Glossaries – Guilds – all countries

This glossary will provide you with explanations (and sometimes also translations) of words and expressions, used within the datasets on the commons and the related webtexts. Explanation/translation will only be given at the word or expression most commonly used. In case other words or expressions have the same meaning, a term in italics refers the explanation of the word/expression at the word/expression most commonly used.

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Afkoopsom arbeidsongeschikten (bij ongeval, ziekte of ouderdom)


also known as: Eenmalige uitkering.

(Incapacity benefit, One-time imbursement; Italian: Donativo)

Benefit received when a member was unable to work because of illness, old age or an accident. This product differs in that the payment is one-time. The box was thereby protected from bankruptcy against ever-drawing members.



also known as: Ambachtsliedengilde.

(Craft guild; German: Zünfte; French: Corporations; Italian: Corporazioni o Arti, Corporazioni d’arte e mestieri, Corporazioni, Arti, Fraglie; Chinese: Gongsuo 公所, Huiguan 會館. In Chinese no terminological distinction for craft and merchant guilds. Bang 幫 for more informal – sometimes illegal – associations)

Craft guilds were permanent, generally local organizations of people in the same profession (craft or trade) or a combination of the same professions, which had as their main – but certainly not exclusive – purpose the defense and maintenance of monopoly rights with regard to fellow citizens and outside competitors.  Guilds were always authorized by local authorities, which enabled them to regulate membership, draw up statutes and maintain a professional monopoly. Within a local community, all those practicing the guild’s occupation fell under the guild regulations (gildenregelement) which was part of the guild’s monopoly (gildendwang). Other functions included the maintenance of quality control, the prevention of cheating, the balancing of supply and demand in markets of limited size and the furthering of the economic interests of their members. Social and religious activities played an important role, but in the Northern Netherlands this function was lost after the Reformation. Guilds were primarily associations of masters. Exceptions existed: some guilds accepted journeymen, some journeymen’s associations existed alongside a master guild or were made up entirely out of journeymen in sectors which had no masters (peat-porters or heavers for example). Protecting the economic interests of their members also meant providing for subsistence. Mutual aid insured this, in the Northern Netherlands on an informal basis in the period before the Reformation, but after the Reformation on a more formalized basis. In the Low Countries, guilds were abolished between 1798 and 1818, finally in 1818 by Royal Decree of Willem I, but still a few exceptions survived until well into the nineteenth century (see Koninklijk besluit van 1818). Though in general, guilds have many of the above features in common, these features differed per part of the world, the region, and the town and even per guild. (Bos 1998, 33; 2006, 180-1; 188; De Moor, Lucassen, and Van Zanden 2008, 6; De Munck, Lourens, and Lucassen 2006, 32; 61-4; Grafe and Gelderblom 2010, 481; 483; 505; Lourens and Lucassen 1996, 9; Van Genabeek 1994, 85-6; Bradstock1984, 19-20 for distinction of Chinese guilds as huiguan for non-locals and gongsuo for both non-locals and locals or locals only, rather than dividing between artisans and merchants. The website of the History Of Work Information System will provide you with more details on the occupation of  peat-porter and heaver)



(Supplement; Italian: Ordini, Parti, Atti)

Addition, expansion or clarification of an earlier gildenregelement or ordonnantie. (Van Dale Groot Woordenboek van de Taal, 2005, 14th ed.).



The poor.

Armenzorg aan leden


(Poor relief to members; Italian: Donativo)

Benefit received when a member had become destitute and was unable to provide for its own sustenance.



see: Meester.



also known as: Uitvaart.

(Funeral; Italian: Funerale)

A ceremony in which a dead person is buried or cremated.

