Building Early Modern Edinburgh: A Social History of Craftwork and Incorporation

Research output: Book/ReportBook


Much like in the present day, building a house in the sixteenth century involved masons, carpenters and glaziers, among others, and in many cities such trades had separate companies to govern their own affairs. In Edinburgh, however, they banded together in a single body – the Edinburgh Incorporation of Mary’s Chapel.

Building Early Modern Edinburgh traces the history of the organisation, which sought to control the capital’s building trades and defend their privileges. By utilising a range of previously missing charters and archival documents, the author offers a new perspective on the prestigious and important craft guild in its 543 years of existence. Developing a crucial theme of ‘composite corporatism’, and using the concepts of ‘family’ and ‘household’ to approach an urban institution, this book is a valuable resource of comparative material for the study of craft guilds and urban history in a global context.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEdinburgh
PublisherEdinburgh University Press
Commissioning bodyEdinburgh United Incorporations of Mary's Chapel
Number of pages229
ISBN (Electronic)9781474442411, 9781474442404
ISBN (Print)9781474442381
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sep 2018


  • building trades
  • corporatism
  • composite corporatism
  • craft guilds
  • incorporated trades
  • masons
  • carpenters
  • Social History
  • Scottish History
  • Urban History
  • Economic History
  • Edinburgh
  • family
  • liberalism


Dive into the research topics of 'Building Early Modern Edinburgh: A Social History of Craftwork and Incorporation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this