5. Mutual aid in the Mediaeval city

Submitted by libcom on January 31, 2006

Growth of authority in Barbarian Society. -- Serfdom in the
villages. -- Revolt of fortified towns: their liberation; their
charts. -- The guild. -- Double origin of the free medieval city.
-- Self-jurisdiction, self-administration. -- Honourable position
of labour. -- Trade by the guild and by the city.

Sociability and need of mutual aid and support are such

inherent parts of human nature that at no time of history can we

discover men living in small isolated families, fighting each

other for the means of subsistence. On the contrary, modern

research, as we saw it in the two preceding chapters, proves that

since the very beginning of their prehistoric life men used to

agglomerate into gentes, clans, or tribes, maintained by an idea

of common descent and by worship of common ancestors. For

thousands and thousands of years this organization has kept men

together, even though there was no authority whatever to impose

it. It has deeply impressed all subsequent development of

mankind; and when the bonds of common descent had been loosened

by migrations on a grand scale, while the development of the

separated family within the clan itself had destroyed the old

unity of the clan, a new form of union, territorial in its

principle -- the village community -- was called into existence

by the social genius of man. This institution, again, kept men

together for a number of centuries, permitting them to further

develop their social institutions and to pass through some of the

darkest periods of history, without being dissolved into loose

aggregations of families and individuals, to make a further step

in their evolution, and to work out a number of secondary social

institutions, several of which have survived down to the present

time. We have now to follow the further developments of the same

ever-living tendency for mutual aid. Taking the village

communities of the so-called barbarians at a time when they were

making a new start of civilization after the fall of the Roman

Empire, we have to study the new aspects taken by the sociable

wants of the masses in the middle ages, and especially in the

medieval guilds and the medieval city.

Far from being the fighting animals they have often been

compared to, the barbarians of the first centuries of our era

(like so many Mongolians, Africans, Arabs, and so on, who still

continue in the same barbarian stage) invariably preferred peace

to war. With the exception of a few tribes which had been driven

during the great migrations into unproductive deserts or

highlands, and were thus compelled periodically to prey upon

their better-favoured neighbours -- apart from these, the great

bulk of the Teutons, the Saxons, the Celts, the Slavonians, and

so on, very soon after they had settled in their newly-conquered

abodes, reverted to the spade or to their herds. The earliest

barbarian codes already represent to us societies composed of

peaceful agricultural communities, not hordes of men at war with

each other. These barbarians covered the country with villages

and farmhouses;1 they cleared the forests, bridged the

torrents, and colonized the formerly quite uninhabited

wilderness; and they left the uncertain warlike pursuits to

brotherhoods, scholae, or "trusts" of unruly men, gathered round

temporary chieftains, who wandered about, offering their

adventurous spirit, their arms, and their knowledge of warfare

for the protection of populations, only too anxious to be left in

peace. The warrior bands came and went, prosecuting their family

feuds; but the great mass continued to till the soil, taking but

little notice of their would-be rulers, so long as they did not

interfere with the independence of their village communities.2

The new occupiers of Europe evolved the systems of land tenure

and soil culture which are still in force with hundreds of

millions of men; they worked out their systems of compensation

for wrongs, instead of the old tribal blood-revenge; they learned

the first rudiments of industry; and while they fortified their

villages with palisaded walls, or erected towers and earthen

forts whereto to repair in case of a new invasion, they soon

abandoned the task of defending these towers and forts to those

who made of war a speciality.

The very peacefulness of the barbarians, certainly not their

supposed warlike instincts, thus became the source of their

subsequent subjection to the military chieftains. It is evident

that the very mode of life of the armed brotherhoods offered them

more facilities for enrichment than the tillers of the soil could

find in their agricultural communities. Even now we see that

armed men occasionally come together to shoot down Matabeles and

to rob them of their droves of cattle, though the Matabeles only

want peace and are ready to buy it at a high price. The scholae

of old certainly were not more scrupulous than the scholae of our

own time. Droves of cattle, iron (which was extremely costly at

that time3), and slaves were appropriated in this way; and

although most acquisitions were wasted on the spot in those

glorious feasts of which epic poetry has so much to say -- still

some part of the robbed riches was used for further enrichment.

There was plenty of waste land, and no lack of men ready to till

it, if only they could obtain the necessary cattle and

implements. Whole villages, ruined by murrains, pests, fires, or

raids of new immigrants, were often abandoned by their

inhabitants, who went anywhere in search of new abodes. They

still do so in Russia in similar circumstances. And if one of the

hirdmen of the armed brotherhoods offered the peasants some

cattle for a fresh start, some iron to make a plough, if not the

plough itself, his protection from further raids, and a number of

years free from all obligations, before they should begin to

repay the contracted debt, they settled upon the land. And when,

after a hard fight with bad crops, inundations and pestilences,

those pioneers began to repay their debts, they fell into servile

obligations towards the protector of the territory. Wealth

undoubtedly did accumulate in this way, and power always follows

wealth.4 And yet, the more we penetrate into the life of those

times, the sixth and seventh centuries of our era, the more we

see that another element, besides wealth and military force, was

required to constitute the authority of the few. It was an

element of law and tight, a desire of the masses to maintain

peace, and to establish what they considered to be justice, which

gave to the chieftains of the scholae -- kings, dukes, knyazes,

and the like -- the force they acquired two or three hundred

years later. That same idea of justice, conceived as an adequate

revenge for the wrong done, which had grown in the tribal stage,

now passed as a red thread through the history of subsequent

institutions, and, much more even than military or economic

causes, it became the basis upon which the authority of the kings

and the feudal lords was founded.

In fact, one of the chief preoccupations of the barbarian

village community always was, as it still is with our barbarian

contemporaries, to put a speedy end to the feuds which arose from

the then current conception of justice. When a quarrel took

place, the community at once interfered, and after the folkmote

had heard the case, it settled the amount of composition

(wergeld) to be paid to the wronged person, or to his family, as

well as the fred, or fine for breach of peace, which had to be

paid to the community. Interior quarrels were easily appeased in

this way. But when feuds broke out between two different tribes,

or two confederations of tribes, notwithstanding all measures

taken to prevent them,5 the difficulty was to find an arbiter

or sentence-finder whose decision should be accepted by both

parties alike, both for his impartiality and for his knowledge of

the oldest law. The difficulty was the greater as the customary

laws of different tribes and confederations were at variance as

to the compensation due in different cases. It therefore became

habitual to take the sentence-finder from among such families, or

such tribes, as were reputed for keeping the law of old in its

purity; of being versed in the songs, triads, sagas, etc., by

means of which law was perpetuated in memory; and to retain law

in this way became a sort of art, a "mystery," carefully

transmitted in certain families from generation to generation.

