Money, Markets and Trade in Late Medieval Europe

Later Medieval Europe
Managing Editor

Douglas Biggs
Waldorf College

Editorial Board Members

Kelly DeVries
Loyola College

William Chester Jordan
Princeton Iniversity

Cynthia J. Neville
Dalhousie University

Kathryn L. Reyerson
University of Minnesota


Money, Markets and Trade in Late Medieval Europe
Essays in Honour of John H.A. Munro

Edited by

Lawrin Armstrong Ivana Elbl Martin M. Elbl


On the cover: Seal of the port of Portsmouth, 13th c. (Actual wax seal impression: private collection (M.M. Elbl). © Photograph: M.M. Elbl.) Brill has done its best to establish rights to use of the materials printed herein. Should any other party feel that its rights have been infringed we would be glad to take up contact with them. This book is printed on acid-free paper.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data A C.I.P. record for this book is available from the Library of Congress.

ISSN 1872–7875 ISBN-13: 978-90-04-15633-3 ISBN-10: 90-04-15633-X Copyright 2007 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands Koninklijke Brill NV incorporates the imprints Brill, Hotei Publishing, IDC Publishers, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers and VSP. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, translated, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission from the publisher. Authorization to photocopy items for internal or personal use is granted by Koninklijke Brill NV provided that the appropriate fees are paid directly to The Copyright Clearance Center, 222 Rosewood Drive, Suite 910, Danvers, MA 01923, USA. Fees are subject to change. printed in the netherlands

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Changing Composition of the Exchequer Assignment (Household) ............................................................................ 219 Changing Composition of Assignments for Moradias of the Portuguese Royal Household ..................................... 230 Flanders and Adjacent Regions (Map) ................................. 317

Regional Groupings in Flanders and Its Environs (Map) ....................................................................................... 318 Places with Regulated Textile Industries by 1382, Castellany of Ypres and Environs ......................................... 323 Von Thünen Rings with an Interaction Model .................... 366 ......... 367

A Von Thünen System with Multiple Market Centres

Price of Gold (1360=100): Mediterranean “Levantine” Ports .................................................................... 384 Price of Gold (1360=100): Northern Europe ...................... 385

Price of Gold (1360=100): The Western Mediterranean ........................................................................ 386 African Gold Trade, 1310-1370 (Map) African Gold Trade, 1445-1454 (Map) ................................. 388 ................................. 390 ............................ 395 ....................... 397

Price of Gold (1360=100): The Maghrib

Price of Gold and Silver (1360=100): Egypt Bi-Metallic Ratios

................................................................... 398 ...................... 414

West-Central Sahara and the Maghrib (Map) The Tuat and Gurara (Map)

................................................. 422 ............. 443

Selected European Copper Mining Centers (Map) The Borromei Family (Selected Genealogy)

......................... 462

, 1438

.................. 1325-1378 ................................................................................................................................ 337 ...................... 1254-1418 ............................. 229 Ships in Naval Service.................. 159 Revenues for Household Assignment (Exchequer) ........................................................................................ 288 ..................................................................................... 96 Gold and Money Receipts of the Guinea House............... 338 Fairs as Percentage of Regions’ Total Cases ....................... 282 Estimated Coefficients of Multinomial Logit Number of Debt Recognitions per Year Regional Groups Cases by Region ................LIST OF TABLES Revenue-Generating Approaches .................... 336 ........................................................... and Pilgrim Transport .......................... 246 Percentage Distribution of Complementary Input Supply Clauses in Sample............................................. 218 Revenues Assigned to Pay the Moradias of the Portuguese Royal Household .......................... 1476-1505 ....................... 127 Revenue from Some Specific Taxes in Manresa Nominal and Real Royal Income from Manresa......... 335 ....... 116 Manresan Annual Tax Revenues. 125 ........................ 130 Tolls on Some Common Trade Goods Occurring in Local Toll Lists ............................... the Bordeaux Wine Trade........................................... 128 Known Extraordinary Payments Levied at Manresa................. by Time Periods .............. 158 Tolls on Some Common Trade Goods Occurring in Lists of Public Works Tolls .... 1254-1380 ..............

.. ..... .......... .. .......... .....Debts Payable at Fairs Debts Payable at Fairs Debts Payable at Fairs Debts Payable at Fairs Debts Payable at Fairs ..


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. ..

D. and the Technical Director of InMetrica srl. from the University of Toronto in 2005. 1981) is an adjunct member of the Department of History. Her research focuses on the societal dynamics of late medieval Portugal and on the early Portuguese overseas expansion. as well as on Jewish history. JEFFREY FYNN-PAUL received his Ph.D. a lecturer in Economic History at the University of Ferrara. MARTIN ELBL (M. GALASSI was a student of John Munro both in undergraduate and graduate courses. and a professional computer graphics artist and cartographer. and Chief Editor of the Portuguese Studies Review. IVANA ELBL (Ph. and Economic History. 1986) is Associate Professor of History.D. Social. He received his Ph. His research and publications focus on late medieval Italian and Iberian relations with North Africa. women and family. credit. His published work on medieval Provence includes studies of Jews.A. SUSANNAH HUMBLE FERREIRA received her Ph. University of Toronto. from the University of Toronto and subsequently taught in Spain (Universidad Carlos III) and England (University of Leicester and Warwick University) before returning to his native Italy.D. She specializes in the political culture in late medieval Europe and is currently working on a study comparing the development of the royal court in England and Portugal.. FRANCESCO L. and colonial military presence in the Maghrib. He is currently editing a collection of articles for Brill devoted to the influence of Michael Postan upon French historiography. a consultancy. and now teaches Medieval History at the University of Guelph in Canada. Trent University. . He is currently an Associate Fellow of Warwick University.” His research focuses on structural aspects of Western Mediterranean society during the decades following the post-Black Death crisis. from Johns Hopkins University. University of Toronto. Trent University. the Balearic Islands.. He currently works on a study of decision-making in the Datini Compagnia di Catalogna.xviii CONTRIBUTORS JOHN DRENDEL received a doctorate in Medieval Studies from the University of Toronto in 1991 and now teaches at the Université du Québec à Montréal. Managing Editor of the Portuguese Studies Review. His dissertation was entitled “The Catalan City of Manresa in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries: A Political.

The Marriage Exchange. JAMES MASSCHAELE is Associate Professor of History at Rutgers University in New Brunswick. MARYANNE KOWALESKI is Joseph Fitzpatrick. is a specialist in European banking history of the late medieval and early modern periods. social theory. urban-rural relations. comparative historical sociology.. He is the author of Schools of Asceticism: Ideology and Organization in Medieval Religious Communities (1998). Merchants. His most recent book. University of London. from Indiana University and is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Vermont.D. where John Munro was her Ph. He is the author of Peasants.J. LUTZ KAELBER received his Ph. MARTHA HOWELL is the Miriam Champion Professor of History at Columbia University. Her academic areas of interest are agrarian and environmental history. towns and trade. a ricercatore in Economic History at the Faculty of Economics of the University of Florence and Senior Research Fellow of the Department of History at Queen Mary. urban society. She specializes in the social and economic history of the Burgundian Netherlands. as co-editor. Her publications include books and articles on maritime history. which received the 1999 Best Book award of the American Sociological Association’s Sociology of Religion section. CHARLOTTE MASEMANN teaches history at Carleton University in Ottawa. and commerce. and (with Walter Prevenier) From Reliable Sources (in German as Werkstatt des Historikers). and Markets: Inland Trade in Medieval England (1997) and his recent articles have appeared in Speculum (2002). with particular interest in gender. She is a recent graduate of the Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto. and the boundaries between pilgrimage and tourism. is The Protestant Ethic Turns 100 (2005). She is completing a book called Commerce Before Capitalism.D. Her publications include Women Production and Patriarchy in Late Medieval Cities. thesis supervisor. and the translator of Max Weber’s dissertation. The History of Commercial Partnerships in the Middle Ages (2003). where she also serves as Director of the Center for Medieval Studies. Past & Present (2006). Distinguished Professor of Social Science and History at Fordham University. His research interests include Weberian studies. and material culture. and The Black- . New York. New Jersey.CONTRIBUTORS xix FRANCESCO GUIDI BRUSCOLI. S. and women and family. where he has also served two terms as Director of Medieval Studies.

UNGER succeeded John Munro teaching medieval economic history at the University of British Columbia where he is a professor. He has received fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. shipbuilding and energy use from late antiquity through the eighteenth century. He is a member of the Royal Academy of Belgium and a foreign member of the Academies of the Netherlands. His main research is focused on socio-economic and financial history of Europe.xx CONTRIBUTORS well Companion to the Middle Ages (forthcoming. from the Middle Ages to the present. specializing in the history of shipping. His most recent works deal with the history of brewing in medieval Europe and with Renaissance cartography. in particular of the Low Countries. DAVID NICHOLAS is Kathryn and Calhoun Lemon Professor Emeritus of History at Clemson University. He is currently writing a book on the medieval jury system. HERMAN VAN DER WEE is Professor Emeritus and former holder of the Chair of Social and Economic History at the University of Leuven (Belgium). 2007). . He is currently writing a study of elements of regional cohesion in Germanic Europe in the late Middle Ages. RICHARD W. He is the author or editor of fifteen books and numerous major articles on medieval Flanders and comparative pre-modern urbanisation. and on the history of the world economy during the twentieth century. Great Britain and the United States.

it serves as a vehicle to express the admiration for and appreciation of John Munro’s impressive academic oeuvre. very successfully defended in 1964 at Yale University. However strictly John held to the opening and closing times of archives—no minute could be lost—many evenings and weekends were kept free for cultural relaxation and get-togethers with friends. It is surprising to note how wide that field of work actually is and how many historians of different specializations it has brought together. this preface provides a formal framework within which to record. In the first place. thanks chiefly to John’s regular trips to England. he was preparing for publication his doctoral thesis Wool. 1348-1478. it is a privilege for me. in this case. on his arrival in Brussels. whether they address themselves to Munro’s own academic field of work or to his broader academic interests. in an informal fashion. Munro to mark his retirement. it affords me the pleasure of introducing the reader to the various chapters constituting the book. Lastly. and the acquaintance grew into a warm friendship. making a detour to . A visit to a colleague in the course of that year brought us into chance contact. For all these reasons. the number of unique reasons to accept with both hands the invitation to write a preface to the liber amicorum that is being offered to John H. with the intention to add to the original data bank and to incorporate the analysis of the new data and its results into the upcoming volume.PREFACE Herman Van der Wee Three—a magical number and. the Netherlands and Belgium during the summer holidays to indulge in a methodical plundering of our archives in order to satisfy his constant hunger for research. Cloth and Gold: Bullionism in Anglo-Burgundian Commercial Relations. Secondly. At that time. to introduce this book. I can still see him. A. My friendship with John Munro dates back to the beginning of the 1970s. the joys of many years of friendship. a fellow-traveller of long standing. A sabbatical leave fellowship during the 1970-1971 academic year allowed John to resume his research in Belgian archives and libraries.

At the same time. he sought an . friends. his approach was two-pronged: it was aimed not only at refining the monetary and financial analysis but also at deepening the research on the history of textiles. the flow of absorbing academic discussion giving way to chin-wagging about what was close to our hearts—family. John extended his field of work in space. music. Towns and Trade. In fact. through contributions to various international journals. He is open to new approaches and.2 HERMAN VAN DER WEE pick up concert programmes in the ‘Bozar’ (Palais des Beaux Arts). the pleasure of being together and. as a true academic. music. without waiting for the success of any publication of his own. in time and in theme. 1350-1500 and Textiles. Subsequent research prompted him to analyse this complex problem more deeply and. as well as his own hypotheses and discoveries. The struggle for Bullion in AngloBurgundian Trade. In the area of monetary history. In a word. he has been and is an interested and lively travelling companion along the sometimes lonely paths of late medieval and early modern history. with anyone interested in them. of course. indeed. More than once. Cloth and Gold. He has always been prepared to share new ideas and theories. knows how to value a well-constructed piece of work. The publication in 1973 of his PhD thesis under the new title of Wool. critical eye. In this. a weekend with John was never complete without a musical event. He does so with great openness. in order to lose himself in music during the solitary after-work hours. The results were staggering and led the publisher Variorum to collect John’s most important article-length contributions in two publications: Bullion Flows and Monetary Policies in England and the Low Countries. all the while reading and assessing everything with a sharp. What for me has been the cement of such a long-lasting friendship is without doubt John’s generosity. 1340-1478 was a milestone in the historiography of Anglo-Dutch relations during the Late Middle Ages. to make considerable improvements to his initial hypotheses. The same generosity is to be found in his interest in other people’s work. we have spent delightful summer hours at the seaside. The second reason for my pleasure at being asked to write this preface involves my admiration for John Munro’s impressive academic career. moreover. a quality that I have come to value more and more over the years. is no mean rival in his life to historical research.

