The Incorporation is a living guild of prominent business people in Devon.

Member's Area

The Incorporation of Weavers, Fullers and Shearmen


The Incorporation comprises a Livery which at the present time consists of approximately 60 members. Because of the size of the Hall it is unlikely that the membership will exceed this number.
Of these Liverymen a number are appointed to the Court of Assistants to manage the affairs of the Incorporation.

Three of these Assistants are elected to the office of Master, Head Warden and Under Warden respectively; normally for a period of 12 months and usually proceeding from one appointment to the other. The election to these appointments takes place on the last Friday in May at a meeting of the Court of Assistants.

These meetings of Assistants, which are known as “Halls”, take place twice a year in May as stated above and also on the 5th November, or if it falls on a Sunday, the following Monday. It is at these meetings that all business is conducted.

The day to day running of the Guild is carried out by an Executive Committee consisting of The Master, Head Warden, Under Warden, Immediate Past master and 5 other members. These members are elected to the Executive Committee for a period of 3 years at the May Hall. At the end of this period they may stand down or put themselves up again for re-election.

Of particular concern in the running of the Guild is the upkeep of the Hall, fulfilment of our charitable objectives, the introduction of new members, the care of our silver and chattels and the hospitality of our guests. Members of the Executive Committee are appointed to oversee the functions.

The Incorporation appoints a Clerk, a Treasurer and a Beadle to assist with the running of the organisation.

The Clerk, who is usually a distinguished professional, is responsible for the proper and efficient running of Incorporation business, particularly supporting The Master during his or her year in office including accompanying him or her to functions of other Livery Companies.

The Treasurer is responsible for all financial matters including securing income, monitoring expenditure and preparation of annual accounts.

The Beadle is responsible for the day to day running and security of Tuckers Hall, together with our artefacts and valuables. He is in attendance when open to the Public and when events are taking place. He leads The Master and Wardens on Civic occasions.

The Guilds and Incorporation have existed in Exeter for nearly 600 years and have occupied Tuckers Hall since 1471. Both the Incorporation and the Hall have a remarkable story with a glorious and continuous history.

Master The Incorporation of Weavers, Fullers & Shearmen, 2021

The Incorporation of Weavers, Fullers and Shearmen

By royal charter

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Membership is by invitation to people who are prominent in the business and commercial life of Exeter and the Devon area and in control of, or heading, a commercial enterprise or organisation, which is being conducted to the highest possible standard.

Membership of the incorporation represents both a privilege and a responsibility. Although membership confers few tangible benefits, it signifies an unbroken continuity between past and present, which differentiates this historic Incorporation from a professional association or social club.

The Master presides over the meetings of the Court and Executive.

The requirement to be engaged in the cloth trade ceased in 1858 when members from other trades were admitted in order to keep the Incorporation alive.

Recently, in 2004, this changed again so that leaders or owners of non-trade businesses and organisations are eligible to become members. This is in recognition of the changing character of the independent businesses in trade and commerce in Exeter.


The Beadle is responsible for the day to day running of the Hall as directed by the Master and member responsible for the Hall.

Duties include leading the Master and Wardens on Civic processions, opening the Hall to the public and for private functions, maintaining the security of the building and chattels and artefacts. 

The Clerk has the role of chief executive and is responsible for implementing the policy decisions of the Court of Assistants.

It is often said that Masters come and Masters go, but the Clerk is always there. Our present Clerk has been in post for 25 years and is becoming one of the longer serving although William William’s 58 years of service from 1730 will be hard to surpass.

The Incorporation of Weavers, Fullers and Shearmen


Tuckers Hall was built and has been owned by the Guild of Weavers, Tuckers and Shearmen since 1471, but the earliest record of a Guild of Clothworkers in Exeter is 1459, when a dispute with the Cordwainers as to antiquity and precedence is recorded.
We remember the masters, clerks and beadles who came before.
Past Masters since 1945

