The Guild Book: St. Peter's Church

The Guild Book: St. Peter's Church

THE Guild Book of St. George, which is in the charge of the Rector of St. Peter’s Church, must be one of the oldest books in Nottingham, and its beautiful handwriting gives proof of the wonderful caligraphy of our forefathers.

Mediaeval Guilds form an interesting and fascinating study, for they so happily combined religious duties with charitable and workaday life. Masters and men hound themselves together, sometimes separately, sometimes in unison, to regulate their particular trade in a district.

They were frankly protectionist and saw to it that it was made very difficult for a foreigner or one not properly trained in the mysteries of his trade to start business within their area.

They also prevented cut -throat competition by fixing prices at which articles should be sold, and then saw to it that those articles should be up to a given standard of workmanship.

They settled that employees should be paid a standard rate of wages, and that they should give a fair day’s work for a fair day’s wage.

They were the Friendly Societies and Burial Clubs of the Middle Ages, helping their distressed members from a common fund. They combined all this with a very definitely religious zeal, often maintaining their own chantry priest and chapel to perform the religious offices to which they attached such great importance.

The Chapel of St. George was in the North Aisle of St. Peters Church, and this book dates from 1440, nine years after the martyrdom of Joan of Arc and while King Henry VI. was on the throne.

It throws much light on the daily life of our forefathers in Nottingham.