1000-1500”—not only represent the pinnacle of years-long research but are as farreaching in their effect (other things being equal) for the history of textiles as the invention of the flying shuttle for the development of the textile industry in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Employing an international. comparative angle. I have always been amazed by his massive erudition. In consequence. Closely connected with this area of research was the analysis of the development of economic thought.PREFACE 3 explanation for the European depression of the Late Middle Ages: was its cause monetary. No topic of the social and economic history of those regions during those periods has escaped his eagle eye. a constant in John Munro’s oeuvre. His two crucial chapters in the recently published Cambridge History of Western Textiles—entitled respectively “Medieval Woollens: Textiles. John Munro’s work also continued to maintain its central focus on the industrial history of the Netherlands. The extension of the geographical horizon also involved commercial development. John Munro has become one of his generation’s most outstanding scholars in respect to the history and economy of the Low Countries in medieval and early modern times. He also analysed the industrial and commercial policies of both the central and local governments. c. or the preparation of a colloquium or a conference paper. by both land and sea. When discussing with him the writing of an article. a chapter. a book. including the attendant technological and technical advances in that sector. the history of prices and wages. Textile Technology and Industrial Organisation. the trade between the Netherlands and the Hanseatic towns. with particular emphasis on the problem of usury. In financial history. 800-1500” and “Medieval Woollens: The Western European Woollen Industries and Their Struggles for International Markets. including the innovations of the early modern period. became more integrated into his research. c. his analytical . and his contribution to our profession has been immense. and between North-Western Europe and the Mediterranean region. and the development of purchasing power and the standard of living. commercial or industrial? His conclusions produced important new insights into this episode in monetary history. the impact of guilds and crafts. demographic. he studied the development of the textile industry. In consequence of this impressive academic activity. he focussed on the development of modern financial techniques in North-Western Europe.

they organized in March 2004 at the University of Toronto a colloquium under the title “Money. As could be expected. Francesco Guidi Bruscoli and J. Markets and Trade in Late Medieval Europe: An International Workshop in Honour of John Munro. For their part.4 HERMAN VAN DER WEE power. The contributions on institutional history by John Drendel and Francesco L. reflect the broad range of academic interest—“passion” would be a better word—apparent in John’s publications. Studies on the development of finance and credit. the students looked to emphasize how fruitful his teaching and supervision have been in their university education and no less in their own research. David Nicholas. Susannah Humble Ferreira and Martha Carlin. Lawrin Armstrong. his writings have not only kept us wide awake. Thank you. but have also prompted us—his colleagues and students alike—to get down to work as well. Mark Aloisio. Lutz Kaelber. Bolton present the results of their recent research on the Mediterranean region. Kelly DeVries and . and Richard Unger (having slipped across the Channel) those of his research on commercial activities in the Netherlands. In respect of trade. For their part. credit and finance during the Late Middle Ages and the Early Modern period. has also created a fully viable framework for historical explanation. the colloquium was a resounding success. Ian Blanchard. L. the friends sought to demonstrate the extent of the inspiration they have drawn from John Munro’s academic oeuvre. John! Students and friends have indeed got down to work.” With their papers. He has not only constructed a huge data bank on social and economic life in medieval and early modern times. Maryanne Kowaleski and James Masschaele those of their research in England. Furthermore. Jeffrey Fynn-Paul. his understanding of the underlying context and his mastery of economic theory. Martin and Ivana Elbl. The combination of all these intellectual gifts enables him to fit all the pieces of a research puzzle together admirably. Galassi are very much in line with John Munro’s own important research in this field. money. The papers are now presented here in book form and. On the occasion of his retirement. as an outstanding historian and economist. but. and—closely linked to this—studies on the problem of usury in economic thought are among the contributions of Martha Howell. insofar as a book can. The central theme running through the book is the business of trade.

the contribution of Charlotte Masemann on horticulture in Lübeck appears to fall outside the scope of reference. The way in which this collection of academic contributions of the highest quality is presented is a clear reference to the remarkably wide field of research that John Munro has tilled during his academic career. It is true that she takes horticulture as her subject. especially with reference to England. At first sight. Anglo-Dutch relations. but the research has clearly been placed against the background of the interplay between purchasing power and consumption. a theme that has very much gripped John’s attention these last years and that has found expression in his most recent publications on prices and wages. for the depiction of a living society. detailed. in-depth research and a tenacious attachment to primary source material are not goals in themselves. their contributions hark back to one of the earliest themes of John Munro’s research. This liber amicorum now offered to John is therefore a deserved tribute to an unrivalled master. in which the place and function of each actor are marshalled in the correct perspective. although Anglo-Dutch relations were never far from centre-stage in that troubled period. but to say that would indicate only a superficial reading of her study. both authors focus particularly on the problem of Anglo-French relations. Unlike him. For him. teacher and faithful friend. 12 March 2004 . but a point of departure for setting out viable hypotheses.PREFACE 5 Maryanne Kowaleski (again) study certain aspects of the Hundred Years War.

x x .

John Munro had a profound impact on medieval and early-modern economic history not only through his extensive publications. regional and local trade. Economics and History. The essays reflect the wide range of John Munro’s own research interests and those of his colleagues and students: international.INTRODUCTION Lawrin Armstrong. his collaboration on several large-scale research projects and his participation in international colloquia and economic history associations. topics reflected in four of the seven . Maryanne Kowaleski and Ivana Elbl—who joined forces in 2002. Our aim was also to assemble a cross-section of junior. public finance. John Munro is perhaps best known for his research on late medieval trade and finance. peasant studies and economic ethics. All the papers embody fresh research. Markets and Trade in Late Medieval Europe” in Toronto on 12-14 March 2004. war economies. During his thirty-five years in the Department of Economics and the Centre for Medieval Studies. but also through his influence on several generations of doctoral candidates in Medieval Studies. Munro on the occasion of his retirement from the University of Toronto in June 2003. senior and mid-career historians. The idea of a conference and Festschrift to honour John Munro was conceived separately by three of his formers students—Lawrin Armstrong. as well as a mix of scholars trained in Toronto and elsewhere. Elbl The essays in this volume have been compiled in honour of Professor John H. Martin M. along with six further papers solicited by the editors. in many cases (in the spirit of Munro’s own work) based on archival sources or understudied texts. England and France—and the south: the Iberian peninsula. Thirteen of these appear in the present volume. A. along with commercial ramifications in the Middle East. They convened an international workshop under the title “Money. North and West Africa. at which seventeen of Munro’s colleagues and former students presented papers. Provence and Italy. The conference organizers and editors sought to strike a geographical balance between the north—with an emphasis (in keeping with Munro’s own enduring focus) on the Low Countries. Ivana Elbl.

ELBL thematic sections that follow.8 L. Mark Aloisio’s examination of the Sicilian-Maltese grain trade in the fifteenth century challenges the assumption that royal policies necessarily facilitated regional market integration. using didactic and dictaminal texts to showcase evidence related to trade. L. Ian Blanchard considers the impact of changing trans-Saharan patterns of trade on Egyptian specie markets and ultimately on gold prices in western Europe. ARMSTRONG. ELBL. which ranges from the historical literature to geological and mineralogical studies. David Nicholas invokes the economic geographers’ concept of “central place” to sharpen our understanding of the function of thirteenthcentury Ypres as a credit market integrated into wider economic flows in Flanders. in appendix. Three papers highlight local and regional economies. Mark Aloisio. Martin Elbl’s paper complements that of Blanchard with an exploration of the fourteenth-century trade in Venetian-supplied copper via the Balearics and the Sahara desert to the Western Sudan. northern France and at the Champagne fairs. new critical editions and translations of selected key texts. Martha Carlin maps the complex retail market of thirteenth-century Paris. Martha Howell takes up and develops themes she has touched on in earlier studies in a paper on the shifting social functions and juridical definitions of property in the rapidly . with excursions across the Channel to England. I. Richard Unger reviews the economic factors at play in the southern Low Countries during the fifteenth century. manifested most dramatically in the gold crisis of the early fifteenth century. International commerce is the focus of three papers. Francesco Guidi Bruscoli and J. arguing that the high degree of market integration observed by historians in the sixteenth century was by no means an inevitable outcome. The paper includes. David Nicholas and Richard Unger assess—or reassess—instances of market integration in high and late medieval Europe. Bolton consider the role of Italian merchant banks in adjusting international trade balances in the mid-fifteenth century in a paper that outlines the initial results of their ambitious project to study and make accessible the records of the London and Bruges branches of the Borromei Bank in a digital format exploitable through software designed to manipulate ledgers and account books kept in the double-entry system. The Datini material is set in the context of an analytical synopsis of recent research on late medieval European copper mining. Drawing on the rich resources of the Datini archive in Prato. M.

According to a medieval cliché. Susannah Humble Ferreira argues that the tendency to enlarge the royal household underpinned the fiscal reforms of both kings. One of Munro’s earliest publications revisited the “Weber thesis” and has proved prophetic of the current revival of Weber studies . more importantly. and transmission of institutional norms. mutation. Peasant studies as such have not been a major focus of Munro’s work. James Masschaele focuses on surviving records of tolls and toll collection to develop a model for assessing the volume and nature of trade in thirteenth. The study develops a tentative. Charlotte Masemann creates a detailed profile of the market-garden economy of late medieval Lübeck. broadly applicable theory of contract-clause adoption. in which warfare played such a key role. Finally. Francesco Galassi takes a quantitative look at adaptations in Italian share-cropping contracts over a period of seven centuries. Building on her pioneering research on medieval Exeter. Jeffrey Fynn-Paul and James Masschaele examine the relationship between public finance and broader economic and social trends. medieval models of revenue extraction and fiscal administration. “money is the sinews of war. archaeological evidence. a problem hitherto largely ignored by traditional military history. drawing on a range of documentary and. invoking a biological analogy approach to the emulation.and fourteenth-century England. Three essays take up this theme.INTRODUCTION 9 changing economic environment of late medieval Ghent. Maryanne Kowaleski offers a positive assessment of the war’s impact on the economies of English port towns. Jeffrey Fynn-Paul’s close study of the relationship between demographic and fiscal crises in the late fourteenth-century Catalan city of Manresa proposes a model for interpreting similar phenomena in other European city-states dependent on funded public debt. John Drendel brings economic criteria to bear on the question of the apparent revival of servile labour in late medieval Provence. In an essay comparing the royal households of Henry VII of England and Manuel I of Portugal. Ivana Elbl. Ivana Elbl offers a wide-ranging reassessment of Portuguese royal policy in West Africa that stresses continuity with earlier. but the two papers included here nevertheless reflect his methods and approach.” and much of Munro’s research has focussed on the late medieval crisis. Kelly DeVries examines the financing of the Hundred Years War and highlights the effects on military outcomes.

Lawrin Armstrong’s paper takes up this theme by considering the vexed relationship between medieval canon law and moral theology expressed in two influential fourteenth-century treatises on usury by the jurist Giovanni d’Andrea and the ethicist Gerard of Siena. ELBL. and a testimony to the continuing vitality of the field to which he has devoted his career. Martin M. *** The editors and conference conveners wish to thank the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. friend and colleague. of several colleagues at the University of Toronto who moderated sessions. in its execution. of Jamie Smith. we wish to record our gratitude to Herman Van der Wee of the University of Leuven for his encouragement of and participation in the workshop and for his kindness in supplying an elegant preface to this book. Elbl September 2006 . the Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies. University of Toronto. a doctoral candidate in the Department of History. The editors and contributors offer the essays collected here as a fitting tribute to an inspiring teacher. who here argues for the centrality of the usury prohibition in Weber’s account of the medieval economy. graduate students at the Centre for Medieval Studies. Finally. the Centre for Medieval Studies. Leiden. and of Katherine Walker. and Elizabeth Archibald and Nicole Hamonic. Martin Elbl typeset the volume. the Departments of Economics and History (University of Toronto). Trent University (Peterborough). ARMSTRONG. now McMaster University. for her contribution to copy-editing the manuscript. and the Department of History. We also wish to acknowledge the generous assistance of Andy Orchard and Rosemary Beattie of the Centre for Medieval Studies in planning the workshop. I. M. We are particularly grateful to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and to the Department of Economics. for their liberal sponsorship of the workshop that gave rise to this volume. Lawrin Armstrong. Ivana Elbl. who underwrote the costs of preparing the manuscript for publication. and finalized the camera-ready copy for printing on the presses of the Koninklijke Brill NV. the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies (Toronto). formerly of Trent.10 L. prepared the production versions of various maps. ELBL exemplified by the work of Lutz Kaelber.

New York: Oxford University Press. A. and Toronto: University of Toronto Press. Hampshire. Pp. Aldershot. Erik and John Munro. and Brookfield.” Revue belge de philologie et d’histoire/Belgisch tijdschrift voor filologie en geschiedenis 44 (1966): 1137-59. Towns. 1988.. Aldershot. and Brookfield. reprinted in John Munro. Variorum Collected Studies series CS 355. by Joel Mokyr (editor in chief). Munro. Maristella Botticini (assistant editor).JOHN H. Pp. 19. Pp. Paul Lovejoy. Leuven: Leuven University Press. 2003. Textiles. Vermont: Ashgate Publishing Ltd. Erik Buyst.. Aerts. Coinage in the Low Countries (14th-18th Centuries). Rainer Metz. I: AntwerpBruges-Brussels-Ghent. Van Cauwenberghe. Vermont: Ashgate Publishing Ltd. in 5 vols. John H. John. 1350-1500. Articles in Scholarly Journals and Essays in Books and Collected Studies “Bruges and the Abortive Staple in English Cloth: An Incident in the Shift of Commerce from Bruges to Antwerp in the Late Fifteenth Century. Hampshire. Leuven: Leuven University Press. The Oxford Encyclopedia of Economic History. 1994. 292. xvi + 312. Textiles. Textiles of the Low Countries in European Economic History. Pp. and John Munro (area editors). 1990. Bullion Flows and Monetary Policies in England and the Low Countries. Variorum Collected Studies series CS 442. ca. 124. . Brussels: Éditions de l’Université de Bruxelles. Louis Cain. 1994. Ed. MUNRO: BIBLIOGRAPHY OF WORKS Monographs and Books Munro. Aldershot. 1973. G. xii + 242. and Trade: Essays in the Economic History of Late-Medieval England and the Low Countries. Studies in Social and Economic History. Variorum Collected Studies series CS 442. Eddy H. Munro. John. Towns. 1340-1478. 1992. xvi + 326. Wool. Vermont: Ashgate Publishing Ltd. Loren Brandt.. and Brookfield. A. Maxine Berg. Franz Irisgler. Pp. Vol.. eds. Vol. Hampshire. and Trade: Essays in the Economic History of Late-Medieval England and the Low Countries. and John Munro. Cloth and Gold: The Struggle for Bullion in AngloBurgundian Trade. Jan de Vries.


