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Land was a crucial resource in pre-industrial Europe. This volume contains studies into the patterns and significance of urban landownership from early medieval town origins to the 19th century. Experts address issues such as town origins; land rent; legal aspects of landownership; the development of an urban land market; economic, social, political and cultural functions of urban land within the wider patterns of landownership; private, public and corporate landownership; the role of the sovereign and the state, and the motives and mentalities of the landowners and the tenants.