The Guilds of Brussels (French: Guildes de Bruxelles, Dutch: Gilden van Brussel), grouped in the Nine Nations of Brussels (French: Neuf Nations de Bruxelles, Dutch: Negen Naties van Brussel), were associations of craft guilds that dominated the economic life of Brussels, Belgium, in the late medieval and early modern periods. From 1421 onwards, they were represented in the city government alongside the patrician lineages of the Seven Noble Houses of Brussels,[1] later also in the States of Brabant as members of the Third Estate. As of 1421, they were also able to become members of the Drapery Court of Brussels. Together with the Seven Noble Houses, they formed the bourgeoisie of the city. Some of their guildhouses can still be seen as part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Grand-Place/Grote Markt in Brussels.

Guildhalls on the Grand-Place/Grote Markt in Brussels
Roll of arms of members of the Drapery Court (1713–1724)

Composition edit

Rather than being limited to a specific trade, each of the nine "nations" grouped a number of guilds.

These "nations" were:[2]

Abolition edit

The guilds in Brussels, and throughout Belgium, were suppressed in 1795, during the French period of 1794–1815. The furniture and archives of the Brussels guilds were sold at public auction on the Grand-Place in August 1796.[2]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ David M. Nicholas, The Later Medieval City: 1300–1500 (Routledge, 2014), p. 139.
  2. ^ a b A. Graffart, "Register van het schilders-, goudslagers- en glazenmakersambacht van Brussel, 1707–1794", tr. M. Erkens, in Doorheen de nationale geschiedenis (State Archives in Belgium, Brussels, 1980), pp. 270–271.