In Scotland it has been plausibly claimed that market centres with a population of less then 500 can often be regarded as urban, for even at the minimal size they would have contained a complete range of professional services, a merchant community and all the major branches of manufacturing. During the course of the seventeenth century attempts to create market towns became more common: the process is clearly under way before the Civil Wars and during the last forty years of the century it becomes very significant. An understanding of the basic economic role played by the market town in its locality is essential to an appreciation of its significance. The market place was not of course the sole preserve of the country visitor. Town businesses relied on it for the supply of raw materials of all sorts, for most crafts and industries of the time were based upon the processing of natural materials found in the locality.