A guild is a group of people who all work in the
same trade. For example, bakers would belong to a Bakers guild,
and bankers would belong to the Bankers guild, and so on.
Guilds were designed
to end competition. If you were a guild member, the guild made sure
you didn't have any competition in your area. Plus, the guild was
on hand if you needed help. Guilds were also social groups
throwing festivals and parties for its members.
be a member of the guild you had to follow their rules. These included:
Letting the guild set the price for all your goods, all members of the
guild paid workers the same wage, your work had to
be up to guild standards (no shoddy workmanship), and finally you couldn't advertise. This was to give all guild
members the same advantages.
There were three level within each
guild, Master, Journeyman and Apprentice. A master was someone who
was the best at what they did and usually owned their own shop or
business. Right below the master was a journeyman. This was
someone who was skilled in the job but was not quite up to the level of
master. As you learned you moved up until you could prove to the
guild that you were good enough to be a master. Finally there
were apprentices. An apprentice was someone who was learning the
skills needed to work within the guild. An apprentice was usually
not paid, but was given room and board.
Medieval Craftsman - Guilds in the Middle Ages
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