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Wrights of Glasgow


Our Wrights’ heritage and unique traditions are rooted firmly in the history of Glasgow and its working people.

We can trace our origins back to the 11th century, when the craftsmen who were building Glasgow Cathedral - the carpenters and stonemasons - were granted a Royal Charter. This brought State recognition of the way they organised themselves. In 1600 the carpenters (the wrights) were allowed to become an independent incorporation, setting standards for their work and securing a monopoly over carpentry in the city.

In 1605 Glasgow’s local government was reformed, and The Trades House of Glasgow was created to allow all the city’s craft trades to co-operate and fulfil their collective role in civic governance and the welfare of those in need.

The exclusive rights and privileges of trading were swept away by legislation in 1846. Since then, the Wrights have channelled their energy and enterprise into benevolence. Today we have almost 2000 members, and some can trace their family connection to the Wrights back continuously for seven or eight generations.

Wrights of Glasgow
© CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection
The Chain Gang – our links

The Glasgow “Chain Gang” takes its name from the distinctive chains of office worn by the Deacon Convener and Deacons of the 14 Trades House Incorporations. Our Wrights’ chain dates back to 1851 and its gold links bear the name of every Deacon since that time. Additional links were added in 1931 along with the enamelled medallion, which includes metal from a medal awarded to Deacon John Cameron Black for saving lives at sea.

Wrights of Glasgow
...and a new tradition

The Wrights’ Bell was presented in 2017 by Deacon Dorothy Newlands of Lauriston. It is rung at Master Court meetings, and once a year it makes the journey to London, to ring in each right-and-left toast at the annual Trades House in London Dinner

Wrights of Glasgow