The Merchant Guildry of Stirling
Welcome to the website of the Merchant Guildry of Stirling. This website is provided to give friends and members details of the history and activities of the Guildry along with latest news and articles. If you are aware of news and updates to share with the Guildry, please let us know.
The Merchant Guildry of Stirling cannot trace its exact origins. The Guilds of Europe stem from the establishment of city life after the end of the Roman Empire. Although Scotland had a small population, its burghs were well established by the 12th century. The famous Laws of the Four Burghs (of which Stirling was one along with Edinburgh, Roxburgh and Berwick) became the municipal laws for all the Scottish Burghs. From the beginnings of the Guildry no-one could engage in commerce unless he was a burgess of the town. It was formed to protect trading rights. Guildry members were not manual workers and were forbidden by the Laws of the Four Burghs to be so.
The Burgh Reform Act of 1833 provided for the election of Town Councils, and the Burgh Trading Act of 1846 abolished the privileges of Merchant Guilds. The Guildry then assumed its present form as an interesting survival, with the Society maintaining the ancient traditions of the Town.
Message from the Dean
It is 170 years since our powers and privileges were abolished but the Guildry is forever woven into the fabric of this city with an unbroken thread nearly 900 years in the making. Whilst our precise origin remains lost in history, the Guildry’s significance as a key influencer of Stirling’s commercial and cultural development is beyond doubt. The Guildry is now a charitable organisation continuing its role as the natural forum for Stirling’s benefactors. It celebrates the people of Stirling, their achievements, their contributions and their influence, locally, nationally and globally.
Stirling is now entering its own next exciting phase. Millions of pounds of investment have been secured for a range of major infrastructure developments designed to satisfy the ambitions and aspirations of this special place and people at the heart of Scotland. The Guildry will play its part.
As the Guildry prepares for its nona-centenary in 2019, it wishes to do so by celebrating not just the Guildry but Stirling itself. The Guildry is steeped in tradition. We will stay relevant, useful and interesting whilst remaining respectful of those ancient traditions that have brought us safe and ready to enter our tenth century.
I am proud and delighted that my immediate predecessor oversaw a resurgence in female members after a break of roughly 700 years and I aim to build on his work. Stirling has an astonishing array of talent amongst its people and the Guildry wants to continue harnessing that talent for the common good as it has done over the centuries.
If you love Stirling, come and join us, you’ll be very welcome!”
Elizabeth Roads LVO
Dean of the Guildry of Stirling