford is Emeritus Professor of Economic and Social History, University of Bristol. 

    T. C. Barker (19 July 1923 – 22 November 2001) was a British social and economic historian.

    Reviews of the original publication:

    ‘A new history of the Carpenters Company was long overdue. The last substantial history was published in 1887 and was intended primarily for members of the Company. The book under review, written by two economic historians, is more ambitious in aim and much broader in scope: the Company's history is no longer treated in isolation but is considered in relation to ‘developments in the craft and changes in the London scene’.’

    -       William Kellaway, History, Vol 54, No 182, OCTOBER 1969.