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Familles laborieuses. Rémunération, transmission et apprentissage dans les ateliers familiaux de la fin du Moyen Âge à l’époque contemporaine en Europe
Travail en famille : quelle rémunération ?

Craftswomen in times of change : artisan family strategies in nineteenth century Barcelona

Juanjo Romero-Martín


Analysing the world of artisan trades in mid-nineteenth-century Barcelona, this paper will focus on the role carried out by craftswomen in workshops and households. Until the triumph of modern capitalist business, traditional production units were a place where production, reproduction and distribution lived together. In this context, women belonging to artisan families played a relevant role in such activities. The present paper, after a long introduction on the artisan economy, proposes to study the origins of these women as well as their contribution to the family businesses. Unlike in modern manufacturing units, in the Barcelona family workshops women were involved not only in the manufacturing of goods, but also in the running of the enterprise, which included having managerial tasks. This was only possible thanks to the tight relationship between craft and family established since the end of 18th century.

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  • 1 English revision by Clelia Boscolo, University of Birmingham.

11The present article aims to explain the role of artisan women in nineteenth-century Barcelona, on the very eve of the abolition of trade guilds. Since the Middle Ages, trade guilds had been the most relevant producers’ associations in European towns. As part of their regulatory tasks, these institutions regulated the access of women to the world of manufactures. From the 17th century onwards, the economic situation of the Continent had been changing, challenging the traditional position of artisans. Guilds changed in order to face up to the new situation, artisans reordered their world by modifying their survival strategies. Consequently, craftswomen's roles changed too.

2The first part of this paper describes these changes, particularly those which affected the guilds, in a European context. The second part analyses the specific case of Barcelona during the first half of 19th century and the changing role of artisan women in this new context.

3Two centuries after the disappearance of trade guilds in most European countries, these organisations have returned to the academic arena. The historiographical discussion about the corporations, which seemed closed some time ago, has reappeared recently. Its revival is difficult to explain : perhaps it is the product of the long crisis in Social History studies, particularly of the efforts to redefine the discipline by ‘re-reading’ traditional subjects ; or maybe it is the consequence of neoliberal economics in its permanent criticism of any kind of past or present interventionist theory or institution. However, it seems that the recent debate about trade guilds and artisan economy is here to stay. At the same time, the present discussion is forcing historians to better comprehend the artisan-guilds world by emphasising new perspectives and innovative insights. A focus on gender has obviously been one of the approaches fostered by the new debate.

  • 2 Ogilvie 2011.
  • 3 Stephan Epstein’s latest work is probably the most representative of this line, see Epstein & Prak (...)

4The historiographical debate about trade guilds, specifically about their participation in the development of the European economy, can be reduced to two main views : first, the traditional one, proceeding from the 18th - and 19th -centuries liberal thinkers, which considered the trade guilds as an obstacle to the development of the modern economy. Sheilagh Ogilvie is the principal representative of this perspective2. On the other side, other historians propose a different reading of the guilds role in the whole economy and, consequently, assert that these institutions contributed to modernisation in different ways. Stephan Epstein’s latest work is probably the most representative of this view3.

  • 4 Ogilvie 2011, p. 42, 412, 432, 90.

5The traditionalist approach analyses trade guilds as closed monopolies and rent seekers and therefore concludes that artisans associations, by blocking the access to economic resources, neither generated wealth for the benefit of society as a whole, nor allowed others to do it. The negative effects of the guilds’ monopoly affected technical innovations, the creation of a free market of manufactures and labour, as well as reducing industrial competitiveness/productivity. What it is worse, such monopolistic policies did not generate social capital. This perspective highlights guilds' economy as inefficient, and this was the reason for their downturn and final disappearance4.

  • 5 Among the topics studied, we find : apprenticeships (Elbaum, 1989), technical innovation (Belfanti (...)
  • 6 Berg 1987, p. 90 ; Farr 1997, p. 26.

