In Smith’s Scotland, the transformation of revived commerce took many forms. Professor Devine traced the transformation in his fine study of the Scottish merchant class.1 Incomers, mostly petty, a few grand, quietly and gradually eroded the protectionism and restrictive practices of the merchant classes in the 16th and 17th centuries, and the officious grip of the burgesses and their monopolies on trade slipped in favour of ‘unfreemen’ and ‘unfree towns and villages’. Non-burgesses gained rights to trade on payment of small sums, and new members joined the guilds on similar terms, after only three, not seven, year apprenticeships, supplemented by a steady accession of outsiders by marriage into established families, by looser rules of apprenticeship and by purchasing their rank.2
KeywordsForeign Trade Restrictive Practice Social Honour Rich Merchant Skilled Workman
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