Gilds and Things: Keeping the Peace in 10th Century London
Paper by Rory Naismith
Given online by the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple on May 4, 2021
Abstract: In the early 10th century, the inhabitants of London and the surrounding region formed one of the first recorded guilds in England – the so-called ‘peace gild’. This large body was a combination of vigilante group, mutual insurance scheme and charitable organisation. The peace gild drew up its own statutes that accounted for all levels of society, from bishops and aristocrats to destitute widows, and it negotiated with the king to guarantee recognition and support. This talk examines the gild’s achievement, and considers how legislation contributed to the formation of a distinct town-based community.
Rory Naismith is Lecturer in the History of England before the Norman Conquest in the Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic at the University of Cambridge, and a Fellow of Corpus Christi College. Click here to view his Academia.edu page or follow him on Twitter @Rory_Naismith