Women’s Quarterage Payments

It was not uncommon in medieval London for women to play an active part in their husbands’ businesses during the former’s lives, and also to continue these enterprises after their deaths, but the practice seems to have been particularly common among the Fletchers.  The Worshipful Company of Fletchers’ early quarterage registers regularly show widows assuming their husbands’ places on the latter’s deaths.  By the 1560s, when these lists began to separate out the leading Fletchers as ‘masters’, separate sections for the widows were also introduced.  In some instances, these fletcher widows make only a brief appearance, perhaps continuing payments to the Company only while winding up their husbands’ affairs, but in other cases it seems clear that they continued to run fletching businesses in their own right, and sometimes for prolonged periods.


From The Worshipful Company of Fletchers of London: The Early Centuries c. 1371 – c. 1571 by Dr Hannes Kleineke, 2021

Guildhall Library, London, MS 5977

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