The resulting struggle of organized bodies of masters and journeymen was widespread throughout western Europe, but it was more prominent in Germany than in France or England.
The journeymen combined to protect their special interests, notably as regards hours of work and rates of wages, and they fought with the masters over the labour question in all its aspects.
In the 14th century the journeymen or yeomen began to set up fraternities in defence of their rights.
Billie and Willie were journeymen criminals, and both had spent time in jail for a number of offenses, mostly physical in nature.
In an altarpiece at Ober St Veit and in the scattered wings of the Jabach altarpiece severally preserved at Munich, Frankfort and Cologne, the workmanship seems to be exclusively that of journeymen working from his drawings.
The statute of 5 Elizabeth, c. 4, also curtailed their jurisdiction over journeymen and apprentices (see Apprentice Ship).