Archery and Crossbow Guilds in Medieval Flanders, 1300-1500 by Laura Crombie

By Laura Crombie

The proposal of "guilds" in civic society could conjure photographs of craft guilds, the agencies of butchers, bakers or brewers manage to manage operating practises. within the cities of medieval Flanders, besides the fact that, a plethora of guilds existed which had little or not anything to do with the supplier of labour, together with chambers of rhetoric, city jousters and archery and crossbow guilds.
This is the 1st full-length research of the archery and crossbow guilds, encompassing not just the nice city centres of Ghent, Bruges and Lille but in addition quite a few smaller cities, whose participation in guild tradition was once still major. It examines guild club, constitution and supplier, revealing the range of guild brothers - and sisters - and bringing to existence the frilly social events whilst princes and plumbers might dine jointly. the main remarkable of those have been the frilly neighborhood taking pictures competitions, whose entrances by myself incorporated play wagons, mild indicates or even an elephant! It additionally considers their social and cultural actions, and their very important position in strengthening and rebuilding nearby networks. total, it presents a brand new viewpoint at the energy of group inside Flemish cities and the values that underlay medieval city ideology.

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The archery and crossbow guilds of Flanders were part of their region, part of their towns and part of the connections between court and civic cultures. They were not all the same, but in considering guilds in towns large and small and in drawing on a range of civic, ducal and ecclesiastic sources the following study hopes to offer an explanation of who the crossbowmen gathered in Tournai in 1394 were, and to unpick the many reasons why civic authorities gave the guilds money for land, for drink and to attend spectacular 55 Original is OSAOA, Bartholomeeus de Rantere, microfilm 1484–6; Bartholomeus de Rantere, Geschiedenis van Oudenaarde, van 621–1397, ed.

The earliest solid reference to a shooting guild from Flanders that I have found is from Ghent, in the expenses of the ‘present-master’. The ‘master’ was a civic official responsible for giving gifts, usually wine, to groups and individuals seen as important to civic society. Gifts were regularly given to visitors, messengers, lords and respected individuals or groups within urban society. In studying the present-master lists for the Burgundian period, Boone has shown that a third of recipients of civic wine (256 out of 792 individuals) were ‘membres de l’élite politique’37 from within the town, and the remaining gifts of wine went to visitors.

The Drincham and Elverdinge and Vlamertinge charters aside, the above charters are useful for connecting guild size and defensive capabilities to civic size and situation. That guilds’ sizes were not proportional to urban population is interesting and demonstrates that they remained linked to their local area. In France, in contrast, the Francs-Archers were instituted in 1448. French royal ordinances required one fully armed archer or crossbowman from a set number of hearths to be sent to the royal army.

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