(Oxford dictionairies online)



(Funeral benefit; Italian: Donativo)

Benefit provided when a member passed away and – in some boxes – when a member’s spouse passed away. Generally, box regulations determined a certain sum of money that the benefit provided, but sometimes it determined that all funeral costs would be covered. On occasion the provided sum of money exceeded funeral costs in which case the widow received the surplus. (Van Leeuwen 2000, 107-10)

Begrafenisuitkering in natura


(Funeral benefit in kind)

Benefit that consists of arranging certain parts of the funeral. What the arrangement entailed differed per box. In general, the box would provide the carriers, but other things that could be provided for were the pall and the guild’s funeral shields.



also known as: Gebrekkig, Hulpbehoevend. 




A payment made by the mutual aid fund to a member entitled to receive it. This entitlement depends on the box. (Oxford dictionairies online)

Besloten water


(‘Closed water’ (lit. translation))

Besloten water is when the waterways are temporarily frozen, thus making water transport impossible. This implies a temporal standstill for the economy.



see: Bus.



also known as: Zeevarende Beurs.

(Sailor box)

Mutual aid fund arranged by sailors as of 1609 which compensated for damage or loss of belongings in case of shipwreck and captivity by pirates. (Bos 1998, 262)



see: Bus.



(Box brother)

A male contributing member of a box.



[1] Elderly guild / box brother, drawing from the box. (Bos 1998, 100)

[2] Elderly members of a guild that was eligible for an old age benefit. (Bos 1998, 100)



(Box sister)

A female contributing member of a box.

Burgerlijke armen


(Civic poor)

Poor citizens of a town (burgers or poorters) that received municipal poor relief.



also known as: Beurs, Bos. 

(Box; Italian: Cassa)

Support fund which provided mutual aid (onderlinge hulp) to its members. The name stems from the actual box in which the guild, or other organizations, collected their member contributions. (Woordenboek der Nederlandse taal, 1902)

Caisses de secours et de prévoyance


The French term for guild boxes to be used for mutual aid and insurance. In 1812, the French Minister of the Interior, De Montalivet, ordered the prefects of the departments of the Low Countries to produce an inventory of such boxes still in existance. (Bos 1998, 49)

Centimes (Ctm)


A French cent or 1/100th part of a Franc, introduced in the French empire after 1795 .



(Contribution fee; Italian: Tassa, Luminaria; Chinese: Juanyin  捐銀 (‘donation’, could be a regular fee or one demanded in cases of emergency, especially for funerary expenses))

A (structural) payment to the guild or the separate box, of which the guild’s/box’s activities could be paid and with which some financial reserves could be build. For the guild, these activities include social, religious and civic activities, the advocation of the member’s economic interests and mutual aid in times of member’s distress. Mutual aid was also the goal of the separate boxes (or mutual aid funds) who could claim contributions as well. The amount charged was set in the guild regulations and differed according to age, skill level, martial state, the number of drawing members and the financial condition of the guild box. Some boxes only charged in case of emergencies, when a member died or got sick; others structurally collected contributions throughout the year, on a weekly, monthly, or even a yearly basis.




A district under the government of a prefect.

Dood fonds


(Dead fund)

A fund without income, but which still had drawing members.

Eerste vermelding (E.V.)


(First reference)

Generally this term refers to the year of first reference. The year of first reference indicates that the association it refers to came across in the sources or the literature for the first time. Without a foundation year, the year of first reference is the closest indication of the year of foundation that we have.



(Shares, Stocks; Chinese: Gu 股 (stock of company, or of a mine or salt well))

Shares and/or stocks.



(Questionnaire; Italian: Inquisizione)

Investigation into a matter of public interest, of which the results may become publicized. Questionnaires became very popular after the French Revolution. (Woordenboek der Nederlandse taal 1917; for background information concerning the aims for the rising use of quetionnaires in the Low Countries, see: Instituut voor Nederlandse Geschiedenis)



(Entrance fee; Italian: Tansa, Tassa)

The fee charged for admission to the guild. The fee was charged to all new masters entering the guild, but journeymen and apprentices also had to pay an entrance fee (and contributions). Generally, this fee was differentiated according to the origin of the entering member. A master’s son generally paid the lowest fee, a city citizen would pay a little more and ‘foreigners’ – immigrant citizens – would pay most. The amount of the entrance fee could also be dependent on age and whether the paying member had been a journeyman or apprentice of the same guild. (Vos 2007, 155-6; Bos 1998, 36; 331)






see: Behoeftig.






see: Knecht.



