forestall

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A forestaller was an individual who intercepted the farmers on their way to the market and offered a lower price for their goods in order to resell them at a higher price at the market.
68) One ploy of forestallers to avoid prosecution was to allege that a consignment of goods they had bought illegally had been acquired on commission for some large household, since this entitled them to exemption from the rationing system.
70) Many of the common forestallers who were fined paltry sums had too little capital to monopolize anything; their amercements were merely token punishments for the honour of the town.