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§ 19. If any brother, or alderman, shall act contrary to the ordinances of this house, he is either to forfeit his brotherhood, or pay half a mark for the good of the house.

$ 20. No one shall intrude himself while the drinking continues.

$ 21. If any brother shall offend another brother, in word or deed, he shall make no complaint but to the alderman first, and the mayor ; if he does not he is to be amerced half a mark.

§ 22. If the skevins shall merchandize with the chattels of the house, no brother shall have any part therein, but the whole profit shall go to the use of the gild.

§ 23. The skevins are to swear, when they receive the chattels of the house, that they will employ the same faithfully to the good of the gild, and will fully account and answer for the profit. Selections from the USAGES AND CUSTOMS OF THE GILD OF

THE HOLY TRINITY OF LYNN. If any of the aforesaid brethren shall die in the said town or elsewhere, as soon as knowledge thereof shall come to the alderman, the said alderman shall order solemn mass to be celebrated for him, at which every

brother of the said gild that is in town shall make his offering ; and further, the alderman shall cause every chaplain of the said gild, immediately on the death of any brother, to say thirty masses for the deceased.

The alderman and skevins of the said gild are by duty obliged to visit four times a year all the infirm, all that are in want, need or poverty, and to minister to and relieve all such, out of the alms of the said gild.

If any brother shall become poor and needy, he shall be supported in food and clothing, according to his exigency, out of the profits of the lands and tenements, goods and chattels of the said gild.

If anyone has a desire and is willing for the honor of the Holy Trinity, to be received into the said gild, that he may be partaker of the alms and benefactions thereof, he shall give to the said gild a certain sum of money to the maintenance of the said alms and benefactions, according to what shall be agreed upon by the alderman and brethren thereof.

No born serf or one of such like condition, nor any apprentice can be received, and if any one of such like condition should be received into the said gild, the alderman and his brethren not knowing it, when it is truly and lawfully proved, such a one shall lose the benefit of the gild.

No one until he arrive at the age of twenty-one years, and is of honest fame and condition, can be received into the said gild.

It was ordained on Wednesday, in the week of Pentecost, in the seventh year of Edward III, (1334), that the brethren should keep a general morwespeche three times a year, to wit; on Friday in Whitsunweek, on Friday after the exaltation of the Holy Cross, and on Friday in the first week of Lent.

On Friday in the week of Pentecost, in the 23d year of Edward III. (1349), it was provided by common assent forever that no brother should buy or sell any millstones or marble stones, brought to Lynn to be sold, as long as the skevins of this house would buy them for the profit of the gild and pay for them to the full; and if any one brother should act contrary hereto, he should forever be deprived of the society.

On Friday next after the feast of the exaltation of the Holy Cross, in the 31st year of Edward III, (1357), Jeffrey Drew, then being alderman, it was unanimously agreed by the alderman and his brethren, that as by the grant of the king in his charter, the borough of Bishop's Lynn had this liberty, that the burgesses of the same in all fairs through the kingdom of England were free, and enjoyed that freedom; when, therefore, anyone of the said burgesses or brethren should go to the fair at Stourbridge, or where any such like fair is held, and has taken his place by the consent of any of the bailiffs of those places, and marked it out by stakes or pins, by wood or stone; if any other burgess of Lynn, or brother, either by presents or favors, should deprive of or expel the aforesaid burgess or brother from his place so taken as aforesaid, he is to be looked upon and esteemed as a transgressor of the aforesaid liberty, and to be fined 40s., so that the person so deprived and expelled may have 20s. of it; and if the transgressor shall happen to be a brother of the said gild, he shall be obliged by the alderman to pay 20s. for the benefit of the said gild; and if the transgressor shall be a burgess, and not a brother of the gild, he shall be obliged to pay 20s. by the mayor of the town, for the benefit of the commonalty of the said town.


The earliest mention of an organization made up of the members of some one industry in a town, is to be found in the record of payments from the weavers' gilds, in the exchequer roll of A. D. 1130, printed below. These craft gilds, later, especially in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, became numerous, and in many cases wealthy and influential. Their growth corresponds to the development of handicrafts in the towns, as the earlier organizations corresponded to trading. Industries were subdivided to the most minute degree of distinction of occupation for purposes of organization, some cities posessing fifty or more craft gilds. The various branches of trade were similarly subdivided and organized. Ultimately these manufacturing, trading and other industrial organizations quite superseded the gilds merchant. The relations of the craft gilds and other fraternities to the town governments varied from entire subordination, as in the earlier gilds in London, to a large measure of independent jurisdiction, based in many cases, as in that of the tailors of Exeter, printed below, on a charter obtained directly from the crown. In addition to the functions of the craft gilds in regulating industry, preserving order, serving as beneficial societies, and religious and social organizations, their connection with the production of religious dramas became especially close. The appellation of “mistery plays,” given so frequently to these pageants seems to be derived from their production by the misteries or craft gilds. The list of pageants in the Corpus Christi play at York is given as typical of this form of activity.


