Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Regrating Definition:

The buying of food products at a market not for demonstrable personal need, but for the purposes of resale at the same market, or one nearby.

Related Terms: Engrossing, Badgering, Forestalling

De La Ley's old law dictionary used these words to define the offence of regrating, under the header of regrator:

"Regrator is he that hath corn, victuals or other things sufficient for his own necessary use or spending, and doth nevertheless ingross and buy up into his hands more corn, victuals, or other such things, to the intent to sell the same again at a higher and dearer price in fairs, markets or other such like places.... he shall be punished as a forestaller."

Heydon explains the context of the ancient offence of regrating:

"Many medieval statutes were enacted to prevent private individuals having exclusive control over the price of goods, particularly food.... In 1552 the most elaborate of these statutes defined the criminal offences of forestalling, regrating and engrossing .... These all involved the purchases of goods by muiddlemen before they reached retail markets so that their price was artificially increased.

"Certain travelling food salesmen, badgers, were exempted ... though provision was made for them to be licensed. The act was repealed in 1772 (12 George 3, Chapter 71) because it was thought to have defeated its own purpose; by preventing the free circulation of food it (had) resulted in increasing prices."

Gosse's definition of regrating:

"Regrating was buying victuals in any market and selling them again in or near to the same market."


  • Gosse, Richard, The Law of Competition in Canada (Toronto: Carswell Company, 1962), page 15.
  • Heydon, J. D., The Restraint of Trade Doctrine (London: Butterworths, 1971), page 3.
  • Les termes de La Ley: or Certain Difficult and Obscure Words and Terms of the Common and Statute Laws of England Now in Use Expounded and Explained, 1st American edition from the last London of 1721 edition (Boston: Watson & Bangs, 1812).

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