Beggars' Guild

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Motto: MONETA SVPERVACANEA, MAGISTER? (Spare change, guv'nor?)

Coat of Arms: a shield quartered. In the top quartered, three dragons, courant et or, on a field, gules. In the bottom-left quarter a dragon, gardant et or on a field, gules. In the top-left and bottom-right quarters a pattern of caltraps, argent, on a field, azure. Some visitors to the city have questioned the shield saying 'what a load of dragons got to do with beggars?' This misses the point, as it is in fact a second-hand coat of arms. In fact most visitors don't ask this. The two most common questions by visitors is 'Why don't I have any money left?' and 'Um...which way know...the 'ladies'?

Current leader: Queen Molly.

The oldest Guild in Ankh-Morpork and one of the more powerful, topped with a weather vane shaped like a beggar with his tin cup to the wind. The Beggars control the different sorts of beggars allowed to operate and how many of them in each area of the city. Divisions include Dribblers, Mumblers, Mutterers, Walking-Along-Shouters and Foul Ole Ron, during his tenure at the Guild generally considered to be in a class of his own, if only because no one will share it with him. A certain amount of leeway would be given to, say, a Mumbler who risked the occasional Mutter, but no Mutterer would dare attempt Walking-Along-Shouting, on pain of pain. Enforcers of these rules are unknown.

The president of the Beggars' Guild is called Queen or King and wears the traditional velvet gown. He or she often finds life difficult because, due to the high rank, he/she will have to beg for something extravagant, and very few people are prepared to lend a 16-room mansion (see the coronation, in Guards! Guards!). The Beggars' Guild has a guildhouse, like many other guilds. The true spirit of beggary is to always beg, never pay money or render services of any sort, for anything (see Men at Arms). Members found buying things with money, running errands for people, and so on will be punished. Due to this, the Beggars' Guild is actually among the richest guilds in the city as they believe money is to be begged for not to be spent. A lot of the money has, however, been invested in property across the city via a series of agents and shell companies. Many of the richer citizens would be shocked to learn who they rent their well-to-do houses from. It is always a bad idea to kick a beggar in Ankh-Morpork, as karma can come round very swiftly, with the bailiffs.

Like the Thieves' Guild, the Beggars offer a form of insurance as well as the opportunity for direct charity. For a small fee, they can guarantee that no aggressive, unsightly, evil-smelling members will show up at your convention, daughter's wedding, or other special occasion. If you fail to take this simple precaution, you would be amazed at the number of beggars with 'interesting skin conditions' and infectious boils who will show up and start socialising with your guests.

The beggars guild runs a highly efficient intelligence service. Beggars are found across the city, often overlooked and ignored, but they see and hear everything. This knowledge can he sold to the highest bidder, who in many cases turns out to be the Patrician (whose best offer is often "Do not let me detain you"). They can also locate people in the chaos that is the city, as Heretofore is able to use the beggars' guild to find Cribbins for his master Cosmo Lavish.

Politically the Guild has supported both the Patrician and the Watch in the power-plays of the city. In Feet of Clay Queen Molly opposed the City Council when they suggested replacing Lord Vetinari with a malleable king in the form of Nobby Nobbs and tipped off Commander Vimes that 'he needed to watch his back' as he was an impediment to the conspirator's plans. In Jingo when Lord Rust demanded the guild leaders vote to remove the patrician from office, after the surrender to Klatch, the Beggar's Guild was one of four who refused to sign, the others being; the Seamstresses' Guild, the Strippers' Guild & the Washerwomen's Guild. One wonders at Vetinari's youth to attract such support...

Foul Ole Ron and several other beggars in his group used to be members in good standing in the Beggars' Guild. They are no longer members of the Guild because, perhaps, other members of the Guild would like somebody to look down on (see The Truth). Foul Ole Ron's group has been, and may still be, the street salesmen of the Ankh-Morpork Times newspaper. If the rule about true beggary is to be adhered to, this behaviour disqualifies Foul Ole Ron and his friends from the Beggars' Guild.

Beggar Classes

  • Twitchers
  • Droolers
  • Dribblers
  • Mumblers
  • Mutterers
  • Walk-Along-Shouter
  • Demanders of a Chip
  • People who call other people Jimmy
  • People who need Tuppence for a cup of tea
  • People who need eight pence for a meal
  • People with a placard saying 'Why lie? I need a beer.'
  • Beggar Lord
  • Beggar King/Queen

Members of the Guild