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Guild Ordinance for the Slipper-makers of Lüneburg (February 8, 1525)

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[II.] Order and Regulation of the Apprentices

[1] Item, when an apprentice first begins his traveling years, these regulations shall be read aloud to him, so that he knows how to behave and of which rules he should be aware.

[2] Afterward, he shall be congratulated with a drink and received as a good journeyman, whereupon he shall immediately donate 6 pence to the Marian fund.

[3] If it should happen that an apprentice becomes so drunk that he vomits in the guild hall, he shall give a pound of wax to the Marian fund.

[4] And if an apprentice tries to bring a drunk apprentice into his master’s house, which he is obliged to protect from harm, and if the apprentice does not stop this behavior, he shall be fined one keg of red beer, one half to the Marian fund and the other half to the guild hall.

[5] And if it should happen that the apprentice does not remain in his master’s house, but goes around in an improper fashion, he shall incur the same penalty.

[6] And if an apprentice misbehaves in the guild hall, he shall pay a fine of a pound of wax to the Marian fund.

[7] And if an apprentice plays with dice or cards either outside or inside the city, he shall pay a fine of a pound of wax as often as it happens.

[8] Item, every apprentice and anyone who has completed the instruction should give 2 pence to the Marian fund every fourteen days.

[9] Those youths who have been in training for one year shall give 1 penny to the Marian fund every fourteen days.

[10] Item, when a youth wants to learn our craft, he shall be named to the masters, and it should be shown that he is truly and legitimately born and has been instructed for 3 years.

[11] And whenever a youth wants to be accepted for instruction, he shall give the apprentices 3 shillings for the guild hall and 4 shillings to the Marian fund.

[12] And an apprentice who has not properly completed the training year shall not be promoted.

[13] If a journeyman should fall ill, he shall be lent 4 or 8 shillings from the Marian penitential fund. If this apprentice should die, then this money shall be recovered from his remaining goods, but if he survives, he shall repay the borrowed money to the fund.

[14] Item, if an apprentice is regularly delinquent in his reparations, the master should withhold wages from the apprentice until it is made right. And if an apprentice leaves the city or is banished, he shall pay 6 pence into the Marian fund.

[15] And when a youth transgresses the aforementioned rule, the honorable city council’s custom shall be observed and not hindered.

[16] What is collected in the fund will be put toward two candelabra and candles to the glory of God and the Blessed Virgin Mary, to increase her high praise.

Written on Wednesday after Candelmas [February 8], in the year 1525.

Source of original German text: Eduard Bodemann, ed., Die Älteren Zunfturkunden der Stadt Lüneburg. Hannover, 1883, pp. 170-72.

Translation: Ellen Yutzy Glebe

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