|Incorporation and the Management of the Craft
Whilst the wheelwrights craft has been practised for more than 4000 years, it was only in 1630 that the Wheelwrights of London, having become sufficiently wealthy to pay the costs and legal fees involved in incorporation, formed a committee to approach the City authorities. Later that year the leading Wheelwrights and Coachmakers came together and petitioned for incorporation as a single company.
In the next thirty years or so the City was preoccupied with other matters including the Civil War, the Commonwealth under Oliver Cromwell, the Dutch War, the Great Plague and the Fire of London.
Granting of the Royal Charter
The Wheelwrights, independently of the Coachmakers made a separate petition for incorporation and on 3rd February 1670, Charles II granted the Wheelwrights a Charter.
The Worshipful Company of Wheelwrights became, in order of precedence, the sixty-eighth Livery Company of the City of London. After receiving the Charter the Wheelwrights Company carried on the work of the former Guild but the legal status of the Charter enhanced its power and gave it the right to make its own bye-laws and thus govern the operation of the trade. The jurisdiction of the Company covered all wheelwrights working within the City but did not extend far outside its boundaries.