The Fleshers are fifth in order of precedence of the Nine Incorporated Trades of Dundee.
From the earliest times there must have been considerable rivalry between the various Trades. The best record of this comes from one of the most obvious pieces of satire to be publicly displayed in Dundee.
Before the Reformation, in the Old St. Mary’s Church, each Trade had its own Altar and Stall. Above the Baker’s Stall was carved the words “bread is the staff of life”. Undaunted the Flesher Trade had the immortal words “man shall not live by bread alone” carved above theirs.
The Flesher Trade rarely had more than between ten and twenty Masters. It may well be that because of their small numbers, or perhaps because they were always struggling to keep themselves solvent, they were less able to devote time to the important work of the Nine Trades. No Master was elected from the Trade as Convener, until 1794, when William Watson was appointed. Thereafter no more were elected until recent years, by which time the purpose of the Trades was predominately charitable and not directly connected with the work of the butcher.
In common with the other Trades’ the Fleshers support charities, other projects and of course support the work done by the General Fund Court of the Nine Incorporated Trades of Dundee.