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Regulations governing the production of bread, 1671

Extract from the Assize of Bread

Extract from the Assize of Bread, 1671

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Bread formed such an important part of everybody's diet that its production was subject to strict controls known as the Assize of Bread. This piece of legislation was first enacted in 1266 during the reign of Henry III and it remained in existence until 1815 when laissez-faire economics and a belief in free trade led to its repeal. Although periodically reissued to take general price rises into account, the Assize fixed the size, weight and price of loaves according to the price of wheat and imposed a number of regulations governing the production and sale of bread. This Assize, dating from 1671, states that all bakers must have undergone an apprenticeship, that all their bread had to be marked with an individual sign, that they had to produce 13d of bread for 12d, and that a foreign baker's bread had to weigh more than that produced by native bakers of a town.

Routh 67 F 12/12

 

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