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France assimilated the craft of glass-making, and her craftsmen acquired a wide reputation.
It is said that the glass industry was established at Altare, in the 11th century, by French craftsmen.
It was well adapted for receiving cut and engraved decoration, and in these processes the German craftsmen proved themselves to be exceptionally skilful.
Historians have expressed divergent views regarding the early relations of the craftsmen and their fraternities to the gild merchant.
Separate societies of craftsmen were formed in England soon after the gild merchant came into existence; but at first they were few in number.