6In contrast to the traditionalist approach, some historians have emphasised the positive elements which characterised artisan economies, as well as opening the discussion to new research areas, superseding the restricted economic view applied by traditionalist writers. The revisionist perspective has studied a wide variety of topics, making a general synthesis difficult5, but providing a more historically-based approach. I would like to recall the statement made by Maxine Berg and James Farr, that capitalism and market economy are not exactly the same : capitalism needs markets, but markets can exist outside of capitalism and, in addition, ‘moral economy’ - which characterised the ideology of the ‘plebeian classes’ of the past - did not always confront market ideology. This means that, as we will see later, artisans - or even guilds - were not entirely capitalist, but this does not necessarily imply that they did not enjoy or participate in the exchange economy that defined the market6.

7In this sense, as will be explained in the first section of this paper, maybe the guilds' policies were inefficient, but they were ‘rational’, which stresses the difficulties in the application of modern economic concepts, such as efficiency, to historical subjects. This rationality includes the re-interpretation of the role of women’s work in artisan economics.

The artisans’ moral economy

  • 7 Pfister 2008, p. 32-33.
  • 8 Epstein, Prak 2008, p. 54.
  • 9 Richardson 2004, p. 2 ; Hickson, Thompson 1991, p. 128.

8At the beginning of the Modern Age, guilds achieved the highest level of performance and influence. The guild was then defined as the organisation which by law gathered all members of a trade and craft, ruling production and labour, defining the range of their competencies – exercised either locally or regionally. Guilds also had political status, managed some religious practices7 and provided and managed material and financial resources for their members8. The political nature of guilds meant that the implication in local and regional political affairs was based on the acquisition of ‘privileges’. This concept did not mean ‘monopoly’, consequently it would be a mistake to consider trade guilds as trade monopolies9 : in fact, even during the guilds ‘golden age’, artisans never achieved total control of the production and distribution of their output.

  • 10 Arranz 2001, p. 74.
  • 11 The Spanish case is a good example of State anti-guild measures, Diez 2014, p. 89 ; Diez 2001, p.  (...)

9During the 17th century, the situation of manufacturing guilds changed. The expansion of markets to a global level, the birth of centralised monarchies and the cities' economic expansion, mainly through the domestic system, challenged the traditional position of trade guilds. A new mercantile class flourished in European towns and its increasing economic power removed the guilds from the urban political decision-making centres, a process which in some places had started at the end of the Middle Ages. In this new context, the guilds' strategy changed to a defensive policy in terms of membership, innovation, privileges, etc. In the case of Barcelona, for instance, this change meant an increasing emphasis on skills, labour self-sufficiency and honour10. The artisans' situation worsened during the 18th century ; new ideas about wealth, the absolute monarchies’ economic policies and international trade launched the final assault on the artisans' traditional economy11 .

  • 12 Thompson 1971.

10Around the 18th century, the ‘moral economy’ of the artisans was redefined (I am adapting the classical concept described by Thompson12 to the specific case of the craftsmen's world). It was a concept collectively shared by the artisan group, but not as articulated as an economic or social doctrine. This view of the world not only referred to the concepts of property or labour, but also included spiritual and ritual elements (religious observance, confraternities), internal and external relationships (marriages, politics), social mobility traditions (apprenticeship, heritage), group definition (hierarchy), relationships with the authorities (civil or religious), as well as the management of economic resources (capital, raw materials, loans). These values and practices summarised a culture defined by a clear notion of community where manual labour represented the pivoting element of the group. What defined an artisan was his relationship with his craft. Consequently, in order to understand this moral economy, and particularly the role of women, we need to pay attention to some important aspects : the relationship between labour and property, the artisans’ investment strategies and, finally, the transmission and reproduction of crafts.

11From their origins, guilds had been a labour community. Ordinances ruled the association’s activities, particularly in relation to working conditions, production and access to the guild. In sum : the guilds' written rules defined a labour community. Despite this apparently closed system, entry to this community was not difficult. Before the 17th century, boys and also girls entered as apprentices, completed their training, worked as journeymen and then, after passing the association exams, became masters. Depending on the economic situation of expansion or crisis, the rules allowing the entry of new members varied, but in general terms guilds kept their open nature, at least compared to other social groups of the time. Once a man became a master of his trade, an overwhelming set of rules defined the conditions and limitations of what he could produce as well as how he produced it. This implies that even masters could not use their workshops and tools freely. For instance, both the number of apprentices for each productive unit and the quality of the commodities produced were strictly ruled. What does this mean ? That ownership of workshops or of the means of production was restricted and their use was not according to the free will of their master-owner but under the control and subject to the conditions of the labour community of the guild. Ultimately, a master’s property was in the hands of the corporation. Obviously, this is one of the points made by those who consider guild economy inefficient to defend this view. However, what is clear is that from the guilds' perspective this practice strengthened the trade community and fostered the distribution of resources among all its members. It can be argued that it was a closed system, nearly a monopoly, but again, entry to the guild was relatively open to all social groups.

