The earliest records of Barber Surgeons in Newcastle start from 1442. The oldest minute book is from 1616-1686, order books date from 1619 and apprentice enrolments from 1723 (From Tyne and Wear Archives).
|The Arms of the Company of Barber Surgeons in a display|
at Tyne and Wear Discovery Museum
|A Display of instruments used by barber Surgeons including a |
Bone Saw and Amputation Knives at the
Tyne and Wear Discovery Museum
In the latter part of the eighteenth century the company declined partly due to the growth of hospitals and medical schools as well as the improvement and specialisation of medicine.
John Wouldhave (JO010) 1635-1704)
John was the son of Henry Wouldhave of Newcastle upon Tyne. He was baptised in Newcastle St John’s in 1635. He was apprenticed to Robert Archbold in 1650 to serve for seven years. Near the end of this time he and his master were held to account for his marriage to Ann before he had completed his apprenticeship. In the Minute Book for a meeting on 16 February 1657 the consequences of this are given: John is fined 40 shillings and if Ann was found to be with child before his apprenticeship expired he would be fined 40s for every child. In November that year John paid his 40s fine for his early marriage and also 40s to be admitted into the Company.
John and Ann’s first child was Margerie, born 2nd August 1661. They had a second daughter, Bridget, born 1663 and a son, John, born in February 1668. Ann died in May 1668 and John, no doubt needing someone to look after his very young family, remarried in August 1668. His wife was Grace Rutter, a widow.
John is listed as an attendee at many of the meetings in the minute books and he is also listed as attending the burials of other members of the Company. His signature is in the minute books alongside that of other members of the Company on agreeing changes to their constitution.
|John's signature 3rd from the bottom|
He became employed directly by the Company of Barber Surgeons and Wax and Tallow Chandlers in 1690; he had a salary of £2 per year. It isn’t clear what work this involved although it is listed that he provided food (1690), looked after the workmen (1692) and travelled on behalf of the Company (North Shields in 1692). In 1703 it appears that he was provided with a house to live in by the Company, possibly because of his age or physical condition. He died the next year and was buried in St John’s in October 1704. He was described as a Barber Surgeon of Manor Chair in All Saints Parish in the register. The Company paid the church dues and also paid his salary to his wife (£2 and 6 shillings). His wife Grace was paid various sums during the next few months and then received a ‘pension’ of 10 shillings each year until her death in May 1708. The Company also paid for her coffin.