This oak chest dating from 1706 held the records of the weaver’s guild until their removal to more secure storage in the RSAI library. The chest is now located in the entrance hall of the RSAI building at 63 Merrion Square. The surviving records include lists of members, minutes of meetings, records of elections, accounts and records of the resolutions and proposals of the guild.
RSAI/BV/WVRS/08.The above entry shows a list of persons fined by the guild in 1679. The fines were mainly imposed for the use of faulty weights to measure cloth, or for not presenting goods to be examined, but one entry also fines a member for ‘abusing the master’ of the guild.
RSAI Lantern Slide Collection: Box 08. A lantern slide showing the Weaver’s Hall in The Coombe. The hall was built in 1745 under the patronage of David Digges La Touche, of the well-known Dublin banking family. La Touche was master of the weavers’ guild in 1745. In the recess at the front is a statue of George II. The interior of the Hall was a testament to the civic loyalties of the guild and included portraits of Charles I, William III, George II, Jonathan Swift and David Digges La Touche. You can explore further images from the RSAI’s collection here.
RSAI/BV/WVRS/10. A bond showing the admission of Margaret Nale into the guild in 1747. The professional weaving trade was largely a male occupation by the seventeenth century, but earlier medieval sources generally associate weaving with women. Nale may have joined the guild in place of a deceased male relative, most likely her spouse. Part of the guilds responsibility was to ensure that widows and dependent relatives of deceased guild members were looked after and the accounts of the guild often testify to this kind of support.
RSAI/BV/WVRS/16. The weaving trade was susceptible to periods of intense economic hardship and the industry was especially sensitive to English trade policies.The record above testifies to the efforts of the guild to promote local manufacture. It records a 1796 resolution by the guild to present an elaborate gold freedom box, in the shape of a weaver’s shuttle, to Lady Camden, the wife of the Lord Lieutenant, in recognition of her patronage of Irish cloth.