Scania guild book

Haarlem, west of Amsterdam, had plenty of guilds in the middle ages. Those guilds were unions of trades or crafts men of the same profession or skill. Originally, the guild was designed for the upkeep of their own chapel or church and its altar, but later more mundane goals got on the agenda as well.

Among the Haarlem guild books there is one that is tremendously interesting: the Scania Guild Book. But… wait a minute, Scania is modern day Sweden!

The Scania Guild consisted of merchants from the Scania peninsula. As I said, now a part of Sweden but in the middle ages it was part of the Danish kingdom. Scania had, back then, the largest herring market of Europe and the peninsula was the centre of trade in the Baltic Sea. The herring was dried and salted before transportation to the Low Countries.

Apparently, the guild was established in Haarlem as early as 1368; the earliest sources date from 1416. The guild book contains all sorts of minutes, agreements and rules, like the decree that all of its members should wear a hood in a certain style and colour.

The guild book has a cover of wood, almost 1 cm thick. It was at one point painted and decorated, but sadly the embellishments have long since disappeared.

This altar in the St. Bavo church in Haarlem is fishy, in every sense of the word and it is a memory of the guild’s presence in the city.

I have taken a very close look at this Guild Ledger and I have found a list of guild members in the year 1416. I hope your SCA ‘clients’ can use this to create a nice persona, perhaps a well-travelled 15th century herring trader?

I would like to state that I myself did not make these transcriptions. The Haarlem archive, and more specifically Peter van der Lee did in 2007. The source is can be found here. The names are not modernised!

  • Bartel eus Vienszn
  • Gherijt van Adrichom
  • Florijs Claeszn
  • Joost Janeefszn
  • Florijs Dirick Joosten zn zn
  • Staes Garbrantszn
  • Claes Splinter
  • Claes Joost Brouwer
  • Dirick Aelbrechtszn Laps
  • Ghisbrecht Adrianszn
  • Gherijt Vogel
  • Frans Adrians zoon
  • Gerrijt Claeszn ban
  • Cornelis Aelbrechtszn
  • Pief Maertszn Spelt
  • Jan Jacopszn vijssrer
  • Gherijt Claeszn
  • Frederick Zybrantszn
  • Willem Corneliszn
  • Claes Maerts zoon
  • Vechter Olijslager
  • Wig?ther Garbranszn
  • Pieter Claeszn Brouwer
  • Pieter Baerntszn Sapp
  • Jan Claeszn Koernhart
  • Pieter Aerntszn
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