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Sukonnaya Sotnya


A privileged corporation of merchants.

Sukonnaya sotnya (Cloth[iers'] Hundred) was a privileged corporation of merchants who were ranked third in importance and wealth below the gosti and members of the Gostinaya sotnya. Sukonnaya sotnya was formed in the late sixteenth century and based on previously extant corporations of clothiers in Moscow and elsewhere.

The legal status of Sukonnaya sotnya members was defined by a charter issued to them at the turn of the seventeenth century. Members were exempt from direct taxation. They were not subject to local authorities and received higher compensation when dishonored. However, Sukonnaya sotnya members were not allowed to purchase estates of patrimonial land or to travel abroad.

Less prosperous than their counterparts in the other two corporations, Sukonnaya sotnya members tended to assist other government merchants and administer smaller enterprises. However, they were held responsible for shortfalls in revenue collection.

In the early seventeenth century, there were 250 members of the Sukonnaya sotnya This figure declined to 130 in 1630 and to 116 by 1649, despite the appointment of 156 members between 1635 and 1646. In spite of the government's demands, not all members of the Sukonnaya sotnya had houses in Moscow.

Sukonnaya sotnya steadily declined in importance in the second half of the seventeenth century. By 1678 there were only fifty-one houses belonging to Sukonnaya sotnya members in the capital. Apparently, the corporation was effectively disbanded in the 1680s, and many of its members joined the Gostinaya sotnya.

By the early eighteenth century, all members of the Sukonnaya sotnya were registered in guilds, in 1724 in Moscow and four years later in the rest of the country.

See also: gosti; gostinaya sotnya; merchants

Jarmo T. Kotilaine

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