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Ceremony and CivilityCivic Culture in Late Medieval London$
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Barbara A. Hanawalt

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190490393

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190490393.001.0001

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Gilds as Incubators for Citizenship

Gilds as Incubators for Citizenship

(p.106) 5 Gilds as Incubators for Citizenship
Ceremony and Civility

Barbara A. Hanawalt

Oxford University Press

Gilds had come to be a major force in the city by the late fourteenth century. The major gilds dominated the city government. Gilds served as educators of apprentices on civic behaviors and rituals, as well as in the trades. Participating in gild governance groomed men for civic service. The election of wardens was similar to that of civic office holders, as were the rituals of subordination to the wardens. The gild courts maintained oversight of members’ behavior and the quality of the goods produced. Distinctive liveries were an important indicator of members’ status in the gild. Those of the highest status wore the gild’s gown, whereas those of lesser status wore only the hood. The gowns were worn on civic occasions but also for the funerals of members, for banquets, and for processions on the feast day of the gild.

Keywords:   gilds, oaths, apprenticeship, citizenship, membership, gild courts, livery, wardens, gild halls

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