Thus in Iceland, and in other Scandinavian lands, at every

Allthing, or national folkmote, a l?vs?gmathr used to recite the

whole law from memory for the enlightening of the assembly; and

in Ireland there was, as is known, a special class of men reputed

for the knowledge of the old traditions, and therefore enjoying a

great authority as judges.6 Again, when we are told by the

Russian annals that some stems of North-West Russia, moved by the

growing disorder which resulted from "clans rising against

clans," appealed to Norman varingiar to be their judges and

commanders of warrior scholae; and when we see the knyazes, or

dukes, elected for the next two hundred years always from the

same Norman family, we cannot but recognize that the Slavonians

trusted to the Normans for a better knowledge of the law which

would be equally recognized as good by different Slavonian kins.

In this case the possession of runes, used for the transmission

of old customs, was a decided advantage in favour of the Normans;

but in other cases there are faint indications that the "eldest"

branch of the stem, the supposed motherbranch, was appealed to to

supply the judges, and its decisions were relied upon as

just;7 while at a later epoch we see a distinct tendency

towards taking the sentence-finders from the Christian clergy,

which, at that time, kept still to the fundamental, now

forgotten, principle of Christianity, that retaliation is no act

of justice. At that time the Christian clergy opened the churches

as places of asylum for those who fled from blood revenge, and

they willingly acted as arbiters in criminal cases, always

opposing the old tribal principle of life for life and wound for

wound. In short, the deeper we penetrate into the history of

early institutions, the less we find grounds for the military

theory of origin of authority. Even that power which later on

became such a source of oppression seems, on the contrary, to

have found its origin in the peaceful inclinations of the masses.

In all these cases the fred, which often amounted to half the

compensation, went to the folkmote, and from times immemorial it

used to be applied to works of common utility and defence. It has

still the same destination (the erection of towers) among the

Kabyles and certain Mongolian stems; and we have direct evidence

that even several centuries later the judicial fines, in Pskov

and several French and German cities, continued to be used for

the repair of the city walls.1 It was thus quite natural that

the fines should be handed over to the sentence-finder, who was

bound, in return, both to maintain the schola of armed men to

whom the defence of the territory was trusted, and to execute the

sentences. This became a universal custom in the eighth and ninth

centuries, even when the sentence-finder was an elected bishop.

The germ of a combination of what we should now call the judicial

power and the executive thus made its appearance. But to these

two functions the attributions of the duke or king were strictly

limited. He was no ruler of the people -- the supreme power still

belonging to the folkmote -- not even a commander of the popular

militia; when the folk took to arms, it marched under a separate,

also elected, commander, who was not a subordinate, but an equal

to the king.9 The king was a lord on his personal domain only.

In fact, in barbarian language, the word konung, koning, or

cyning synonymous with the Latin rex, had no other meaning than

that of a temporary leader or chieftain of a band of men. The

commander of a flotilla of boats, or even of a single pirate

boat, was also a konung, and till the present day the commander

of fishing in Norway is named Not-kong -- "the king of the

nets."10 The veneration attached later on to the personality

of a king did not yet exist, and while treason to the kin was

punished by death, the slaying of a king could be recouped by the

payment of compensation: a king simply was valued so much more

than a freeman.11 And when King Knu (or Canute) had killed one

man of his own schola, the saga represents him convoking his

comrades to a thing where he stood on his knees imploring pardon.

He was pardoned, but not till he had agreed to pay nine times the

regular composition, of which one-third went to himself for the

loss of one of his men, one-third to the relatives of the slain

man, and one-third (the fred) to the schola.12 In reality, a

complete change had to be accomplished in the current

conceptions, under the double influence of the Church and the

students of Roman law, before an idea of sanctity began to be

attached to the personality of the king.

However, it lies beyond the scope of these essays to follow

the gradual development of authority out of the elements just

indicated. Historians, such as Mr. and Mrs. Green for this

country, Augustin Thierry, Michelet, and Luchaire for France,

Kaufmann, Janssen, W. Arnold, and even Nitzsch, for Germany, Leo

and Botta for Italy, Byelaeff, Kostomaroff, and their followers

for Russia, and many others, have fully told that tale. They have

shown how populations, once free, and simply agreeing "to feed" a

certain portion of their military defenders, gradually became the

serfs of these protectors; how "commendation" to the Church, or

to a lord, became a hard necessity for the freeman; how each

lord's and bishop's castle became a robber's nest -- how

feudalism was imposed, in a word -- and how the crusades, by

freeing the serfs who wore the cross, gave the first impulse to

popular emancipation. All this need not be retold in this place,

our chief aim being to follow the constructive genius of the

masses in their mutual-aid institutions.

At a time when the last vestiges of barbarian freedom seemed

to disappear, and Europe, fallen under the dominion of thousands

of petty rulers, was marching towards the constitution of such

theocracies and despotic States as had followed the barbarian

stage during the previous starts of civilization, or of barbarian

monarchies, such as we see now in Africa, life in Europe took

another direction. It went on on lines similar to those it had

once taken in the cities of antique Greece. With a unanimity

which seems almost incomprehensible, and for a long time was not

understood by historians, the urban agglomerations, down to the

smallest burgs, began to shake off the yoke of their worldly and

clerical lords. The fortified village rose against the lord's

castle, defied it first, attacked it next, and finally destroyed

it. The movement spread from spot to spot, involving every town

on the surface of Europe, and in less than a hundred years free

cities had been called into existence on the coasts of the

Mediterranean, the North Sea, the Baltic, the Atlantic Ocean,

down to the fjords of Scandinavia; at the feet of the Apennines,

the Alps, the Black Forest, the Grampians, and the Carpathians;

in the plains of Russia, Hungary, France and Spain. Everywhere

the same revolt took place, with the same features, passing

through the same phases, leading to the same results. Wherever

men had found, or expected to find, some protection behind their

town walls, they instituted their "co-jurations," their

"fraternities," their "friendships," united in one common idea,

and boldly marching towards a new life of mutual support and

liberty. And they succeeded so well that in three or four hundred

years they had changed the very face of Europe. They had covered

the country with beautiful sumptuous buildings, expressing the

genius of free unions of free men, unrivalled since for their

beauty and expressiveness; and they bequeathed to the following

generations all the arts, all the industries, of which our

present civilization, with all its achievements and promises for

the future, is only a further development. And when we now look

to the forces which have produced these grand results, we find

them -- not in the genius of individual heroes, not in the mighty

organization of huge States or the political capacities of their

rulers, but in the very same current of mutual aid and support

which we saw at work in the village community, and which was

vivified and reinforced in the Middle Ages by a new form of

unions, inspired by the very same spirit but shaped on a new

model -- the guilds.

