Livery Companies

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Livery Companies

Post by Lurker »

Ok, work went from insane earlier in the week to completely dead (well where I work, I guess I shouldn’t use dead … so very very boring and slow may be better). Me being bored usually ends up in me getting myself into trouble, so I decided to keep myself busy

I started out on general reading on early to mid medieval England (well Europe in general, but the focus tended to drift into England) . The normal interesting stuff on the Great Heathen Army / Viking invasions, Anglo-Saxon kings / kingdoms etc. However, I changed focus from my normal battles kings warfare raiders and the like to reading on economics …

I was tired of reading about wars etc (yes I have to be board to be tired of reading about wars) so read more on the economy and merchants than I normally do. Again, interesting stuff, but nothing I haven’t read before. I did see a note about a city (forgot which one, but it was an important regional city something like York or Bristol or Norwich) having 60 separate guilds plus other jobs not in the guild system, and London having around 100. Interesting, but then, I saw a thread on London guilds and their development.

I pulled on it and eventually found something I’d never read on before … ‘The Livery Company of London’ … Livery … had to be about soldiers knights or nobles or a mercenary company for the 100 years war, or something … but I was wrong. It was what trade associations and guilds developed into …

Neat, the history geek in me had to read on

I know about trade companies and guilds in Medieval cities, and in-between separate medieval cities - I have and have read A Magical Medieval Society, plus have read other historic books and listened to lectures on medieval society etc – but I’ve never wrapped my head around what would be specific individual guilds (associated jobs) in a medieval city. I’ve never seen a good list of what a good sized medieval city would have as the guilds in the city

The info on the Livery Company actually has a good list to start working from.

There are currently 110 of them , 5 ‘guilds’ working for membership as a Livery Company, and 2 companies that believe they predate even the Guild that developed into the Livery Company system, so to join would be a reduction in status . Got to love England and arguing ‘status’ going back to the 1200s

Of course that 110 on the list are modern companies, so some of them would not have a place in medieval cities, but still a lot of the companies would or have their roots in the original medieval companies/guilds.

Here is the Wiki list of the Companies

I started to abridge it to take out the ones that are blatantly modern and that I couldn’t figure out a way to include them in a historical city (even a fantastical magical city). However, after thinking about it, in a magical field city, some of the more modern companies would have a place, so here you go on the entire list