Latin : Record Commission Edition, 1833 ; pp. 109, 2, 144.

The weavers of Oxford return their account of one mark of gold for their gild. In the treasury, £6 for one mark of gold; and they are quit.

And the same sheriff returns his account of one mark of gold for the gild of the weavers of Lincoln. In the treasury, £6 for one mark of gold ; and he is quit.

Robert the son of Lewistan, returns his account of £6 from the gild of the weavers of London. In the treasury, he has made his settlement ; and he is quit.


Riley's Memorials of London, pp. 226-228.

Be it remembered, that on Tuesday, the morrow of St. Peter's Chains, in the nineteenth year of the reign of King Edward III, the articles underwritten were read before John Hammond, mayor, Roger de Depham, recorder, and the alderman ; and seeing that the same were deemed befitting, they were accepted and enrolled in these words.

In the first place, that no one of the trade of spurriers shall work longer than from the beginning of the day until curfew rung out at the Church of St. Sepulchre, without Newgate; by reason that no man can work so neatly by night as by day. And many persons of the said

trade, who compass how to practice deception in their work, desire to work by night rather by day; and then they introduce false iron, and iron that has been cracked, for tin, and also they put gilt on false copper, and cracked. And further,-many of the said trade are wandering about all day, without working at all at their trade ; and then, when they have become drunk and frantic, they take to their work, to the annoyance of the sick, and all their neighborhood, as well by reason of the broils that arise between them and the strange folks who are dwelling among them. And then they blow up their fires so vigorously, that their forges begin all at once to blaze to the great peril of themselves and of all the neighborhood around. And then, too, all the neighbors are much in dread of the sparks, which so vigorously issue forth in all directions from the mouths of the chimneys in their forges. By reason thereof it seems unto them that working by night should be put an end to, in order such false work and such perils to avoid: and therefore the mayor and the aldermen do will, by the assent of the good folks of the said trade, and for the common profit, that from henceforth such time for working, and such false work made in the trade, shall be forbidden. And if any person shall be found in the said trade to do the contrary hereof, let him be amerced, the first time in 40d., one-half thereof to go to the use of the Chamber of the Guildhall of London, and the other half to the use of the said trade; the second time, in half a mark, and the third time in 10s., to the use of the same Chamber and trade; and the fourth time, let him forswear the trade forever.

Also that no one of the said trade shall hang his spurs out on Sundays, or any other days that are double feasts ; but only a sign indicacating his business: and such spurs as they shall so sell, they are to show and sell within their shops, without exposing them without, or opening the doors or windows of their shops, on the pain aforesaid.

Also, that no one of the said trade shall keep a house or shop to carry on his business, unless he is free of the city; and that no one shall cause to be sold, or exposed for sale, any manner of old spurs for new ones, or shall garnish them or change them for new ones.

Also, that no one of the said trade shall take an apprentice for a less term than seven years, and such apprentice shall be enrolled according to the usages of the said city.

Also, that if any one of the said trade, who is not a freeman, shall take an apprentice for a term of years, he shall be amerced as aforesaid.

Also, that no one of the said trade shall receive the apprentice, serving-man or journeyman of another in the same trade, during the term agreed upon between his master and him; on the pain aforesaid.

Also, that no alien of another country, or foreigner of this country, shall follow or use the said trade, unless he is enfranchised before the mayor, alderman and chamberlain ; and that by witness and surety of the good folks of the said trade, who will undertake for him as to his loyalty and his good behavior.

Also, that no one of the said trade shall work on Saturdays, after None has been rung out in the City; and not from that hour until the Monday morning following.


Riley's Memorials of London, pp. 232-234. In honor of God, of Our Lady, and of All Saints, and for the nurture of tranquillity and peace among the good folks the megucers, called white-tawyers,' the folks of the same trade have, by assent of Richard Lacer, mayor, and of the aldermen, ordained the points under-written.

In the first place, they have ordained that they will find a wax candle, to burn before our Lady in the church of Allhallows, near London wall.

Also, that each person of the said trade shall put in the box such sum as he shall think fit, in aid of maintaining the said candle.

Also, if by chance any one of the said trade shall fall into poverty, whether through old age or because he cannot labor or work, and have nothing with which to keep himself, he shall have every week from the said box 7d. for his support, if he be a man of good repute. And after his decease, if he have a wife, a woman of good repute, she shall have weekly for her support 7d. from the said box, so long as she shall behave herself well and keep single.

And that no stranger shall work in the said trade, or keep house for the same in the city, if he be not an apprentice, or a man admitted to the franchise of the said city.

And that no one shall take the serving-man of another to work with him, during his term, unless it be with the permission of his master.

Those who dressed leather with salt, alum and other substances, giving it a. white surface.

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