The Regulations of the Weavers' Gild of Stendal, 1233
The weavers' law, granted by the city of Stendal, regulated the number of spindles
to be used by a craftsman, membership of the gild, and the quality of the work.
The Consuls of Stendal . . . wish it to be known that we have taken the advice of our
leading citizens and officials, and have passed the following decree:
1. If any of our burgesses should wish to practice the craft of weaving he ought
to have one spindle or as many as two, and he should place them in his house, and for
every spindle he should pay three solidi on entry into the fraternity. But if he should
not pay the denarii within the said time and he afterwards cease to be of the craft he
cannot regain it except with twenty-three solidi.
2. Whoever is not of the fraternity is altogether forbidden to make cloth.
3. But if any brother should make cloth against the institutions of the brethren,
and of their decrees, which he ought on the advice of the consuls to observe, he will
present to the consuls by way of emendation one talent for each offense or he will lose
his craft for a year.
4. But if any one be caught with false cloth, his cloth will be burned publicly,
and verily, the author of the crime will amend according to justice.
5. Should any foreigner wish to practice this craft he will first acquire
citizenship and will afterwards enter into fraternity with the brethren with twenty-three
6. But if the heir of any craftsman cease to exercise his father's craft, he will
pay three solidi on entrance.
7. Also we decree that every brother will dry his cloth where he can.
8. We concede also that if any one have this craft and cannot set up his implements
by any chance, let him prepare and make his cloth on the spindle of another.
9. If any one should marry a widow whose husband was of the craft, he will enter
the fraternity with three solidi.
10. And every one who would be of this craft will receive it in the presence of the
11. Whatever is collected in fines and received in entrance fees will be put to the
use of the city, and be presented to the consuls....
From: F. Keutgen, ed., Urkunden zur Städtischen Verfassungsgeschichte, (Berlin:
Emil Felber, 1901), p. 357, reprinted in Roy C. Cave & Herbert H. Coulson, A Source
Book for Medieval Economic History, (Milwaukee: The Bruce Publishing Co., 1936;
reprint ed., New York: Biblo & Tannen, 1965), pp. 246-247.
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© Paul Halsall, September 1998