Our History

Once upon a time in Merry Old England ...

The Chapman were known as Peddlers who sold cheap bits of this and that to the common people. They were called the ‘Chapman’ which means cheap in Old English. This name was given to the peddler as his sir name in the early 1200th century.

In the Early 1600s English printers used wood block printing and Gutenberg's moveable type idea to create books using only one piece of paper. They printed on one side in such a way as to be able to fold the paper to create a book.


With inexpensive paper and ink the books were mass produced and given to the 'Chapman' to sell for one pence thus bringing reading to the common people. These delightful small books became known as Chapbooks and were popular through out the world for 300 years.

Printed books where no longer a luxury available only to the rich. The Chapman provided a welcome source of news and entertainment, along with something more important, contact with the otherwise unreachable outside world.

If your passion runs to the past and history of the written word or if you desire to put quill in hand and write, then welcome to the world of The Guild of the Common Chaps.

Please enjoy yourself and let us know what you think of our world.