  • 13 Farr 1997, p. 32.

12Property limitation was not the only way to reduce the community members’ capital accumulation (or investment strategy). In times of expansion, it was guild policy to increase the number of masters, rather than accept the hiring of more apprentices by the workshops ; or, unofficially, to allow subcontracting policies13. These expansive policies could cause some group tensions but guilds tended to reduce them by establishing compensatory practices which, again, benefited the entire group. In the case of Barcelona, at the beginning of 19th century (guilds were forbidden in Spain in 1834-36), most of these levelling practices were still in use. The vast majority consisted of raw material or purchase sharing among the members of the guild (candle-makers, tailors, shoe-makers, hat-makers, ribbon-makers). In some cases, there were limits to the private purchase of raw materials or other goods : if this happened, the overproduction was seized by the guild and shared among of the poorest masters in the association. In other cases, some Barcelona trade guilds provided their masters with the means of production (this was the case of leather-makers and coopers), thus reducing their production costs, or granted access to production to masters without production units.

13Obviously, these practices (e.g mastery, production and distribution limitations as well as compensatory systems) reduced the artisans’ capital accumulation opportunities. At the same time, it shows that artisan culture was not based on growth but on the concept of ‘limited inequality’. Craftsmen accepted economic inequality but within limits, the limits imposed by the labour community and expressed through its association : the guild. But evidence shows that there were artisans in the guilds who enjoyed considerable wealth. It is true, but these richer craftsmen used to invest their profits or wealth outside of the craft circuit, in real estate or other goods, but not in technological innovations or workshop expansions. Maybe this strategy was inefficient but it made sense from the trade group perspective.

  • 14 Ehmer 1986, p. 199.
  • 15 Ros 2005, p. 181.
  • 16 In Spain, family members kept their father’s and mother’s surname, this means that both male and f (...)

14More relevant to our purpose is the understanding of the reproduction and transmission strategies of the artisans’ culture, where family, and particularly women, played an important role. The guild's world has been considered an endogamous realm14 and, again, as a ‘resources-closed’ economy. However, in the case of Barcelona, this did not seem a general strategy until the end of the 18th century15. The same dispersion policy described for capital investment was applied in the trade reproduction strategies. Analysing workshop ownership in Barcelona, we see that out of around 1820 artisan family groups, based on surname repetition16, held 20 per cent of the town workshops, while in 1838 and 1860 family groups ruled more than 40 per cent of them, which means that during the time of the guild, 1820, endogamy was lower than during the ‘free-trade’ period (Data collected from 1823, 1838 and 1860 Tax Records). Additionally, the transmission of the trade and the workshop varied from trade to trade, there was no clear policy. Again, dispersion, in this case of family members, seems the norm. One of the master’s sons would follow in his father’s trade (not necessarily in his father's workshop), while the other male descendants were scattered around in other trades. In the case of female descendants, policy was to marry them to members of the same trade, masters or journeymen. This strategy involving women reached its utmost relevance in the period of the final crisis of the trade guild system, in the first half of 19th century.

Women and trade guilds

15Consequently, in this context of redefinition of the artisan community, family women's roles changed. But, first, we need to understand the long and changing relationship between craft guilds and women labour in order to assess the magnitude of the change.

  • 17 Dixon 1895, p. 20.
  • 18 Reyerson 1986, p. 120-121.
  • 19 Batlle, Vinyoles 2002, p. 180.

