Paris at the time of Philippe Auguste

Everyday life

Trades

It's interesting to note that the first "job centre" dated back to 1184 This was located within Sainte-Catherine's Hospital and was a 'no charge' hostel for women coming to Paris and who couldn't afford anywhere to stay. These women (widows or young girls) would come to Paris to look for a job. Some other hostels, that did charge, also seem to have existed at this time and were maintained by "commenderesses" (female wardens).
As far as 'trades' are concerned, there is little written evidence except for the "Livre de la taille" dating back to 1292, which gave a list of all trades and the number of craftsmen in each.
You'll find below a list of some of them traced during Philip-Augustus' reign.

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Butchers: They appear to be the oldest corporation (as early as 1146). In 1182 Philip-Augustus extended their privileges. They were granted the right to buy and sell cattle without having to pay a special fee. In the 13th century it was a very close-knit family-based fraternity, trades being handed down from father to son.

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Furriers:records of their existence date from 1183. Philip-Augustus gave them the houses he had confiscated from the Jews that he expelled. In fact in February 1182, he had all the Jews arrested, confiscated their gold, precious cloth as well as their houses. Their houses were on the present-day quai du Marché aux fleurs, near the Palais de Justice. Later this street would be called : rue de la pelleterie (something like shovelry street) for a while.

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Cloth makers:they are mentioned during Philip-Augusutus' reign, as he is recorded as giving them houses in the Ile de la Cité. These houses too were taken from the Jews. This street was called 'rue de a draperie' (Clothmakers street). This activity expanded considerably in the 13th century, and became the leading trade in the ciy. However, clothmaking as it then was, no longer existed after the beginning of the 15th century.

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Jewelers:they were mentioned as early as 1268. They played an important part in the economic development of the city. It took 10 years training to become a jeweller at that time.

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Carpenters :in the Middle-Ages, furniture was quite scarce, so carpentry was a specialist trade.

Grocers-pharmacists:They appear in the 1292 book of trades.top

Glove-makers:They were registered in 1208. They were only allowed to make leather gloves, since the right to produce wool or cotton gloves was given to the hatters (hat makers).

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Wine merchants:They seem to have been particularly important amongst the Parisian traders. J. Baldwin tells us that "in 1182, Philippe-Auguste confirmed the bestowment upon the nuns of Saussaie, of half the tithe of the wine brought to the king and queen's cellars in Paris. On top of that they were entitled to half the tithe collected from the wine specifically bought in Paris for the king and the queen. Two years later, in 1192 he regulated the wine trade in Paris". Consequently only the wine merchants confirmed as being living in Paris had the right to unload their wine in the city. The other merchants were only allowed to sell their wine aboard their boats or to buy it in Paris and sell it outside the city limits. They had no right to unload their wine in Paris.

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Water carriers:They have been known as far back as 1121. Philippe-Auguste favoured this guild that directed the river traffic. Their monopoly on transportation on the Seine between Paris and Nantes was confirmed in 1170. in 1220 the king assigned them the surveyance of weights and measures, salt tax and low justice. The merchants, of course, had to pay dues in order to have these rights.

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