Subsidiary SourcebooksAfricanEastern AsianGlobalIndianJewishIslamicLesbian/GayScienceWomen

Special ResourcesByzantiumMedieval MusicSaints' Lives
Ancient Law
Medieval Law
Film: Ancient
Film: Medieval
Film: Modern

About IHSPIHSP Credits

Medieval Sourcebook:
Rules for the Governance of the Gild at Ipswich, 1201

The Little Domesday of Ipswich describes the government and chief Officials of the merchant gild. There was in this instance close connection between the gild and the town; indeed, it often happened that the town hall was called the gild hall. Men at scot and lot, or those who paid taxes to the city government, were free from paying toll on their merchandise. The payment of a hanse or fee for membership of the gild was also arranged.

And they ordain that in the said borough there shall be elected by the common council of the town one honest, lawful, and suitable man to be alderman of the gild merchant in the same borough. And that four honest and lawful men of that same town shall be associated with him. And that the alderman and these same four shall swear that they will faithfully maintain the said gild and all that pertains to it. It is also ordained that no burgess of the said town be quit of custom in that town on his merchandise, that is, if he be a merchant, except he be at scot and lot in the common taxes and transactions of the town.

On the same day there was elected by the common council of the town one alderman, namely, William Gottschalk. And four were elected to associate with him, namely, Peter Everard, John Le Maistre, Roger Lew, and John of St. George, who were sworn, together with the alderman, that they would govern the gild merchant in the town of Ipswich well and faithfully, and all things pertaining to the gild. And that they would treat all the brethren of the gild well and faithfully. And it was afterwards said by the alderman and his four associates in the presence of the people of the town that all who are of the freedom of the town may come before the alderman and his associates on a certain day, when and where shall be made known to them, to place themselves in the gild and to give their hanse to the gild.


From: C. Gross, The Gild Merchant, (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1890), Vol. II, pp. 119-122, reprinted in Roy C. Cave & Herbert H. Coulson, A Source Book for Medieval Economic History, (Milwaukee: The Bruce Publishing Co., 1936; reprint ed., New York: Biblo & Tannen, 1965), pp. 209-210.

Scanned by Jerome S. Arkenberg, Cal. State Fullerton. The text has been modernized by Prof. Arkenberg.

This text is part of the Internet Medieval Source Book. The Sourcebook is a collection of public domain and copy-permitted texts related to medieval and Byzantine history.

Unless otherwise indicated the specific electronic form of the document is copyright. Permission is granted for electronic copying, distribution in print form for educational purposes and personal use. If you do reduplicate the document, indicate the source. No permission is granted for commercial use.

© Paul Halsall, September 1998


The Internet History Sourcebooks Project is located at the History Department of  Fordham University, New York. The Internet Medieval Sourcebook, and other medieval components of the project, are located at the Fordham University Center for Medieval Studies.The IHSP recognizes the contribution of Fordham University, the Fordham University History Department, and the Fordham Center for Medieval Studies in providing web space and server support for the project. The IHSP is a project independent of Fordham University.  Although the IHSP seeks to follow all applicable copyright law, Fordham University is not the institutional owner, and is not liable as the result of any legal action.

© Site Concept and Design: Paul Halsall created 26 Jan 1996: latest revision 20 January 2021 [CV]