Guilds of Brussels

Guildhalls on the Grand Place in Brussels

The Guilds of Brussels, grouped in the Nine Nations of Brussels (Dutch: Negen Naties van Brussel; French: Neuf Nations de Bruxelles), were associations of craft guilds that dominated the economic life of the city of Brussels 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. Some of their guildhouses can still be seen as part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Grand Place in Brussels.

Roll of arms of members of the Drapery Court (1713-1724)

As of 1421, they were able to become members of the Drapery Court of Brussels.

Together with the Seven Noble Houses they formed the Bourgeoisie of the city.

CompositionEdit

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

These "nations" were:[2]

AbolitionEdit

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 alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  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.