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Medieval Sourcebook:
John, King of England:
Grant to London Abolishing the Weavers' Gild, 1202

The gild of weavers in London had charters from King Henry I and King Henry II. Apparently the members of this gild were foreigners who had aroused the jealousy of the citizens of London. King John in his perfidy took heavy payments from the citizens to suppress the alien gild, but also took payments from the weavers to be allowed to remain. The weavers of London at this time also acted as merchants, and disposed of their goods as they pleased.

Know ye that at the petition of our Mayor and citizens of London we have granted, and by this present charter confirmed, that the Weavers' Guild shall not exist henceforth in our City of London, nor shall it on any account be revived.

But because we have been wont to receive yearly eighteen marks of silver from that Weavers' Guild, the aforesaid citizens shall pay every year to us and our heirs twenty marks of silver at the feast of St. Michael at our Exchequer.


From: T. R. Davies, ed., Documents Illustrating the History of Civilization in Medieval England, (New York: E. P. Dutton, 1922), p. 115, 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), p. 242.

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© Paul Halsall, September 1998