Cloth Seal, Guild, Kidderminster, London Weavers' Guild Arms

Cloth Seal, Kidderminster, Image & Found by John Wright Cloth Seal, Kidderminster, London Weavers' Guild Arms, Image & Found by John Wright.
Found in Staffordshire.

An inner disc of a four part seal (with the help of Rink123's Kidderminster seal) showing a shield with the arms of the London Weaver's Guild, on a chevron, three mullets (these are replaced with three roses on the standard Guild arms) with three leopard's heads, two above one below, each holding a shuttle in its mouth. An inscription around the shield reads KIDER(MINS)TER, the N is retrograde on other examples.

Appears to be the same as No.106 Fig.24 in Geoff Egan, Lead Cloth Seals and Related Items in the British Museum. "Inner disc from a four-part seal; d.17mm. Shield with: on a chevron between three leopards' heads, each holding in the mouth a shuttle, as many mullets, KIDERMI(N)STER around. The arms are a slightly differenced version of those of the London Weavers' Guild (recte roses in place of the mullets). Cloth seals like this one, presumably of the Kidderminster Stuff Manufacturers, are amongst the very few recorded with the weavers' arms. (?)Late seventeenth-/eighteenth-century. A similar inner disc has been published as a token (Caldecott & Yates 1907, 321 no.3) ... Kidderminster's stuffs (worsteds) for furnishings reached a fairly wide market from the 1630's onwards. The town's manufacturers of stuffs were incorporated and given rights of searching and sealing in 1671. Their regulatory system was based on that in operation at Norwich. The town's products included moreens and damasks and its linsey woolsies (linen warp/worsted weft fabrics) were much used for wall hangings, while the poorer quality narrow worsteds would probably only have sold locally."

More on Kidderminster stuff from <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stuff_%28cloth%29">Wikipedia</a>:-
"Manufacture of Kidderminster stuff was established by the mid-17th century, when it was referred to by Richard Baxter, the puritan divine, who was lecturer in the parish church of Kidderminster from 1641, and then vicar in the 1650s. The cloth was used for wall hangings and furniture fabrics. In 1671, an Act of Parliament was obtained for preventing 'abuses and deceits in making Kidderminster stuffs'. This directed that the master weavers should yearly elect a President, four Wardens and eight Assistants to make byelaws for the trade. This body was responsible for regulating all cloth manufacture in the parish, whether with wool only or with wool and other materials. The Act specifically mentions linen yarn being 'reeled on a reel four yards about' and sold by the 'lea' containing 200 threads. In the early 18th century, the range of textiles made in Kidderminster broadened with bombazine (with a silk warp and worsted weft) also being produced. The traditional stuff trade declined in the late 18th century with the rise of cotton fabrics. However Kidderminster continued to be a textile town, but in the 19th and 20th centuries specialised in carpets. The olden stuff trade was essentially extinct by 1815."

The Charles II, 1670 & 1671 Act for the regulateing the makeing of Kidderminster Stuffes can be seen in full at <a href="http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=47430&strquery=seales">British History Online, Statutes of the Realm: volume 5: 1628-80, John Raithby (editor)</a>.

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