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400 year-old weights

York Archaeological Trust

As well as bringing their own goods in and out of York, the Merchant Adventurers also regulated, or controlled, the way that other people in the city traded. This made sure that trade was fair and carried out properly.

One of the ways that the Company did this was by checking the weights and measures of traders. Without checks it would have been easy for traders, accidentally or on purpose, to sell the wrong quantities of goods. For example, a shopkeeper could sell half a pound of flour, but pretend it was a whole pound. The people whose job it was to look for trading offences were called searchers.

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