In England the export trade was mainly in the hands of foreign merchants until the fourteenth century, and Jews and Lombards were well to the fore as money-lenders to the Crown and nobility and as recipients of royal favour. English merchants could only climb to supremacy in the national market when they had won from the Crown the abolition of the privileges of foreign rivals. Any difficulties which before had stood in the way of new-comers rising to become masters and traders had their influence enhanced when the competition for a limited number of opportunities was increased. The growth of the “insignificant peddling traders of the eleventh, twelfth and early thirteenth centuries” into “the important political plutocracy of the fourteenth,” and the creation in embryo of a dependent working class was quite a revolutionary development.