London Carpenters v Joyners 1632

Carpenters drawing
Carpenters’ Company records, 1573

while in England, a few times in conversation I mentioned a well-known court record, attempting to resolve a dispute between the Carpenters’ Company and the Joiners’ Company. The City Aldermen issued a decision in 1632 that outlined who-makes-what. I first heard it referenced in Benno Forman’s work I think; but I found a lengthy (full length?) version in a history of the Carpenters’ Company. here’s what I have. Typos are mine.

 

the source is B. Jupp, An Historical Account of the Worshipful Company of Carpenters, (London, Pickering & Chatto, 1887) appendices B and C, pp. 295-302

September 1632…Committees formerly appointed to heare the differences between the Company of Carpenters and Company of Joyners London did deliver into this Court a Reporte in writeing…

According to an Order of this Honoble Court of the last day of May…we have called before us as well the Mr and Wardens and others of the Chiefe of the Company of Carpenters as the Mr Wardens and others of the Chiefe of the Company of Joyners and diverse tymes heard the matters in difference betweene the said Companyes and the reasons and Allegacons on either side produced And doe Certifye to this Honoble Court our opinions concerning the same as hereunder followeth vizt

That these workes next following doe pperly belong to the Joyners

  1. Impris all sorts of Bedsteads whatsoever (onlie except Boarded Bedsteads and nayled together)
  1. Item all sorts of Chayres and stooles which are made with mortesses or tennants
  1. Item all tables of Wainscoate Wallnutt or other Stuffe glewed with frames mortesses or tennants
  1. Item all sorts of formes framed made of boards with the sides pinned or glewed
  1. Item all sorts of Chests being framed duftalled pynned or Glued
  1. Item all sorts of Cabinetts or Boxes duftalled pynned glued or Joyned
  1. Item all Sorte of Cupboards framed duftalled pynned or glued
  1. Item all Sorte of presses for wearinge apparell Mercers Silkmen Haberdashers Gouldsmiths Millenors or Napkin presses being pannelled duftalled pynned or Glued
  1. Item all Sorts of Wainscott and sealing of Howses and setling made by the use of Two Iages (PF:gauges)
  1. Item all Sorts of Shopp Windows that are made for ornament or beautie which cannott bee made without Glew
  1. Item all Sorts of Doores framed pannelled or Glued
  1. Item all hatches iaged framed or Glued
  1. Item all pewes pulpitts and seates with the Deskes belonging to them framed pannelled or Glued
  1. Item all Sorts of frames upon Stalls being framed or Glued
  1. Item all frames for picturs Latesses for Scrivenors or the Like
  1. Item all lyning of Walls or frering for Wainscott
  1. Item all signe boards of Wainscott or carved
  1. Item all worke whatsoever already invented or that hereafter shall bee invented being made by one or two iages with the use of all manner of nayles
  1. Item all carved workes either raised or Cutt through or sunck in with the grounde taken out being wrought and cutt with carving Tooles without the use of Plaines
  1. That all Coffins made of Wainscott but if they bee made of other woode wee conceive fitt that the making thereof be left indifferent either to the Joyners or Carpenters

And these workes following doe properlie belong to the Carpenter

  1. Imprimis all Drapers Tables, all Tables for Tavernes Victuallers Chandlers Compting house Tables and all other Tables made of Deale Elme Oake Beeche or other woode nayled together without Glue except all sorts of Tables either nayled framed or glued being moveable
  1. Item all Sesterne Stooles washing Stooles bucking Stooles and all other Stooles whatsoever that are to be headed with Oake Elme Beeche or Deale and footed with square or round feete Except all framed stooles glued or pinned
  1. Item all sortes of frames [forms?] made of Elme Oake beeche or deale heads with Square or round feete or with feete of Boards or planks with sides of boards to bee nayled or braded soe as they not bee turned feete
  1. Item the Laying of all fflowers of Elme or Oake except such floores of Elme or Oake as are grobed (PF: grooved) which wee conceive properly to belong to the Joyners and if the floore bee of Deale wee conceive fitt that the workmr be left at Liberty to make choyce whether he will have a Carpenter or Joyner to lay the same
  1. Item the dividing of ware-houses and Chambers and other roomes unwainscotted and unpannelled with slitt or whole deales or any other materials Wainscott excepted and except all pticons grooved glued battened or framed
  1. Item the Shelving of all Roomes unwainscotted and unpannelled with Seates and bracketts except worke in Studdies which wee conceive fitt to bee left indifferent to both Companies
  1. Item all Signe Boards not made of Wainscott not glued or carved
  1. Item we conceive fitt that the setting up of all Pillars or ballasters for lights in a particon of what wood soever if the particon be made by the Carpenters doe belong to them but if the particon bee of the Joyners making them do belong to them
  1. Item all Galleries in Churches and other places unlesse of wainscott or pannelled or Carved
  1. Item the shelving in a Kitchen with Racks for Spitts and other Racks for hanging upp of furniture except all peeles
  1. Item the laying of plates and floores for pewes in Churches if they be Laid with Oake or Elme but if with deale the the worke mr to bee at his Choise whether he will have a Carpenter or Joyner to lay them
  1. Item all frames of Skreenes for halls or other Roomes not made of wainscott glued carved or pannelled
  1. And lastly wee think fitt that the Iage be indifferently used by the Carpenters soe as they use the same in the making and perfecting such worke only as before expressed to belong unto them and not otherwise all wch nevertheless wee leave to grave Judgements of this Honoble Court

the humble Peticon of the Mr and Wardens of the Company of Carpenters London…

May it please your honor and worpps to be informed by us…that wee conceive…That theis workes hereafter following doe properly belong unto the Company of Carpenters and not any wayes unto the Company of Joyners which are not formerly expressed in the reporte

Imprimis the building erecting and repairing of all manner of howses & edifices whatsoever of any kinde of timber whatsoever

Item the framing and setting upp of all manner of timber windowes that stand or are to stande in howses built of stone brick or timber.

