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First published in 1904, this volume discusses the early history of the Law Merchant, an international body of rules and principles created by western merchants during the medieval period, distinct from the common law of the areas in which it operated. Mitchell puts forward the argument that, far from being set in stone, the system had a large number of local discrepancies and was based upon a pragmatic attitude to solving disputes. Nevertheless, it is seen as non-local in its capacity to create a common grounding for international trade. This concise account, which was the Yorke Prize Essay for the year 1903, will be of value to anyone with an interest in medieval history, economics and law.