7. Guilds God and Government


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The role of guilds in the support of local religion and in the government of the City of London in the 14th Century

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  • The Company has its roots in a fraternity, a group of people who lived in the same area doing the same sort of work in medieval times and who worshipped at St. Paul's Cathedral. Members were haberdashers by trade. They sold ribbons, beads, purses, gloves, pins, caps and toys and in 1502 were joined by the hatmakers' fraternity.
  • he full title of the Drapers' Company is "The Master and Wardens and Brethren and Sisters of the Guild or Fraternity of the Blessed Mary the Virgin of the Mystery of Drapers of the City of London". The word Mystery comes from the Latin “misterium” meaning professional skill. The Drapery TradeThe medieval member might have had a shop where he sold drapery; wealthier members were merchants, traders in wool and cloth, and financiers. The expansion of the English woollen cloth trade in the 15th century was reflected in the prosperity of the Drapers’ Company. When the order of precedence of the City Companies was set in 1516, the Drapers’ position was confirmed as being third, after the Mercers and the Grocers.In the Middle Ages, the Company had extensive powers to regulate the woollen cloth trade in the City of London. The Company controlled the sale of cloth at fairs held in the City and set the "Drapers’ ell", or standard measure, by which all cloth was sold. Dealers could only sell cloth to a freeman of the Company.
  • the earliest known bequest to thefraternity was made in 1345 by a mercer, John de Aylesham, and both John Churchman, agrocer, and Simon Winchecombe, an armourer, figured largely in the affairs of the fraternitybetween 1390 and 1405James I on his visit to Merchant Taylors' Hall in 1607listed the prominent noblemen and clergy admitted to the fraternity in the fourteenth andfifteenth centuries, the earliest being Roger Mortimer who was apparently admitted in 1351
  • The Grocers—merchants who, according to Herbert,*. [Ib. p. 29.] received their name fromthe engrossing (buying up wholesale) "all manner of merchandizevendible”
  • Entrance feeCommon Councilmen, Aldermen (including the Lord Mayor) and Sheriffs of the City (all still have to be Free of the City today);City Freemen could:- vote in Parliamentary elections;- vote in civic elections, for each Ward's Common Councilmen and Alderman;- be exempt from all tolls payable on animals brought into the City for sale;- be exempt from all market tolls payable anywhere in the country;- be exempt from naval impressment;- enjoy certain legal privileges with respect to being tried and imprisoned.
  • 1441 Petevyn, Ida (Female)Details Drapers Apprenticeship Master Co DraperSimon Eyre moved to London in his teens and became an apprentice to an upholder (second hand clothes dealer), Peter Smart. In 1419, Eyre ended his short career as an upholder and transferred to the prestigious Drapers’ Company. Unlike other successful merchants of this period Eyre did not make his money in overseas trade . . . but acted instead as a middleman, buying cloth in the countryside and selling it to the royal wardrobe and to other merchants, above all to Italians." At the same time, Eyre also purchased dyes and spices from the Genoese and Venetian merchants and redistributed them throughout England. As Italian merchants were forbidden to sell their own goods in London, Eyre saw high profits and few risks acting as a distributor. Due to Eyre’s increasing success, the Drapers’ Company elected him as Master in 1425Despite Eyre’s protests of his modest wealth, the City elected him as sheriff in 1434. In 1435, he was elected as the Master of the Drapers for a second time. Perhaps due to these two appointments, Eyre became deeply involved in civic projects (Barron). In 1441, for example, Eyre succeeded as a common councilman who, as Barron reports, actively engaged in civic duties "serving on at least eight important joint committees of the common council and court of aldermen." Eyre also served as an auditor from 1437–39 (Beaven).By the time the City elected Eyre as the alderman of Walbrook Ward in 1444, he was already engaged in rebuilding the Leadenhall granary. Eyre was indeed one of the granary’s primary financers and he aided in the land negotiations for the granary at Cornhill (Barron). In A Survey of London, John Stow recounts that Eyre envisioned the granary as a public space: "among other his works of pietie, effectually determined to erect and build a certaineGranarievpon the soile of the same citie at Leaden hall of his owne charges, for the common vtilitie of the saideCitie" (1.154). Perhaps due to his civic vision, business savvy, increasing wealth, and influential spirit, the aldermen elected Eyre as the Mayor of London in 1445.
  • DemoiselleMerchant taylors associated with Fraternity of St. John the BaptistHad chapel at St. PaulsAs early as 1389 anembroiderer, Thomas Carleton, gave lands to the fraternity asking that the master andwardens administer a chantry at St Pauls in perpetuity. 4 The wardens' accounts appear to showthat the priests who were employed to say masses daily for Carleton were treated asfraternity priests, rather than confined to the administration of his chantry.