Item the making and framing of all manner of staires that are to be done of timber board or plancks

Item the making of all manner of penthowses

Item the making and setting up of all manner of postes and seates at gates or Dores

Item the making of cases and plancks for Cellar Dores

Item the making of bulkes or stalles

Item ythe making of all cases for the enclosinge of cesternes

Item the making and setting up of all manner of sheds and hovells

Item the layeing of joysts and planking of stables – And making of racks and mangers

Item the boarding and weatherboarding of howses shedds and hovells

Item the making of all manner of signepostes

Item the making framing and setting upp of postes railes and ballesters in gardens, Leades betwixt houses or elsewhere

Item the making of all mantletrees tassels and footepaces of timber

Item the making of all manner of pales

Item the making of Wharves Camshedds Cranes & bridges of timber and piling and planckinge of foundacons for Wharves and Bridges

Item the makinge of ladders stocks cages and whipping postes

Item the making of poncoiloises

Item the making of frames and stocks for bells and making of bellwheeles

Item the making of all manner of presses made of timber or plancke for Clothworkers Hottpressers Chandlers or any other the like

Item the making of all manner of traughts (PF: troughs?) for Bakers or other professions or for conveyance of water and all manner of truncks for bringing in of light into mens howses shopps or warehouses as also the making of all manner of truncks for Jackwaights or conveyance of water

Item the making of porches and making of lattices and barrs for Taverns and other victualling howses

Item the making of banquetting howses and Arbours of timber or boardes and postes and seates in gardens

Item all manner of or Turretts or Lanthornes to bee sett on Churches Steeples Halls or elsewhere being made of timber

Item the setting up of all Hattmakers plancks

Item the makng and layeing of all manner of beare Joysts Stillimgs & Scantlyngs for Vinteners Brewhouses Victualling howses and in or for anye other howses whatsoever

All which workes wee humblie desire to be allowed unto us the Carpenters as aforesaid being meerly Carpenters worke and done in his mats worke in his howses at Westmr and elsewhere by his mats Carpenter And wee are still charged for the working and pforming thereof and not the Joyners

The Company of Carpenters humbly desire this honorable Court that theis Artickles reported for the Company of Joyners may be altered and qualified for the reasons hereunder and before mentioned vizt:

To the tenth artickle reported wee answere that all Shopwindowes have alwayes belonged unto the Carpenters (except of waynscott) and not unto the Joyners. To the eleaventh that all sortes of Dores whether battoned or unbattoned (except Dores made of waynscott) belonge to the Carpenters and not the the Joyners. To the twelveth that all hatches (except made of waynscott) belong to the Carpenters and not to the Joyners. To the sixteenth that all furring of walls and flowers belonge to the Carpenters. To the eighteenth there is almost noe carpenters worke to be done but they may and doe use the Iage and nailes both in invented and to be invented which being allowed to the Joyner they will doe any Carpenters worke. And therefore wee desire that that article maie be soe qualified & explaned that the Joyner shall not intermeddle in the Carpenters worke. To the nyneteenth the Carpenters saie that they have alwaies used to have the Cutting of postes at Dores, and for staires and to stand in gardens or grassplotts the cutting of ballesters hances tafferells pendants and piramides and the Joyners have not done the same except they be of wainscott.

Also for the Carpenters to be altered for the reasons followinge in theis artickles in the reporte

To the first all tables in that artickle are moveable (and the word except nailed) to be left out for wee cann make none of them without nailes. To the second and third wee cannott make bucking stooles cesterne stooles washing stooles nor formes with square feet but they must be framed and pynned together with pynns which is excepted against the Carpenters. To the fourth the layeng of flowers with oake elme boards or any other boards whether grooved drawen or layed otherwise is Carpenters worke and have ever byn layd by the Carpenter. To the ninth galleries in Churches or elsewhere cannott be made without groovings and being pannelled and the postes to be cutt by the Carpenter. To the tenth all peeles not made of waynskott have alwayes belonged unto the Carpenters. To the eleaventh the layeing of all plates & flowers in Churches of what wood soever doth belonge to the Carpenters. To the twelveth skreenes in halls or elsewhere cannott be made without grooving and pannelling and glueing of some pannells and yett have ever byn made by the Carpenters as witness the making of all ancient skreenes.

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6 thoughts on “London Carpenters v Joyners 1632

  1. Great stuff Peter. I have seen bits and pieces of this, but never the whole thing. Thanks for posting! It is interesting that the Carpenters negated almost every task given to the joiners.

    Do you by any chance have any records from the Worshipful Company of Joyners regarding the same debate? I would bet that they similarly try to argue that a lot of the work is, and always has been, done by joiners.

    • nothing in the published history, see today’s post about Joyners v Sawyers & Joyners v Turners. But the records I have studied in London & on microfilm are less complete for joiners’ co than for carpenters’ company.

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