16The relationship between women's work and the artisan world has historically been ambiguous. During the Middle Ages, when the first trade corporations were created in Europe, the participation of women in these new institutions (guilds) was not explicitly forbidden. In certain places, like Paris, there were guilds formed by women17, most of them in activities related to textile production. In the same period, 13th and 14th centuries, in cities like Barcelona or Montpellier, many girls were accepted as apprentices in different trades18. In Barcelona, for instance, fourteen girls entered in different textile trades during the 14th century (the total number of apprentices registered in this century, according to recent studies, was twenty nine)19.

  • 20 Hafter 1997, p. 6 ; Kowaleski, Bennett 1989, p. 485.
  • 21 Dale, 1933, p. 335; Kowaleski, Bennett, 1989, p. 481.
  • 22 Simonton 1998, p. 48.
  • 23 Ros 2005, p. 181 ; Loats 1997, p. 24 ; Sewell 1997, p. 50-51.
  • 24 Romero 2005.
  • 25 Vicente 2000, p. 17.

17Later, in the Modern Age, women appeared in different guilds in cities like Cologne and in some French silk production centres20. In other places, like London, women silk producers attempted to organise their own guild associations, but the opposition by local authorities blocked these initiatives21. Some studies consider the open attitude of the guilds towards female labour in artisan production logical, because those women (and girls) belonged to craftsmen's families22. However, in the case of Barcelona, artisan endogamy was scarce before 19th century23. In fact, as will be explained below, endogamy was one of the responses to the new productive pattern born in this century24. Marta Vicente states that, in 17th and 18th centuries Barcelona, artisan families used to send their daughters to different trades, and especially to the new calico printing factories25. This means, that before 19th century, an important part of artisan family women participated in the manufacturing labour market.

  • 26 Kriedte 1986, p. 23.
  • 27 de Vries 1994, p. 114.

18However, everything changed after 17th century, coinciding with the first expansion of the ‘domestic system’ in some European countries and the growth of urban centres. In other words, the expansion of merchant capital caused a change in artisan attitudes. Effectively, as Peter Kriedte points out, the guilds became one of the resistance forces, together with peasants, against the increasing hegemony of merchant capital26. Obviously, the rhythm of expansion of merchant capital was not homogeneous throughout Europe : some regions suffered the ‘assault’ earlier than others, so the craftsmen's corporations' response was different in different countries. The industrious revolution27 implied a threat to the artisan world ; some manufacturers escaped the guilds' control. In addition, local and national authorities changed their policies. Guilds during the Middle Ages participated in town and city councils. Corporations contributed to the establishment of new tax systems as well as being responsible for labour regulations (which meant social peace). But with the increasing importance of merchant capital, merchants and finance groups gained political power and, subsequently, city councils and Crowns tended to promote economic policies closer to merchants’ rather than artisans’ interests.

  • 28 Vicente 1994, p. 70, 83 ; Vicente 1993, p. 330-331.

19In the case of Barcelona, and specifically regarding women's labour, this shift in commercial interest was extremely clear. From 16th century onwards, the Consell de Cent (the city council) started to pass new laws that broke the guilds' monopoly and, in the case of silk manufactures, supported the merchants' demands to liberalise women's labour, contrary to the opinion of the silk trade corporations28. As the Barcelona example shows, the first victim of the artisans’ reaction was women's labour. Consequentially, the previously open attitude to woman's labour in regulated trades turned into a harsh resistance against it, including the expulsion of artisan-women from their guilds.

20The arrival of 19th century and its spectacular industrial growth, together with the abolition of the guilds in 1836, increased the pressure on Barcelona's traditional artisan workshops : craftsmen had to re-invent their strategies just to survive. In this context of redefinition of craft strategies, family-women's work became an important factor in the new crafts’ survival.

Artisan business in 19th century Barcelona

  • 29 Barcelona Municipal Archive -herein after BMA. Corporativo-gremial Files. Box, 15; Doc.1.
  • 30 Davidoff, Hall 1994.
  • 31 Vickery 1993, p. 393.

