The Palmer's Guild
The Palmer’s Guild was a religious guild formed by wealthy merchants, wishing to protect their faith by founding a Guild. Although the Guild was based around Ludlow, due to trading links it had members and properties as far afield as Bristol, the west midlands, and London. Ludlow became a prosperous centre due to the wool trade and, allegedly in 1284, the Palmer’s Guild was founded. The Guild initially employed 3 chaplains, funded by rent donated by members, but soon grew. In the period of history that we portray the Guild had established links with royalty due to the patronage of Richard of York, who often used Ludlow as his base. When the House of York came to the throne in 1461 the Guild soon benefited, as many of York’s high status followers moved to London. During the reign of Edward IV, who died in 1483, the Guild had over 50 members, ranging from servants to officials, who were associated with royalty: members such as the Duke of Suffolk, Richard Woodville, and the 3rd Earl Rivers, amongst others. This connection was significantly reinforced in 1472 when Edward IV was recorded to have made a donation to the Guild of £5, then a considerable sum.
The Brethren of The Palmer’s Guild 1470 Re-enactment Society offers the opportunity to its members to portray life in the late 15th century at all levels, both professionally and socially. The Guild can present aspects of life spanning the smallest dwellings to the large castles, illustrating the fragments that we understand from the evidence available to us. Although it has not yet been established whether the Guild did or did not offer any military assistance to Ludlow, the connections with the Yorkist Households and other significant figures allow us to represent all aspects of 15th century life from craftsman and merchant to professional soldier and lord.