Wednesday, 8 May 2013

The Stationers' Company

"Certain corporations of the period still recognised the wife's position as a business partner. ...

Strongest of all was the position of the printers' widows.  Membership of the Stationers' Company, which included booksellers, binders and printers, was strictly limited to twenty-two persons.  Widows actually retained their freedom of the Stationers' Company not only after their husband's death, but following remarriage.  In this way a printer's widow represented an eligible match for an aspirant printer, printers' businesses frequently travelling sideways in this manner, as when the widow of Francis Simpson married in turn Richard Read and George Elde, carrying the vital membership of the Stationers' Company with her."

The Weaker Vessel,  Woman's lot in seventeenth century England   Antonia Fraser

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