Sunday, March 11, 2007

Deventer Burgerscap is a subgroup of the Dutch Living History society 'Die Landen van Herwaerts Over'. We portray citizens from the Hanseatic city of Deventer in her heydays of the late fourteenth century and have chosen the specific year of 1370 to focus on. To be able to portray citizens well one has to have historical sources to base these portrayals on. The archive of Deventer provides in this very well. With almost none missing the city accounts (nowadays known as the cameraars-accounts) have been kept from 1337 onwards and also the records of the merchant guild, from 1249 to 1387, are still around today. Deventer was an important German city in 1370. She was in the Hanseatic League and also the 'princeps inter pares' of the cities of the Oversticht (todays Dutch provinces of Overijssel & Drenthe, then part of the Sticht, the bishopric of Utrecht), she had connections a.o. with the duke of Guelders and traded directly with numerous hanseatic and non hanseatic cities located in between Flanders and todays eastern Germany. This setting of late fourteenth century Deventer gives us the opportunity to portray civilians from all levels of society such as craftsmen and merchants. And because Deventer was almost always in a state of war at this time, be it with local lords, the bisshop of Utrecht (the 'Landlord') and even the king of Denmark, we also portray the Deventer citizens as being the city militia on campaign.

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