It is well known by this time that feudalism did not imply a

dissolution of the village community. Although the lord had

succeeded in imposing servile labour upon the peasants, and had

appropriated for himself such rights as were formerly vested in

the village community alone (taxes, mortmain, duties on

inheritances and marriages), the peasants had, nevertheless,

maintained the two fundamental rights of their communities: the

common possession of the land, and self-jurisdiction. In olden

times, when a king sent his vogt to a village, the peasants

received him with flowers in one hand and arms in the other, and

asked him -- which law he intended to apply: the one he found in

the village, or the one he brought with him? And, in the first

case, they handed him the flowers and accepted him; while in the

second case they fought him.13 Now, they accepted the king's

or the lord's official whom they could not refuse; but they

maintained the folkmote's jurisdiction, and themselves nominated

six, seven, or twelve judges, who acted with the lord's judge, in

the presence of the folkmote, as arbiters and sentence-finders.

In most cases the official had nothing left to him but to confirm

the sentence and to levy the customary fred. This precious right

of self-jurisdiction, which, at that time, meant

self-administration and self-legislation, had been maintained

through all the struggles; and even the lawyers by whom Karl the

Great was surrounded could not abolish it; they were bound to

confirm it. At the same time, in all matters concerning the

community's domain, the folkmote retained its supremacy and (as

shown by Maurer) often claimed submission from the lord himself

in land tenure matters. No growth of feudalism could break this

resistance; the village community kept its ground; and when, in

the ninth and tenth centuries, the invasions of the Normans, the

Arabs, and the Ugrians had demonstrated that military scholae

were of little value for protecting the land, a general movement

began all over Europe for fortifying the villages with stone

walls and citadels. Thousands of fortified centres were then

built by the energies of the village communities; and, once they

had built their walls, once a common interest had been created in

this new sanctuary -- the town walls -- they soon understood that

they could henceforward resist the encroachments of the inner

enemies, the lords, as well as the invasions of foreigners. A new

life of freedom began to develop within the fortified enclosures.

The medieval city was born.14

No period of history could better illustrate the constructive

powers of the popular masses than the tenth and eleventh

centuries, when the fortified villages and market-places,

representing so many "oases amidst the feudal forest," began to

free themselves from their lord's yoke, and slowly elaborated the

future city organization; but, unhappily, this is a period about

which historical information is especially scarce: we know the

results, but little has reached us about the means by which they

were achieved. Under the protection of their walls the cities'

folkmotes -- either quite independent, or led by the chief noble

or merchant families -- conquered and maintained the right of

electing the military defensor and supreme judge of the town, or

at least of choosing between those who pretended to occupy this

position. In Italy the young communes were continually sending

away their defensors or domini, fighting those who refused to go.

The same went on in the East. In Bohemia, rich and poor alike

(Bohemicae gentis magni et parvi, nobiles et ignobiles) took part

in the election;15 while, the vyeches (folkmotes) of the

Russian cities regularly elected their dukes -- always from the

same Rurik family -- covenanted with them, and sent the knyaz

away if he had provoked discontent.16 At the same time in most

cities of Western and Southern Europe, the tendency was to take

for defensor a bishop whom the city had elected itself. and so

many bishops took the lead in protecting the "immunities" of the

towns and in defending their liberties, that numbers of them were

considered, after their death, as saints and special patrons of

different cities. St. Uthelred of Winchester, St. Ulrik of

Augsburg, St. Wolfgang of Ratisbon, St. Heribert of Cologne, St.

Adalbert of Prague, and so on, as well as many abbots and monks,

became so many cities' saints for having acted in defence of

popular rights.17 And under the new defensors, whether laic or

clerical, the citizens conquered full self-jurisdiction and

self-administration for their folkmotes.18

The whole process of liberation progressed by a series of

imperceptible acts of devotion to the common cause, accomplished

by men who came out of the masses -- by unknown heroes whose very

names have not been preserved by history. The wonderful movement

of the God's peace (treuga Dei) by which the popular masses

endeavoured to put a limit to the endless family feuds of the

noble families, was born in the young towns, the bishops and the

citizens trying to extend to the nobles the peace they had

established within their town walls.19 Already at that period,

the commercial cities of Italy, and especially Amalfi (which had

its elected consuls since 844, and frequently changed its doges

in the tenth century)20 worked out the customary maritime and

commercial law which later on became a model for all Europe;

Ravenna elaborated its craft organization, and Milan, which had

made its first revolution in 980, became a great centre of

commerce, its trades enjoying a full independence since the

eleventh century.21 So also Br?gge and Ghent; so also several

cities of France in which the Mahl or forum had become a quite

independent institution.22 And already during that period

began the work of artistic decoration of the towns by works of

architecture, which we still admire and which loudly testify of

the intellectual movement of the times. "The basilicae were then

renewed in almost all the universe," Raoul Glaber wrote in his

chronicle, and some of the finest monuments of medieval

architecture date from that period: the wonderful old church of

Bremen was built in the ninth century, Saint Marc of Venice was

finished in 1071, and the beautiful dome of Pisa in 1063. In

fact, the intellectual movement which has been described as the

Twelfth Century Renaissance23 and the Twelfth Century

Rationalism -- the precursor of the Reform24 date from that

period, when most cities were still simple agglomerations of

small village communities enclosed by walls.