. 1977. reprinted in John Munro. The Correspondence of Erasmus. 1335-1500. British Archeological Reports. Hampshire. and Trade: Essays in the Economic History of Late-Medieval England and the Low Countries. eds. New Haven and London: Yale University Press. and Brookfield. . monetary. Variorum Collected Studies series CS 442.. Aldershot. Textiles. edited by The Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies of the University of California (Fredi Chiappelli. 1335-1420: Some Reflections on New Data. 1994. L. ca. 1992.” In The Dawn of Modern Banking. Vol. and Brookfield.BIBLIOGRAPHY OF WORKS 13 Thomson. and James McConica. Textiles.” The Numismatic Chronicle 141 (1981): 71-116 [formerly listed as: 8th series. and Brookfield. Vol.D. Aldershot. in Sir Roger Mynors. Ratios. Hampshire. eds. 229-68. edited by Nicholas Mayhew. Bullion Flows and Monetary Policies in England and the Low Countries. 1516 to 1517. and Trade: Essays in the Economic History of Late-Medieval England and the Low Countries. Vermont: Ashgate Publishing Ltd. 54.. reprinted in John Munro. Oxford: Ashmolean Museum. 1350-1500. Udovitch.” Textile History 10 (1979): 211-19. 1977. Vermont: Ashgate Publishing Ltd. “Wool-Price Schedules and the Qualities of English Wools in the Later Middle Ages.” In Coinage in the Low Countries. “Bullionism and the Bill of Exchange in England.” Textile History 9 (1978): 118-69. 4: Letters 446 to 593. 1979. 95-161. and A. 1270-1499.. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. New Haven and London: Yale University Press. 880-1500: The Third Oxford Symposium on Coinage and Monetary History. A. Towns. I]. and Peter Bietenholz. and numismatic topics in the correspondence of Erasmus. 1994. and Trade: Essays in the Economic History of Late-Medieval England and the Low Countries. International Series No. Variorum Collected Studies series CS 442. Hampshire. edited by Harry Miskimin. Footnotes and headnotes on coinage. The Correspondence of Erasmus. 1979. Textiles. 1517 to 1518. Aldershot. financial. Towns. reprinted in John Munro.D. Hampshire. Aldershot. “Mint Policies. A. Variorum Collected Studies series CS 442. Bullion Flows and Monetary Policies in England and the Low Countries. 1979. “Industrial Protectionism in Medieval Flanders: Urban or National?” In The Medieval City. 1272-1663: A Study in Monetary Management and Popular Prejudice. David Herlihy. director). Douglas Thomson. reprinted in John Munro. “Monetary Contraction and Industrial Change in the Late-Medieval Low Countries. and Brookfield. “The 1357 Wool-Price Schedule and the Decline of Yorkshire Wool Values. Variorum Collected Studies series CS 355. Vermont: Ashgate Publishing Ltd. and Outputs in England and the Low Countries. 1994. reprinted in John Munro. 169-239. Towns. 5: Letters 594 to 841. Vermont: Ashgate Publishing Ltd. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. Vol.

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chass.utoronto. READ PAPER/PDF [285 Kbytes]. 1280-1570. chass.chass. READ PAPER/PDF [251 Kbytes] [UT-ECIPA-MUNRO-98-06]. 13901435. E5. J3. http://www. http://www. [UT-ECIPA-MUNRO-98-05].ca/ecipa/ archive/UT-ECIPA-MUNRO-99-01. N7. N7. L1. http://www. http://www. N6. G2. N6. N2. N4.chass. L1. 1330-1575.” JEL Classification: F1.html “Monetary Policies.” JEL Classification: N1. [UTECIPA-MUNRO-98-02]. [UTECIPA-MUNRO-98-04]. and Compulsory Arbitration during the Decline of the Late-Medieval Flemish Cloth Industry. F2. utoronto. “The Maze of Medieval Mint Metrology in Flanders.utoronto. E3. [UT. N6. N4. N7. READ PAPER/PDF [211 Kbytes].” JEL Classification: N1. N3.html “The ‘Industrial Crisis’ of the English Textile Towns. F4.utoronto. READ PAPER/PDF [159 Kbytes]. utoronto. READ PAPER/PDF [111 Kbytes].BIBLIOGRAPHY OF WORKS 25 Working Papers Posted on the Internet Working Paper Archive of Department of Economics and Institute for Policy Analysis (http://www.html “The Low Countries’ Export Trade in Textiles with the Mediterranean Basin.chass.” JEL Classification: N1. H5. http://www. France and England: Determining the Weight of the Marc de Troyes and the Tower Pound from the Economics of Counterfeiting. J2.html “English ‘Backwardness’ and Financial Innovations in Commerce with the Low Countries.html .ca/ecipa/archive/ UT-ECIPA-MUNRO-98-01.html “Textiles as Articles of Consumption in Flemish Towns. F2. J3. E6. READ PAPER/PDF [137 Kbytes]. N6. E4. 1470-1540. [UT-ECIPA-MUNRO-99-02].” JEL Classification: 14th to 16th Centuries.” JEL Classification: N1.chass. [UT-ECIPA-MUNRO-98-03] READ PAPER/PDF [296KBytes].html “The Monetary Origins of the ‘Price Revolution’ Before the Influx of Spanish-American Treasure: the South-German Silver-Copper Trades. N2.utoronto. N7. N4. N6. E5. L1. archive/UT-ECIPA-MUNRO-99-02.utoronto. 1290-1330. N1.” JEL Classification: N3. E5l.utoronto.ECIPA-MUNRO-98-01]. N7.ECIPA-MUNRO-98-06.chass. N2. Guild Labour-Strife. 1200-1600: A Cost-Benefit Analysis of Comparative Advantages in Overland and Maritime Trade Routes. READ PAPER/PDF [66 Kbytes].ca/ecipa/archive/UT-ECIPA-MUNRO-98-03.chass. L1.utoronto. http://www.” JEL Classification: N1. and Venetian Commerce. READ PAPER/PDF [296KBytes]. [UT-ECIPA-MUNRO-99-01]. http://www. Merchant Banking.html “The Symbiosis of Towns and Textiles: Urban Institutions and the Changing Fortunes of Cloth Manufacturing in the Low Countries and England. N4.

and Industrial Organisation.utoronto. L1-2. html “The Origins of the Modern Financial Revolution: Responses to Impediments from Church and State in Western Europe. and Real Incomes in Late. F3. READ PAPER/PDF [1581 Kbytes]. N2.Medieval England and the Low Countries.html “Industrial Energy from Water-Mills in the European Economy. economics.chass. http://www. http://www. F4. H2. F3.economics. N4. http://www. F2.utoronto.chass. P5. F2.utoronto. c.” JEL Classification: F1. N4. E5. L6.” JEL Classification: L6. and Real Incomes in the Age of Erasmus: The Purchasing Power of Coins and of Building Craftsmen’s Wages in England and the Low Countries. ca/ecipa/archive/UT-ECIPA-MUNRO-00-04. N4. J5. N6. [UT-ECIPA-MUNRO-01-02. H3. Wages. [UT-ECIPA-MUNRO-00-02].html]. F3-4.utoronto. J3. J3. N4. Monetary Changes. J1. 1500-1540.html “Money. F4.chass.chass. http://www.” JEL Classification: F1. K2. N2.utoronto. N8. N3. c.” JEL Classification: B1. UT-ECIPA-MUNRO-00-01. N3. READ PAPER/PDF [1320 Kbytes]. ca/ecipa/archive/UT-ECIPA-MUNRO-01-01. [UT-ECIPA-MUNRO-00-04]. L1. H3. E5. F4. G2.chass. J3. N6. READ PAPER/PDF [1580 Kbytes]. Warfare. E3. N2. F4. J4. READ PAPER/PDF [2872 Kbytes].utoronto. N8.pdf “The West European Woollen Industries and their Struggles for International Markets.” JEL Classification: F1-2. N7. [UT-ECIPA-MUNRO-00-05]. N3. UT-ECIPA-MUNRO-00-02. E6. A.1290-1550. N5.html “Wool and Wool-Based Textiles in the West European Economy. N7. K2. 1300-1470: Did Money Really Matter?” JEL Classification: F4. J2.” JEL Classification: B0. N4.3 Mbytes]. N5.26 JOHN H. N1. [UT-ECIPA-MUNRO-01-01].ca/ecipa/ archive/UT.html “Flemish Woollens and German Commerce during the Later Middle Ages: Changing Trends in Cloth Prices and Markets. . http:// www. N4. H3. E6. N6. N2. L1. H2. J3. N3. G2. J4. READ PAPER/PDF [538 Kbytes] [UT-ECIPA-MUNRO-00-03]. and Transaction Costs. N4.” PDF [29. J5. J3. READ PAPER/PDF [400 Kbytes]. 1000-1500. K4. Q1 READ PAPER/PDF [717 Kbytes].ECIPA-MUNRO-00-05.” JEL Classification: F1. K4. 1200-1600. N1. and Real Incomes in Late-Medieval England and the Low ecipa/archive/UT-ECIPA-MUNRO-00-03. G1. J6. L6. J5. N7.html “Figures 1-34: Wage Stickiness. N6-7. http://www. K2. R4. Fifth to Eighteenth Centuries: The Limitations of Power. MUNRO “The ‘New Institutional Economics’ and the Changing Fortunes of Fairs in Medieval and Early Modern Europe: the Textile Trades. http://www. 8001500: Innovations and Traditions in Textile Products. H6.html “Wage Stickiness. F2. Monetary Changes.utoronto. http://www. N7. J1.utoronto.



23-26 September 1977. “Bullion Movements and Monetary Contraction in Late-Medieval England and the Low Countries. 1235-1500 A. University of Toronto. and again to the Social History Group of Ontario (Toronto) on 5 February 1978.” delivered to the “Five Colleges Medieval Seminar” at the University of Massachusetts. on 6 October 1973.BIBLIOGRAPHY OF WORKS 29 vain. “Mint Outputs. “Scarlets and the High Cost of Dyeing in the Middle Ages. on 5 December 1977. N.D. Monetary Change. “Depression and Culture in Fifteenth-Century Flanders and Brabant. and Economic Contraction in LateMedieval England and the Low Countries.. Los Angeles.” Paper presented to the Conference on “The Dawn of Banking”. 40-1. Belgium) on 19 April 1971. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.” Paper delivered to the American Musicological Society.” Paper delivered to the Midwest Medieval Conference.” Paper delivered to the Comparative World History Workshop: Conference on Pre-Modern Monetary History. 30 August-3 September 1977. at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. at Amherst. This paper was subsequently delivered also to the Seminarie voor Streeks. at the Royal Ontario Museum of Toronto.” Paper delivered to the Colloquium on Medieval Textiles in the Mediterranean Basin.C.” A revised version of “Mint Out- . North Carolina) on 18 November 1971. 1430-1480. A précis of this paper has been published in Abstracts of Papers Delivered to the Thirty-Second Annual Meeting of the American Musicological Society (Chapel Hill and Durham. “Scarlets and the Economics of Sartorial Splendour in the Middle Ages.” A revised version of “Scarlet and the High Cost of Dyeing in the Middle Ages. University of California. 1971). “The Coming of Spanish Wools to the Low Countries: An Industrial Transformation of the Fifteenth Century. “Bullionism and the Bill of Exchange in England. in conjunction with the Annual Meeting of the Medieval Academy of America. Belgium). on 11 May 1977. 11th Annual Meeting. “La lutte bullioniste anglo-bourguignonne: sa contribution à la chute de l’industrie drapière de luxe et à l’essor des nouvelles draperies en Flandre et en Brabant. 7103 of the Centrum voor Economische Studiën). Also delivered to the Economic History Workshop. 1272-1663: A Study in Monetary Management and Popular Prejudice. on 25 March 1971.en Agrarische Geschiedenis of the Rijksuniversiteit Gent (Ghent. Mass. in November 1973. Belgium) on 12 March 1971 (and published by this institute in mimeographed form as Report No. at the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies.” Paper delivered to the Seminarie voor Middeleeuwse Geschiedenis of the Vrije Universiteit te Brussel (Brussels. at Duke University (Durham. 32nd Annual Meeting.

“The Medieval Scarlet and the Economics of Sartorial Splendour. “The Luxury Trades of the Silk Road: How Much Did Silks and Spices Really Cost?” Paper delivered to the Royal Ontario Museum Continuing Education Symposium “Silk Roads—China Ships.” delivered to University College Symposium Four. on 16 January 1978.” Paper delivered to the Economic History Workshop. on “Minting and Monetary Circulation.” Paper delivered to the Workshop on “Medieval Monetary Problems: Bimetallism and Bullionism. “The Late-Medieval Bullion Famine and Deflation in North-West Europe: A Critique of the Postan Thesis. and Prices in Late-Medieval England and the Low Countries.” on 10 September 1978. on 13 May 1984. at Western Michigan University. A.” delivered to the University of Toronto Economic History Workshop. University of British Columbia.30 JOHN H. 1334-1484. Kalamazoo. and Economic Contraction in Late-Medieval England and the Low Countries. “Minting. Monetary Change. “Late Medieval Urban Institutions. and Industrial Change in the Late Medieval Low Countries.” Paper delivered to the Theme C-7 section. Maryland.” Paper delivered to the Thirteenth Medieval Workshop. 23 September 1982.” Paper delivered to the Nineteenth International Congress of Medieval Studies. Moneys-of-Account. “Economic Depression and Culture in the Fifteenth-Century Low Countries. 1335-1500. 18 August 1982.” A much revised version of “Depression and Culture in FifteenthCentury Flanders and Brabant. “Mint Outputs. University of Toronto. “The Fullers’ Guild and Industrial Strife in the Low Countries. “Monetary Contraction. Deflation. on 20 October 1980. on 21 January 1982.” 19 November 1983. 5 December 1983. Michigan. and the Big Problem of Petty Coinage in LateMedieval Flanders. 13401500.” Paper delivered to the “Third Oxford Symposium on Coinage and Monetary History: Coinage and Economic Development in the Low Countries. Budapest.” of the 8th International Economic History Congress. Depression.” A very considerably revised and expanded version of “Scarlets and the Economics of Sartorial Splendour in the Middle Ages.” at the 42nd Annual Meeting of the Economic History Association. “Flemish Textile Production and the Changing Structure of Market De- . MUNRO puts.” delivered to the University of Toronto Economic History Workshop. Money.” 12 October 1983. “Inflation. University of Toronto. Baltimore.” at the University of Toronto. and Monetary Change in Late-Medieval Brabant. “The Renaissance: Rediscovery and Exploration.

