Five of the decemvirs were patricians, and five plebeians.
He entrusted them to the care of two patricians; after 367 B.C. ten custodians were appointed, five patricians and five plebeians; subsequently (probably in the time of Sulla) their number was increased to fifteen.
In these Flemish cities the early oligarchic form of municipal government speedily gave way to a democratic. The great mass of the townsmen organized in trade gilds - weavers, fullers, dyers, smiths, leather-workers, brewers, butchers, bakers and others, of which by far the most powerful was that of the weavers - as soon as they became conscious of their strength rebelled against the exclusive privileges of the patricians and succeeded in ousting them from power.
Thus far the constitution of the city had been wholly aristocratic; in the 13th century the patricians seem to have been united into a gild (Commans-gulde) from whose members the magistrates were chosen.
Many of them equalled the patricians in wealth and antiquity of descent, and as soon as inter-marriage was allowed they became in all things their social equals.