21The first important consideration, when talking about local artisans, concerns the pattern of craftsmen workshops. There are two features that make artisan workshops very different to modern factories or to the cottage industry : in the craftsmen's workshop there was no intensive technical division of labour and, more importantly, there was no clear division between productive, distributive and reproductive spaces. A technical division of labour was unnecessary in a context of high-skill tasks and small size. Artisan businesses rarely had more than five people, the rule was about three. In addition, a highly divided production process was against the craftsmen's culture in the sense that artisans had to learn and manage the whole production process (this was particularly important for apprenticeship). With regard to the confusion of spaces, household and workshop shared the same building, the same physical space. Even nowadays, in the Raval quarter of Barcelona, the traditional workshop structure is preserved and can be observed. Artisans' workshops, with the exception of those using big ovens and furnaces, were very simple spaces : the ground floor was occupied by working and selling spaces ; at the top, there was a large balcony which was the private family room, open onto the working space (usually separated by a big window or a railing). Apprenticeships contributed to this confusion. Children not belonging to the family were integrated into the household. An apprentice’s included not only productive tasks, but also domestic work. Apprentices might also be required to perform domestic tasks29. In this sense, we cannot assume that the rupture between private and public lives was achieved in the Barcelona artisan workshops of 19th century. This does not mean that artisans were following a pre-industrial pattern - in Davidoff and Hall’s30 perspective : on the contrary, as has been explained in the previous section, the increasingly endogamous policies were the result of industrialisation pressure. Consequently, the new artisan family strategies seem to be closer to Vickery's statement that a distinction between private and public spheres did not exist31.

  • 32 Romero 2005, p. 121-123.
  • 33 Romero, 2008, p. 170-171.

22Finally, in order to understand the role of family women in the artisan world during the first half of 19th century in Barcelona, special attention has to be paid to extra-productive activities, related to the resource dispersion described above. Effectively, as part of the adaptation processes to modernisation (industrialisation and urbanisation), most artisans implemented investment strategies based, mainly, in real estate and micro-loans32. This became particularly relevant when artisan women disappeared from the official industrial tax registers or when an old workshop appeared to be registered in the name of a male relative : checking real-estate taxes and registers, artisan women emerged again which means that, despite not being involved in the family production business, women had not withdrawn from family assets33.

  • 34 John Rule defined the patrimonialisation process as the conversion of a skill into a transmissible (...)
  • 35 Harden 1996, p. 91.

23In this context of high labour skill the involvement of women in artisan business was only possible if women received technical, productive and managerial instruction. But, as has been mentioned above, since 17th century, in Barcelona, and in many other European cities, they were excluded from the guilds and, consequently, from apprenticeships. Despite this situation, the conditions of 19th-century development forced a change in artisans’, even guilds', policies. The leit motiv of the artisan world, then, was to achieve the productive independence of the workshop/household, threatened by modernisation. An optimal solution to face the new situation was to lock the trade in the family, which meant the patrimonialisation of the trade34. And in this context of no division of private/family and public/workshop spaces, the training and involvement of daughters and wives in the family business35 was facilitated. This is what I call the 'silent mastery'.

  • 36 Busto 1994, p. 34.

24Artisan family women, especially daughters, were trained from childhood in all the trade skills of the workshop/household, including management. At that time, girls worked for the household and the workshop, carrying out productive and domestic tasks. When they reached marrying age, they would usually get married to a man from the same trade. These women then left the family household to move into a new one where they performed the same activities and responsibilities. It should be mentioned that, in the case of Barcelona, the persistence of the dowry tradition increased the importance of women in the new family economy. Effectively, upon marriage, women provided a dowry, usually in cash. This dowry was fundamental to the creation of the new family workshop. But the dowry funds, according to the law, were not part of the new family patrimony. On the contrary, dowry and the benefits provided by the dowry investment had to be passed on to the descendants. Moreover, money from the dowry could not be seized by authorities or banks in case of workshop bankruptcy, which made this attractive for new artisan families starting a business36. In some cases, we can consider women's dowry as a ‘differ salary’, a way used by artisan families to pay for their daughters' work in the workshop just before women moved to a new household. Therefore, the position of women was more prominent than in other social groups and ensured a higher involvement in the family business.

25As previously quoted, many artisan women started their professional trajectories during childhood in their family workshops. Here we can see the case of a tailor's workshop.