1945 – 1946 S R E Snow
1946 – 1947 A J Dunsford
1947 – 1948 H F Pollard
1948 – 1949 R J Rew
1949 – 1950 K C H Rowe
1950 – 1951 J H Wippell
1951 – 1952 R W Townsend
1952 – 1953 C R Browne
1953 – 1954 K R W Eager
1954 – 1955 R Row
1955 – 1956 A H Holladay
1956 – 1957 P Tighe
1957 – 1958 E G Pitts
1958 – 1959 J F Sutton
1959 – 1960 W H C Bishop
1960 – 1961 F W Cornish
1961 – 1962 A D Bruford
1962 – 1963 R G Rew
1963 – 1964 J A C Kneel
1964 – 1965 M J Pollard
1964 – 1965 A J Wheaton
1966 – 1967 W N Boorne
1967 – 1968 K R Upright
1968 – 1969 H E E Holladay
1969 – 1970 R S Cornish
1970 – 1971 T H Pring
1971 – 1972 I G Walton-Turner
1972 – 1973 K C H Rowe*
1973 – 1974 A H Holladay*
1974 – 1975 L Dunsford
1975 – 1976 J Parkin
1976 – 1977 E S Dowell
1977 – 1978 E R Bruford-Davies
1978 – 1979 J A C Kneel*
1979 – 1980 J R Cornish
1980 – 1981 A J Eveleigh
19801- 1982 B C Pratt
1982 – 1983 E M McGahey
1983 – 1984 E S Dowell*
1984 – 1985 R Dunsford
1985 – 1986 H E E Holladay*
1986 – 1987 W H Rees
1987 – 1988 E R Bruford-Davies*
1988 – 1989 M T Baker
1989 – 1990 D E Lopez
1990 – 1991 K C H Rowe**
1991 – 1992 M J Commin
1992 – 1993 J R Cornish*
1993 – 1994 J L Maunder
1994 – 1995 M G Hounsell
1995 – 1996 J D Cathcart
1996 – 1997 R L Persey
1997 – 1998 J Parkin*
1998 – 1999 G D Murrin
1999 – 2000 R Dunsford*
2000 – 2001 I T Gardner
2001 – 2002 M T Baker*
2002 – 2003 TV Knapp
2003 – 2004 M C P McGahey
2004 – 2005 H R Parkin
2005 – 2006 C A Redfern
2006 – 2007 P J Dunsford
2007 – 2008 R L Persey*
2008 – 2009 S Marsh
2009 – 2010 A C W King
2010 – 2011 G D Murrin*
2011 – 2012 H Luce
2012 – 2013 R Jacobs
2013 – 2014 P Kingdon
2014 – 2015 T V Knapp*
2015 – 2016 P Hilson
2016 – 2017 J D Gaisford
2017 – 2018 S Hindley CBE DL
2018 – 2019 R Pratt
2020-2021 I T Gardner *
2021-2022 Nicky Baker
2022-2023 H R Parkin*

* Master previously

Previous Clerks of the Company

1620 Humphrey Ash
1634 Nicholas Trosse of Exeter, gentleman
1658 Nathaniel Maddock of Exeter, merchant
1671 William Heard of Exeter, yeoman
1680 John Maniton
1681 William Heard of Exeter, yeoman
1708 Henry Hobbs
1717 Broadmead
1728 Roger Hallett
1730 William Williams
1788 John Williams, attorney
1820 Harry James, attorney-at-law
1844 Hugh Myddelton Ellicombe of Exeter, gentleman
1857 Edmund William Paul of Exeter, gentleman
1874 Henry Mountrick James of Exeter, gentleman
1903 William Thomas Munby Snow of Exeter, solicitor
1936 Arthur Snow of Exeter, solicitor
1949 G E Madge
1958 R H T Burgess, chartered accountant
1973 J F G Michelmore, solicitor
1991 A E Maynard, solicitor
2022 R D Thomas, Chartered Surveyor

Past Beadles of the Company

1577 Nicholas Lovell
1612 Henry Glandfield, weaver
1636 William Moore, tucker
1638 William Moxsey (Macey)
1653 James Rackley or Radcliffe, tucker
1668 Crispin Wyatt or Wyott, tucker
1674 Peter Reynolds
1680 Thomas Gutteridge
1694 John Pitts, weaver
1714 Jonas Coles
1729 Thomas Drier or Dryer, weaver
1757 Benjamin Bowring, fuller
1775 Edward Turner, weaver
1783 John Bowring, fuller
1823 Benjamin Howe, fuller
1828 Robert Ellard, fuller
1836 George Back, fuller
1838 William Doeg, fuller
1850 Robert Saunders Gannicleft, fuller
1878 William Norman, fuller
1894 William Bowden
1907 James George Hyde
1911 Francis Eveleigh
1913 Arthur Parkhouse
1922 Luke Harding
1932 Alfred John Abrahams
1945 Sidney Carr
1958 J G Draper
1960 C S Hooper
1965 Thomas Leigh
1971 Mr Eckley
1979 I D G Southcombe
1993 Peter Wale
2008 Gordon Reid
2020 Davy Johnston

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