Head of the family.



see also: GildeOnderling hulpfonds; also known as: Gildebos, Gildebeurs

(Guild box)

A guilds’ support fund (see also mutual aid fund) which provided mutual aid to its members in times of need. In the Northern Netherlands they were mostly established between 1570 and 1820. The members were part of the same professional association recognized by the local government (see also Gilde). With some exceptions, most notably widows, these members were almost always men (see Weduwe-uitkering and Weduwen- en wezenuitkering). For some guilds, the box was not completely separate but linked to the guild’s fund. By means of collective action the members tried to spread their financial risks. Members paid systematic contributions to the fund, which in turn provided support in case of accidents, death, impoverishment, illness, old age and widowhood, based on the ready money available in the box. None of the guilds paid for all these risks; funeral benefits and sickness benefits were the most common benefits. Characteristic of these boxes was that they offered an all-in-one pack of the mentioned life risks, on the basis of the paid contribution and the state of the box. Mutual aid funds directed at specific risks appeared in the eighteenth century. In 1820 guild boxes as such were liquidated by Royal Decree (Koninklijk Besluit van 1820). However, they were allowed to continue as independent organizations without a monopoly, and many did. (Own definition in association with J. Lucassen; Bos 1998, 19-24; 338-9; 343; Bos 2006, 176; 189-93; Van Genabeek 1994, 66; 90)



(Guild monopoly)

The obligation – enforced by the local authorities – of every worker in a certain craft, transport, service or trader industry to become a member of the corresponding guild and to live up to all its regulations, including the financial burdens and social responsibilities. In order to become a member of a guild, the applicant had to be a citizen (burger or poorter) of a town, i.e. to have citizenship (burgerrecht). This could be obtained by birth, by sale, or by partial sale (marriage to a burger generally lowered the costs of citizenship). (Bos 1998, 35)



see also: Gildendwangalso known as: Gildenstatuten, Statuut, Regelement, Ordonnantie.

(Guild regulations, Guild statutes, Ordinance; Chinese: Tiaogui 條規 (‘itemized rules’), Zhangcheng 章程 (‘statutes’), Hanggui 行規 (‘rules of the branch’), Gongyi dan 公議單 (‘list with joint agreements’) et cetera)

Rules and regulations drawn up by the guild and approved by the town government, or the town government would draw up the regulations and promulgate this directly to the guild. Within a local community, all practicing the guild’s profession fell under these regulations.



see: Gildenregelement.

Grootboek der Publieke Schuld


see: Grootboek nationale schuld.

Grootboek nationale schuld


also known as: Grootboek; Grootboek der Publieke Schuld; Hollandse Schuld.

(Ledger of national debt)

Ledger in which the debts of the state have been registered in the Netherlands since 1809, after a centralization of the government under French rule. Hollandse Schuld also refers to this book. (Woordenboek der Nederlandse taal 1895; Houwer 1941, 3)



see: Koopliedengilde.

Hollandse Schuld


see: Grootboek nationale schuld.



see: Behoeftig.



(Disability benefit; Italian: Donativo)

Benefit received when a member was incapable of working due to a long term disability incurred on the job. The disbursement occurred weekly.



Annual contribution.



Money box.



Accounts book.

Kerkelijke armenzorg


(Ecclesiastical poor relief)

Public poor relief arranged by the Church.



(Charter; Italian: Statuto)

A keurboek was the charter of a locality or corporation, which contained a collection of regulations of that locality or corporation. In the ‘Bussen’ database, the term ‘Keurboek’ is often short for the source ‘Keuren en ordonnantien der stad Haerlem’ (1755). (Woordenboek der Nederlandse Taal 1926)






also known as: Gezel.

