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Durham City Guilds Records (16th-20th centuries)

In the post-medieval period trade in Durham City was regulated by sixteen guilds or companies such as the Barbers, Drapers or Masons. Eight of these companies still exist today. The records include charters and regulations, statutes and orders, minutes, lists of freemen, apprenticeship admittances and registers, accounts and fines. Although survival of records is patchy, these can be a useful source for tracing the urban and industrial development of Durham and the wider region, as well of course as filling out the life story or professional world of an ancestor.

Durham City Guild Records collection description

Durham City Freemen's Records collection description

Image of an election agent's book for the Durham 1818 parliamentary election. Ref: DCG/10/5.

An election agent's book for the Durham 1818 parliamentary election. This lists Durham Freemen, their place of residence and guild. In the margin are columns to tabulate to whom the freeman had promised his vote, and for whom he in fact voted - legislation introducing the secret ballot was only enacted in 1872. This volume, while not strictly a Durham Guild record, was found with the records of the Masons' Company.
Ref: DCG/10/5.