  • The early English Gild was an institution of local self-help which, before Poor-laws were invented, took the place, in old times, of the modern friendly or benefit society; but with a higher aim, while it joined all classes together in a care for the needy and for objects of common welfare, it did not neglect the forms and the practice of Religion, Justice, and Morality."'Gilds' were associations of those living in the same neighbourhood, and remembering that they have, as neighbours, common obligations.
  • Thomas of Oxford, original glazier, copy of medieval original made by Betton & Evans 1820's. Thomas. scroll Thomas operator istiusvitri.png
  • Whittington College now for low-income singel women and couples.The College with which Richard Whittington endowedSt. Michael Paternoster Royal, where he was "three timesburied," and which has given its name to College Hill, includedalong with its Master and chaplains an alms-house for twelvepoor men and women under the rule of a tutor, who every daywhen they rose from their beds were to kneel upon theirknees and say a Paternoster and an Ave with special andhearty recommendation of Whittington and his wife to Godand Our Blessed Maiden Mary, and at other times of the daywhen they might best have leisure thrice seven Aves fifteenPaternosters and three Credos. But if prevented by feeblenessfrom carrying out this duty, they were to come togetheronce in the day at least about Whittington's tomb," and theythat can shall say the Psalm De Profundis and they that canshall say three Psalms, three Aves and one Credo. And afterthis done the Tutor or eldest of them shall say openly inEnglish,' God have mercy on our Founders' souls and onall Christians.' And they that stand about shall answer andsay,' Amen.' ”Whittington was buried in St Michael’s in 1423 on the south side of the altar near his wife, Alice. John Stow records that Whittington’s body was dug up by the then rector, Thomas Mountain, during the reign of Edward VI, in the belief that he had been buried with treasure. He was not, so Mountain took his leaden shroud. The grave was dug up again during the reign of Mary I and his body recovered in lead. An attempt to find his grave in 1949 did uncover a mummified cat, but no Lord Mayor.
  • William of Wykeham, Bishop of Winchester and Chancellor (or, as we would now say, Prime Minister) of England, was a self-made man born at Wickham, Hampshire, in about 1323. By his personal talents, by a patron’s gift of an education, and above all by a certain natural toughness, he worked his way to the top of the executive class of his day and amassed a considerable fortune.In an age when literacy, learning and government were the province of the Church, Wykeham wished to see the central government served by a well educated clergy. Placed as he was at the top of the tree, enjoying contacts with the throne and the Holy See, he was ideally situated to see to the meeting of this need. And his personal revenues lay ready to hand.In 1382 he obtained his charter to found Winchester; the buildings were begun in 1387, and occupied, though incomplete, in March 1394. Meanwhile by 1386 his other and senior foundation at Oxford (New College, or Saint Marie College of Winchester in Oxford) had begun operations.Thus by the end of the fourteenth century Wykeham’s great scheme for the supply of educated men dedicated to God and the public service, was realised and in working order. His seventy scholars at Winchester were to go on to New College, and thence out into the world, ready and equipped to serve.
  • Wykeham intended New College to surpass all existing Oxford colleges in design and facilities. It was the first college to include a purpose-built library room as part of the original plan (1386). Regulations dealing with the care and use of library books were included in the college statutes, and Wykeham himself ensured that the library was well-stocked, setting a pattern for future founders.At the time of its founding, the College was a grand example of the "Perpendicular style", with the closest resembling college being Merton.[19] New College was larger than all of the (six) existing Oxford Colleges combined. [20] At this time the Quadrangle did not have the upper storey seen today, and the Cloisters and Bell-tower were added later, completed in 1400. The upper storey was added in the sixteenth century as attics which, in 1674, were replaced by a third storey as seen today. Also, the oval turf is an eighteenth-century addition.
  • Six remaining bridge chapels:BradfordonAvon, St Ives (Cambridgeshire), Rotherham, Wakefield, Derby and Rochester.According to George Henry Cook, in Mediaeval Chantries and Chantry Chapels, ‘masses were sung for the wellbeing of travellers and for the souls of the victims of highway violence.’ The priests also assisted the parish priest in services and other work when called upon. Many cathedrals and large parish churches also contained a chantrychapel.It was built by the people of Wakefield, replacing an earlier wooden structure and dates from between 1342 and1356, the date when the chapel was licensed. Tolls were levied from 1342 with the authority of the Crown, on thosecrossing the Calder. The funds provided were used to construct a new bridge (this time of stone) of which thechapel itself is a key structural element, built on a tiny island in the volatile river. Building work was probablydelayed by the Black Death in 1349–50, which wiped out over a third of the population, including the Vicar,Thomas de Drayton.The chapel’s stonework was richly carved by skilful medieval craftsmen, particularly on the west front of thebuilding, which was divided into five panels containing depictions of the Annunciation, the Nativity, theResurrection, Ascension and the Coronation of the Virgin. Beneath the depictions were five arches, three haddoorways the other two were filled with tracery resembling blank windows.In the north east corner of the building is a winding staircase leading to the roof and small bell tower, an embattledturret. This staircase also descends to the small crypt in the wedge shaped base of the building. There are sevenwindows with fine tracery.
