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Archival Work

Town regulations

Town statutes and regulations were legal statements issued by the King, the King’s council or the civic government. These regulations were directed at the organization and general affairs of the society, and they provided rules on a wide range of issues, including trade, prices, institutional practices, commercial activity, dress and behaviour in town. In Copenhagen, for example, the mayors and the council issued a regulation in 1590 in response to rising prices and the increasing expense associated with artisans’ work commissions, especially those by tailors, shoemakers, furriers and skinners. The council set fixed prices for commissions that concerned the most common and necessary articles of clothing, such as women’s domestic gowns and men’s breeches. From then on, tailors, for example, were allowed to charge according two marks for making an over gown, one mark for making an under kirtle or a mantle, and just two shillings for tailoring a pair of man´s breeches and a shirt. As these examples illustrate, regulations provide rich information on many aspects of early modern life and society, particularly on work and work practices, cultural attitudes and ides, and the importance of dress in early modern society.