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Written by Bent Ek

In the 16th and 17th centuries, the timber trade and sawmill operations were dominated by sheriffs, county officials and other key officials - both nobles and bourgeois - who operated on behalf of the King, but who also had private interests in this profitable trade. By the 18th century, the Crown had withdrawn completely from this industry, and the role of civil servants had been taken over by merchants, who to a large extent had citizenship on Bragernes or Strømsø. This was the new upper class, known as the "trade patrician" or "plank nobility."

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