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Medieval Sourcebook:
The Regulations of the Weavers' Gild of Stendal, 1233

The weavers' law, granted by the city of Stendal, regulated the number of spindles to be used by a craftsman, membership of the gild, and the quality of the work.

The Consuls of Stendal . . . wish it to be known that we have taken the advice of our leading citizens and officials, and have passed the following decree:

1. If any of our burgesses should wish to practice the craft of weaving he ought to have one spindle or as many as two, and he should place them in his house, and for every spindle he should pay three solidi on entry into the fraternity. But if he should not pay the denarii within the said time and he afterwards cease to be of the craft he cannot regain it except with twenty-three solidi.

2. Whoever is not of the fraternity is altogether forbidden to make cloth.

3. But if any brother should make cloth against the institutions of the brethren, and of their decrees, which he ought on the advice of the consuls to observe, he will present to the consuls by way of emendation one talent for each offense or he will lose his craft for a year.

4. But if any one be caught with false cloth, his cloth will be burned publicly, and verily, the author of the crime will amend according to justice.

5. Should any foreigner wish to practice this craft he will first acquire citizenship and will afterwards enter into fraternity with the brethren with twenty-three solidi.

6. But if the heir of any craftsman cease to exercise his father's craft, he will pay three solidi on entrance.

7. Also we decree that every brother will dry his cloth where he can.

8. We concede also that if any one have this craft and cannot set up his implements by any chance, let him prepare and make his cloth on the spindle of another.

9. If any one should marry a widow whose husband was of the craft, he will enter the fraternity with three solidi.

10. And every one who would be of this craft will receive it in the presence of the consuls.

11. Whatever is collected in fines and received in entrance fees will be put to the use of the city, and be presented to the consuls....


From: F. Keutgen, ed., Urkunden zur Städtischen Verfassungsgeschichte, (Berlin: Emil Felber, 1901), p. 357, 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. 246-247.

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

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© Paul Halsall, September 1998