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 "Guilds (or gilds) of craftsmen developed in the middle ages for commercial, religious and social reasons and they dominated life in many English towns... There were three types of guild.  There was the guild merchant (a guild that embraced different trades and crafts) which emerged in towns in the 12th century.  Secondly, from the 14th century until Tudor times, there were religious guilds which were founded primarily for charitable purposes, such as the endowment of schools or hospitals.  Thirdly, there were the craft guilds (such as those for weavers or tailors), which originated in the 13th and 14th centuries in order to regulate each craft or trade.  These soon displaced the guilds merchant ... The guilds usually controlled their trade or craft by obtaining exclusive rights to practise that trade and imposing limitations on how a man could gain admission to that guild (and therefore practise that trade).  Most men had to serve an apprenticeship (usually of seven years) in order to be admitted to the guild...

The most famous guilds were those of London, which were known as livery companies because of the distinctive livery that was worn by senior members of each company...  By the 19th century there were seventy-seven London livery companies... " Ancestral Trails", M. Herber, 1998, pp 385-386

In early records, persons who belonged to a given livery company would generally practice the trade to which that Company referred, but after about 1650, it became more and more common (until in some companies virtually universal) that members practised another trade altogether. [About London Apprenticeship Abstracts 1442-1850:]

London Guilds 1710

Benj. STERRY  Haber
Peter STERRY  Drap (Clerk to the Co)
Sam STERRY   Haber
Wm STERRY    Plum