” Paper presented to The Stockton Colloquium of 1985: “Production and Transfer of Precious Metals and Changes in the Monetary Structures of Latin America and Europe. “The Central European Silver Mining Boom. “The Behaviour of Wages During Deflation in Late-Medieval England and the Low Countries. 17 April 1985. Stockton. and Europe.” Public lecture delivered at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Louvain. Federal Republic of Germany. Switzerland. 15001800. Kalamazoo.BIBLIOGRAPHY OF WORKS 31 mand. on 3 October 1985.” Paper presented to the Ninth International Economic History Congress.” Public lecture delivered to the Universitaire Faculteiten SintIgnatius. “Petty Coinage in the Economy of Late-Medieval Flanders: Some Social Considerations of Public Minting. America. 10 May 1985. Japan. Department of History and Center for Medieval Studies (New Brunswick. in Bern. University of Trier. “Wage Movements and Deflation in Late-Medieval England and the Low Countries.” Public lecture sponsored by the Department of History.” Paper presented to the 44th Annual Meeting of the Economic History Association. “The Nature of Price Changes in the Late-Medieval Economy: A Critique of the Postan Thesis. at Western Michigan University. 1450-1550.” at the University of the Pacific. Michigan. California. “Structural Changes in Late-Medieval Textile Manufacturing: The Flemish Responses to Market Adversities. at Chicago. 16 April 1985.” Paper delivered to the Second International Conference on “The Production and Transfer of Precious Metals and Monetary Structures in Asia. Belgium) on 5 November 1986.” Invited lecture given at Rutgers University. 7 June 1985. Tokyo. Universiteit Antwerpen (Antwerp. . 1270-1500. and the Changing Qualities of English Wools in the Later Middle Ages. Department of History and Center for Medieval Studies (New Brunswick. on 9 June 1987. “The Role of Petty Coinage in Monetary and Price Fluctuations in the Low Countries. 15th to 19th Centuries. “Industrial Change in Textile Manufacturing in the Late Medieval Low Countries: Responses to Market Adversities.” Lecture-seminar given at Rutgers University. 1334-1484. 21-23 September 1984. Belgium) on 13 November 1986. Mint Outputs. 26 August 1986. “Environment. Illinois. and Prices in the Low Countries and England. New Jersey). New Jersey).” at Keio University.” Paper presented to the 20th International Congress on Medieval Studies. 1300-1500. Land Management.

“On the Origins of Negotiability: Some Credit Innovations in AngloFlemish Trade.” Paper presented to the Economic History Workshop. and the Workshop on Quantitative Economic History. London. on 20 June 1989. held at the Herrenhaus Salzau. on 14 April 1988. “Urban Regulation and Monopolistic Competition in the Textile Industries of the Late-Medieval Low Countries. on 26 March 1988. “Industrial Transformations in the Northern Textile Trades. ca. Belgium. “International and Local Banking in Medieval and Renaissance England. “Monetary. MUNRO “Textiles.” Paper presented to the conference “An Urban Context: Medieval and Modern Cities. Price. Senior Alumni Association. [Revised and extended version of “The Flemish ‘New Draperies’: The Death and Resurrection of an Old Industry. 1350: Economic Progress or Economic Crisis?” Paper delivered to the Historical Geography Research Group. “Kredit im Spätmittelalter und Früher Neuzeit. Thirteenth to Sixteenth Centuries. University of Toronto. Towns.” sponsored by Die Ministerin für Bildung.” at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. 8 November 1988.N. 1290-ca. on 15 July 1989. Third Anglo-American Seminar on the Medieval Economy and Society. at University College.32 JOHN H. held at Chester College. “The Flemish ‘New Draperies’: The Death and Resurrection of an Old Industry. Jugend und Kultur des Landes Schleswig-Holstein und die Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel. sponsored by the Pasold Research Fund. “The New Draperies: The Death and Resurrection of an Old Flemish Industry. c. 1200-1600. Siena. at Phoenix. University of Toronto. and Wage Fluctuations during the Late-Medieval ‘Great Depression’: Did Money Matter?” Paper delivered to the Tenth International Economic History Congress. 1360–c. 21 August 1990. Schleswig-Holstein. at Leuven.” Paper presented to the Anglo-Low Countries Conference on the New Draperies. in Leuven. on 24 October 1988.” Paper delivered to the Second SalzauKolloquium. Belgium. 13th to 16th Centuries. England. Wissenschaft. at the Certosa di Pontignano.” organized by the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies and the Arizona State College of Business.” Paper delivered to the International School on the History of Banking and Finance (University of Siena-C. Session C. 13th to 16th Centuries”]. and Trade: Industrial Urbanization in the Low Countries. Katholieke Universiteit Leuven.).R.” Paper delivered to the Tenth Inter- . “Oriental Spices and Their Costs in Medieval Cuisine: Luxuries or Necessities?” Lecture delivered to the Canadian Perspectives Committee. Chester. Arizona. Italy.16: “The Economic Depression of the Renaissance Revisited. 1540. 23 April 1990. A.

Exchange Rates. “Coinage Debasement as a Fiscal Policy: The Economics and Mechanics of Medieval Mint Manipulations. at Western . Economic History Workshop. and Trade: Urban Institutions in the Decline of the Medieval Flemish Woollens Industry. Labour Economics Workshop. Belgium. University of Toronto. on 26 July 1991. “Monetary Policies. Arizona. “Monetary Fluctuations.” held at the Università di Genova. at the Pontifical Institute for Mediaeval Studies.” Paper presented to the Convegno internazionale: “Banchi pubblici.” Paper delivered to the 27th International Congress on Medieval Studies. and Labor Strife in the Flemish Textile Industry. Session B-15: “Textiles of the Low Countries in European Economic History. at Evanston. Sources and Resources Committee. University of Toronto. 1390-1435. e ruoli economici. Department of Economics. 1200-1600: Which was the More Cost Effective?” Paper delivered to the 29th International Congress on Medieval Studies. Tucson. Italy. on 6 May 1993. “The Belgian Archives. Northwestern University. on 22 March 1991.” Lecture delivered to the Centre for Medieval Studies. at Western Michigan University. University of Illinois at Champagne-Urbana. on 2 October 1990. 1390-1435. Ontario). on 7 May 1992. University of Western Ontario (London.” Paper presented to the Economic History Workshop.” Paper delivered to the 28th International Congress on Medieval Studies. Towns. Michigan. banchi privati e monti di pietà nell’Europa preindustriale: amministrazione. 1353-1507. on 8 April 1993. Kalamazoo. Economic History Workshop. Entrepreneurship. Illinois. on 23 April 1993.” Paper delivered to the Economic History Workshop. “The International Law Merchant and the Origins of Negotiable Credit in Late-Medieval England and the Low Countries.” Paper delivered to the 38th Annual Convention of The Canadian Numismatic Association.” Paper delivered to the Annual meeting of the Medieval Academy of America. in Leuven. and Labour Strife in the LateMedieval Flemish Cloth Industry. “Textiles. at the University of Arizona. Toronto. on 5 November 1990. Wage Fluctuations. at Western Michigan University.” at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. ca. Ontario. 1350-1500. on 23 November 1993. at the Westbury Hotel. on 23 August 1990. on 2 April 1993. and Labour Strife in the LateMedieval Flemish Cloth Industry. Kalamazoo. on 22 April 1993. Genoa. “Maritime and Overland Trade in Textiles between the Low Countries and Italy. tecniche operative. Michigan. “On the Origins of Negotiability: Credit Instruments and the Law Merchant in Anglo-Flemish Commerce. “Bimetallic Ratios. 1991 Educational Forum.BIBLIOGRAPHY OF WORKS 33 national Economic History Congress.

ECO 4060Y. University of Leeds.] Paper presented to the Seventh Annual Conference on ThirteenthCentury England. Organisation. 1-4 September 1997. 1388-1469. Massachusetts.” at the Università Bocconi.Stickiness in the Late-Medieval European Economy. “Anglo-Flemish Competition in the International Cloth Trade. Organisatie en Infrastructure/International Trade in the Low Countries (14th-16th centuries): Merchants. John’s College. “Wirtschaftliche Wechsellagen im hansischen Wirtschaftsraum. Universiteit Antwerpen—Universiteit Faculteiten Sint-Ignatius te Antwerpen. University of Toronto. Aidan’s College. 1350-1550"). A. 10-12 March 1997. Session 419: Medieval Arithmetic and Calculation.34 JOHN H. Paper presented to the Hanseatic conference. at St. University of Durham. Harvard University. 1300-1800: Vergleichende konjunkturstatistische und wirtschaftsgeschichtliche Untersuchungen zur Wirtschafts. “Real Wage Determination and the Problem of Nominal Wage. Cambridge.]. Thirteenth to Twentieth Centuries. Oxford. Economics Department. “Flemish Woollens and Hanseatic Commerce during the Later Middle Ages: Changing Trends in Markets and Cloth Prices. Milan. “Labour and Leisure in Historical Perspective. at the Burgkloster zu Lübeck. c. on 27 March 1997.” Seminar paper delivered to the Graduate Students Workshop. Revised version delivered to the Economic History Workshop. 1330. on 5 July 1994.” Paper delivered to the Colloque d’Oxford.” [64 pp. at St. “The True Weights of the Marcs de Troyes in Late-Medieval France and Flanders: Evidence from Flemish Counterfeiting and Monetary Ordinances.” [58 pp. Michigan). of the Centre Européen des Études Bourguignonnes. “English ‘Backwardness’ and Financial Innovations in Commerce with the Low Countries. “Urban Wage Structures in Late-Medieval England and the Low Countries: Work-Time and Seasonal Wages. on 6 May 1994. 13 December 1997. on 13 September 1994.] Paper presented to the Colloque Universiteit Gent—Universiteit Antwerpen (IUAP—Stedelijke Samenlevingen in de Laatmiddeleeuwse Nederlanden): “Internationale Handel in de Nederlanden (14de-16de eeuw: Kooplieden. Session 201 (“Trade and Transit Markets in Northwestern Europe. 14th to 16th centuries.” Paper delivered to the 11th International Economic History Congress.und Handelsgeschichte im Spätmittelalter und in der frühen Neuzeit. 11 December 1997. 1290-1550. ca.” Lecture presented to the Department of History. 1290-c. on 14 April 1995.”at the Universiteit Antwerpen. “The ‘Industrial Crisis’ of the English Textile Towns. [38 pp. 1340-1520: Endogenous and Exogenous Factors in the English ‘Victory’. .” Paper delivered to the First International Medieval Congress. on 24 September 1994. Session B-3a. and Infrastructure). MUNRO Michigan University (Kalamazoo.

BIBLIOGRAPHY OF WORKS 35 “Disputes About Mint Metrology in Late-Medieval Flanders. “Self-Selection of NineteenthCentury German Emigrants: Evidence from Nineteenth-Century Hesse- . 1330” above.” [56 pp. and Monetary Movements in Western Europe. and Real Incomes in Late. 1330. at the University of Minnesota (Minneapolis). 26 August 1998. c. c.] Paper presented to the annual meeting of the Classical and Medieval Numismatics Society. “Urban Demographic Stagnation in Early Modern Southwest Germany: A Computer Simulation.” at The Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters. in Copenhagen.] Paper presented to Session C.] Paper presented to the international conference on “New Trends in Late Medieval Studies. “The Low Countries (Export Trade in Textiles with the Mediterranean Basin. 1200-1600: A Cost-Benefit Analysis of Comparative Advantages in Overland and Maritime Trade Routes. “Wage-Stickiness. “Precious Metals and the Origins of the Price Revolution Reconsidered: The Conjuncture of Monetary and Real Forces in the European Inflation of the Early to Mid-Sixteenth Century. at the Primrose Hotel.und Handelsgeschichte im Spätmittelater und in der frühen Neuzeit. on 24 August 1999. Denmark. 1290-c. 1300-1450. “The ‘Industrial Crisis’ of the English Textile Towns.” Terence McIntosh (North Carolina at Chapel Hill). 1135-1820: A New View of ‘Long-Waves’.2: “Means of Communication. on 21 February 1998.” [32 pp. “Determinanten der Entwicklung von Preisen. Spread of Information and European and Mediterranean Commerce. 25 August 1998. 1290-c. Wage. in Madrid.] Paper presented to Session B. 1388-1469. on 6 March 1998. Commentator on three papers in 19th-century German Demography: Stephan Klasen (Munich). Germany.] A paper presented to the conference “Wirtschaftliche Wechsellagen im hansischen Wirtschaftsraum 1300-1800: Verleichende konjunkturstatistische und wirtschaftsgeschichtliche Untersuchungen zur Wirtschafts. Monetary Changes.” at the Twelfth International Economic History Congress in Madrid. Toronto.Medieval England and the Low Countries. 1500-1808. “Monetary History in Global Perspective.6.” [49 pp. Delivered to the Center for Early Modern History.” [29 pp.” Simone Wegge.” [39 pp. 10th-17th Centuries. on 30 July 1999. Löhnen unde des Geldes.” at Lübeck. 1135-1820/The Chief Determinants of Price.] A revised version of “The ‘Industrial Crisis’ of the English Textile Towns. “Gender Bias in Mortality in a Comparative Perspective: Excess Female Mortality in Germany in the late 18th and early 19th Centuries.” at the Twelfth International Economic History Congress. France and England: Determining the Weight of the Marc de Troyes and the Tower Pound from the Economics of Counterfeiting.” [64 pp.