However, another element, besides the village-community

principle, was required to give to these growing centres of

liberty and enlightenment the unity of thought and action, and

the powers of initiative, which made their force in the twelfth

and thirteenth centuries. With the growing diversity of

occupations, crafts and arts, and with the growing commerce in

distant lands, some new form of union was required, and this

necessary new element was supplied by the guilds. Volumes and

volumes have been written about these unions which, under the

name of guilds, brotherhoods, friendships and druzhestva, minne,

artels in Russia, esnaifs in Servia and Turkey, amkari in

Georgia, and so on, took such a formidable development in

medieval times and played such an important part in the

emancipation of the cities. But it took historians more than

sixty years before the universality of this institution and its

true characters were understood. Only now, when hundreds of guild

statutes have been published and studied, and their relationship

to the Roman collegiae, and the earlier unions in Greece and in

India,25 is known, can we maintain with full confidence that

these brotherhoods were but a further development of the same

principles which we saw at work in the gens and the village


Nothing illustrates better these medieval brother hoods than

those temporary guilds which were formed on board ships. When a

ship of the Hansa had accomplished her first half-day passage

after having left the port, the captain (Schiffer) gathered all

crew and passengers on the deck, and held the following language,

as reported by a contemporary: --

"'As we are now at the mercy of God and the waves,' he said,

'each one must be equal to each other. And as we are surrounded

by storms, high waves, pirates and other dangers, we must keep a

strict order that we may bring our voyage to a good end. That is

why we shall pronounce the prayer for a good wind and good

success, and, according to marine law, we shall name the

occupiers of the judges' seats (Sch?ffenstellen).' Thereupon the

crew elected a Vogt and four scabini, to act as their judges. At

the end of the voyage the Vogt and the scabini. abdicated their

functions and addressed the. 'What has happened on board ship, we

crew as follows: -- must pardon to each other and consider as

dead (todt und ab sein lassen). What we have judged right, was

for the sake of justice. This is why we beg you all, in the name

of honest justice, to forget all the animosity one may nourish

against another, and to swear on bread and salt that he will not

think of it in a bad spirit. If any one, however, considers

himself wronged, he must appeal to the land Vogt and ask justice

from him before sunset.' On landing, the Stock with the fredfines

was handed over to the Vogt of the sea-port for distribution

among the poor."26

This simple narrative, perhaps better than anything else,

depicts the spirit of the medieval guilds. Like organizations

came into existence wherever a group of men -- fishermen,

hunters, travelling merchants, builders, or settled craftsmen --

came together for a common pursuit. Thus, there was on board ship

the naval authority of the captain; but, for the very success of

the common enterprise, all men on board, rich and poor, masters

and crew, captain and sailors, agreed to be equals in their

mutual relations, to be simply men, bound to aid each other and

to settle their possible disputes before judges elected by all of

them. So also when a number of craftsmen -- masons, carpenters,

stone-cutters, etc. -- came together for building, say, a

cathedral, they all belonged to a city which had its political

organization, and each of them belonged moreover to his own

craft; but they were united besides by their common enterprise,

which they knew better than any one else, and they joined into a

body united by closer, although temporary, bonds; they founded

the guild for the building of the cathedral.27 We may see the

same till now in the Kabylian. ?of:28 the Kabyles have their

village community; but this union is not sufficient for all

political, commercial, and personal needs of union, and the

closer brotherhood of the ?of is constituted.

As to the social characters of the medieval guild, any

guild-statute may illustrate them. Taking, for instance, the

skraa of some early Danish guild, we read in it, first, a

statement of the general brotherly feelings which must reign in

the guild; next come the regulations relative to

self-jurisdiction in cases of quarrels arising between two

brothers, or a brother and a stranger; and then, the social

duties of the brethren are enumerated. If a brother's house is

burned, or he has lost his ship, or has suffered on a pilgrim's

voyage, all the brethren must come to his aid. If a brother falls

dangerously ill, two brethren must keep watch by his bed till he

is out of danger, and if he dies, the brethren must bury him -- a

great affair in those times of pestilences -- and follow him to

the church and the grave. After his death they must provide for

his children, if necessary; very often the widow becomes a sister

to the guild.29

These two leading features appeared in every brotherhood

formed for any possible purpose. In each case the members treated

each other as, and named each other, brother and sister;30 all

were equals before the guild. They owned some "chattel" (cattle,

land, buildings, places of worship, or "stock") in common. All

brothers took the oath of abandoning all feuds of old; and,

without imposing upon each other the obligation of never

quarrelling again, they agreed that no quarrel should degenerate

into a feud, or into a law-suit before another court than the

tribunal of the brothers themselves. And if a brother was

involved in a quarrel with a stranger to the guild, they agreed

to support him for bad and for good; that is, whether he was

unjustly accused of aggression, or really was the aggressor, they

had to support him, and to bring things to a peaceful end. So

long as his was not a secret aggression -- in which case he would

have been treated as an outlaw -- the brotherhood stood by

him.31 If the relatives of the wronged man wanted to revenge

the offence at once by a new aggression, the brother- hood

supplied him with a horse to run away, or with a boat, a pair of

oars, a knife and a steel for striking light; if he remained in

town, twelve brothers accompanied him to protect him; and in the

meantime they arranged the composition. They went to court to

support by oath the truthfulness of his statements, and if he was

found guilty they did not let him go to full ruin and become a

slave through not paying the due compensation: they all paid it,

just as the gens did in olden times. Only when a brother had

broken the faith towards his guild-brethren, or other people, he

was excluded from the brotherhood "with a Nothing's name" (tha

scal han maeles af br?drescap met nidings nafn).32

Such were the leading ideas of those brotherhoods which

gradually covered the whole of medieval life. In fact, we know of

guilds among all possible professions: guilds of serfs,33

guilds of freemen, and guilds of both serfs and freemen; guilds

called into life for the special purpose of hunting, fishing, or

a trading expedition, and dissolved when the special purpose had

been achieved; and guilds lasting for centuries in a given craft

or trade. And, in proportion as life took an always greater

variety of pursuits, the variety in the guilds grew in

proportion. So we see not only merchants, craftsmen, hunters, and

peasants united in guilds; we also see guilds of priests,

painters, teachers of primary schools and universities, guilds

for performing the passion play, for building a church, for

developing the "mystery" of a given school of art or craft, or

for a special recreation -- even guilds among beggars,

executioners, and lost women, all organized on the same double

principle of self-jurisdiction and mutual support.34 For

Russia we have positive evidence showing that the very "making of

Russia" was as much the work of its hunters', fishermen's, and

traders' artels as of the budding village communities, and up to

the present day the country is covered with artels.35

These few remarks show how incorrect was the view taken by

some early explorers of the guilds when they wanted to see the

essence of the institution in its yearly festival. In reality,

the day of the common meal was always the day, or the morrow of

the day, of election of aldermen, of discussion of alterations in

the statutes, and very often the day of judgment of quarrels that

had risen among the brethren,36 or of renewed allegiance to

the guild. The common meal, like the festival at the old tribal

folkmote -- the mahl or malum -- or the Buryate aba, or the

parish feast and the harvest supper, was simply an affirmation of

brotherhood. It symbolized the times when everything was kept in

common by the clan. This day, at least, all belonged to all; all

sate at the same table and partook of the same meal. Even at a

much later time the inmate of the almshouse of a London guild sat

this day by the side of the rich alderman. As to the distinction

which several explorers have tried to establish between the old

Saxon "frith guild" and the so-called "social" or "religious"

guilds -- all were frith guilds in the sense above

mentioned,37 and all were religious in the sense in which a

village community or a city placed under the protection of a

special saint is social and religious. If the institution of the

guild has taken such an immense extension in Asia, Africa, and

Europe, if it has lived thousands of years, reappearing again and

again when similar conditions called it into existence, it is

because it was much more than an eating association, or an

association for going to church on a certain day, or a burial

club. It answered to a deeply inrooted want of human nature; and

it embodied all the attributes which the State appropriated later

on for its bureaucracy and police, and much more than that. It

was an association for mutual support in all circumstances and in

all accidents of life, "by deed and advise," and it was an

organization for maintaining justice -- with this difference from

the State, that on all these occasions a humane, a brotherly

element was introduced instead of the formal element which is the

essential characteristic of State interference. Even when

appearing before the guild tribunal, the guild-brother answered

before men who knew him well and had stood by him before in their

daily work, at the common meal, in the performance of their

brotherly duties: men who were his equals and brethren indeed,

not theorists of law nor defenders of some one else's


It is evident that an institution so well suited to serve the

need of union, without depriving the individual of his

initiative, could but spread, grow, and fortify. The difficulty

was only to find such form as would permit to federate the unions

of the guilds without interfering with the unions of the village

communities, and to federate all these into one harmonious whole.

