108 HARVARD LAW REVIEW.
been peace-guilds, the members of which were pledged to stand by each other for mutual protection.* Such brotherhoods would naturally be formed by neighbors or by those exercising similar occupations. From the tendency to associate on account of proximity of residence were developed municipal corporations; from the tendency to associate on account of similarity of occupa- tion the craft guilds grew. These two classes of corporations were the earliest regularly chartered lay corporations in England. Both of them had their counterparts in the Roman law.^ At first sight they do not seem to have much in common, but the ancient municipal corporation differed from its modern descend- ant. It was a real association, and membership could not be acquired simply by residing within the town limits. It exercised a minute supervision over the inhabitants, — among other things regulating trades. The guilds or companies did the same thing, only on a more restricted scale. They made by-laws governing their respective trades, which were not simply such regulations as a modern trade-union might make, since any one carrying on a trade, though not a member of the guild of that trade, was bound by its by-laws, so long as they were not opposed to the law of the land or to public policy as it was then conceived.' In short, the guilds exercised a power similar to that exercised by the municipal corporations, and, indeed, so late as the time of Henry VI. guildated and incorporated were synonymous terms.* Instead of having for its field all inhabitants of a district and local legisla- tion of every character, the guild was confined to such inhabitants of the district as carried on a certain trade and to regulations suitable for that trade. So far as that trade was concerned the right of government belonged to the guild.
The first trades to become organized in this way were naturally the manual employments necessary to provide the community with the most fundamental necessities of civilized life. The weavers were the earliest. They received a charter from Henry II.. " with all the freedom they had in the time of Henry I." The goldsmiths were chartered in 1327, the mercers in 1373, the
1 See History of Guilds, Luigi Brentaiio.
^ For an account of guilds at Rome see " Les Soci^tes Ouvri^res ^ Rome," 96 Rev. des Deux Mondes, 626, by Gaston Boissier.
« Butchers' Company v. Morey, i H. Bl. 370; Kirk v, Nowill, i T. R. 118. ^ Madox, Firma Burgi, 29.