Billie and Willie were journeymen criminals, and both had spent time in jail for a number of offenses, mostly physical in nature.
Each gild numbered various classes of members, ranging from beginners, or Schiller (corresponding to trade-apprentices), and Schulfreunde (who were equivalent to Gesellen or journeymen), to Meister, a Meister being a poet who was not merely able to write new verses to existing melodies but had himself invented a new melody.
In the 14th century the journeymen or yeomen began to set up fraternities in defence of their rights.
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.
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.
In England the fraternities of journeymen, after struggling a while for complete independence, seem to have fallen under the supervision and control of the masters' gilds; in other words, they became subsidiary or affiliated organs of the older craft fraternities.
The statute of 5 Elizabeth, c. 4, also curtailed their jurisdiction over journeymen and apprentices (see Apprentice Ship).
Parliament, 1543; at the same time it was enacted that all notes and marginal commentaries in other copies should be obliterated, and that " no woman (unless she be a noble or gentle woman), no artificers, apprentices, journeymen, servingmen, under the degree of yeomen.
Insurance against old age and invalidity comprehends all persons who have entered upon their 17th year, and who belong to one of the following classes of wage-earners: artisans, apprentices, domestic servants, dressmakers, charwomen, laundresses, seamstresses, housekeepers, foremen, engineers, journeymen, clerks and apprentices in shops (excepting assistants and apprenticesin chemists shops), schoolmasters, schoolmistresses, teachers and governesses, provided the earnings do not exceed 100 per annum.
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.