And when this form of combination had been found, and a series of

favourable circumstances permitted the cities to affirm their

independence, they did so with a unity of thought which can but

excite our admiration, even in our century of railways,

telegraphs, and printing. Hundreds of charters in which the

cities inscribed their liberation have reached us, and through

all of them -- notwithstanding the infinite variety of details,

which depended upon the more or less greater fulness of

emancipation -- the same leading ideas run. The city organized

itself as a federation of both small village communities and


"All those who belong to the friendship of the town" -- so

runs a charter given in 1188 to the burghesses of Aire by Philip,

Count of Flanders -- "have promised and confirmed by faith and

oath that they will aid each other as brethren, in whatever is

useful and honest. That if one commits against another an offence

in words or in deeds, the one who has suffered there from will

not take revenge, either himself or his people... he will lodge a

complaint and the offender will make good for his offence,

according to what will be pronounced by twelve elected judges

acting as arbiters, And if the offender or the offended, after

having been warned thrice, does not submit to the decision of the

arbiters, he will be excluded from the friendship as a wicked man

and a perjuror.39

"Each one of the men of the commune will be faithful to his

con-juror, and will give him aid and advice, according to what

justice will dictate him" -- the Amiens and Abbeville charters

say. "All will aid each other, according to their powers, within

the boundaries of the Commune, and will not suffer that any one

takes anything from any one of them, or makes one pay

contributions" -- do we read in the charters of Soissons,

Compi?gne, Senlis, and many others of the same type.40 And so

on with countless variations on the same theme.

"The Commune," Guilbert de Nogent wrote, "is an oath of

mutual aid (mutui adjutorii conjuratio)... A new and detestable

word. Through it the serfs (capite sensi) are freed from all

serfdom; through it, they can only be condemned to a legally

determined fine for breaches of the law; through it, they cease

to be liable to payments which the serfs always used to


The same wave of emancipation ran, in the twelfth century,

through all parts of the continent, involving both rich cities

and the poorest towns. And if we may say that, as a rule, the

Italian cities were the first to free themselves, we can assign

no centre from which the movement would have spread. Very often a

small burg in central Europe took the lead for its region, and

big agglomerations accepted the little town's charter as a model

for their own. Thus, the charter of a small town, Lorris, was

adopted by eighty-three towns in south-west France, and that of

Beaumont became the model for over five hundred towns and cities

in Belgium and France. Special deputies were dispatched by the

cities to their neighbours to obtain a copy from their charter,

and the constitution was framed upon that model. However, they

did not simply copy each other: they framed their own charters in

accordance with the concessions they had obtained from their

lords; and the result was that, as remarked by an historian, the

charters of the medieval communes offer the same variety as the

Gothic architecture of their churches and cathedrals. The same

leading ideas in all of them -- the cathedral symbolizing the

union of parish and guild in the, city -- and the same infinitely

rich variety of detail.

Self-jurisdiction was the essential point, and

self-jurisdiction meant self-administration. But the commune was

not simply an "autonomous" part of the State -- such ambiguous

words had not yet been invented by that time -- it was a State in

itself. It had the right of war and peace, of federation and

alliance with its neighbours. It was sovereign in its own

affairs, and mixed with no others. The supreme political power

could be vested entirely in a democratic forum, as was the case

in Pskov, whose vyeche sent and received ambassadors, concluded

treaties, accepted and sent away princes, or went on without them

for dozens of years; or it was vested in, or usurped by, an

aristocracy of merchants or even nobles, as was the case in

hundreds of Italian and middle European cities. The principle,

nevertheless, remained the same: the city was a State and -- what

was perhaps still more remarkable -- when the power in the city

was usurped by an aristocracy of merchants or even nobles, the

inner life of the city and the democratism of its daily life did

not disappear: they depended but little upon what may be called

the political form of the State.

The secret of this seeming anomaly lies in the fact that a

medieval city was not a centralized State. During the first

centuries of its existence, the city hardly could be named a

State as regards its interior organization, because the middle

ages knew no more of the present centralization of functions than

of the present territorial centralization. Each group had its

share of sovereignty. The city was usually divided into four

quarters, or into five to seven sections radiating from a centre,

each quarter or section roughly corresponding to a certain trade

or profession which prevailed in it, but nevertheless containing

inhabitants of different social positions and occupations --

nobles, merchants, artisans, or even half-serfs; and each section

or quarter constituted a quite independent agglomeration. In

Venice, each island was an independent political community. It

had its own organized trades, its own commerce in salt, its own

jurisdiction and administration, its own forum; and the

nomination of a doge by the city changed nothing in the inner

independence of the units.42 In Cologne, we see the

inhabitants divided into Geburschaften and Heimschaften

(viciniae), i.e. neighbour guilds, which dated from the

Franconian period. Each of them had its judge (Burrichter) and

the usual twelve elected sentence-finders (Sch?ffen), its Vogt,

and its greve or commander of the local militia.43 The story

of early London before the Conquest -- Mr. Green says -- is that

"of a number of little groups scattered here and there over the

area within the walls, each growing up with its own life and

institutions, guilds, sokes, religious houses and the like, and

only slowly drawing together into a municipal union."44 And if

we refer to the annals of the Russian cities, Novgorod and Pskov,

both of which are relatively rich in local details, we find the

section (konets) consisting of independent streets (ulitsa), each

of which, though chiefly peopled with artisans of a certain

craft, had also merchants and landowners among its inhabitants,

and was a separate community. It had the communal responsibility

of all members in case of crime, its own jurisdiction and

administration by street aldermen (ulichanskiye starosty), its

own seal and, in case of need, its own forum; its own militia, as

also its self-elected priests and its, own collective life and

collective enterprise.45

The medieval city thus appears as a double federation: of all

householders united into small territorial unions -- the street,

the parish, the section -- and of individuals united by oath into

guilds according to their professions; the former being a produce

of the village-community origin of the city, while the second is

a subsequent growth called to life by new conditions.

