After the official coal gild of Newcastle was broken up coalowners continued to regulate the sale of coal by private arrangements. In 1665 “a meeting of the several principal traders in coal” was held and came to an agreement as regards production and prices; 1 though, as we have seen, the most vigorous attempts were made by legislation in the next few years to strangle any agreement between mine-owners which might result in a monopolist control over the coal trade. The first prohibition of this kind dates from 1711. 2 If one may deduce from its contents the state of affairs which it was intended to meet, the agreement of 1665 was not unique, but a common phenomenon in the northern coal trade. The Act, for instance, declares to be “void and illegal” all contracts and agreements, written or oral, between coalowners, etc., aiming at the monopolisation of coal, or the prevention or hindering of any person from buying, loading, shipping, or selling coal. This provision was to come into operation as from June 1, 1711, 3 and any person who after that date maintained, continued or called into existence an agreement of the aforesaid kind is threatened with heavy penalties.