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Trust, guilds and kinship in London, 1330-1680

Adam, Ammaarah, Ades, Raphael, Banks, William, Benning, Canbeck, Grant, Gwyneth, Forster-Brass, Harry, McGiveron, Owen, Miller, Joe, Phelan, Daniel, Randazzo, Sebastian, Reilly, Matthew, Scott, Michael, Serban, Sebastian, Stockton, Carys and Wallis, Patrick ORCID: 0000-0003-1434-515X (2022) Trust, guilds and kinship in London, 1330-1680. Economic History working paper series (348/2022). Department of Economic History, The London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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Abstract

How was trust created and reinforced between the inhabitants of medieval and early modern cities? And how did the social foundations of trusting relationships change over time? Current research highlights the role of kinship, neighbourhood and associations, particularly guilds, in creating ‘relationships of trust’ and social capital in the face of high levels of migration, mortality and economic volatility, but tells us little about their relative importance or how they developed. We uncover a profound shift in the contribution of family and guilds to trust networks among the middling and elite of one of Europe’s major cities, London, over three centuries, from the 1330s to the 1680s. We examine the networks of sureties created to secure the inheritances of children whose fathers died while they were minors, surviving in the records of London’s Orphans Court. Our analysis of almost fifteen thousand networks evaluates the presence of trusting relationships connected with guild membership, family and place over several centuries. We show a profound increase in the role of kinship – a re-embedding of trust within the family - and a decline of the importance of shared guild membership in connecting Londoner’s who secured orphans’ inheritances together. We suggest these developments are best explained as a result of the impact of the Reformation on the form and intensity of sociability fostered by guilds and the enormous growth of the metropolis.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL: https://www.lse.ac.uk/Economic-History/Working-Pap...
Additional Information: © 2022 The Authors
Divisions: Economic History
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
JEL classification: N - Economic History > N2 - Financial Markets and Institutions > N20 - General, International, or Comparative
N - Economic History > N1 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Growth and Fluctuations > N13 - Europe: Pre-1913
N - Economic History > N3 - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Income, and Wealth > N33 - Economic History: Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Income and Wealth: Europe: Pre-1913
N - Economic History > N9 - Regional and Urban History > N93 - Europe: Pre-1913
Z - Other Special Topics > Z1 - Cultural Economics; Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology > Z13 - Social Norms and Social Capital; Social Networks
Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2022 16:12
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2023 23:57
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/117445

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