To guarantee liberty, self-administration, and peace was the

chief aim of the medieval city. and labour, as we shall presently

see when speaking of the craft guilds, was its chief foundation.

But "production" did not absorb the whole attention of the

medieval economist. With his practical mind, he understood that

"consumption" must be guaranteed in order to obtain production;

and therefore, to provide for "the common first food and lodging

of poor and rich alike" (gemeine notdurft und gemach armer und

richer46) was the fundamental principle in each city. The

purchase of food supplies and other first necessaries (coal,

wood, etc.) before they had reached the market, or altogether in

especially favourable conditions from which others would be

excluded -- the preempcio, in a word -- was entirely prohibited.

Everything had to go to the market and be offered there for every

one's purchase, till the ringing of the bell had closed the

market. Then only could the retailer buy the remainder, and even

then his profit should be an "honest profit" only.47 Moreover,

when corn was bought by a baker wholesale after the close of the

market, every citizen had the right to claim part of the corn

(about half-a-quarter) for his own use, at wholesale price, if he

did so before the final conclusion of the bargain; and

reciprocally, every baker could claim the same if the citizen

purchased corn for re-selling it. In the first case, the corn had

only to be brought to the town mill to be ground in its proper

turn for a settled price, and the bread could be baked in the

four banal, or communal oven.48 In short, if a scarcity

visited the city, all had to suffer from it more or less; but

apart from the calamities, so long as the free cities existed no

one could die in their midst from starvation, as is unhappily too

often the case in our own times.

However, all such regulations belong to later periods of the

cities' life, while at an earlier period it was the city itself

which used to buy all food supplies for the use of the citizens.

The documents recently published by Mr. Gross are quite positive

on this point and fully support his conclusion to the effect that

the cargoes of subsistences "were purchased by certain civic

officials in the name of the town, and then distributed in shares

among the merchant burgesses, no one being allowed to buy wares

landed in the port unless the municipal authorities refused to

purchase them. This seem -- she adds -- to have been quite a

common practice in England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland."49

Even in the sixteenth century we find that common purchases of

corn were made for the "comoditie and profitt in all things of

this.... Citie and Chamber of London, and of all the Citizens and

Inhabitants of the same as moche as in us lieth" -- as the Mayor

wrote in 1565.50 In Venice, the whole of the trade in corn is

well known to have been in the hands of the city; the "quarters,"

on receiving the cereals from the board which administrated the

imports, being bound to send to every citizen's house the

quantity allotted to him.51 In France, the city of Amiens used

to purchase salt and to distribute it to all citizens at cost

price;52 and even now one sees in many French towns the halles

which formerly were municipal d?p?ts for corn and salt.53 In

Russia it was a regular custom in Novgorod and Pskov.

The whole matter relative to the communal purchases for the

use of the citizens, and the manner in which they used to be

made, seems not to have yet received proper attention from the

historians of the period; but there are here and there some very

interesting facts which throw a new light upon it. Thus there is,

among Mr. Gross's documents, a Kilkenny ordinance of the year

1367, from which we learn how the prices of the goods were

established. "The merchants and the sailors," Mr. Gross writes,

"were to state on oath the first cost of the goods and the

expenses of transportation. Then the mayor of the town and two

discreet men were to name the price at which the wares were to be

sold." The same rule held good in Thurso for merchandise coming

"by sea or land." This way of "naming the price" so well answers

to the very conceptions of trade which were current in medieval

times that it must have been all but universal. To have the price

established by a third person was a very old custom; and for all

interchange within the city it certainly was a widely-spread

habit to leave the establishment of prices to "discreet men" --

to a third party -- and not to the vendor or the buyer. But this

order of things takes us still further back in the history of

trade -- namely, to a time when trade in staple produce was

carried on by the whole city, and the merchants were only the

commissioners, the trustees, of the city for selling the goods

which it exported. A Waterford ordinance, published also by Mr.

Gross, says "that all manere of marchandis what so ever kynde

thei be of... shal be bought by the Maire and balives which bene

commene biers [common buyers, for the town] for the time being,

and to distribute the same on freemen of the citie (the propre

goods of free citisains and inhabitants only excepted)." This

ordinance can Hardly be explained otherwise than by admitting

that all the exterior trade of the town was carried on by its

agents. Moreover, we have direct evidence of such having been the

case for Novgorod and Pskov. It was the Sovereign Novgorod and

the Sovereign Pskov who sent their caravans of merchants to

distant lands.

We know also that in nearly all medieval cities of Middle and

Western Europe, the craft guilds used to buy, as a body, all

necessary raw produce, and to sell the produce of their work

through their officials, and it is hardly possible that the same

should not have been done for exterior trade -- the more so as it

is well known that up to the thirteenth century, not only all

merchants of a given city were considered abroad as responsible

in a body for debts contracted by any one of them, but the whole

city as well was responsible for the debts of each one of its

merchants. Only in the twelfth and thirteenth century the towns

on the Rhine entered into special treaties abolishing this

responsibility.54 And finally we have the remarkable Ipswich

document published by Mr. Gross, from which document we learn

that the merchant guild of this town was constituted by all who

had the freedom of the city, and who wished to pay their

contribution ("their hanse") to the guild, the whole community

discussing all together how better to maintain the merchant

guild, and giving it certain privileges. The merchant guild of

Ipswich thus appears rather as a body of trustees of the town

than as a common private guild.

In short, the more we begin to know the mediaeval city the

more we see that it was not simply a political organization for

the protection of certain political liberties. It was an attempt

at organizing, on a much grander scale than in a village

community, a close union for mutual aid and support, for

consumption and production, and for social life altogether,

without imposing upon men the fetters of the State, but giving

full liberty of expression to the creative genius of each

separate group of individuals in art, crafts, science, commerce,

and political organization. How far this attempt has been

successful will be best seen when we have analyzed in the next

chapter the organization of labour in the medieval city and the

relations of the cities with the surrounding peasant population.