(Journeymen; Italian: Lavorante; Chinese: Huoyou 伙友 (alternative writing  夥友), Shiyou 師友, Sihuo 司伙, Huogong 伙, Zuoshou 作手, Jianggong 匠工; rarely Gongren工人 (the modern equivalent for ‘worker’); for unskilled labour, often Duangong 短工 (short-term worker, for three months or less) and Changgong 長工)

Pupil or employee of a master craftsman who has learned the trade as an apprentice (leerjongen) and was either still in training, but no longer a beginner (thus able to be profitable to his master), or did not posses the skills, the financial reserve or the opportunity to become a master, and therefore could not practice the trade independently. A journeyman could be a second stage of the training, but not all guilds separated the training into two parts. If divided into two parts, this second stage meant that the journeyman was now (basically) skilled and could be hired by a master. When a journeyman possessed enough skill and saved sufficient money to fulfill the financial obligations of the guild (see master, guild, entrance fee and contributions), he could apply for membership of the guild. In craft guilds this often meant submitting a master piece as a competence test. When passed, the journeyman had to pay an entrance fee to the guild, after which he could call himself master and set up shop. Not all journeymen became masters; some because they lacked in skill, others because the costs of guild membership and setting up a shop were too high. Even with these obstacles surpassed, some failed to acquire the master title because no opportunities arose; to protect the guild’s monopoly, only a limited amount of masters could be admitted into the guild. Keep in mind that the term journeyman was also used in some occupational sectors which had no masters, such as heavers or peat porters. Sometimes, and especially for the Southern Netherlands, a distinction can be made between the ‘free’ or skilled employed journeymen – in the employment of a guild master, affiliated with and paying some contributions to the guild – and ‘unfree’ journeymen or the daylaborers; a secondary segment of temporary workers, who sometimes, but not always, seasonally migrated in search of work. In the Northern Netherlands, this last segment of journeymen increased in size during the seventeenth century. A steady increase in the number of journeymen, free and unfree, formed the foundation for a boom of journeymen’s boxes in the first half of the eighteenth century. (Woordenboek der Nederlandse Taal 1889; Bos 1998, 36; De Munck, Lourens, and Lucassen 2006, 32; Timmer 1913, 3; Eeghen 1974, 19-21; Lucassen 1991, 28. Van der Vleuten and Van Zanden 2010. For China: Bradstock 1984, 101/fn. 1)



see also: Gildebus.

(Journeymen’s box; Italian: Libro dei lavoranti)

An onderling hulpfonds (mutual aid fund) for journeymen, which provided (financial) aid in times of need. Journeymen’s boxes in the Northern Netherlands were founded between 1450 and 1820, of which one third in the first half of the eighteenth century. Membership was occupationally bound, but not strictly to one occupation or solely to occupations organized within guilds. When a guild of the occupational group existed, some form of linkage always existed between the guild and the journeymen’s box. Members contributed regularly to the box and in turn received support in case of accidents, death, impoverishment, illness, old age and widowhood, based on the ready money available in the box. None of the boxes could pay for all these risks; funeral benefits and sickness benefits were the most common. Characteristic of these boxes was that they offered an all-in-one pack of the mentioned life risks, on the basis of the paid contribution and the state of the box. Journeymen’s boxes were solely directed towards support for their members in times of need and did not serve economic or social purposes. This separates them from the guilds as well as from the journeymen’s guilds (see ‘Types’). (Own definition in association with J. Lucassen; Bos 1998, 19-24; 338-9; 343; Bos 2006, 176; 189-93; Van Genabeek 1994, 66; 90)


see also: AmbachtsgildeKnechtsbus.