University of Toronto. Istituto Internazionale di Storia Economica “Francesco Datini da Prato. MUNRO Cassel. Revised version of the paper presented to the Economic History Workshop.” of the XIIIth International Economic History Congress. Wages.” Paper presented to the 61st Annual Meeting of the Economic History Association. secoli XIII-XVIII. 23-26 September 1999. c.” in Prato. Department of Economics. Warfare. Paper presented to the Workshop in Money. Monetary Changes. in Buenos Aires. “Prices. Department of Economics. “The ‘New Institutional Economics’ and the Changing Fortunes of Fairs in Medieval and Early Modern Europe: Transaction Costs. secoli XIII-XVIII. 13-16 July 2001. “Wage Stickiness. “Industrial Change in the Fifteenth. . and Prospects for ‘Profit Inflation’ in England.” in Prato. History. on 22 July 2002. and Textiles( [54 pp. and Real Incomes in Late-Medieval England and the Low Countries.” Paper presented to the 34th annual meeting of the Settimana di Studio. “Industrial Energy from Water-Mills in the European Economy. A. 1300-1470: Did Money Really Matter?” [93 pp. Commentary on and Agenda for “Symposium: New Approaches to International Trade. “The Late Medieval Origins of the Modern Financial Revolution: Responses to Impediments from Church and State in Western Europe. on 13 October 2000. on Finance and Economic Modernization. Department of Economics. on 16 April 2002. 10 May 2000.36 JOHN H. New Jersey): on 26 March 2001. 1501-1670: A Comparative Analysis. XVIth-XVIIIth Centuries.” Papers presented at the First Conference on German Cliometrics. 1000-1500.” of the XIIIth International Economic History Congress. of the Istituto Internazionale di Storia Economica “Francesco Datini. held at Trinity College Dublin and the Royal Irish Academy. in Dublin. in Buenos Aires.] Paper presented to the Economic History and Labour Workshops. on 23 February 2001. Brabant. the 32nd Settimana di Studio. University of Toronto. Argentina. on 26 October 2001. and Spain. Fifth to Eighteenth Centuries: the Limitations of Power.” on “Fiere e mercati nella integrazione delle economie europee.” on the theme “Economia ed energia. University of Waterloo.” For the Seventh Anglo-American Seminar on the Medieval Economy and Society. Italy. at the Centre for International Studies.” Paper presented to Session 15: “Global Monies and Price Histories.] Paper presented to the Annual Conference. Rutgers University (New Brunswick. Argentina. and Finance. at Loew’s Philadelphia Hotel. Italy. Pennsylvania.and Sixteenth-Century Low Countries: The Arrival of Spanish Merino Wools and the Expansion of the ‘Nouvelles Draperies’. on 26 July 2002.” Paper presented to Session 16: “Wool: Products and Markets (XIIIth-XXth Centuries). Philadelphia.

and Invaders. . c.” Paper presented to the Economic History Workshop.” on the theme “Economia ed energia. in the Coach House Conference Room.BIBLIOGRAPHY OF WORKS 37 “Postan. Department of Economics. “The Late-Medieval Origins of the Modern Financial Revolution: Overcoming Impediments from Church and State. Germs. Ontario. 10 October 2002. and Dowries in Florence. 17 September 2005. 1370 to c. secoli XIII-XVIII. and Prices in Late-Medieval England and Flanders. on 12 July 2005 (to session 804: “Transforming Textiles”). 1346-1500: A Comparative Study of Trends in and Levels of Real Incomes.” Presented to the XXXXVIII (38th) Settimana di Studio. Commentary on the paper of Maristella Botticini.” Paper presented to the conference on “Medieval Global Economies.” Westin Harbour Castle Hotel. on 30 April 2004.” Prato. Peut-on comprendre les crises économiques de la fin du moyen âge sans le modèle malthusien? Montréal: Université de Québec à Montréal. England. Secoli XIII-XVIII. 1250-1450. London. at Leeds.” Universiteit Antwerp. Population. “Bombs. University of Toronto. 11 November 2005.” Paper presented to the 12th International Medieval Congress. “Social Norms. Demographic Shocks. Ontario. on “War and Economic Growth. “South-German Silver.” Presented to the 68th Annual Meeting of the Economic History Association.” in Prato.” Paper presented to the Second Dutch-Flemish conference on “The Economy and Society of the Low Countries in the Pre-Industrial Period.” Paper presented to the the 36th annual meeting of the Settimana di Studio. Toronto. Secoli XIII-XVIII. 1400-1700: A Regional Comparison of Levels and Trends in Real Wages for Building Craftsmen. 1720: A Non-mercantilist Approach to the Balance of Payments Problem.” Session 4A. Istituto Internazionale di Storia Economica “Francesco Datini.” “Relazioni economiche tra Europa e mondo islamico. Italy.” Paper presented to the Colloque de Montréal: Postan-Duby: Destin d’un paradigme. “Flemish Woollens and Hanseatic German Commerce During the Later Middle Ages: Changing Trends in Cloth Markets and Textile Values. “Real Wages and the ‘Malhusian Problem’ in Anwerp and South-Eastern England. on 17 April 2003. Istituto Internazionale di Storia Economica “Francesco Datini da Prato. European Textiles. on the theme: “L’Edilizia prima della Rivoluzione Industriale. “‘Builders’ Wages in Southern England and the Southern Low Countries. 1290-1570.” 5 May 2006. 20 April 2006. 26-30 aprile 2004. 1300-1550: The Anti-Red Shift—to the Dark Side. and Venetian Trade with the Levant and Ottoman Empire. “Changing Patterns of Colours and Values of Woollen Textiles in the Southern Low Countries.” The University of Western Ontario.

38 JOHN H. A. 1264-1700. 1300-1800.” “Cloth Prices in the Low Countries (1300-1570) for: Forschungsprojekt “Wirtschaftliche Wechsellagen im hansischen Wirtschaftsraum.economics. 13341789.utoronto/munro5/) “Wage Structures and Wage Movements in Late-Medieval England and the Low Countries: 1260-1530.” . MUNRO Research Projects in Progress (for more detailed information see http://www.” “The Mint Outputs and Monetary Statistics of the Low Countries.” “Recasting the Phelps Brown-Hopkins Price-Index for the ‘Basket of Consumables’.


x x .

is 1 . (Constitutiones clementinae). X (Decretales Gregorii IX). “what’s robbing a bank compared to founding a bank?”2 He was expressing an ethical critique of usury that he probably knew via Marx’s Capital. For money was intended to be used in exchange. which makes a gain out of money itself. Corpus iuris canonici..3 Medieval ethicists and jurists were in agreement This paper is offered to John Munro. Decretum Grat. 2 “Was ist ein Einbruch in eine Bank gegen die Gründung einer Bank?” Bertolt Brecht. 1997). which is a measure of value and medium of exchange. 1: Stücke 1 (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp. in the character of Mackie Messer. The following legal abbreviations have been used in the notes: Inst. VI (Liber Sextus Decretalium Bonifacii VIII). Act 9. but not to increase at interest. And this term interest [tokos. Corpus iuris civilis. vol. in Ausgewählte Werke. eds. April 2005.. and I am grateful for the critical comments I received from colleagues there. but which had originated as early as the fourth century B. on the occasion of his retirement. mentor and colleague. and with the greatest reason. repr. 1959). Graz: Akademische Druck. and my own research on the topic was inspired by his 1987-1988 graduate seminar on the “Dynamics of the European Economy. A similar remark is commonly attributed to Brecht: “Bank robbery is the business of amateurs: the real professionals found a bank” (“Bankraub ist eine Unternehmung von Dilettanten. while that which consists in exchange is justly censured. 2 vols. (Digesta Iustiniani).. Dig. translations are my own. Die Dreigroschenoper. which means the birth of money from money. 267. and a mode by which men gain from one another.C. The most hated sort. asks. and Clem. the other is retail trade: the former necessary and honourable.. (Institutiones Iustiniani). parturition. when Aristotle. (Decretum Gratiani). not a source of value in itself. and Emil Friedberg. The usury prohibition has long been of interest to Munro. condemned profit on loans as an unnatural and asocial use of money. (Leipzig: Tauchnitz. Reference is to the critical editions: Theodor Mommsen et al. Unless otherwise noted. and not from the natural object of it. 3 “There are two sorts of wealth-getting. in the Politics and the Ethics. 1350-1750. lit. (Berlin: Weidmann. Wahre Profis gründen eine Bank”). 1879. offspring]. 3 vols. ed.und Verlagsanstalt. Brecht. for it is unnatural.” An earlier version of the paper was presented at the panel on “Ethics and the Higher Learning” at the Renaissance Society of America Annual Meeting in Cambridge.LAW. ETHICS AND ECONOMY: GERARD OF SIENA AND GIOVANNI D’ANDREA ON USURY1 Lawrin Armstrong In the Threepenny Opera. one is a part of household management. is usury. 1872-1895). as I have said.

Richard McKeon (New York: Random House. 1. and Norman Geras. For all those take more than they ought and from the wrong sources. pimps and all such people. “Bringing Marx to Justice: An Addendum and Rejoinder.” in Ancient . 4 There is an extensive literature on the usury prohibition. see most recently Eric Kerridge. trans. Brecht: A Biography (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson. Wherefore of all modes of getting wealth this is the most unnatural. e. 2.1258a-b.10. p.. 1957). 5: 183-5.” International Journal of Philosophical Studies 8 (2000): 351-70. Important recent studies of usury include Amleto Spicciani.42 LAWRIN ARMSTRONG with Aristotle and Marx: to profit from a money loan was a violation of the function of money and an offence against justice. 1990). On the influence of the Aristotelian concept of justice on Marx. 1969).” New Left Review 1/195 (September-October 1992): 37-69.” Aristotle. it should be noted.” Mediaeval Studies 1 (1939): 81-147 and 2 (1940): 1-22. “Usury. Money and Usury According to the Paris Theological Tradition. “The Controversy about Marx and Justice. which medieval and early modern theorists—including.. 1974). “The Teachings of the Canonists on Usury (XII. 120. Usury. Value. 988. and Lawrin Armstrong. For a review of the controversy over the ethical content of Marx’s concept of justice. The Scholastic Analysis of Usury (Cambridge. 1941). trans.1121b. Noonan. 62-76. with documents in translation. The fundamental study of the canonical usury doctrine is T. Protestant reformers such as Luther and Melancthon—regarded as any profit on a loan of money or fungible goods. Politics 1. Ronald Hayman. W. those who ply sordid trades. Marx cites the Politics passage in his discussion of merchant’s and usurer’s capital in Das Kapital: Kritik der politischen Ökonomie. 2002). see John Gilchrist. XIII and XIV Centuries). On the Protestant reformers.2.4. Interest and the Reformation (Aldershot: Variorum.” in Joel Mokyr. 179.1. 4. The Church and Economic Activity in the Middle Ages (London and Toronto: Macmillan. MA: Harvard University Press. 155-225.1984). 1200-1350. “The Medieval Schoolmen (1200-1400). ed. The Aristotelian Analysis of Usury (Bergen: Universitetsforlaget. D. Aristotle touches on usury in the Ethics in a discussion of liberality. and Odd Langholm. Brecht began studying Marx in 1926 and was familiar with Capital. Oxford Encyclopedia of Economic History (New York: Oxford University Press.” Nichomachean Ethics. For brief overviews. “Marx and Justice. For discussions of usury in the wider context of scholastic ideas about economic ethics. Studien und Texte zur Geistesgeschichte des Mittelalters 29 (Leiden: Brill. see most recently James Daly. 1141. see Norman Geras. Benjamin Jowett in The Basic Works of Aristotle. 1983). The only comprehensive survey is John T. ed. Ross in Basic Works of Aristotle. Vol.g. Volume 1 (Berlin: Dietz. by the time he was working on the Threepenny Opera in 1928. 1992).4 I shall do so by applied to the breeding of money because the offspring resembles the parent. 1985): 47-85. P. McLaughlin. The objective of this paper is to consider the relationship between medieval ethics and law with regard to the problem of usury. see Odd Langholm. 2003).” New Left Review 1/150 (March-April. Jr. where he includes the usurer in the species of the miserly who “exceed in respect of taking by taking anything and from any source. Capitale e interesse tra mercatura e povertà nei teologi e canonisti dei secoli XIII-XV (Rome: Jouvence. and those who lend small sums and at high rates. Odd Langholm.

on the medieval period. Todd Lowry and Barry Gordon (Leiden: Brill. and Diana Wood. reflecting the union of secular and ecclesiastical authority in the emperor. 1998). Die Entwicklung der Moraltheologie zur eigenständigen Disziplin (Regensburg: Friedrich Pustet. 439-501. DC: Catholic University of America. Law and Revolution: The Formation of the Western Legal Tradition (Cambridge. 1983). My comments in this paragraph are also inspired by the observations of Harold J. the rise of universities and the recovery and systematic study of Justinian’s Roman law compilations created the conditions for the birth of systematic canon law. for example. The Common Legal Past of Europe. Berman. ed. 1995). 1995).5 The development of canon law as a system of positive law distinct. some preliminary observations on the relationship between law and ethics—or. see James A. In the west. the expansive jurisdictional claims of the popes. trans. “Moral theology” as the name of this discipline is an early modern usage. 7 A recent overview of the recovery and assimilation of Roman law in medi- . on the other. there was no autonomous discipline of canon law. Medieval Canon Law (London and New York: Longman. and Manlio Bellomo. 85-269. between law and theology—in medieval Europe are in order. and the report and critique of Gerard’s quaestio by the influential fourteenth-century canonist Giovanni d’Andrea (c.” Traditio 59 (2004): 175-227. 5 Ethical and moral questions as they related to revelation were a branch of theology.7 With the publication of the first version of Gratian’s and Medieval Economic Ideas and Concepts of Social Justice. 6 For a recent introduction to medieval canon law. Cochrane. 37-55. see esp. Brundage. Lydia G. see. on the one hand. however. pp.6 In the early church. church law was subsumed to imperial law. S. ETHICS AND ECONOMY 43 a review of two texts: the Question on Usury (Questio de usura) of the Augustinian friar and theologian Gerard of Siena († c. MA. Before turning to the texts themselves.LAW. however. from theology and. 12701348) in his Quaestiones mercuriales. 1970). see Johann Theiner. 2002). which historians of economic thought now consider the most influential formulation of the natural law argument against usury in late medieval Europe. ecclesiastical norms were deduced from scripture or articulated by councils of bishops. Medieval Economic Thought (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Joseph Goering’s discussion of the post-Gratianic penitential literature in “The Internal Forum and the Literature of Penance and Confession. Studies in Medieval and Early Modern Canon Law 4 (Washington. The boundaries between law and theology were not always entirely clear with respect to ethical problems. from secular legal systems was peculiar to the medieval west. 1336). more precisely. In the Byzantine empire. 1000-1800. and London: Harvard University Press.