1 W. Arnold, in his Wanderungen und Ansiedelungen der deutschen
St?mme, p. 431, even maintains that one-half of the now arable
area in middle Germany must have been reclaimed from the sixth to
the ninth century. Nitzsch (Geschichte des deutschen Volkes,
Leipzig, 1883, vol. i.) shares the same opinion.
2 Leo and Botta, Histoire d'Italie, French edition, 1844, t. i.,
p. 37.
3 The composition for the stealing of a simple knife was 15
solidii and of the iron parts of a mill, 45 solidii (See on this
subject Lamprecht's Wirthschaft und Recht der Franken in Raumer's
Historisches Taschenbuch, 1883, p. 52.) According to the Riparian
law, the sword, the spear, and the iron armour of a warrior
attained the value of at least twenty-five cows, or two years of
a freeman's labour. A cuirass alone was valued in the Salic law
(Desmichels, quoted by Michelet) at as much as thirty-six bushels
of wheat.
4 The chief wealth of the chieftains, for a long time, was in
their personal domains peopled partly with prisoner slaves, but
chiefly in the above way. On the origin of property see Inama
Sternegg's Die Ausbildung der grossen Grundherrschaften in
Deutschland, in Schmoller's Forschungen, Bd. I., 1878; F. Dahn's
Urgeschichte der germanischen und romanischen V?lker, Berlin,
1881; Maurer's Dorfverfassung; Guizot's Essais sur l'histoire de
France; Maine's Village Community; Botta's Histoire d'Italie;
Seebohm, Vinogradov, J. R. Green, etc.
5 See Sir Henry Maine's International Law, London, 1888.
6 Ancient Laws of Ireland, Introduction; E. Nys, Etudes de droit
international, t. i., 1896, pp. 86 seq. Among the Ossetes the
arbiters from three oldest villages enjoy a special reputation
(M. Kovalevsky's Modern Custom and Old Law, Moscow, 1886, ii.
217, Russian).
7 It is permissible to think that this conception (related to
the conception of tanistry) played an important part in the life
of the period; but research has not yet been directed that way.
8 It was distinctly stated in the charter of St. Quentin of the
year 1002 that the ransom for houses which had to be demolished
for crimes went for the city walls. The same destination was
given to the Ungeld in German cities. At Pskov the cathedral was
the bank for the fines, and from this fund money was taken for
the wails.
9 Sohm, Fr?nkische Rechts- und Gerichtsverfassung, p. 23; also
Nitzsch, Geschechte des deutschen Volkes, i. 78.
10 See the excellent remarks on this subject in Augustin
Thierry's Lettres sur l'histoire de France. 7th Letter. The
barbarian translations of parts of the Bible are extremely
instructive on this point.
11 Thirty-six times more than a noble, according to the
Anglo-Saxon law. In the code of Rothari the slaying of a king is,
however, punished by death; but (apart from Roman influence) this
new disposition was introduced (in 646) in the Lombardian law --
as remarked by Leo and Botta -- to cover the king from blood
revenge. The king being at that time the executioner of his own
sentences (as the tribe formerly was of its own sentences), he
had to be protected by a special disposition, the more so as
several Lombardian kings before Rothari had been slain in
succession (Leo and Botta, l.c., i. 66-90).
12 Kaufmann, Deutsche Geschichte, Bd. I. "Die Germanen der
Urzeit," p. 133.
13 Dr. F. Dahn, Urgeschichte der germanischen und romanischen
V?lker, Berlin, 1881, Bd. I. 96.
14 If I thus follow the views long since advocated by Maurer
(Geschichte der St?dteverfassung in Deutschland, Erlangen, 1869),
it is because he has fully proved the uninterrupted evolution
from the village community to the mediaeval city, and that his
views alone can explain the universality of the communal
movement. Savigny and Eichhorn and their followers have certainly
proved that the traditions of the Roman municipia had never
totally disappeared. But they took no account of the village
community period which the barbarians lived through before they
had any cities. The fact is, that whenever mankind made a new
start in civilization, in Greece, Rome, or middle Europe, it
passed through the same stages -- the tribe, the village
community, the free city, the state -- each one naturally
evolving out of the preceding stage. Of course, the experience of
each preceding civilization was never lost. Greece (itself
influenced by Eastern civilizations) influenced Rome, and Rome
influenced our civilization; but each of them begin from the same
beginning -- the tribe. And just as we cannot say that our states
are continuations of the Roman state, so also can we not say that
the mediaeval cities of Europe (including Scandinavia and Russia)
were a continuation of the Roman cities. They were a continuation
of the barbarian village community, influenced to a certain
extent by the traditions of the Roman towns.
15 M. Kovalevsky, Modern Customs and Ancient Laws of Russia
(Ilchester Lectures, London, 1891, Lecture 4).
16 A considerable amount of research had to be done before this
character of the so-called udyelnyi period was properly
established by the works of Byelaeff (Tales from Russian
History), Kostomaroff (The Beginnings of Autocracy in Russia),
and especially Professor Sergievich (The Vyeche and the Prince).
The English reader may find some information about this period in
the just-named work of M. Kovalevsky, in Rambaud's History of
Russia, and, in a short summary, in the article "Russia" of the
last edition of Chambers's Encyclopaedia.
17 Ferrari, Histoire des r?volutions d'Italie, i. 257; Kallsen,
Die deutschen St?dte im Mittelalter, Bd. I. (Halle, 1891).
18 See the excellent remarks of Mr. G.L. Gomme as regards the
folkmote of London (The Literature of Local Institutions, London,
1886, p. 76). It must, however, be remarked that in royal cities
the folkmote never attained the independence which it assumed
elsewhere. It is even certain that Moscow and Paris were chosen
by the kings and the Church as the cradles of the future royal
authority in the State, because they did not possess the
tradition of folkmotes accustomed to act as sovereign in all
19 A. Luchaire, Les Communes fran?aises; also Kluckohn,
Geschichte des Gottesfrieden, 1857. L. S?michon (La paix et la
tr?ve de Dieu, 2 vols., Paris, 1869) has tried to represent the
communal movement as issued from that institution. In reality,
the treuga Dei, like the league started under Louis le Gros for
the defence against both the robberies of the nobles and the
Norman invasions, was a thoroughly popular movement. The only
historian who mentions this last league -- that is, Vitalis --
describes it as a "popular community" ("Consid?rations sur
l'histoire de France," in vol. iv. of Aug. Thierry's OEuvres,
Paris, 1868, p. 191 and note).
20 Ferrari, i. 152, 263, etc.
21 Perrens, Histoire de Florence, i. 188; Ferrari, l.c., i. 283.
22 Aug. Thierry, Essai sur l'histoire du Tiers Etat, Paris,
1875, p. 414, note.
23 F. Rocquain, "La Renaissance au XIIe si?cle," in Etudes sur
l'histoire de France, Paris, 1875, pp. 55-117.
24 N. Kostomaroff, "The Rationalists of the Twelfth Century," in
his Monographies and Researches (Russian).
25 Very interesting facts relative to the universality of guilds