(Journeymen’s guild; Chinese: Bradstock (1984) suggests that the pejorative designation ‘dang’ 黨 (gang) rather than the respectable ‘huiguan’ and ‘gongsuo’ was used, and the journeymen’s leaders were referred to as ‘hangtou’行頭 or ‘hangshou’ 行首 (branch boss, branch leader), which differs from the designations for the officially recognized guilds. The general assumption is that authorities and employers tried to prevent the establishment of journeymen’s guilds)

Journeymen’s guilds were craft guilds whose membership file consisted out of journeymen instead of masters (though sometimes masters were allowed into the guild). Journeymen’s guilds provided joint religious praise, sociability, mutual aid and the advocated the economic interests of journeymen. Because of the guild monopoly granted to the (master) craft guild by the local authorities, journeymen’s guilds were always in some way – officially documented or not – linked to the craft guilds of their masters. (Timmer 1913, 10; Bos 1998, 37; 54; 172; for China, see Bradstock 1984, 96)

Koninklijk besluit (KB) van 1818


see also: Koninklijk besluit van 1820.

(Royal Decree of 1818)

On October 23, 1818 the guilds were abolished by Royal Decree of the new king Willem I. In the Republic there had been very little political resistance against the guilds, in contrast to France, where as of the mid-eighteenth century criticism and the demand for reform or abolition of the guild system proliferated. The French influences, which penetrated the Low Countries after the declaration of the Batavian Republic in 1795, affected the guild’s system for the first time in 1798, when a new government abolished the guilds by constitutional law. The execution of this resolution was hindered by city authorities and by guilds themselves. Guilds were reinstitutionalized and abolished on and off between 1798 and 1818, until the Royal Decree of 1818 finally and definitely abolished them. The guild’s funds were to be abolished by the Royal Decree of 1820 (Koninklijk Besluit van 1820). Even after the ‘final’ abolishment, exceptions were made for the transport and weighing sector, as these were crucial to vital parts of the (local) economy. (Wiskerke 1938, 24-38; 230; Van Genabeek 1994, 63-6, 85-6).

Koninklijk besluit (KB) van 1820


see also: Koninklijk besluit van 1818.

(Royal Decree of 1820)

The Royal Decree of July 26, 1820 that determined that after the final abolition of the guilds in 1818, the former guild funds and possessions were now to be liquidated and redistributed amongst the localities – mostly city councils – to which the guilds had belonged. The mutual aid guild boxes were not to be cleared. Their members in need, but also the widows and orphans kept receiving their due. If enough money remained in the box, the city councils were to use this for the public poor relief. (Wiskerke 1938, 230-4; Van Genabeek 1994, 66)



also known as: Koopmansgilde; Grootkoopliedengilde; see also: Ambachtsgilde.

(Merchants guild; Italian: Casa dei Mercanti, Arte dei mercanti, Università dei mercanti; Chinese: Huiguan, Gongsuo, see entry on Ambachtsgilde).

The foundation of merchant guilds predates that of craft guilds. There is evidence for merchant associations at specific buildings since the thirteenth century. However, these instances are few. A merchant guild was a local association of merchants directed towards international and interlocal trade. When the literature refers to merchant guilds, it generally means indicates the large or long-distance merchants and not the small retailers (venters or kramers). Merchant guilds united long distance traders in order to share knowledge, capital and ensure trust and stability within the trade community. Just as with craft guilds, to reach these goals, merchants needed formal legitimization by the authorities, thus controlling both membership and monopoly (see: ambachtsgilde and gildendwang). In the Northern Netherlands, the merchant guilds differed from the crafts guilds in their period of foundation and the interlocal or international nature of their trade. Foundation peaked between 1400 and 1450, two centuries before the craft guilds. (Grafe and Gelderblom 2010, 509-11; Greif, Milgrom, and Weingast 1994, 773; Moll-Murata 2008, 213; Van der Vleuten and van Zanden 2010)



see: Koopliedengilde.

Laatste vermelding


also known as: L.v..

(Last reference)

Generally this term refers to the year of last reference. The year of last reference indicates that it was the last time a year was found in the sources or the literature. In that case, it is the best indication of the year of abolishment that we have.



Number of members.