1960). best known by his sobriquet “Hostiensis. Canonists and Texts. see Winroth. 1999). Hermann Kantorowicz and Giuseppe Rabotti. the Sentences. ed.8 Canon law exercised a profound influence on the character and development of western Christianity. Roman law and canon law in Hostiensis’ thought. ed. ed. published around 1253. Anders Winroth. Popes. for example. Dictionnaire de Droit Canonique (Paris: Letouzey et Ané. 1211-28. 195-204. Graz: Akademische Druck. the norms governing marriage.9 In his monumental Summa on the Decretals of Gregory IX. 1956). repr. Susanne Lepsius for providing me with a copy of this article. 9 He was appointed cardinal bishop of Ostia in 1262 by Urban IV. around 1140.” in Études historiques à la mémoire de Noël Didier. The Making. 122-45. I am grateful to Dr. 2000) is the most important recent study of the emergence of canon law in twelfth-century Bologna and its relationship both to the revived Roman law and to theology. see Gabriel Le Bras. Henry of Susa (c. 1953). “Théologie et Droit romain dans l’oeuvre d’Henri de Suse. Theology had little to say. 1993). On the relationship between theology. canon law quickly defined itself as a discipline and a body of norms distinct from theology. 8 On the successive recensions of the Decretum and dating. 1200-1271). The latter found its authoritative statement in Peter Lombard’s almost contemporary handbook.” was the most influential and creative canonist of the thirteenth century. . on the procedures for papal elections or the rules concerning benefices. 3 vols. Charles Lefebvre. The Making of Gratian’s Decretum (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. see Thomas Diplovatatius. (Stuttgart: Enke. “Henricus de Segusio (Hostiensis). XVI: 1-12. which soon became the central text of the theology curriculum. “Hostiensis. the Decretum. but the fact that the subject matter of the canons was often identical to that of theology also created certain tensions of which intellectuals were acutely conscious. Liber de claris iuris consultis. 1150-1550 (Aldershot: Variorum.44 LAWRIN ARMSTRONG magisterial textbook.” in Kenneth Pennington. pars posterior. Hostiensis privileged Roman eval Europe can be found in Peter Stein. Johann Friedrich von Schulte. Faculté de Droit et Sciences Économiques de Grénoble (Paris: Éditions Montchrestien. Fritz Schulz..und Verlagsanstalt.” in Raoul Naz. 5: cols. For biographical information. Die Geschichte der Quellen und Literatur des canonischen Rechts. but on the behavioral norms—for example. and Kenneth Pennington. 18751880. Roman Law in European History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. penance or usury—moral theologians claimed a competence equal or superior to that of canonists. One example will suffice to illustrate the tension between law and theology with regard to economic questions. Studia Gratiana 10 (1968): 141-5. 38-103. 2: 123-9.

Nam propter mundi necessitatem non potuit imperator ex toto cassare obligationem usurarum. if somebody who has legitimately prescribed thinks that he sins mortally by retaining the thing prescribed. It seems to me that on this question the conscience of the theologians is too angelic . Therefore. 1963).5-7 (Venice. 1219-20.. col.10 Hostiensis’ discussion of usury.. “But what.” Summa. differed over the necessity of “good faith.11 Acknowledging that such contracts were now disallowed by virtue of the canonical prohibition. sed tamen minuit.” 202-3. and attempting to reconcile Roman law with ecclesiastical authority on points where the two were clearly at variance. Theology and law. 1619). Turin: Bottega d’Erasmo. “Hostiensis. while the masters of the canons commonly say the opposite. . the Hostiensis routinely chided theologians for applying rigid and abstract standards to economic problems.. for instance. because according to both laws [canon and Roman] once prescription is complete he who prescribed is secure . say he learned for certain that the utensils he prescribed belonged to Martin: should he return them to Martin? The theologians say that he should . however. ETHICS AND ECONOMY 45 law concepts over ideas derived from theology in the analysis of canonical problems. n. for on account of worldly need the emperor could not entirely annul the burden of usury.” Hostiensis asked. 10 Le Bras. repr.7 (ed. I do not consider him a theologian so much as a fraud. He devoted extensive portions of most titles of the Summa to Roman law definitions and distinctions. “Teachings. 1574. that he was not in violation of another’s right.. X 5. noting (but generally minimizing) dissonances between Roman law on the one hand and canon law or theology on the other.. cols.19 de usuris. “Théologie et Droit romain. even if mistaken. nn. Charles Lefebvre. cit. 12 “Hoc de iure humano. although he diminished it. see McLaughlin.” the prescriber’s honest belief. 1615-19. after prescription. for what reasons and at what rates of interest. Prescription was a mode of acquiring ownership through an extended period of uncontested possession.”12 Similarly. [the prescriber] becomes aware that he possesses the property of another. For a detailed discussion of juridical opinion on this point. contains a veritable digest of the Roman law of usury: how it was contracted.” cols. if. he nevertheless defended the (Christian) emperor Justinian’s approval of usury on the grounds of social necessity: “thus with respect to human law.19 de usuris.” 1: 84-95.. 11 Summa aurea..LAW. X 5.

13 Restitution of usury was another point on which theologians and canonists differed.. X 5.” 201. nam aliter .. cit.19 de usuris. Si tamen eius conscientia ratificari non potest. “Aequitas canonica et Periculum animae dans la doctrine de l’Hostiensis. reddat rem and sequatur conscientiam. Mihi videtur quod in hac quaestione conscientia theologorum est nimis angelica .46 LAWRIN ARMSTRONG for he fears what is above suspicion. quia nec eis astrictus sum. 14 “Non scribo hoc in favorem usurariorum.14 A similar tension may be observed in Giovanni d’Andrea’s adoption and critique of Gerard of Siena’s natural law case against usury.. puta audivit et pro certo quod haeres quas praescripsit erant Martini: numquid ipsas debet reddere Martino? Theologi dicunt quod sic . col. write this in favour of usurers.” Summa.” Summa. . for otherwise he places himself at risk.. quia completa praescriptione tutus est qui praescripsit secundum utrumque ius . X 2. a usurer may ask or a court order that part of the amount owed in restitution be forgiven.. “Théologie et Droit romain. Nevertheless.3 (ed. By contrast. col. for I owe them nothing. provided there was no [prior] agreement between the parties. and I say that a usurer so forgiven is thereby absolved. 1634). n. cit. But neither do I want to be so unfair as to comfort the theologians and drive people to desperation and lay snares for their souls . ... sed nolo a rationabili recedere ut theologis faveam et in desperatiam inducam homines. the usurer was thereby absolved. On Hostiensis’ privileging of conscience. “I do not.. see Le Bras.26 de praescriptionibus. and Charles Lefebvre. periculum non evadet. if he cannot compose his conscience.” he insisted. Moral theology insisted that usurers make complete restitution of the sums extorted from their debtors. cum id timeat quod nulla suspicione est dignum... et sic dicam talem usurarium absolutum. Of 13 12 “Sed quid si iam completa praescriptione conscientiam rei alienae incipiat habere.. ac parem laqueum animarum ...” Ephemerides iuris canonici 13 (1952): 319. Dicendum est igitur et tenendum quod precibus possit vel iussu iudicis sine pactione partium remissio fieri. Hostiensis (and most other canonists). n. urged discretion in exacting restitution..12 (ed.. Therefore it should be said and maintained that. ipsum non theologum iudico sed fraudulosum. rubricella de praescriptione rerum immobilium. igitur si quis credit peccare mortaliter retinendo rem praescriptam legitime. . Magistri canonum communiter contradicunt.. 726).. he should obey it and return the thing. maintaining that if a debtor freely remitted part of the amount due to him by way of restitution..

proemium. and Langholm.16 The Questio is a redaction of a public disputation Gerard presided over as a master of theology. 165-93 (hereafter “Cesena”). After studies in Italy. 16 Gerard’s status among fifteenth-century theologians of his order is attested by Zumkeller. 17 According to the cartulary of the University of Paris. 65r-66r. Leipzig.” Analecta Augustiniana 27 (1964): 208-9. Tractatus de usuris et de praescriptionibus (Cesena.LAW. 549-60. La littérature. 209r). For additional references. where he appears to have taught in the early to mid1330s. probably in the first decade of the fourteenth century. and the evidence of this is that usury is permitted in Roman but not in canon law—or is it forbidden because it is illicit by nature. though possibly somewhere in Italy.17 The basic question Gerard posed in his disputation was this: is usury illicit because it is forbidden—that is. cod.18 As Gerard himself put it. where he was admitted bachelor of the Sentences in 1325 and master of theology in 1329. According to Rome. he went to Paris. I am currently preparing an edition of the Questio de usura for the Toronto Medieval Latin Texts series based on the other surviving copy. possibly patrician by birth. see Langholm. 2:97. 30-1 and 118-28. see Langholm. 2 vols. La littérature quodlibétique. Die Geschichte. For reasons of convenience. who joined the Augustinian friars. simply because of positive law. one of the two extant copies of the Questio de usura. which is mutable. 18 Questio de usura. His commentary on the Sentences enjoyed great authority in the fifteenth century. fols. a Sienese. 19 “Talis namque actus ex natura rei contrariatur virtuti et ex natura rei ha- . La Bibliothèque Thomiste 21. P. and Adolar Zumkeller. Cesena. Universitätsbibliothek. as his sobriquet suggests. I provide parallel references to the more readily accessible edition of Angelo Vancio. MS 894. Biblioteca Angelica. Glorieux. most likely in Paris in 1329 or 1330. esp. Medieval Schools.” illicit. (Paris: Vrin. ETHICS AND ECONOMY 47 Gerard himself we know almost nothing. Medieval Schools.” 209. For an assessment of his place in the history of economic thought.15 He was. “Die Augustinerschule des Mittelalters: Vertreter und Philosophisch-Theologische Lehre. 2: 204-5. 549. is usury “by the nature of the thing itself wicked and bound up with malice. see Schulte. 625. but for historians of economic thought it is his disputed question on usury that is of greatest interest. perhaps in the canon law faculty of Bologna. that is to say.19 15 For the scant details. “Die Augustinerschule. 1630). Gerard presided there as a regent master in 1330 (Glorieux. Quotations of the Questio are from my forthcoming edition with folio references to the Leipzig manuscript (hereafter referred to as “Leipzig”). 2: 97). Gerard disputed the problem in Paris (fol. Leipzig. Aristotelian Analysis. 1925-1935). 165-8. according to some meta-legal standard.

88 c. 23 Questio de usura. that is. like air and water. Commentaria. 67v.11 palea Eiiciens.48 LAWRIN ARMSTRONG In Gerard’s view. For theological opinion. 65r. q. tractatus 48. 338a. art. 1891). proemium. Quolibeta.. fol. 2. fol. 1980-1986).. 2. 3. rentable things. Since coins do not deteriorate in use. repr. 16-19. D. 2. 3. Cesena. 24 (Louvain. For the text. see Giles of Rome. art. 1968). cap. it is illicit to charge for a money loan. such as houses or boats. fol. cap. 1646. bet a Deo auertere et deordinare ac per consequens ex natura rei viciosus et malicia conuolutus. D. repr. it was often maintained that a charge was only permitted in loans of things that deteriorate through use. Cesena. q. is common to all and therefore non-vendible. 517va. Jean Ribaillier. . n. collatio 6. ed. “it is not altogether easy to assign a reason” for the latter proposition20 and the most striking feature of the Questio is its demolition or fundamental revision of all of the traditional arguments advanced against usury. when it is lent. Aristotelian Analysis.6. 68r. Frankfurt am Main: Minerva. ad X 5. Summa aurea. a field or a house deteriorates through use.. 20 “Assignare autem de hoc causam per quam euidencius demonstretur quod contractus usurarius habet ex natura rei viciositatem et maliciam conuolutam non puto omnino facile. nos. see Langholm. Leipzig. lib. (Paris and Rome: Centre national de la recherche scientifique and Collegium S. to exchange one profit for another. omnino videtur friuola”) because the passage of time is a factor in many legitimately profitable contracts. quodlibet 5. For a discussion of the theological texts.2 (Frankfurt am Main. 111-8. 5: 528b. The argument was adopted by Innocent IV in his analysis of credit and discount sales. see William of Auxerre († 1229). it was often argued by lawyers and theologians that usury was illicit because it involved the sale of the time that elapses from the granting of a loan until its repayment.19.. fols. 67r-68v. however. Time. Collationes de decem praeceptis. is neither diminished nor does it deteriorate” (“Ideo qui locat agrum vel do- . which contrasts usury to rental: “He therefore who lets a field or a house is seen to relinquish his own use of it and to accept money and.” Questio de usura. fol. Frankfurt am Main: Minerva. 2.24 However. 174. But money. Cesena. Bonaventurae. 166. Thirdly. 4 vols. 1966). 1570. 19.” Questio de usura.88 c. 21 Questio de usura. 112. Cesena.23 Or again. Leipzig.11 palea Eiiciens condemned the usurer for selling “a thing given by God” (“ipse namque rem datam a Deo vendit”). 173-6. Bonaventurae. such as rental and lease agreements. Leipzig. Aristotelian Analysis. Spicilegium Bonaventurianum. Langhom. Leipzig. art. so to speak. in Opera omnia (Quaracchi: Collegium S. as Gerard astutely observed. and Bonaventure († 1274). 22 Decretum Grat. 176.21 For example. 2: 831. which most theorists interpreted as time.22 Gerard considered the argument frivolous (“ista racio . 24 Canonical authority for the argument was provided by Decretum Grat. Gerard took the critique from his fellow Augustinian Giles of Rome († 1316).

quae pondere numero mensurave constant. quae secundum quod magis et diutius eis utimur. a thing like grain. See also Bonaventure. Peter Stein (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. A Text-Book of Roman Law from Augustus to Justinian. distinctio 37. 1887).” See also the parallel definition at Dig. see Noonan. Buckland. dum in usum vertitur.2.” 1: the church in the west repudiated such agreements on the authority mum. Because the debtor became the owner of the thing lent.. magis tendunt ad defectum. 26 Inst. 176. in Opera omnia (Quaracchi: Collegium S. ut ex meo tuum fiat. For a discussion. a term which in Roman law had no negative connotations.. since occupation of a house. 28 W. it was unjust to charge him for the use of what had become his own property. that is. non consumitur nec deterioratur. from the eighth century onwards.. sed aliae eiusdem naturae et qualitatis reddantur.3. On the restriction of usury to fungibles. ownership passed to the debtor. .1.14. et quodammodo quasi commutare uidetur cum lucro lucrum. art.1. ut accipientium fiant et quandoque nobis non eaedam res.25 A more serious objection to usury. lib. 3.: “Mutui autem obligatio in his rebus consistit. oil or wine. and the one usually adopted by canonists. 464. est digna derisione.” 25 “Ista racio.14. 12. 3rd ed. 3. Scholastic Analysis. n. continues: “. 125. 68r. for example.. “Teachings..26 Specie—precious metal in a minted state—was considered a fungible because its use necessitated its alienation—its “consumption”—in exchange for other things. rev. veluti vino oleo frumento pecunia numerata aere argento auro. 38-51. Tertio ager vel domus utendo ueterascit. ETHICS AND ECONOMY 49 rental charges are not really compensation for damage. 2. Pecunia autem fuerit mutuata. Aristotelian Analysis.1. quia videmus quod domus illa de cuius usu accipimus pensionem vel fructum sepe melioratur per habitacionem. 12. nec ueterascit”). but simply its equivalent in terms of quantity and quality.2. quia pecunia. often improves its condition. Bonaventurae. who was not required to repay the identical substance of the thing lent. suum usum dare uidetur. 27 Inst. non sic autem est de aliis rebus. and McLaughlin.27 Classical Roman law circumvented this purely conceptual problem by means of an additional contract termed stipulatio.” See also Dig. Cesena. whose use involved its consumption or destruction. 3. a loan of a fungible. Commentaria in quatuor libros sententiarum. According to Roman jurists. 1963). dubium 7. quia ita a me tibi datur. 3: 836a: “Alia vero ratio est. fol. in a loan of a fungible. derived from the Roman law definition of a mutuum.28 However. W. by which the debtor promised an additional payment called usurae. si quis bene considerat. Unde etiam mutuum appellatum” Questio de usura. et pecuniam accipere. nec minuitur. Leipzig. .LAW. quas res aut numerando aut metiendo aut pendendo in hoc damus. see Langholm.

