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1571 - Foreign immigrants are ignoring the craft regulations
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Only craftsmen who have been accepted as members of one of the London guilds are legally permitted to work in London. In order to be accepted by one of the guilds it is usually necessary to work for seven years as an apprentice to one of the guild masters.

Few, if any, of the foreign craftsmen in London have done this, since most of them are recent immigrants. By working at their trades they are in breach of the law.

Some Huguenot craftsmen have been given membership in the guilds. Thomas Vautrollier, for instance, was already a member of the Stationers' Company before he started printing and publishing books. Others are not caught by the laws because the crafts they practise are new to England. However, there are many immigrants who, needing to make a living, simply ignore the regulations.

The regulation of craftsmen is intended to protect customers. It ensures that they have been taught their trades and that they do good work. It also protects the citizens of London and gives them advantages over immigrants.

The citizens guard these privileges carefully. There will be many future complaints about the Huguenots and the Dutch from craft workers in London. There will also be attempts to place further legal restrictions on them. 



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