This book analyses the foundational principles of company law in detail. It is only possible to understand many of those principles if we understand their historical and jurisprudential bases. For example, it is only possible to understand the nature of the duties of directors if one understands how the law conceived of directors in their earliest incarnations as trustees. Much of the modern law will make more sense if we understand its roots. Similarly, it is only possible to unpick many of the problems with modern company law if the history of the company is understood. So, in this chapter we begin, as all good stories do, at the beginning.