Gerard outlines the argument at Questio de usura. Cum enim dicitur quod fenerator exigit lucrum de re non sua.10) of Urban III (1185-87). tamen videtur valde dubia quia licet maior proposicio sit manifesta. 62-3. 1. Cesena. 67v-68r. q.19. since it could be maintained that although the 29 Gilchrist. Et hoc ipsum videtur sufficere. quia debitor non tenetur restituere eandem pecuniam secundum substanciam. . art. See Langholm’s observations.35. 81-9. Aristotelian Analysis.” Questio de usura. Aristotelian Analysis.29 In Gerard’s view. where Jesus commanded his followers to “grant a loan without expecting anything in return” (“mutuum date nihil inde sperantes”). et semper potest eam licite expetere. Leipzig. quia ipse fenerator non exigit lucrum de pecunia quam mutuat in quantum talis substancie est. see Langholm. de Propaganda Fide. and he therefore sells the same thing twice or sells something that does not exist. 2. 30 “Hec autem racio. 2. 558. 175-6. although ownership of the substance indeed passes to the debtor. potest dici immediate quod est falsum.35 was cited as an anti-usury tag in the decretal Consuluit (X 5. 236-44. however. quamuis transseat in dominium debitoris quantum ad ydemptitatem substancie.” and it is this monetary value from which the usurer extracts his profit. 1897). wants to sell coin and its use separately. 31 Summa theologiae. secundum quem modum ad eum non pertinet nec potest eam repetere. in such things it is impossible to separate the thing and its use—as you can in the case of a rentable thing such as a house or a boat—therefore to grant the use of the thing is to grant its ownership. or at least in need of correction.”31 It goes like this: the proper use of a fungible thing is its consumption. 78. 174-5. 67v. For a detailed discussion. not the substance of the coin or other fungible. which is clearly unjust. 2a 2ae. art. and Langholm.50 LAWRIN ARMSTRONG of Lc 6. Cesena. Leipzig. fol. ownership of the lent thing continues to vest in the creditor “with respect to the identity and equivalence of the value. Lc 6. Medieval Schools. quia pecunia quam mutuat. 9: 155. quamuis videatur valde pulchra et apparens. secundum quem modum ad eum pertinet.30 The most persuasive theological argument against usury was a variation of the ownership analysis proposed by Thomas Aquinas († 1274) and known to historians of economic thought as the “consumptibility argument. The Church and Economic Activity. quia remanet in suo dominio. In Gerard’s view. On this point. The usurer. this argument is “exceedingly elegant and clear” but fundamentally flawed because. 75. art. see Langholm. the analysis is “doubtful” (dubia). in Opera omnia (Rome: S. C. fols. Medieval Schools. minor tamen videtur falsa. remanet tamen dicta pecunia in dominio feneratoris quantum ad idemptitatem et equalitatem valoris. sed exigit magis de ea in quantum tanti valoris est.

wine or oil)—he argues. and Langholm. measured or weighed. Langholm discusses the argument in Aristotelian Analysis. quia eo modo quo transfert ipsam rem. Furthermore. Secundo quia videmus quod domus est quoddam artificiale et tamen usque ad certum tempus potest quis per unam domum lucrari aliam domum equiualentem. Cesena. Cesena. Leipzig. Cesena. immo simul vendit utrumque. ETHICS AND ECONOMY 51 use and ownership of a fungible are indeed logically separable.3. et per consequens dicta racio non potest applicari tantum ad illa. weight or number a fixed and determinate value that remains unchanged provided the measure. artificial things such as houses legitimately “give birth” or produce profit in the form of rent. 118-28.” Questio de usura. see above.”32 Nor. utpote in vino et oleo et similibus. characterized by Langholm as a theory of the “self-valuation of fungibles. see Langholm.” is very elegant. and therefore he does not separate the one from the other as the aforesaid reasoning supposes. fol. Gerard’s argument is contained in Questio de usura. quapropter non separat unum a reliquo sicud supposuit dicta racio. since natural things such as wine and oil can also be the subject of usurious loans. quia alienat a se non solum usum rei sed eciam ipsam rem quantum ad substanciam et ideo quantum ad hoc idem iudicium videtur de utroque.”36 Fungibles—artificial (for example. art. “since in the same way as [the creditor] transfers the thing itself.” Questio de usura. art. it is not because of any change in their intrinsic value expressed in 32 “Ista eciam racio videtur dubia quia posset aliquis dicere quod fenerator non vendit usum rei quam mutuat sine ipsa re.34 Gerard’s correction of both Thomas and the canonists. 33 For Aristotle. fol.26.LAW. .35 He began with the Roman law definition of a fungible as something that can be “counted. transfert et ipsum usum et econverso. n. and vice versa. 176. 2. 36 See above. 68r. 2. 34 “Sed nec ista racio videtur valere propter duo. For a more complete discussion than that offered here. he also transfers its use. in a loan they are necessarily identical. in Gerard’s opinion. 2. Leipzig. Aristotelian Analysis. fols. et sic domus pareret domum. 89-90. 176-82.33 Thus it might be said that “a house gives birth to a house” when a landlord uses his profits to buy another house with a view to letting it out. weight or number remains constant. art. 555-60. derive from their measure. n. 68r. specie) as well as natural (for example. does it help to cite Aristotle’s view that it is unnatural that an artificial thing like a coin should give birth to another coin. 35 The description is at Langholm. If such things appear to increase or decrease in value. Leipzig. 176. Primo quia usura committitur non solum in artificialibus sed eciam in naturalibus. Medieval Schools. Medieval Schools. 68r-70r. 557.

fol. 37 . art. goats or coin. condition and place. Leipzig. non potest dici de rebus alijs naturalibus. vineyards. a bushel of wheat is always worth a bushel of wheat of the same quality. 68v.52 LAWRIN ARMSTRONG terms of number. do not affect the value of fungibles: in terms of number. 39 See Langholm. nam alie res naturales non se habent in sua natura ad unum aliquod determinate. Medieval Schools. for example for reasons of scarcity.37 Thus. Et si videantur augeri vel minui. measure or weight. 68r-v. quia earum valor non potest pensari aliquo intrinseco ex necessitate sed ex diuersis causis extrinsecis et contingentibus. Cesena. not a bushel and a half. 177-8. granum. say. By demanding more than the amount lent. Et sicud dico in vinea vel in agro. Cesena.” Questio de usura. immo est impossibile certitudinaliter cognoscere aliarum valorem. weight or measure. quecumque sint ille. in suo modo sic dico de alijs rebus que consueuerunt mensurari.. nec augentur nec minuuntur in suo valore quamdiu non distrahuntur in suo pondere. art. it may. Gerard maintained that this analysis also provides a correction to the canonistic argument from ownership. a fungible is never worth more than itself. weight and measure. houses or horses—derive their value from external and contingent variables. hoc non est propter aliquod augmentum vel minucionem valoris qui sit in eis sed per augmentum et minucionem nostre indigencie siue eciam propter augmentum vel minucionem in alijs rebus in quas commutantur. Contingent variables. by contrast. ex quo possit earum valor pensari et certitudinaliter cognosci. quandoque ex tempore.. ut verbi gratia. quandoque ex condicionibus personarum. 558-9. not twelve. Leipzig. Natural and artificial nonfungibles—for example. quandoque ex diuersis alijs circumstantijs que possunt multipliciter variari. fols. 38 “Hoc autem . ten florins are always worth ten florins.39 Because fungibles have a naturally determinate value in terms of number. but because of a fluctuation in the value of the things for which they may be exchanged. valor istius vinee vel valor istius agri quandoque pensatur ex loco. but in terms of another substance. oleum et consimilia. measure and weight. sicut vinum. they are necessarily sterile: “Idcirco ab intrinsico sue nature potest certitudinaliter cognosci eorum valor. Et sicud de rebus que consueuerunt ponderari.38 For this reason they are not comparable to one another and cannot be the subject of a loan (mutuum). 2. a bushel of wheat is always worth a bushel of wheat of the same quality. be worth more in February than in September.” Questio de usura. 177. ita et in quibuscumque alijs rebus naturalibus que non ponderantur vel mensurantur. 2. such as time. the usurer therefore violates the intrinsic—the natural—value of a fungible determined and fixed by its nature or art in terms of number.

Gerard’s quaestio survives in only two manuscript copies. Giovanni subsequently arranged them according to the chapters of de regulis iuris. 229-39. 179. Leipzig. 41 VI de reg. “Notes on an Earlier Version of the Quaestiones Mercuriales. 6: cols.” Questio de usura. and O. see Diplovatatius. iur. Liber de claris iuris consultis. fol. Cesena. art. nam maioris valoris est quando est sub fructu quam quando est sine fructu. Die Geschichte. Schulte. 5 (1975): 103-14. Condorelli. 69r. in quibus usura committitur. 42 For biographical information. 4: “Peccatum non dimittitur. and as a result cannot increase in value and for the same reason cannot bear fruit.LAW. “Dalle Quaestiones Mercuriales alla Novella in titulum de regulis iuris.” For the text of the quaestio. see Johannes Andreae. Stelling-Michaud. see Cyprian Rosen. Turin: Bottega d’Erasmo. 89-92. 62ra-66ra. 2: 205-29. “Johannes Andreae and his Novella on the Decretals of Gregory IX: 40 .” Bulletin of Medieval Canon Law. ETHICS AND ECONOMY 53 That a usurious contract causes a thing that does not generate fruit to generate a profit is clear because it is assumed in the foregoing argument that lendable things. for it is of greater value when it is in fruit than when it is not. 2.” Revista internazionale di diritto comune 3 (1992): 125-71. to demand an increment in the form of interest represents a violation of the intrinsically sterile nature of a fungible. “Jean d’André.s. have assigned to them by nature or art a determinate value. repr. 1581. nisi restituatur ablatum. 1963). In titulum de regulis iuris novella commentaria (Venice. we know a great deal about Giovanni.42 Born in Florentine “Quod autem contractus usurarius faciat rem non generantem fructum generare lucrum apparet quia presupponitur in precedenti processu quod res mutuabiles. n. Dictionnaire de Droit Canonique. The “commentary” is in fact a collection of questions Giovanni disputed on Wednesday afternoons during term and therefore known as the Quaestiones mercuriales. In contrast to Gerard. On the collection. quia res que generat fructum semper excrescit in valore cum fructu. in which usury is committed. for a thing that bears fruit always increases in value along with the fruit. although ownership of the value of the sum lent indeed vests in the creditor (only ownership of the substance passes to the debtor). and the reason for this is that his argument was paraphrased by Giovanni d’Andrea in a quaestio disputata of his own linked to a fragment of the title de regulis iuris in the Liber sextus that suggested the topic of usury: “Sin is not forgiven unless the thing stolen is restored. habeant a natura vel ab arte sibi prestitutum determinatum valorem et per consequens non possunt in eo crescere et ex hoc ipso non possunt fructum generare. Stephan Kuttner.40 Therefore.” in Naz.”41 Giovanni redacted the quaestio sometime between 1329-1330 and his death in the first visitation of the Black Death. S.

the gratuitous loan of a non-fungible thing.” 399. 63rb). iur. repr. Medieval Schools. fol.43 Giovanni’s enormous prestige meant that Gerard’s argument came to be associated with the more famous canonist. 125-6 (Rome: Istituto storico italiano per il Medio Evo. confining himself on the whole to inserting additional juristic allegations in support of Gerard’s points and to correcting inaccurate formulations of legal concepts. There exists as yet no systematic study of the life and thought of this important jurist. Peccatum. Istituto storico italiano per il Medio Evo. John T. Leipzig. de restitutionibus” di Pietro di Giovanni Olivi. 1980). as recently as 1957. Gerardo da Siena. Langholm. Aristotelian Analysis. he left influential commentaries on the entire corpus of canon law and was posthumously dubbed “the fount and trumpet of canon law” by the civilian Baldus degli Ubaldi († 1400). Novella. xvi. Similarly. Peccatum. 4.45 Giovanni endorsed Gerard’s analysis.” The Jurist 24 (1964): 393-408. 45 Langholm. de usuris. habet autem principalem actionem contra debitorem. 175.24. A counsellor of popes.” Archivum franciscanum historicum 46 (1953): 448-57. . 4. fasc. fol. cit. fol. 550. 67. Studies in the History of Medieval Canon Law (Aldershot: Variorum. 46 For example. in Stephan Kuttner.54 LAWRIN ARMSTRONG Tuscany around 1270 and educated in Bologna. he was the most celebrated canonist of his day. indeed.” Novella. n. Studi storici. friend of Petrarch and professor of canon law at Bologna. These texts have been edited by Giacomo Todeschini. non est dare quod creditor unus ex illis sit dominus. quoted by Kuttner. and Giovanni’s comment. 63rb). Giovanni objected to Gerard’s use of the term “owner” (dominus) to describe the creditor: he owns neither the substance nor the value of the principal. Cesena. iur. The history of Gerard’s economic writings is additionally confused by the fact that the manuscript tradition sometimes also credited him with authorship of Pietro di Giovanni Olivi’s († 1298) treatises on usury and restitution. Noonan described it as the “Andrean argument” against usury. “Johannes Andreae. but rather has an action for recovery of the sum lent: “Tu dic quod non bene advertit hic disputans. 44 Noonan. quia si debitor haberet unum scrinium nummorum. see Dionisio Pacetti. 2. as a profitable contract: see Questio de usura.46 Most subseAn Introduction. 556-7. Gerard incorrectly characterizes commodatum.44 It was the distinguished Norwegian economic historian Odd Langholm who corrected the attribution and established the importance of Gerard’s analysis for late medieval economic thought. n. ad VI de reg.11 (ed. “Un trattato sulle usure e le restituzioni di Pietro Giovanni Olivi falsamente attribuito a Fr. 43 “Iuris canonici fons et tuba”. Scholastic Analysis. 1990). art. n. Un trattato di economia politica francescana: il “De emptionibus et venditionibus.11 (ed. cit. ad VI de reg. 68v. 30-1. reproducing the Questio de usura almost verbatim.

