Ontario High School History of England . leges,were selfish and tyrannical. But,since monopoly checked competi-tion, they had little temptation todo bad work, and usually gave goodmeasure and good quality. Likemodern benefit and insurance soci-eties, they took care of their mem-bers, and they also gave money toaid education. To this day, someof the guilds survive in London,and use their abundant revenuesfor the public benefit. Though declining, at the close of the Middle Ages, they were stillstrong, and guarded their privileges jealously. It was difficultfor an outsider to join even the guilds

Ontario High School History of England . leges,were selfish and tyrannical. But,since monopoly checked competi-tion, they had little temptation todo bad work, and usually gave goodmeasure and good quality. Likemodern benefit and insurance soci-eties, they took care of their mem-bers, and they also gave money toaid education. To this day, someof the guilds survive in London,and use their abundant revenuesfor the public benefit. Though declining, at the close of the Middle Ages, they were stillstrong, and guarded their privileges jealously. It was difficultfor an outsider to join even the guilds Stock Photo
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Ontario High School History of England . leges,were selfish and tyrannical. But,since monopoly checked competi-tion, they had little temptation todo bad work, and usually gave goodmeasure and good quality. Likemodern benefit and insurance soci-eties, they took care of their mem-bers, and they also gave money toaid education. To this day, someof the guilds survive in London,and use their abundant revenuesfor the public benefit. Though declining, at the close of the Middle Ages, they were stillstrong, and guarded their privileges jealously. It was difficultfor an outsider to join even the guilds of the trainedartisans; usually only the sons of existing members mightenter. When Parliament itself did not do so, the guildsregulated the rate of wages. The risks of commerce.—The townsmen united for defence,especially in the seaports, for the sea was infested withpirates, who could easily land and set fire to the flimsyhouses of the town, and who made unsafe even the crossingof the Thames near London. The products of England found. TraderThirteenth Century 172 HISTORY OF ENGLAND an increased market in Europe. Foreign ships had longbeen the chief carriers of English wares, but, by the time ofRichard III, England was building a merchant marine. Asyet there was no royal navy to protect her commerce on the sea; this was tobe the creation ofHenry VIII. In orderto be safe, ships sailedin company, but therewas always danger.Marauders of a sup-posedly friendly nationsometimes seized cargoand ship, and hangedcrew and passengers onthe yards of their ownvessels. There wereperils, too, from thekings uncertain exac-tions, and from thefraud and malice of ri-val traders. Insurancewas hardly known,and, to a preacherof the time, the mer-chant with his load ofcare, from which hegets no relief, is thetype of the sinner burdened with sin. Yet many a tradergrew rich; by the end of the fifteenth century there weremerchants in some English towns who lived in such splendidstate that it seemed to

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