Renaissance into the Industrial Revolution
Royalty maintained its grip on bread making throughout the Renaissance. Laws for the production and sale of flour and bread reached new heights by 1600, primarily due to the demand for bread and the availability of grain.
In 1635 Richelieu ordered that “bakers of bread rolls and pastry cooks will not buy grain before eleven o’clock in winter and noon in summer. Bakers of large loaves will not buy grain before two o’clock. This will enable the people of the town to obtain their supply first. Bakers shall put a distinctive trademark on their loaves, and keep weights and scales in their shops under penalty of having their licenses removed.” (Montagne, 2001, p. 856)
Other laws governing the sale of bread often specified that a baker could sell his bread only with the assistance of his wife and children.
During the 16th and 17th centuries danger of famine was a constant reality. Demand for bread grew and so did the price. People flocked to food-stable cities and Kings and Queens were relied upon to maintain the food equilibrium. If they failed, uprising ensued.