Master in medieval times (guilds)?

Were they boys or girls? Why did most of them come from Germany and Italy? What type of workshops did the masters own? When journeyman became a master, did he/she form his/her own guild?

Please help! i need an answer before Monday 22 January 2013

1 Answer

Relevance
  • Ian
    Lv 7
    7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    The Guild system existed all over Europe not just in Germany and Italy. German artisans often migrated to less developed parts of central and eastern Europe and so they frequently controlled the guilds in those areas e.g. in Hungary the eastern Pest bit of Budapest was largely a German dominated trading town and Danzig was controlled by German merchants of the Hanse. Italian craftsmanship was widely admired but they do not seem to have migrated in the same way, some did work directly for wealthy private clients like the King of France.

    The Guilds were all male. Sometimes a woman might inherit her husband's workshop,but she generally had to marry a journeyman to keep the business as she would not be recognised as a Master.

    Every trade had its own Guild. There were guilds for butchers, fishmongers, cutlers, leather workers, rope-makers, carpenters, cobblers and so on. Most work shops also doubled as shops, and the family usually lived over the shop. By dropping a shutter flap a counter was created from which goods could be sold.

    The Guilds controlled access to the trade. You could not even begin an apprenticeship without registering the agreement with them, they decided whether you passed as a journeyman, and they elected you as a Master. They controlled quality and prices, only goods produced in the town could generally be sold in the town. If a journeyman had the capital he could set up in business for himself and could hope to be admitted as a Master and be allowed to take apprentices.

    The Guilds usually elected the Town Council and in time the same families, the wealthy ones, came to dominate the Town Councils and appoint their own successors. Some families became so wealthy that their leading members hardly ever had to do any craft work at all but simply managed the business. Alliances between families meant that most of the leading Guilds men were related.

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.