- associations of craftsmen or tradesmen in the Middle Ages to watch over and protect the interests of their craft or trade, and to see that it is honourably as well as economically conducted, each with a body of officials to superintend its affairs; they were associations for mutual help, and of great benefit to the general community, religiously and morally, as well as municipally.
The Nuttall Encyclopaedia. James Wood. 1907.
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