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Open Access 9. Material Memories of the Guildsmen. Crafting Identities in Early Modern London

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9. Material Memories of the Guildsmen. Crafting Identities in Early Modern London

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Chapter Summary

Within late-medieval craft fraternities and early modern guilds of London, gifting of material culture for display in livery halls, and use in company rituals, was a significant means for guildsmen to establish reputations in life and uphold memory within craft community after death. Though Reformation swept away intercessory value of material objects, physical things continued to act as significant prompts for memorialisation of a guildsman's achievements, skills and qualities in life. The guilds of early modern London originated from late-medieval craft fraternities. These associations of craftsmen were bound together through mutual economic regulation and support, shared standards of respectability and dedication to a patron saint; usually a figure specifically associated with their particular workshop practice. Craft fraternities usually had close associations with city churches in same streets and parishes as their guild halls, and it was in these spaces that members' funerals were held, and prominent brothers buried and memorialised.

Keywords: city churches; craft fraternities; early modern London; guildsmen; Reformation



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