The Legal Structure of Markets for Manufactures in Medieval England
The prevailing paradigm presumes that manufacturing guilds in medieval England monopolized markets for durable goods. 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, shows 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.
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