Our earliest surviving records, contained within the Lockit Book, begin in 1452 and give an insight into life in Medieval Perth. It is first and foremost a register of members, however from within its pages we can glean information on the way of life at that time.
The Guildry’s early purpose
The Guildry maintained trading standards within the burgh and ensured that all merchants complied with Guildry regulations. This included no sale of goods on Sunday nor hoarding food during times of famine.
The first Dean of Guild was elected in the early fifteenth century to preside over the Guild Court, which dealt with disputes between traders and also collected fines for breaches of the trading laws. The Dean was also responsible for implementing Acts of Parliament and other orders from central government as they affected the Guild.
In the early sixteenth century craftsman were admitted to the Guild Council.
After 1560 the Guildry gave active support to the minister at St. John’s Kirk and contributed to the salary of the reader. They also paid a pension to their chaplain. This support was given from the money received from admissions which increased considerably at that time. Guildry members were expected to play an active role in Church life and if they did not they were fined.