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Gary Richardson

2004

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Full-Text Articles in Political Economy

Guilds, Laws, And Markets For Manufactured Merchandise In Late-Medieval England, Gary Richardson Dec 2003

Guilds, Laws, And Markets For Manufactured Merchandise In Late-Medieval England, Gary Richardson

Gary Richardson

The prevailing paradigm of medieval manufacturing presumes guilds monopolized markets for durable goods in late-medieval England. The sources of the monopolies are said to have been the charters of towns, charters of guilds, parliamentary statutes, and judicial precedents. This essay examines those sources, demonstrates they did not give guilds legal monopolies in the modern sense of the word, and replaces that erroneous assumption with an accurate description of the legal institutions underlying markets for manufactures in medieval England.