Family Research – English, Scottish and Irish Genealogy

4/6/2004

The Scottish Incorporations

To understand your Scottish ancestors you must understand the role that the incorporations took in the past. Every person was affected either directly or indirectly by these powerful organisations. For even those who were not members themselves of any incorporation had in the long run had to deal with them.

The Incorporations decided whether a man could work at his trade, where he could work, the prices he could charge and the wages paid even the men that he could employ. In sickness the tradesmen depended on his incorporation to support him, they looked after Widows and orphans and in deserving cases they provided for the education of children.

In fact the Incorporation and the Church were the warp and woof of Scottish family life for centuries. The strange thing is although the Incorporations died out with the Burgh Trading Act of 1846 some do continue to the present day as Friendly Societies

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