The merchant venturers is an organisation which goes back to the middle ages. One documentary has been made about the merchant venturers, in 1997, by HTV for the series West Eye View. In termed the group a "secretive organisation which has dominated Bristol for 500 years."
A Guild of Merchants was founded in Bristol by the 13th century, and swiftly became active in civic life; by the 15th century it had become synonymous with the town's government. The group profited extensively from the slave trade.
The group has only recently admitted female members.
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