The exact date on which the
Incorporation of Bakers was founded is uncertain but it is known
that the Incorporation existed long prior to its first official
mention in 1556.
For almost three centuries ending
in 1884, the Incorporation carried on the business of millers in
mills located on the banks of the River Kelvin. One of these, the
"Ancient Wheat Mill of Partick", otherwise known as the
Archbishop's Mill and, in later days the Bunhouse Mill, was given
to the Bakers of Glasgow by the Regent Moray in 1568. This was a
reward for supplying the Regent's troops with bread as they camped
at Langside prior to the battle whose loss forced Queen Mary into
exile and ultimate death in England. Successive Earls of Moray,
including the present Earl, have been elected to honorary
membership of the Incorporation thereby perpetuating the link
established more than four hundred years ago.
The possession of the mills gave
the Incorporation of Bakers of Glasgow the unique position of being
the only Incorporation which actually carried on business
institutionally in the city. Though it no longer owns the mills,
the Incorporation is still the feudal superior of lands adjacent to
the River Kelvin, including those on which the houses in Regent
Moray Street are erected.
Over the years members of many well
known baking families of the City have been members of the
Incorporation and today, although many of the companies and firms
have disappeared, the names Beattie, Stevenson, Montgomerie,
Bilsland, Peacock and Currie are still to be found in the
membership list as are the proprietors of the more recently founded
private bakery businesses in and around Glasgow. The Craft elects 4
members annually to the Trades House.
Today the Incorporation is engaged
in works of charity and benevolence. Christmas and holiday gifts
are paid to numerous needy pensioners and the Incorporation
provides prizes for students of baking and allied subjects at
Glasgow City College.