List of companies in order of precedence
1.Worshipful Company of Mercers (general merchants)
2.Worshipful Company of Grocers (spice merchants)
3.Worshipful Company of Drapers (wool and cloth merchants)
4.Worshipful Company of Fishmongers (Fish and seafood)
5.Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths (bullion dealers)
6.Worshipful Company of Skinners* (fur traders)
7.Worshipful Company of Merchant Taylors* (tailors)
8.Worshipful Company of Haberdashers (clothiers in sewn and fine materials, eg. silk & velvet)
9.Worshipful Company of Salters (traders of salts and chemicals)
10.Worshipful Company of Ironmongers
11.Worshipful Company of Vintners (wine merchants)
12.Worshipful Company of Clothworkers
13.Worshipful Company of Dyers
14.Worshipful Company of Brewers
15.Worshipful Company of Leathersellers
16.Worshipful Company of Pewterers (pewter and metal manufacturers)
17.Worshipful Company of Barbers (incl. surgeons and dentists)
18.Worshipful Company of Cutlers (knife, sword and utensil makers)
19.Worshipful Company of Bakers
20.Worshipful Company of Wax Chandlers (wax candle makers)
21.Worshipful Company of Tallow Chandlers (tallow candle makers)
22.Worshipful Company of Armourers and Brasiers (armour makers and brass workers)
23.Worshipful Company of Girdlers (belt and girdle makers)
24.Worshipful Company of Butchers
25.Worshipful Company of Saddlers
26.Worshipful Company of Carpenters
27.Worshipful Company of Cordwainers (fine leather workers and shoemakers)
28.Worshipful Company of Painter-Stainers
29.Worshipful Company of Curriers (leather dressers and tanners)
30.Worshipful Company of Masons (stonemasons)
31.Worshipful Company of Plumbers
32.Worshipful Company of Innholders (tavern keepers)
33.Worshipful Company of Founders (metal casters and melters)
34.Worshipful Company of Poulters (poulterers)
35.Worshipful Company of Cooks
36.Worshipful Company of Coopers (barrel and cask makers)
37.Worshipful Company of Tylers and Bricklayers (builders)
38.Worshipful Company of Bowyers (long-bow makers)
39.Worshipful Company of Fletchers (arrow makers)
40.Worshipful Company of Blacksmiths
41.Worshipful Company of Joiners and Ceilers (wood craftsmen)
42.Worshipful Company of Weavers
43.Worshipful Company of Woolmen
44.Worshipful Company of Scriveners (court scribes and notaries public)
45.Worshipful Company of Fruiterers
46.Worshipful Company of Plaisterers (plasterers)
47.Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers (journalists and publishers)
48.Worshipful Company of Broderers (embroiderers)
49.Worshipful Company of Upholders (upholsterers)
50.Worshipful Company of Musicians
51.Worshipful Company of Turners (lathe operators)
52.Worshipful Company of Basketmakers
53.Worshipful Company of Glaziers and Painters of Glass
54.Worshipful Company of Horners (horn workers and plasticians)
55.Worshipful Company of Farriers (horseshoe makers and horse veterinarians)
56.Worshipful Company of Paviors (road and highway pavers)
57.Worshipful Company of Loriners (equestrian bit, bridle and spur suppliers)
58.Worshipful Society of Apothecaries (physicians and pharmacists)
59.Worshipful Company of Shipwrights (shipbuilders and maritime professionals)
60.Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers
61.Worshipful Company of Clockmakers
62.Worshipful Company of Glovers
63.Worshipful Company of Feltmakers (hat makers)
64.Worshipful Company of Framework Knitters
65.Worshipful Company of Needlemakers
66.Worshipful Company of Gardeners
67.Worshipful Company of Tin Plate Workers
68.Worshipful Company of Wheelwrights
69.Worshipful Company of Distillers
70.Worshipful Company of Pattenmakers (wooden-shoe makers)
71.Worshipful Company of Glass Sellers
72.Worshipful Company of Coachmakers and Coach Harness Makers
73.Worshipful Company of Gunmakers
74.Worshipful Company of Gold and Silver Wyre Drawers (threadmakers for military and society clothing)
75.Worshipful Company of Makers of Playing Cards
76.Worshipful Company of Fanmakers
77.Worshipful Company of Carmen (vehicle drivers)
78.Honourable Company of Master Mariners
79.City of London Solicitors' Company (lawyers)
80.Worshipful Company of Farmers
81.Honourable Company of Air Pilots
82.Worshipful Company of Tobacco Pipe Makers and Tobacco Blenders
83.Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers
84.Worshipful Company of Scientific Instrument Makers
85.Worshipful Company of Chartered Surveyors
86.Worshipful Company of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales
87.Worshipful Company of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators
88.Worshipful Company of Builders Merchants
89.Worshipful Company of Launderers
90.Worshipful Company of Marketors
91.Worshipful Company of Actuaries
92.Worshipful Company of Insurers
93.Worshipful Company of Arbitrators
94.Worshipful Company of Engineers
95.Worshipful Company of Fuellers
96.Worshipful Company of Lightmongers (electric lighting suppliers)
97.Worshipful Company of Environmental Cleaners
98.Worshipful Company of Chartered Architects
99.Worshipful Company of Constructors
100.Worshipful Company of Information Technologists
101.Worshipful Company of World Traders
102.Worshipful Company of Water Conservators
103.Worshipful Company of Firefighters
104.Worshipful Company of Hackney Carriage Drivers (licensed taxicab drivers)
105.Worshipful Company of Management Consultants
106.Worshipful Company of International Bankers
107.Worshipful Company of Tax Advisers
108.Worshipful Company of Security Professionals
109.Worshipful Company of Educators
110.Worshipful Company of Arts Scholars

Guilds and companies aiming to obtain the grant of Livery[edit]
Guild of Entrepreneurs
Guild of Human Resource Professionals
Guild of Nurses
Guild of Investment Managers
Company of Public Relations Practitioners

Other companies[edit]
Worshipful Company of Parish Clerks
Company of Watermen and Lightermen – riverboat ferry men and watermen transporting good in the river

Now some of them, even in a high fantasy / high magical city, I can’t see using, but out of the 110 +, there is a good list of 75 – 80 that are usable in a historic city. Some on the list I could see combining, but others I could see as separating into to different guilds jobs (Armourers and Brasiers for one) . Plus there could be a good 5 – 10 or maybe even more that could fit in a magical historic city. Change ‘Art Scholar’ to mage, change ‘Scientific Instrument Makers’ into Magical apparatus etc.

