The Baker, or Baxter, Trade as it was originally known, has always been first in the order of precedence of the Crafts. There is no record of why this is so, but surely producing ‘the staff of life’ their place would be virtually automatic.

Bearing in mind that all the Masters were working bakers it was probably also the largest of the Crafts. However, it is also well worth noting that the crest of the Dundee Baker’s is almost identical to that of the Worshipful Company of Bakers of London.

Membership in the past was mainly restricted to people having some connection with the Trade, either directly or through marriage or ancestors, although exceptions were made from time to time. However, this is no longer the case and new members from all backgrounds and interests are made very welcome.

It is a lively and hard-working group of people, still devoted to the original aims of the Craft. It cares for its sick and poor, is deeply interested in the advancement of the Training of apprentices and gives grants and financial assistance to this end.

History of the Bakers

The Baker Lockit Book was opened in 1554, but the true history goes back well beyond this date and there may well have been an earlier book, long since lost. The fact that some 52 names were listed as Bakers on the first page gives testimony to this. These books contain the names of all the Masters entered into the Craft over the years along with the Acts and Statutes of the Craft. The earliest notice in public records of the Dundee Bakers is in 1364 and refers to the purchase of bread for the King’s household.

Many famous people were Masters of the Baker Trade over the years. Perhaps the most famous of the Honorary Masters was Winston Churchill when he was MP for Dundee in 1909. Partly due to shortage of his time the Bakers were the only Craft to grant him this honour and on 18th October 1909 he was admitted and duly signed the Lockit Book.

In common with the other Crafts, the main objectives were to care for the poor and needy and this was always a priority.

After the Reformation, the “St. Cuthbert’s Pennies” was formally opened by the Bakers. It ordained that every baking day worked, a Baker would pay three pence to the fund and if he did not bake in any week he would still pay one penny. The penalty for refusing to pay was two shillings, and if the Collector was late in handing over the money, he too was fined two shillings.

The Baker Craft has played its full share in the running of the Nine Trades over the centuries having provided some 40 Conveners and numerous other holders of high office. The Baker Trade continues to evolve and develop, as will the other Trades in Dundee, taking their place in the business of the City long into the future, keeping the strength of character which it has shown in the past.

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Supported by The Bakers

Each trade supports a number of charities and good causes. The good causes that the Bakers fund are:

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