The laws of Ine speak of gegildan who help each other pay the wergeld, but it is not entirely certain that they were members of gild fraternities in the later sense.
Their fraternities or societies may be divided into three classes: religious or benevolent, merchant and craft gilds.
About the year 1337 this hesychasm, which is obviously related to certain well-known forms of Oriental mysticism, attracted the attention of the learned and versatile Barlaam, a Calabrian monk, who at that time held the office of abbot in the Basilian monastery of St Saviour's in Constantinople, and who had visited the fraternities of Mount Athos on a tour of inspection.
In fact, many craft fraternities still survived in the second half of the r8th century, but their usefulness had disappeared.
About 1259 these fraternities were distributed over the greater part of northern Italy.
To the first half of that century belong the statutes of the fraternities of Cambridge, Abbotsbury and Exeter.
Historians have expressed divergent views regarding the early relations of the craftsmen and their fraternities to the gild merchant.
Two new kinds of craft fraternities appear in the 14th century and become more prominent in the 15th, namely, the merchants' and the journeymen's companies.
He extended his reforms to the collegiate churches (even to the fraternities of penitents and particularly that of St John the Baptist), and to the monasteries.
Several fraternities - old gilds or new companies, with their respective cognate or heterogeneous branches of industry and trade - were fused into one body.