26Called by the municipality authorities, Mr. Gorina, denounced by the embroiders’ guild because he is producing goods corresponding to the guild without being a guild member, explains : that he is a tailor but when he has orders which require embroidery work, he would rather give this job to his daughters at home.

  • 37 BMA. Corporativo gremial Files. Box, 41; Doc.8; ca. 1834. [Original in Spanish]

[…] Juan Robira, embroider, says that he is not doing any embroidery, his daughters do it and only when he needs more workers, he gets other girls to work in his house37.

27In both cases, we do not know whether the daughters received any salary or payment for their work, but probably they did not. The case of a carpenter in 1841 can help us to understand how family business was conceived.

  • 38 Protocols Archive of Barcelona - herein after PAB. Notary : Rodríguez, p. (1841) : p. 36. [Origina (...)

I declare that both my daughter and son-in-law, María Ana and Magin, with all their family have been living in my house as a single family with room and board. My son-in-law has been working for my use and benefit : but I have taken care of them, and I have paid for all the food for them and their children, clothes, shoes, medicines, study fees and clothes repairs38.

  • 39 PAB. Notary Morelló, J. (1845) : p. 27.
  • 40 PAB. Notary, Just, F (1857) : p. 287.

28As the previous citation and similar protocols state, there were no regular payments for work by family members. The head of the family managed the resources and paid for the costs incurred by the family members. For instance, a wealthy rope-maker explained that his daughter and her husband worked together in his business without any regular salary39 and a similar case of a tailor can also be documented40. All these examples show women's manual work in artisan workshops, but this is not the only example of unpaid women's work.

  • 41 PAB. Notary Torras, R.(1846), p. 262.
  • 42 PAB. Notary : Milà, M.(1852) : p. 44.
  • 43 PAB. Notary : Roca, J. (1854) : p. 37.

29Thanks to their 'silent mastery', most craftswomen were prepared to manage workshop production and distribution. Some of them, in trades like tailors, were responsible for the administration of the business and workshop’s accounts41. The women's work did not depend on the economic status of the artisans’ business. Obviously, in poor artisan families women used to perform manual tasks. Around 1850, two tailors, working for rich merchants in a sweat shop, specified in an agreement with their providers that their wives' work could neither interfere in any workshop operation nor in the shop selling activities except « in handwork that they would provide »42. Again, it is not clear if women received any economic compensation for their work. A bakery contract in 1845 is very explicit about it : the baker, his wife and the other workers « would live off the bakery's sales ; the workers would receive a salary, but the baker, his wife and sons would work for the business without any salary or stipend »43. The last example shows that women's work was not limited to clothes or textile manufacture.

  • 44 PAB. Notary : Torras, M. (1852) : p. 202.
  • 45 PAB. Notary, J. (1851) : p. 392.
  • 46 PAB. Notary, Palaudaries, M. (1853) : Vol.I, p. 367.

30In the case of affluent or wealthy artisans, family women used to work in the business, too. Unlike poor artisans, where we can identify a Chayanovian behaviour, wealthy artisan women used to work in labour control, management and distribution. For instance, the spouse of a rich silk weaver was responsible for the workers employed in his workshop, mostly women and girls44. The same can be said of Paula Dimas, daughter in a shoe-maker’s family, who supervised the work of the female workers in her husband's shop45. The wife of a comb-maker managed the second shop opened by the family46. In any of the cited examples, women's involvement in family businesses was not casual or accidental, that is was not related to the lack of males in the family. In addition, this women's work, found in notary agreements, was not remunerated : they enjoyed the profits of the business, but did not have a regular income for their work.


31After centuries of open workshops, from 17th century onwards, depending on the country, women were progressively expelled from artisan workshops. Guilds, threatened by the expansion of markets and by competition, modified their policies and women's labour in their small workshops became informal. The strategy of artisan family women working in businesses different from their family ones changed too. Therefore, the defensive strategy of artisan families implied the withdrawal of family women from the labour market and their return to the household economy, out of the industrial labour market. In the case of poor artisan workshops, wives and daughters worked without receiving any salary or regular payment for their work. In the case of wealthier artisan families, women worked for the family profit, without any specific personal income. Artisan economy was a family-based economy where all members worked on behalf of the group under the control of the head of the family who managed the economic resources of the family business.