  • 7. Guilds God and Government

    1. 1. London Guilds, God and Government
    2. 2. Southwark Inns and Innkeepers • Richard Chaucer, vintner, third husband of Chaucer’s grandmother, owned property in Southwark • Harry Bailly, innkeeper of the Tabard appears as Henricus Bailiff, Oystler or Henri Bailly in late 14th century documents
    3. 3. Bear Inn, Southwark
    4. 4. The Tabard Inn The rooms and stables spacious were and wide, And well we there were eased, and of the best.
    5. 5. The Host A seemly man our good host was, withal, Fit to have been a marshal in some hall; He was a large man, with protruding eyes, As fine a burgher as in Cheapside lies; Bold in his speech, and wise, and right well taught
    6. 6. Guildsmen A haberdasher and a carpenter, An arras-maker, dyer, and weaver Were with us, clothed in similar livery, All of one sober, great fraternity. Their gear was new and well adorned it was; Their weapons were not cheaply trimmed with brass, But all with silver; chastely made and well Their girdles and their pouches too,
    7. 7. Each man of them appeared a proper burges To sit in guildhall on a high dais. And each of them, for wisdom he could span, Was fitted to have been an alderman; For chattels they'd enough, and, too, of rent; To which their goodwives gave a free assent, Or else for certain they had been to blame. It's good to hear "Madam" before one's name, And go to church when all the world may see, Having one's mantle borne right royally.
    8. 8. Guildsmen • 1327 Tailors chartered • 1345 Grocers chartered • 1364 Drapers get a charter to manage making and sales of cloth • 1386 Conflict between food trades and nonfood trades • 1394 Mercers chartered – deal in luxury fabrics
    9. 9. Guildsmen • Honorary members – Prominent clergy and nobles • Other members – Tailors included a grocer, armourer and a mercer 1398-1445 Tailors 487 Non-Tailors 1031
    10. 10. Precedence as of 1515 1. Mercers 2. Grocers (peppers & spicers) 3. Drapers 4. Fishmongers 5. Goldsmiths 6. Merchant Taylors (or Skinners) 7. Skinners (or Merchant Taylors) 8. Haberdashers 9. Salters 10. Ironmongers 11. Vintners 12. Clothworkers
    11. 11. Members and Citizens of London • Freemen. – Patrimony – Apprenticeship • Liverymen – Freemen advanced by a vote of the court of the Company. – Electors of the Lord Mayor, the Sheriffs, and the other traditional officers of the City.
    12. 12. Members Alice Bridenell 1427 Freedom Daughter, New freeman Co Mercer Jane Eyre 1428 Apprenticeship Master Co Draper
    13. 13. Religious connections • Come to mass at their home church on the saint’s day (and stay for the entire mass) • Come to the dinner – Bring a wife or companion – Fees vary for livery members, out-of-towners and others of the trade; go to maintenance of the priest • Guild provides ornaments for the church
    14. 14. Social and Religious Guilds • • • • Care for needy by subscription Support for priests Processions Feasts
    15. 15. Preamble In þe worship of god almighti oure creator, and hys moder seinte marie, and al halwes, and seint Jame apostle, a fraternitee is bygonne of good men, in þe chirche of seint Jame atte Garlekhith in Londone, þe day of seint Jame, þe ȝer of our lord Ml.CCC.LXXV., for amendement of her lyues and of her soules, and to noriche more loue bytwene þe bretheren and sustren of þe bretherhede: and eche of hem had sworen on þe bok, to perſourme þe pointȝ vndernethe wryten atte here power.
    16. 16. Trades 1400
    17. 17. Carpenter • Chaucer, Clerk of the King’s Works 1389-94, supervised carpenters • Only non-textile guildsman in Canterbury Tales • Considered lower social class than the other guildsmen
    18. 18. Westminster Hall Roof 1395-99 Hugh Herland, King’s Carpenter 1375-1405
    19. 19. Winchester College Chapel: Thomas Herland, carpenter, William Wynford , chief mason, Simon de Membury , clerk of the works
    20. 20. Livery Companies
    21. 21. Video Politics and Religion in Chaucer’s London
    22. 22. Philanthropy • Education • Care of the aged and needy • Concern for one’s soul
    23. 23. Dick Whittington St. Michael Paternoster Royal
    24. 24. Winchester College, chartered 1382
    25. 25. New College, Oxford 1386
    26. 26. New College 1566
    27. 27. Wakefield Bridge and Chantry Chapel, Turner 1798
    28. 28. Chantries • 2,182 royal licenses to found chantries were granted between 1281 and 1547. • Priests hired for the chapels also served the community • Those without means for an individual chapel could join a religious guild.
    29. 29. Cage Chapel, Bishop William of Wykeham, Winchester