(Apprenticeship fee, Premium, Tuition fee; Chinese: Xie shi yin 謝師銀 (‘reward for the teacher’), for a doctor’s apprentice, in Baxian apprenticeship contract, Qingdai Qian Jia Dao Baxian dang’an xuanbian, vol. 2, 93. References to tuition fees can be found in legal documents rather than guild regulations))

A fee charged to the pupil for the period of apprenticeship/training. The amount charged dependent per guild and on whether the pupil was the master’s son, a born city resident or a ‘foreigner’. In general, guild regulations stipulated these amounts. (Woordenboek der Nederlandse Taal 1913;Bos 1998, 59; 60; Slokker 2009, 59; Wallis 2008, 835)



(Apprentice; Italian: Garzone, Discepolo; Chinese: Tu 徒, Tudi 徒弟, Xuetu 學徒. Not all branches expected tuition fees. The training process was not formally divided into two stages. During the apprenticeship term, the apprentice was usually expected to live with the master and was free to leave him only after)

Pupil of a master craftsman. Apprentice was the first stage in the training process towards learning a trade. The minimum duration of the training period and the payment of an apprenticeship fee (leergeld) was, when applicable, set in the guilds’ regulations (gildenregelement). Not all guilds required an apprenticeship fee though, and apprenticeship was generally only required in the craft guilds; the retail or transport sector required no such period. After completion of this first part of the training, the apprentice would become a journeyman (knecht) and when he possessed the skills, the resources and some luck, he could become a master.  Because of the guild monopoly (gildendwang), an apprentice had to learn the trade from a guild master. This affiliated the apprentice to the guild and often required him to pay an entrance fee or contributions to the guild. Without recognition by the guild, learning a trade was impossible. Not all guilds officially separated the training period into an apprentice stage and a journeyman stage. (Slokker 2009, 59; Bos 1998, 36; 37; Woordenboek der Nederlandse Taal 1913)



see also: Lidmaatschap.

(Member; Italian: Membro)







see: Opheffing.

Livre de gros (Liv. Gr.)


The name of the French (and Southern Netherlands) money of account before 1795. It was worth six guilders. (Van Gelder 1980, 260; Diderot 1780, 20; 204)



see: Ziekte-uitkering.



see: Ziekte-uitkering.



see: Laatste vermelding.






also known as: Baas.

(Master; Italian: Maestro, Chinese: Zhuren 主人 (boss), Dianzhu 店主 (shopowner), Diandong 店東 (shopmaster – lit. ‘east’, the East referring to the master or host and the West to the worker – journeyman or guest), Zuozhu   作主 (master of production or of the worksite/workshop), Zuodong 作東 (east)) 

A skilled craftsman and member of the guild who, after completing his training as an apprentice (leerjongen) and a journeyman (knecht) and after completing a masterpiece (if required), has obtained the right to exercise his trade independently. A master had the right to own a shop and hire apprentices and journeymen. Because of the guild monopoly (gildendwang) a master practicing his trade was obliged to join the guild and thus to pay the entry fee and financial obligations to the guild. Guild regulations set the amount of these fees and the number of journeymen and apprentices a single master could have under his care. Next to the ability to independently practice a trade, guild membership offered other benefits. These benefits could be either material, such as the right to mutual aid in times of need, or social, such as group identity, cohesion and prestige within the urban community. (Bos 1998, 36; 37; Woordenboek der Nederlandse Taal 1905; Thijs 2006, 173; for China, see Bradstock 1984, 101/fn. 1)



Surviving relative. 



(Emergency assistant)

When a member was unable to work an emergency assistant (noodhulp) could fill his or her place. The income of the emergency assistant was divided between the assistant, the sick member and sometimes the box. The member thus received a sickness benefit, but the box did not have to pay for these costs. This practice was e.g. common among peat carriers. (Bos 1998, 75-6; 112; 121-3; 127-30; 133-8; 338)



see: Onderling hulpfonds.

