Saint Anna guild – by far the oldest club in Hattem
Hattem has an Archers’ guild of Saint Anna, named after the holy virgin Mary’s mother. It has been in existence since the year 1465 and is therefore by far the oldest society of Hattem. “Unofficially there was talk of two archers’ guilds as early as the 1400s which were later merged. The young shooters of Saint Anna and the old shooters of the Holy Cross. In times of war the men helped to protect the city," secretary Gerard Libert explains.
“In medieval cities archers’ guilds were often found next to Craft Guilds. Cities in the medieval "Veluwe kwartier – Veluwe quarters" were besides capital Arnhem, the cities of Wageningen, Harderwijk, Elburg and, naturally, Hattem. In those days there were many agricultural peasant villages, but those were of far lesser importance. Hattem obtained its city rights in 1298 at the hands of Duke Reinald I of Gelre. From early 1300 Hattem has been participating in the Hanseatic League as a secondary city. The most important merchandise were bricks, made out of the IJssel clay along the river. Large Hanseatic cities nearby were Kampen, Zwolle, Deventer and Zutphen. The guilds were on the rise. You had craft guilds, such as a bakers’ guild, wine carriers’ guild and a tailors’ guild. In addition there were archers’ guilds and the cities where that was the case, were actually tiny kingdoms that had to take care of their own defence. After all, the Netherlands did not yet exist at the time. The archers’ guilds were like small city armies.’’ Between 1520 and 1560 a relic in the form of a piece of St Anna’s elbow pipe was preserved in the chapel named after her, which was then part of the Andreas and Catharina church, nowadays the Grote Kerk – the Great Church, in Hattem. “In those days Hattem was a kind of pilgrimage site.” The giver of that relic was Sir Michael Ernst van Bamberg. He was also buried in the Anna chapel. ‘’We can establish that the At Anna guild is the oldest society in Hattem. The archers’ guild came into being soon after the strategically located city of Hattem was completely walled in, around the year 1400. A period of relative prosperity followed through the participation in the Hanseatic League.
Anno 2023 the Saint Anna Guild has around 40 archers or guild brothers. They meet once a month to practice crossbow shooting. ‘’We like to keep the history of Hattem alive.” Libert concludes.
Photo: The archer chain donated in 1468 can be seen in the Voerman Stadsmuseum (photo: Voerman Stadsmuseum)