Bricklayers and Plasterers Company
Newcastle Upon Tyne
The work of the Bricklayers, Wallers and Plasterers
A bricklayer or mason is a tradesman who lays bricks to construct brickwork. The term also refers to personnel who use blocks to construct blockwork walls and other forms of masonry. In British and Australian English, a bricklayer is colloquially known as a “brickie”.
A Plasterer is a tradesman who works with plaster, such as forming a layer of plaster on an interior wall or plaster decorative moldings on ceilings or walls. The process of creating plasterwork, called plastering, has been used in building construction for centuries.
Bricklayers and Plasterers in Newcastle
An ancient record of this society, which is still in their possession, dated “the 7th day of November, in the year of our Lord God A thousand four hundredth and four and fifty,” enjoined them to meet yearly at the feast of Corpus Christi, to go together in procession as other crafts did, and play, at their own charge, two plays, viz.: “The Creation of Adam,” and “The Flying of our Lady into Egypt.”
After the plays, the wardens were to be chosen by the common assent of the fellowship; each man of the said craft to be at the procession when his hour was assigned him; that they should not take any to apprentice, nor set any to work either within the town or without, but such as be the king’s liegeman, on pain of 20d. one half thereof to go to the fellowship, and the other half to Tyne Bridge; that no Englishman, not being a freeman, should work in the town, on pain of a pound of wax; that if any free brother, or his wife, should die, all the lights of the fellowship should be borne before them, according to the custom of the said fellowship.
In 1614, this fraternity had their meeting-house in a lower story of the White Friar Tower, in the same room with the Meters, and under the hall of the Masons. Another ordinary of this society, dated January 19, 1660, constituted them a fellowship, with perpetual succession, who should meet on the 24th of February, in every year, and choose two stewards, who might make orders, plead, and be impleaded, &c. in the courts of Newcastle; that they should not be molested by the company of Masons, or the Slaters; that no foreigner should work in the town, under a penalty of 6s. 8d.; that none should employ an alien born, under the like penalty; that apprentices should serve seven years, and that no second should be taken till the first had served three.
January 21, 1691, an order was made by the corporation of Newcastle upon Tyne, that the Slaters and Tylers should not exercise the trade of Bricklaying and Plastering, otherwise than in making and mending chimney-tops above the slates, and plastering them; but that the annual acknowledgment from them to this society should cease to be paid in future.
Nevil Tower appears to have been repaired by this society for a meeting-house in 1711, and has continued to be their hall ever since.
Most probable date of Incorporation: 1454