St. Nicolaas Gilde

St. Nicolaas-, Marskramers- of Koopliedengilde

marskramers - vendors who rented stalls, usually from the city

kooplieden - sales people who had shops

The guild's records go back to around 1400. By the time Leeuwenhoek joined in 1655, it had 513 members

  • 99 paid the reduced rate of 2 stuivers 8 pennies; almost everyone else paid 3 stuivers
  • 24 incoming members, including Leeuwenhoek, most of whom paid 1 guilder, 10 stuivers
  • 4 members recorded as paying the fee (doodschuld or dootschult) for leaving the guild, usually 1 guilder, 10 stuivers
  • almost three dozen paid no dues, often with a reason noted, such as "headman"
  • several paid more, 6 stuivers

The annual dues were nominal, 3 stuivers. The guild's main economic purpose was a barrier to entry and its social purpose was quality control. You couldn't sell retail in Delft without belonging. Boitet's Beschrijving devotes several pages to St. Nikolaas Gilde beginning on page 288 (chapter V).

The guild's house was a restaurant or club called the Comanscolff (mechant's club) on the Oude Langendijk (now number 7), at the sign of the crossed clubs (kolven; right, click for larger size). The guild members had an annual dinner on December 6, St. Nicholas' Day, that was compulsary in the sense that members paid a fine for missing it.

By 1660, the Comanscolff was being run by Aldert Hodenpijl, who was buried out of there on June 29, 1681 (DTB inv 43, fol 93). He was one of the men who attested to the seeing a great number of litttle animals through Leeuwenhoek's lens. Leeuwenhoek included that short letter with the others that he sent to the Royal Society in 1677.

Members, St. Nicolaas Gilde, Delft, 1655

1st District

location total members incoming members selection of names
from the Pepersteeg to the Nieuwstraat (Wijnhaven) 18 2 Cornelis de Man, Jan Liefting, Jan Boogart, Gerrit de Appel
Markt northside 28   Franshois Boogart, Pontius Bourbon
St. Ursula (Nieuwe Kerk) 2 1  
Nieuwe Langendijk northside 2    
from the Langendijk to the Oostpoort southside 11 1  
Gasthuislaan southside 7    
Gasthuislaan northside 10    
Achtersack 2 1  
Pieterstraet 11    
Moslaan southside 8    
Moslaan northside 5    
Broerhuijs 9    
Oude Langendijck 2    
Jacob Gerrit Straet 11    
from Broerhuis to the Rotterdamsepoort 21 1  
the overside of the ham to the Heutersteeg 8 1  
Breetsteegh 30 2  
Vooromme to the Rotterdamsepoort 19    
Buiten the Ketelpoort 5 1  
Buiten de Rotterdamsepoort 2    
from the Ketelpoort to the Haverbrugge 14    
from the Geer to the Pepersteeg 10 1  
  235 11  

2nd District

location total members incoming members selection of names
Pepersteeg 6    
Binnenwatersloot southside 19 1  
Binnenwatersloot northside 10    
Vooromme tot de Haechpoort 25   Jacob Spoors
van de Haechpoort eastside 16 4  
St. Annenstraet 1    
Geerweg northside 7    
Geerweg southside 6    
Vooromme to the Verwersdijck 8    
Voorstraet in de nieuwestood 5    
Verwersdijck eastside 6    
Rietvelt 12 2  
Vlamingstraat 10    
Kerckstraet 17 3 Maerten Leeuwenhoek, Cornelis Bod?, headman
Voldersgracht and Papestraet 26   Isaac S'gravesande, headman. Johannes Strick is noted as incomen but he paid only 3 stuivers instead of the usual 1 guilder 10 stuivers.
Choorstraet, Cellebroersteech, 13 Huisen, and the west side of the Verwersdijck 31   Jannetjen Molijn
Neulestraet and Voorstraet 57 4 Frans S'gravesande, Antony Leeuwehoek
from the Kulck to the Pepersteech 16   Jacob S'gravesande, headman
  278 14  

Q: How many women? A: Some

In 1655, Leeuwenhoek paid the customary one guilder and ten stuivers for his entry fee.

In 1656, the record (see below, middle row) notes something that is not noted anywhere else in that book: Antonij Leeuwenhoeck will not pay (wil niet betalen).

Thereafter, Leeuwenhoek paid his 3 stuiver dues every year until 1667, presumably during the years 1668 to 1689, the records of which are lost, and again beginning in 1690,

In 1693, his name is noted with no payment, but no explanation, either.

In 1697, he paid one guilder and ten stuivers.

In 1698 and thereafter, his name no longer appears.