Onderlinge hulp


(Mutual aid)

Aid on the basis of reciprocity. Participation in this type of aid entails that the participant provides financial aid or other types of support in times of need, on the – correct or incorrect – supposition that he or she shall receive the same kind of aid in times of need. A formal variant of this type of aid is the onderling hulpfonds (mutual aid fund), but before the twentieth century, most of this aid was informal.

Onderling hulpfonds


see also: Bus,  GildebusKnechtsbus; also known as: Onderlinge; .

(Mutual aid fund, Mutual help fund, Support fund, Mutual benefit society, Friendly society)

Fund intended to insure the members’ basic subsistence and avert public charity through collective action. In the seventeenth and eighteenth century a mutual aid fund was a public association of professionally or otherwise collectively bound members, who tried to spread their financial risks by means of collective action. By paying collective contributions, members could count on financial aid or aid in kind in times of need. (Bos 1998, 21; 344. See also: Bos 2006, 174-93; Van der Linden et al. 1996; Cordery 2003, 7-9)




Physical / material aid – especially monetary – to the destitute (behoeftigen). (Van Dale Grootwoordenboek van de Taal 2005; Woordenboek der Nederlandse Taal 1890)



see also: Vrijgezellen.


Ongehuwde vrouw


see also: Vrijster.

Unmarried woman.



(Accident benefit)

Benefit received when a member was injured on the job and was temporarily unable to work. The disbursement generally occurred on a weekly basis. The difference with the sickness benefit was that the accident benefit was only distributed when the member was injured as a result of an accident. It diverged from the disability benefit in that accident benefits were only meant for a short period of time.



see: Opheffing.

Open lidmaatschap


(Open membership)

When membership (lidmaatschap) was open, it was not bound to any specific occupational group.



(Split up)

When a box or guild was split up, it was divided into multiple parts.



also known as: Liquidatie; Ontbinding.




see: Gildenregelement.



see: Ouderdomsuitkering.



The elderly. 



The old age. 



also known as: Pensioenuitkering, Oudemansuitkering, Rente-uitkering. 

(Old age benefit)

Benefit the member received after reaching a certain age and/or being unable to work due to age. Generally dependent on how long the member has been contributing to the box. Sometimes this benefit was also provided for the widow. The disbursement occurred weekly. Also called interest benefits (rente-uitkeringen) because they were mostly financed with interests from obligations and real estate. (Bos 1998, 338)






see: Ouderdomsuitkering.

Per begrafenis


(Per funeral)

When members have to contribute ‘per begrafenis’, they contribute per each funeral.

Per week (pw)


Per week, also abbreviated with: pw., p. wk. or p. week.




The chief officer or magistrate of a département in France and after the Revolution in the Netherlands under French rule. (Oxford dictionairies onlineWoordenboek der Nederlandse Taal 1938)

Publieke armenzorg


(Public poor relief)

A benefit or sum of money the box/guild reserved for the public poor within the locality. This can be voluntarily, but generally the city administration demanded a certain sum from the box/guild/profession group. Other forms of public poor relief were stedelijke armenzorg (public poor relief arranged by the town) and kerkelijke armenzorg (ecclesiastical poor relief).



Rightful claimant.



(Travel money)

Travel money was a onetime disbursement to journeymen (but perhaps also to masters) who came from outside the city in search of work. Travelling to other places was very uncommon in Holland, but much more common in England, Germany and France.






see: Ouderdomsuitkering.



also known as: Sou, Sol.

A coin used in the Southern Netherlands, which was worth 10 centiemen. Equivalent of a stuiver in the Northern Netherlands (1/20th of the guilder). In the questionaire ‘caisses de secours et de prévoyance’ a sous is often used as a literal translation of the word stuiver. (Woordenboek der Nederlandse Taal 1933)




Sub-prefects operate under the control of the prefect in the arrondissements (the subdivisions of the département).



