1. Oak7ree
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    Oak7ree Member

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    Medieval guilds

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Oak7ree, Jan 1, 2013.

    I'm planning to write a story set in a fantasy world (magic is real, but elves or dwarves don't exist). Few guilds, like traders, blacksmiths and artisans, play a role in the story. But while I was planning and mindstorming, I had to face one fact: I don't know almost anything about guild, their stucture etc. If you know something about medieval guilds, please, inform me. Thank you in advance.
     
  2. hippocampus
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    hippocampus Active Member

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    I did a google search on "medieval guilds" and the first few natural links were pretty informative. A good place to start anyway.
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    yes... instead of asking others to 'inform' you, do your own research and inform yourself... that's what writers do...

    besides which, it's quicker and more efficient than waiting for the wrong info to be handed out in a post...
     
  4. Oak7ree
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    Oak7ree Member

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    So you're saying I can't ask from you? Isn't it the point of the Research section that I can ask others something I don't know? I know that I can get much information from the Internet just by using few words. You know, I use few sources (books, people, Internet, etc.), and the sources include this forum, a small part of my sources. And a teacher of mine once said "There are no dumb questions, only questions that need answering."
     
  5. Soodanim
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    Soodanim Member

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    Take a look into the City of London's history. By the City of London, I don't mean Greater London. It's actually quite a fascinating study and is very strongly tied with the nature of guilds and how they rose to political and social power.

     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ...no, i didn't say you 'can't'... please read what i did say...

    ...i also did not say it was a 'dumb question'... only that it's much quicker and easier to do research yourself first, with google... no offense was intended, so i'm sorry if you thought it was...
     
  7. thedarkknight
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    thedarkknight Member

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    The guild system was a product of its culture.

    There were three classes of craftsmen.

    The apprentice was the bottom. When boys reached the age of about fourteen, they went to live with the master craftsman and started out by sweeping floors and shoveling crap. Eventually they learned the craft.

    The journeyman was a competent worker and could move around and assist a master craftsman.

    The journeyman had to pass a test to become a master craftsman.

    The Guild would uphold the standards of the craft. When a town needed a baker, they would negotiate with the Guild to provide a baker and would negotiate the price of the goods. The master craftsman basically had a monopoly in his town, but the prices were set so they couldn't take advantage of the people.

    There were some craft fairs where any craftsman could sell their goods.

    That's about all I know.

    They are different from labor unions because labor unions are a product of capitalism, where the guild system is a product of the distributive economic system.
     
  8. Oak7ree
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    Oak7ree Member

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    @mammamaia I think I overreacted. I just felt that I wasn't going any tips or information. I know that searching from the Internet for the info I need is more efficient than waiting and checking the forums after few hours or days.
     
  9. jedellion
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    jedellion Member

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    Short potted version of some notes I made a long time ago.

    The guilds were set up to ensure standards. Standards of craftsmanship and standards in pricing. It was all about making the systems fair. A guild ensured that products made were of a suitable quality and also that products of a quality were sold at a fair price.

    Apprentices were taken on, usually post puberty, and after serving an apprenticeship, working hard in exchange for food, a roof and training. An apprentice would undertake tasks to prove their skills to be made up to a journeyman. Journeymen were paid by their masters, until they earned enough to set up shop on their own.

    To become a master, a journeyman had to create one or more 'master's pieces' (where we get the word masterpiece from.)
    Once approved, they were entitled to the rank of master and could take apprentices of their own.

    Guilds also ensured the crown was happy, by ensuring all proper takes were paid.

    Hope this helps.

    Jed.
     
  10. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    no prob, oak!... glad we're still friends... hugs, m
     
  11. Oak7ree
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    Oak7ree Member

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    Yeah, no problemo. And thanks to you all.
     

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