By 1789, many people in France had come to view the Third Estate or the Tiers-Etat as including everyone who was not a clergyman or noble. In 1789, the Estates-General had not been called for 175 years. The specifics of the Third Estate's compostion had been forgotten, and came to be viewed as "everyone else." But in statutes, the Third Estate actually only represented the bourgeois of the "seigneurial towns," that is, towns which had been chartered to be freed of the local lord. In the royal demesne, the king held the lordship of such towns. In cities located in the domaines of great lords of the realm, the city itself became its own lord and was the direct vassal of the king, thus making it an independent island inside another lord's territory. The peasantry (the vast majority of the population) were not intended to be represented at all.