The Shrewsbury Guilds, Thomas Anderson, and the Flower Show

Further to the 1973 article by Ron Nurse – on the Shrewsbury guilds and the execution of Thomas Anderson in the aftermath of the Jacobite rebellion – that I transcribed here, a thread on the ‘You know you’re from Shrewsbury when…’ Facebook page drew my attention to Pauline Fisk’s fascinating My Tonight From Shrewsbury blog and in particular this article on the abolishing of The Old Shrewsbury Show. This grew out of the show organized by the Shrewsbury trade guilds in the Middle Ages, referenced in Ron’s article and in our song Thomas Anderson. However, the show was abolished around the time that the Shrewsbury Flower Show began. I have an idea that the end of the old show was mentioned in ‘Fairfield Folk‘ by Frances Brown, but I don’t have a copy of that book to hand.

The Shropshire Guilds page at Shropshire History also included some interesting information on the show, and photographs of guildhalls that still survive in Shrewsbury and elsewhere in Shropshire, even though (to the best of my knowledge) the only surviving physical trace of the feast halls on Kingsland is the Shoemakers’ Arbour, transplanted to the Dingle by the newly-established Horticultural Cultural society around 1875. However, the Shropshire History domain now seems to have been taken over by something quite irrelevant to Shropshire history.

David Harley
Small Blue-Green World


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