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Craftswomen and suppliers

Are you surprised that there are women who were tenants of St Stephen's and heads of their households in the sixteenth century? They might be laundresses or inn-keepers or occupy a variety of other jobs within the town of Westminster. And they had a long history.

In 1347-48 a Katherine the Smith was being paid for creating metalwork for the nearly finished chapel. Other women were paid for supplying materials for the building, including scaffolding poles. Sometimes it is clear that these women were widows, taking over their husband's business for their sons or for their own livelihood.

At other times, it's not clear if they were married, had inherited the business from another relative or how they came to be the one demanding payment from the overseer of the building works.


Discover women's involvement with Parliament as Patrons to St Stephen's. 



Last updated April 2017

Also within Living Heritage

Discover more about the history of Women and Parliament