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1 English revision by Clelia Boscolo, University of Birmingham.

2 Ogilvie 2011.

3 Stephan Epstein’s latest work is probably the most representative of this line, see Epstein & Prak 2008.

4 Ogilvie 2011, p. 42, 412, 432, 90.

5 Among the topics studied, we find : apprenticeships (Elbaum, 1989), technical innovation (Belfanti 2004 ; Pfister 2008 ; Trivellato 2008), management patterns (Farr 1997 ; Zofío 2002 ; Lis, Soly 2008), politics (Kaplan 2002), social relations (Cerrutti 1987 ; Crossick 1997 ; Applebaum 1992 ; Sewell 1992), gender (Hafter 1995, 1997; Quataert 1985 ; Honeymann, Goodman 1991) and, obviously, economics (Hickson Thompson 1989, 1991). In addition, some works, though not participating in the debate, emphasised the relevance of artisans and guilds in the shaping of contemporary European societies (Blackburn, Evans 1993 ; Crossick, Haupt 1995 or Guillaume 1998).

6 Berg 1987, p. 90 ; Farr 1997, p. 26.

7 Pfister 2008, p. 32-33.

8 Epstein, Prak 2008, p. 54.

9 Richardson 2004, p. 2 ; Hickson, Thompson 1991, p. 128.

10 Arranz 2001, p. 74.

11 The Spanish case is a good example of State anti-guild measures, Diez 2014, p. 89 ; Diez 2001, p. 171-172.

12 Thompson 1971.

13 Farr 1997, p. 32.

14 Ehmer 1986, p. 199.

15 Ros 2005, p. 181.

16 In Spain, family members kept their father’s and mother’s surname, this means that both male and female descent and business continuity can be traced, as well as kinship relationships.

17 Dixon 1895, p. 20.

18 Reyerson 1986, p. 120-121.

19 Batlle, Vinyoles 2002, p. 180.

20 Hafter 1997, p. 6 ; Kowaleski, Bennett 1989, p. 485.

21 Dale, 1933, p. 335; Kowaleski, Bennett, 1989, p. 481.

22 Simonton 1998, p. 48.

23 Ros 2005, p. 181 ; Loats 1997, p. 24 ; Sewell 1997, p. 50-51.

24 Romero 2005.

25 Vicente 2000, p. 17.

26 Kriedte 1986, p. 23.

27 de Vries 1994, p. 114.

28 Vicente 1994, p. 70, 83 ; Vicente 1993, p. 330-331.

29 Barcelona Municipal Archive -herein after BMA. Corporativo-gremial Files. Box, 15; Doc.1.

30 Davidoff, Hall 1994.

31 Vickery 1993, p. 393.

32 Romero 2005, p. 121-123.

33 Romero, 2008, p. 170-171.

34 John Rule defined the patrimonialisation process as the conversion of a skill into a transmissible property, Rule 1987, p. 111.

35 Harden 1996, p. 91.

36 Busto 1994, p. 34.

37 BMA. Corporativo gremial Files. Box, 41; Doc.8; ca. 1834. [Original in Spanish]

38 Protocols Archive of Barcelona - herein after PAB. Notary : Rodríguez, p. (1841) : p. 36. [Original in Spanish].

39 PAB. Notary Morelló, J. (1845) : p. 27.

40 PAB. Notary, Just, F (1857) : p. 287.

41 PAB. Notary Torras, R.(1846), p. 262.

42 PAB. Notary : Milà, M.(1852) : p. 44.

43 PAB. Notary : Roca, J. (1854) : p. 37.

44 PAB. Notary : Torras, M. (1852) : p. 202.

45 PAB. Notary, J. (1851) : p. 392.

46 PAB. Notary, Palaudaries, M. (1853) : Vol.I, p. 367.

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Juanjo Romero-Martín, « Craftswomen in times of change : artisan family strategies in nineteenth century Barcelona », Mélanges de l’École française de Rome - Italie et Méditerranée modernes et contemporaines [En ligne], 128-1 | 2016, mis en ligne le 04 mars 2016, consulté le 18 mai 2021. URL : ; DOI :

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Juanjo Romero-Martín

University of Barcelona

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