Guilds of The Society of the Middle Ages
STAY TUNE AS A NEW GUILDS WEB PAGE IS COMING SOON
Guilds were an extremely important part of the socio-political fabric of the Middle Ages. They provided goods, services, assistance, and protections to their members, customers, and general society. At their height, it was virtually imperative that anyone selling a good or service belong to the relevant guild.
Most people are aware of the merchant and craft guilds, but did you know that there were also guilds that sold skills and services, as well as religious guilds? There were guilds of clerks, entertainers, and teamsters. Religious guilds held masses and other ceremonies, distributed alms, and performed funerals. Other types of guilds sponsored apprenticeships, offered insurance and credit services, and did pro bono legal work! This is just a small sampling of the types of guilds that existed in the Middle Ages. They all worked together to provide a vibrant, flourishing culture that helped give rise to the middle class.
Guilds trained apprentices, operated small businesses, traveled with their services and wares, and formed an elaborate production line from manufacturing to sales and distribution. They provided protection for their workers, maintained quality and pricing standards, and offered charitable support to their communities. They even played an important part in the rise of the University! So of course, they play an important part in the Society of the Middle Ages…
WHAT IS A GUILD IN THE SOCIETY OF THE MIDDLE AGES (SMA)?
Guilds are a primary component of the SMA’s structure. They provide opportunities for members to find their niche(s) and get involved. Guild members share ideas, information, and resources for practicing their respective crafts, and they’ll also be a great resource for people looking for a specific product or skill. Other fun opportunities could also develop, such as annual themed events. One example of this could be a Merchant Guild holding a Market Festival centered event.
There are three primary types of Guilds that reflect the various aspects of the Society:
- MARTIAL ARTS (combat, archery, thrown weapons, etc.)
- SCHOLAR (brewing, metalworks, calligraphy & illumination, etc.)
- SERVICE (religious orders, Officers, event stewards, etc.)
There are a multitude of Guild opportunities, including but not limited to: fighters, crafters, scholars, religious orders, service personnel, merchants, teachers, etc. For aesthetics, Guilds may style themselves according to their topic as Bands, Orders, Schools, or other appropriate period title.
Guilds can be created by anyone with the approval of the Society Guild Minister (SGM). The first Guild created and approved on a specific topic will be the Guild for the entire Society (and can have branches anywhere) for as long as it remains active. The SGM has the authority, with approval from the Board of Directors, to dissolve an inactive Guild so that another on that topic may be created for the Society’s pleasure.
As the SMA grows, so will the number of guilds. If you think there should be a Guild that you don’t see on our list of Approved Guilds, then perhaps it’s because that unnamed Guild has been waiting for you to be it’s Guild Master!
Become a member today!
Seen all you need to see? Join now! With SMA membership you are entitled to all of the privileges that full membership entails. Find glory on the field of battle. Baffle your peers with feats of art and engineering. Earn titles and rewards, all while learning and growing together with a group of enthusiastic people to surround yourself with! Join us at events to show off your latest projects, or to compete in tournaments in preparation for epic inter-kingdom wars!