Oh yeah, the ‘Security Professionals’ even though it is one of the more modern of the ‘modern’ companies, I could see in a historic setting. Town watched etc fits, or even Galloglass or Roman Lictor would easily justify a ‘Security Professional’ especially in a magic fueled city setting.
Now this is a basic list, different cities and different areas would have different guilds – Florence had fewer guilds involved in the city government, but the 21 guilds involved in the City government had had other guilds artisans and tradesmen in sub specialties that could be looked at as individual guilds/job under the umbrella of ‘Wool Guild’ etc, so there may be another job there that isn’t in the list of these companies. However, the 70 – 80 companies from the list that fit a historic setting could easily account for the 100 plus guilds and jobs in London or any other medieval city.

Oh yeah mentioning Florence … The Ciompi … The Popolo minuto or Sotto posti … The Head Count … The Plebes … The lowest class (outside of the criminal class) common, unskilled, laborer. These are the manual day laborers that do not have the skills, finances, or family/political power and importance to be in a guild or have a guild of their own. I can’t find specific numbers on how many of a city’s population falls in this area. However, for some reason 20% - 25 % for Florence at the Ciompi Revolt comes to mind. That number may be low though …These are the ones that will play a part in the city being the everyday person that either wants to be part of the guild or knows they can never be so wants to lessen the power and influence of the guilds.

Ok, now how does this have any effect on role playing, other than it being a way for me to keep from being completely board here at work ?

If you just run a hack and slash, find a dungeon, kill the orcs, loot the ruin, type of game; then none at all.

However, if you do like a more lifelike background, or want to have a realistic society to role ply in, then, at least for me, it helps to picture the different jobs going on in even a small ‘county seat’ city or large town, and the political web and interplay going on with the different guilds.

At the least, now I can do more than go “in a city there are the butcher, the baker, and the candle stick maker, … crud what else …” when I think about what populates a city.

Then there is the ubiquitous ‘thieves guild(s)’ that are a must in EVERY role playing city.

Now I can picture that the thieves guild will really want to have close ties with the ‘Company of Hackney Carriage Drivers’ – an easy get away from the scene of the crime, The ‘Company of Butchers’ or the ‘Company of Farmers” – really easy to get rid of a body by throwing it in with the carcasses of the slaughtered live stock, or taken to a farm and fed to the pigs/berried in the compost pile, but then also the ‘Company of Scriveners’ – sure helps to know what is in so and so’s will, or to get a forged document added into the official record, and ‘Company of Musicians’ – who are at every high society event, and can spy for or give cover to a thief as need.

Ok, bored rant & mind numbed rambling over, ….

Hope someone at least finds something useful out of it.
"And so I am become a knight of the Kingdom of Dreams and Shadows!" - Mark Twain

Forgive all spelling errors.

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Lore Drake
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Re: Livery Companies

Post by dachda »

Great stuff. Glad you were bored at work!

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Re: Livery Companies

Post by Omote »

I agree! Thank you for being bored. That's another little level of detail I think I am going to add to my games. Great ideas!

@-Duke Omote Landwehr, Holy Order of the FPQ ~ Prince of the Castles & Crusades Society-@
>> Omote's Advanced C&C stuff <<

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Re: Livery Companies

Post by Lurker »

If you like that bit of boredom, you love the results of this weeks lack of work !

I just got internet back up here at home, (lightning struck the wireless tower in the last storm the other night, so I've been coms down), and need to get my notes from e-mail and clean them a bit.

I should have "Affinity" up by the end of today, or by tomorrow at the latest.

Sadly, a slot opened up working in the field, and I put in for it. When I get it, I will be working for my best friend since getting out of the military, so the time of boredom at work will end ... :lol:
"And so I am become a knight of the Kingdom of Dreams and Shadows!" - Mark Twain

Forgive all spelling errors.

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