will be found in "Two Thousand Years of Guild Life," by Rev. J.
M. Lambert, Hull, 1891. On the Georgian amkari, see S.
Eghiazarov, Gorodskiye Tsekhi ("Organization of Transcaucasian
Amkari"), in Memoirs of the Caucasian Geographical Society, xiv.
2, 1891.
26 J.D. Wunderer's "Reisebericht" in Fichard's Frankfurter
Archiv, ii. 245; quoted by Janssen, Geschichte des deutschen
Volkes, i. 355.
27 Dr. Leonard Ennen, Der Dom zu K?ln, Historische Einleitung,
K?ln, 1871, pp. 46, 50.
28 See previous chapter.
29 Kofod Ancher, Om gamle Danske Gilder og deres Undergang,
Copenhagen, 1785. Statutes of a Knu guild.
30 Upon the position of women in guilds, see Miss Toulmin
Smith's introductory remarks to the English Guilds of her father.
One of the Cambridge statutes (p. 281) of the year 1503 is quite
positive in the following sentence: "Thys statute is made by the
comyne assent of all the bretherne and sisterne of alhallowe
31 In medieval times, only secret aggression was treated as a
murder. Blood-revenge in broad daylight was justice; and slaying
in a quarrel was not murder, once the aggressor showed his
willingness to repent and to repair the wrong he had done. Deep
traces of this distinction still exist in modern criminal law,
especially in Russia.
32 Kofod Ancher, l.c. This old booklet contains much that has
been lost sight of by later explorers.
33 They played an important part in the revolts of the serfs,
and were therefore prohibited several times in succession in the
second half of the ninth century. Of course, the king's
prohibitions remained a dead letter.
34 The medieval Italian painters were also organized in guilds,
which became at a later epoch Academies of art. If the Italian
art of those times is impressed with so much individuality that
we distinguish, even now, between the different schools of Padua,
Bassano, Treviso, Verona, and so on, although all these cities
were under the sway of Venice, this was due -- J. Paul Richter
remarks -- to the fact that the painters of each city belonged to
a separate guild, friendly with the guilds of other towns, but
leading a separate existence. The oldest guild-statute known is
that of Verona, dating from 1303, but evidently copied from some
much older statute. "Fraternal assistance in necessity of
whatever kind," "hospitality towards strangers, when passing
through the town, as thus information may be obtained about
matters which one may like to learn," and "obligation of offering
comfort in case of debility" are among the obligations of the
members (Nineteenth Century, Nov. 1890, and Aug. 1892).
35 The chief works on the artels are named in the article
"Russia" of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, 9th edition, p. 84.
36 See, for instance, the texts of the Cambridge guilds given by
Toulmin Smith (English Guilds, London, 1870, pp. 274-276), from
which it appears that the "generall and principall day" was the
"eleccioun day;" or, Ch. M. Clode's The Early History of the
Guild of the Merchant Taylors, London, 1888, i. 45; and so on.
For the renewal of allegiance, see the J?msviking saga, mentioned
in Pappenheim's Altd?nische Schutzgilden, Breslau, 1885, p. 67.
It appears very probable that when the guilds began to be
prosecuted, many of them inscribed in their statutes the meal day
only, or their pious duties, and only alluded to the judicial
function of the guild in vague words; but this function did not
disappear till a very much later time. The question, "Who will be
my judge?" has no meaning now, since the State has appropriated
for its bureaucracy the organization of justice; but it was of
primordial importance in medieval times, the more so as
self-jurisdiction meant self-administration. It must also be
remarked that the translation of the Saxon and Danish
"guild-bretheren," or "brodre," by the Latin convivii must also
have contributed to the above confusion.
37 See the excellent remarks upon the frith guild by J.R. Green
and Mrs. Green in The Conquest of England, London, 1883, pp.
38 See Appendix X.
39 Recueil des ordonnances des rois de France, t. xii. 562;
quoted by Aug. Thierry in Consid?rations sur l'histoire de
France, p. 196, ed. 12mo.
40 A. Luchaire, Les Communes fran?aises, pp, 45-46.
41 Guilbert de Nogent, De vita sua, quoted by Luchaire, l.c., p.
42 Lebret, Histoire de Venise, i. 393; also Marin, quoted by Leo
and Botta in Histoire de l'Italie, French edition, 1844, t. i
43 Dr. W. Arnold, Verfassungsgeschichte der deutschen
Freist?dte, 1854, Bd. ii. 227 seq.; Ennen, Geschichte der Stadt
Koeln, Bd. i. 228-229; also the documents published by Ennen and
44 Conquest of England, 1883, p. 453.
45 Byelaeff, Russian History, vols. ii. and iii.
46 W. Gramich, Verfassungs- und Verwaltungsgeschichte der Stadt
W?rzburg im 13. bis zum 15. Jahrhundert, W?rzburg, 1882, p. 34.
47 When a boat brought a cargo of coal to W?rzburg, coal could
only be sold in retail during the first eight days, each family
being entitled to no more than fifty basketfuls. The remaining
cargo could be sold wholesale, but the retailer was allowed to
raise a zittlicher profit only, the unzittlicher, or dishonest
profit, being strictly forbidden (Gramich, l.c.). Same in London
(Liber albus, quoted by Ochenkowski, p. 161), and, in fact,
48 See Fagniez, Etudes sur l'industrie et la classe industrielle
? Paris au XIIIme et XIVme si?cle, Paris, 1877, pp. 155 seq. It
hardly need be added that the tax on bread, and on beer as well,
was settled after careful experiments as to the quantity of bread
and beer which could be obtained from a given amount of corn. The
Amiens archives contain the minutes of such experiences (A. de
Calonne, l.c. pp. 77, 93). Also those of London (Ochenkowski,
England's wirthschaftliche Entwickelung, etc., Jena, 1879, p.
49 Ch. Gross, The Guild Merchant, Oxford, 1890, i. 135. His
documents prove that this practice existed in Liverpool (ii.
148-150), Waterford in Ireland, Neath in Wales, and Linlithgow
and Thurso in Scotland. Mr. Gross's texts also show that the
purchases were made for distribution, not only among the merchant
burgesses, but "upon all citsains and commynalte" (p. 136, note),
or, as the Thurso ordinance of the seventeenth century runs, to
"make offer to the merchants, craftsmen, and inhabitants of the
said burgh, that they may have their proportion of the same,
according to their necessitys and ability."
50 The Early History of the Guild of Merchant Taylors, by
Charles M. Clode, London, 1888, i. 361, appendix 10; also the
following appendix which shows that the same purchases were made
in 1546.
51 Cibrario, Les conditions ?conomiques de l'Italie au temps de
Dante, Paris, 1865, p. 44.
52 A. de Calonne, La vie municipale au XVme si?cle dans le Nord
de la France, Paris, 1880, pp. 12-16. In 1485 the city permitted
the export to Antwerp of a certain quantity of corn, "the
inhabitants of Antwerp being always ready to be agreeable to the
merchants and burgesses of Amiens" (ibid., pp. 75-77 and texts).
53 A. Babeau, La ville sous l'ancien r?gime, Paris, 1880.
54 Ennen, Geschichte der Stadt K?ln, i. 491, 492, also texts.