Today in Labour History
Revolt of the Guilds in Frankfurt
Vinzenz Fettmilch, a pastrycook and burgher from Frankfurt am Main, was disgruntled as he had been denied a municipal office. In May 1614 Fettmilch and his followers stormed the town hall and held the patrician councilors captive until they resigned. Fettmilch then declared himself Gubernator of Frankfurt. Unfortunately this revolt was laced with anti-Semitism since the rebels assumed that the city's Jews and its patricians worked together against the lesser burghers. On 22 August 1614, a group of artisans and their journeymen plundered the Jewish ghetto and Fettmilch expelled the Jews from Frankfurt. In reply to this revolt of the guilds, Emperor Matthias restored the patrician council and the Jews were permitted to return. Seeking to expurgate the trouble at its source, the emperor decreed the abolition of the guilds in 1616. They were replaced by Handwerke, organizations that had to answer to the town council for everything.
From James R. Farr, Artisans in Europe, 1300-1914 (Cambridge 2000) 186-187