(City worker)

The main task of the city workers consisted of the transportation of fuel and food within the city. They therefore fulfilled an important function within the city, to such an extent that they received the right to organize in guilds and their occupation possessed guild monopoly (gildendwang),  even though they did not have the official subdivision into masters and journeymen (all were journeymen). (Bos 1998, 123; 134; 202; see for more information also the website of HISCO, the History Of Work Information System, keywords Stadswerkers and Workers Not Elsewehere Classified)

Stedelijke armenzorg


see also: Publieke armenzorg and Kerkelijke armenzorg.

(Municipal poor relief)

Public poor relief arranged by the town.



A Dutch coin worth 5 cents or 1/20th of a guilder. Its counterpart in the Southeren Netherlands was called a sous and in the questionaire ‘caisses de secours et de prévoyance’ a stuiver was used as the translation of the word sous and vice versa.



Tontines were a form of life insurance or an old age saving plan in which survivors benefited from the deaths of other participants. The members invested some payments and received only the dividends. As members died, redistribution caused the dividend of the remaining group to rise. (Weir 1989, 95-124; Ransom and Sutch 1987, 379-90)

Trekkend lid / Trekkende leden


Member(s) of a fund/box who received some form of benefit.



see: Begrafenis.



An assembly or meeting place.



Renewed, revived.

Verplicht fonds


see also: Vrijwillig fonds; also known as: Onvrijwillig fonds.

(Compulsory fund)

Fund with mandatory membership, if one belonged to a certain occupational group. Most early modern mutual aid funds were arranged as an obligated fund. This assured a constant input of new members and revenues and a wider spread of risks amongst the participants. It also countered the ‘free rider problem’ (the use of collective goods by people who did not contribute to it) and ‘adverse selection’ (when too many people with a high risk to claim benefits entered the fund). (Bos 1998, 21; Persson 1988, 41; Van Leeuwen 2000, 17-8)




In the ‘Bussen’-database, ‘Vervolg’ is short for ‘Vervolgen op de keuren en ordonnantien der stad Haerlem … Tot het jaar MDCCXC (1790)’ (1793).






see also: Ongehuwd.

Single men, bachelors.



see also: Ongehuwde vrouw.

An unmarried woman.

Vrijwillig fonds


see also: Verplicht fonds.

(Voluntary fund)

Fund with voluntary membership, as opposed to a verplicht fonds.







The abbrevation for ‘and the following pages’. For example: 9vv. means: page 9 and the following pages.




Weduwen- en wezenuitkering


see also: Weduwe-uitkering.

(Widows- and orphans benefit)

Benefit the widow and/or orphans of a deceased member received on a generally weekly basis.



see also: Weduwen- en wezenuitkering.


Benefit the widow of a deceased member received on a generally weekly basis. Because of the expensive nature of this benefit, boxes generally set a number of conditions, varying from age of the widow, to the length of contribution of the deceased and whether or not the widow continued to pay contributions to the box. (Van Leeuwen 200, 111-2)







See for explanation of this item the website of HISCO, the History Of Work Information System.

Zeevarende beurs

see: Bootsgezellenbeurs.



(Sickness fund; Flemish: Mutualiteit)

A mutual aid fund specifically directed towards providing relief to members in time of illness.






also known as: Loondervingskosten, Loondervingsuitkering. 

(Sickness benefit, Wage compensation)

Benefit a member received when fallen ill and unable to continue work. Generally per week, but sometimes once or twice a month. Depending on the box, this benefit has conditions that must be met, such as a doctor’s examination or an eight day waiting period before receiving the benefit. This benefit rarely covered costs of subsistence.

Ziektekostenuitkering (medical expenses)


(Sickness benefit of medical costs)

Benefit a member received when he/she had fallen ill and had made medical expenses. These medical expenses could either be medication costs or doctors’ visits.



(Sickness benefit)

Benefit a member received when he/she had fallen ill and was unable to continue to work. The sickness benefit in general can indicate either wage compensation (ziektegeld) or the provision in medical costs (ziektekostenuitkering).