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Lichfield Craft Guilds

Records of guilds are an important source of information for tradesmen and craftsmen.

There were three types of guild which developed in the medieval period: merchant, craft and religious guilds. They were self-governing corporations with their own lands, property and rules to regulate trade and to provide for their members. They could often dominate the economic life of a town or city. A variety of records may survive from a guild, including admission registers and lists of freemen. Guild records may help to chart the development of a particular trade in a specific town. They may also help link individuals found in other sources to such trades.

There are no merchant guild records held by Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Archive Service. The records of the Lichfield craft guilds or borough companies (including butchers, chandlers, glove-makers, tailors goldsmiths and pewterers) and those of the religious Guild of St Mary’s are held at Staffordshire Record Office. These records date between the 14th and 19th centuries and are held under the reference number LD77.

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