Control of the market was for its possessors an important instrument of monopoly. Giving, as it did, the right of prescribing regulations as to who should trade and when they should trade, it carried a valuable power for the town to tip the balance of all market transactions in favour of its members. Urban policy starting probably as an incoherent, ill-considered and often ill-devised scheme of some Gild alderman or mayor, was essentially a policy of monopoly. Its aim was to raise the demand-price of the town’s customers, and to lower the supply-price of those from whom it bought. The acquisition of this monopoly was the prime reason for the contest of the towns with feudal authority. The possession of it was the chief factor which raised the new communities to a position of wealth and social influence.