non capio.49 But the text of Giovanni’s quaestio indicates that he did not understand Gerard to be arguing that the value of fungibles cannot fluctuate in terms of other commodities. see Vatican City.” Tractatus de usuris.. 49 Langholm. fol. iur. followed suit: indeed. weight and measure was a convenience. but I do not understand why fungibles should have an inalterable fixed and determinate value beforehand provided the weight. Giovanni declared that he did not understand why Gerard insisted that fungibles have a fixed and determinate value in such terms by nature: I would readily concede that the valuation of fungibles is simpler.37).’ Texts and Studies 144 (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies. Novella.48 Langholm suggests that Giovanni misunderstood or simply rejected the argument. 2652. he did not misunderstand the argument.50 Nor. 144.LAW. fol.13 (ed. ed. 557. such as Giovanni Calderini († 1365) and Lorenzo Ridolfi († 1443). Vat. Giovanni seems to have objected to the proposition that the categories of number. n. did he reject the argument in general. sed quod antea habeant certum et determinatum valorem durante pondere. ETHICS AND ECONOMY 55 quent canonistic authorities on usury. As applied “Sed quia hoc [that is. lat. 48 “Ego de plano concederem quod facilior est harum aestimatio et maxime tempore quo contrahitur restringendo ad illud. ad VI de reg. 50 See the passage immediately preceding that just quoted.7. Giovanni Calderini refers his readers to Giovanni d’Andrea’s quaestio in a repetitio on X 5. Usury and Public Debt in Early Renaissance Florence: Lorenzo Ridolfi on the ‘Monte Comune. that is. by restricting it to [a fixed and determinate measure]. non alternandum in plus vel minus. 283v-284r. fols. the latter described Gerard’s argument as both “useful and elegant. which reproduces Gerard’s observation about the price of fungibles in terms of other things (see above.”47 Nevertheless. 4. 2003). and this appears to be the burden of the qualifying “antea” (“beforehand”) in his comment.19. that usury is naturally vicious] utile et pulchrum videre est. 63vb). weight and measure derive from the nature of fungibles. clearly. ad VI de reg. cit. 4. iur. Giovanni—and later canonists echo him on this point—had an important reservation about the argument as it stood. Lawrin Armstrong.19 Naviganti. numero vel mensura.13 (ed. number or measure remains constant.” Novella. especially when concluding a contract. pars 1.. n. n. 47 . Peccatum. Peccatum. Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana. While agreeing that the valuation of fungibles in terms of number. q. Medieval Schools. paulisper in eo euagemur. cit. 63vb).

5. weight and measure are conventional constructs that have significance only in a contractual context and more specifically in the context of a loan. they are the product of positive law.” Questio de usura. the value cannot fluctuate with respect to number. Unfortunately. Giovanni’s critique went to the heart of Gerard’s question and transformed the terms of the debate. University of Chicago . For Giovanni. Boyer and Julius Kirshner.52 It would be a mistake to con51 “Ius vero canonicum intendit dirigere in bonum commune secundum quod congruit humane societati. number.”51 Gerard of Siena’s sweeping critique of usury was very much in the spirit of the times. insisting on the conventional character of the definition. Leipzig. eds. Gerard’s objective was to reformulate the Thomistic consumptibility argument in a form that rendered it unassailable by resolving an inconsistency that derived in part from Thomas’ over-faithful adherence to Aristotle’s remarks about artificial fungibles. fols. 52 The decree Ex gravi (Clem. 71v-72r. 5. It is precisely this point that Giovanni singled out. 190. que non solum viuit ciuiliter sed eciam regulariter secundum fidem in Deum tendendo et vitam aliam expectando. In short.56 LAWRIN ARMSTRONG to fungibles. as Gerard himself asserts. The value of a fungible is fixed by the contract—not by nature—and once the agreement has been concluded. whose function. there is nothing natural about number. He appealed to the supra-conventional and metalegal standard of nature as the ground for distinguishing between fungibles and non-fungibles. see John W. which is the realm of canon law. art.. 5. which witnessed an intensification of the usury prohibition. Cesena. the remainder of Gerard’s argument holds good. measure and weight: they are conventions agreed upon by human society. In 1317 John XXII promulgated a decree of the Council of Vienne (1311-1312) which increased the penalties for notorious usurers and imposed excommunication on public authorities who tolerated their activities. the only definition of a fungible to which he had access was one that itself derived from law and convention. With this caveat. What does this appropriation and correction of a theologian’s argument by a jurist tell us about the relationship between law and ethics in the later Middle Ages? In a certain sense. is to direct human society towards the common good “in accordance with faith in God and in expectation of the future life. measure and weight. For a translation.1) condemned the legitimation of usury as quasi-heretical and forbade the public licencing of usurers.

n. Hostiensis . most notably the title first proposed by Hostiensis according to which a merchant might claim compensation for legitimate opportunities to profit that he renounced by making a loan. “Usury. see McLaughlin. Giovanni d’Andrea was among the most severe critics of the so-called “extrinsic titles” to usury.19. ego indigens pecunia illam recipio. the existing scholarship on medieval economic ethics.” in John A. what modern economists call “opportunity cost”.19. . ETHICS AND ECONOMY 57 clude from Giovanni d’Andrea’s reservations about Gerard’s argument that lawyers were somehow more accommodating of usury than their theological colleagues. Verius videtur dictum Innocentii et quod dicitur de interesse. ut alio deferret vel tempore servaret propter lucrum. lucrum cessans (cessant gain). 53 For discussions. “Teachings. 55 For a critique of some of the assumptions underlying the historiography.55 The relationship between canon law and ethics in late medieval Europe is a subject that merits further study. A Renaissance of Conflicts: Visions and Revisions of Law and Society in Italy and Spain (Toronto: Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies. and Spicciani. and this (admittedly narrow) case study suggest Readings in Western Civilization. Capitale e interesse. eds..LAW. 27-48. On the contrary. offerens me illam restituere cum lucro sperato in termino et loco? Dicit hic Innocentius quod licet quidam contrarium teneant. Marino and Thomas Kuehn. most accepted Giovanni’s judgement on cessant gain and his endorsement of Gerard’s natural law argument against usury. illud locum habet post moram debitoris. 173-240. Gerard does not cite the decree in his quaestio. et ex contrario pararetur aperta via ad foenus. see McLaughlin. cit. quod facturus erat verisimiliter ex pecunia. see Lawrin Armstrong. Noonan. indeed. and trans. Conscience and Public Debt: Angelo Corbinelli’s Testament of 1419. Julius Kirshner and Karl F. si sibi liceret taliter stipulari sub colore lucri speranti aliquid ultra sortem.” Novella. dummodo nil fiat in fraudem usurarum et dictus mercator dicto modo non consueverit pecuniam tradere ad usuram. 115-28. staret enim usurarius paratus cum capello. On the penalties for usury. 1986). Scholastic Analysis. dicit quod tali mercatori obligatus sum ad interesse illius lucri. 54 “Quid si habens pecuniam volebat ad nundinas ire et merces emere.” 2: 1-22. particularly on the usury prohibition. 77vb). vol. nec scit illum excusare. ad X 5. Morrison (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press. 4. 2004). namely. ipse putat hunc contractum usurarium. more “business-friendly” than theologians. “Teachings. dicens se ad nundinas ire velle. ocreis et calcaribus ad modum Foroiuliensium. ed.5 (ed... 317.53 In Giovanni’s view lucrum cessans “furnishes a highway to usury” and should therefore be rejected. fol. Although the two disciplines were clearly in accord about behavioral norms.. as the literature sometimes suggests. Medieval Europe.54 Late medieval and Renaissance canonists were not.” 1: 144-7.

.58 LAWRIN ARMSTRONG that a fruitful area of research will prove to be the relationship between—and relative weight assigned by law and theology to— nature and convention.

including while being a student of commercial law and history under the auspices of the acclaimed authority in the field. The Idea.” reflective of the dominance of purposive rationality in social relations. perhaps due to the fact.” in Max Weber Studies 4 (2004): 51-75. While medieval historians and economists continue to debate what if any effect the Catholic church’s ban on taking interest on loans had on economic development. Relating his studies to Max Weber. Lawrin Armstrong. The Idea. and Sam Whimster for their comments and suggestions. John Munro. 1 . sociologists have abandoned the topic. 2nd ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press. to one of “universal otherhood. as he writes in the prologue to the second edition. reproduced here with permission of the journal.2 Nelson reconstructs the history of religious attitudes toward usury in the Western world using the Weberian theme of a transformation from an ethic of “tribal brotherhood. I would like to thank Nick Danigelis. xi.4 Since then few sociologists have acknowledged that Weber included references to the prohibition of contracting any increment above the principal of a loan in medieval Catholicism and in other An earlier version of this paper was published under the title “Max Weber on Usury and Medieval Capitalism: From The History of Commercial Partnerships to The Protestant Ethic. 1969). 3 Nelson. 4 Nelson.3 Yet Nelson provides no substantive discussion of Weber’s more intricate viewpoints.MAX WEBER AND USURY: IMPLICATIONS FOR HISTORICAL RESEARCH1 Lutz Kaelber Introduction Scholarly interest in usury varies widely across the disciplines. 2 Benjamin Nelson. Only Benjamin Nelson has afforded it a detailed analysis.” or charity among kin. that his book had been fully formed before he came across Weber’s writings. he notes that Weber had analyzed provisions against usury in a variety of settings and contexts. the anonymous reviewers for Max Weber Studies. 235. The Idea of Usury: From Tribal Brotherhood to Universal Otherhood. Levin Goldschmidt.

The content of Weber’s thought is discussed in three sections. Had religion been merely the reflection of material conditions in the transition from a feudal to a capitalist economy. his earlier approach. Here. and even fewer describe and analyze what these references entail and what they mean. Solomon (Stanford: Stanford University Press. 258 n. 1996). 226-7. The second section addresses usury in the context of Weber’s Protestant Ethic essay published in 1904-1905 and subsequent rebuttals of his critics. who acknowledges that Weber “discusses usury quite a bit” without further analysis. Fragmented and strewn. these views nevertheless provide important insights. which contains his most extensive discussion of the medieval prohibition of usury and its effects on economic development. over a variety of his writings. Weber questioned the validity of Werner Sombart’s materialist interpretation of the role of ethics in economic development. who notes that Weber considered the ban on usury a part of the traditionalist ethic of the pre-Reformation church that inhibited the emergence of modernity but does not explore the context of Weber’s argument and why Weber thought this to have been the case. trans. Moreover. in bits and pieces. 343 n. Weber argued. Paradoxes of Modernity.60 LUTZ KAELBER religions.247. It also addresses similarities and differences between Weber’s views and those held by contemporary scholars. 1998). N. The topic emerged in Weber’s dissertation and gradually came to constitute a part of Weber’s inquiries into the salvation economy of medieval Christianity. Usury was not a peripheral topic in Weber’s writings. who found innovative ways to cope with the moral regulation of economic affairs and ultimately render them ineffective. many of whom saw the emergence of certain economic institutions such as commercial partnerships as a means of evading the Church’s ban—an argument Weber refuted. Drawing parallels between medieval guild members and modern stockbrokers. Weber drew on his new explorations of the relationship between religion and the economy as well as his earlier studies on the German stock exchange to argue a point that was consistent with. religious See Wolfgang Schluchter. The first section explores the emergence of Weber’s views in the context of his dissertation and first book.15. but not identical to. Weber’s writings on the topic contain insights pertinent to recent scholarship. Max Weber and the Idea of Economic Sociology (Princeton: Princeton University Press. 5 . and Richard Swedberg.5 This paper addresses the development of Weber’s views on usury.

Rejecting new claims by Sombart and others that the medieval Catholic church’s ban on taking interest on loans was a boon rather than a bane for investing assets. The third section addresses Weber’s views on usury as they derived from his comparative studies on the world religions and Economy and Society. Weber compared different religions’ usury provisions and demonstrated that their stringency did not correlate with economic development. trans. from an economic point of view. Published in 1889 and based on his dissertation.6 In a little-known and heretofore never discussed section. Weber responds to the argument that medieval partnerships were founded to circumvent canon law’s prohibition of usury. the conclusion endeavors some thoughts on how Weber’s views may inform current scholarly debates concerning the historical role of the religious prohibition of interest on loans in Western history. The Role of Usury in Economic Development and the Relative Autonomy of Law and the Economy: Weber’s Dissertation Weber discussed usury as early as in his first book. see also L. While a discussion of the merit of Weber’s argument is beyond the purview of this paper. which secular statutes adopted as well. MD: Rowman and Littlefield. Kaelber (Lanham. a loan of capital in return for the payment of 6 Max Weber. it contains a legal analysis of medieval partnerships. Max Weber. “Max Weber’s Dissertation. L. Zur Geschichte der Handelsgesellschaften im Mittelalter (Stuttgart: Enke. Weber explores the topic to a greater extent than in any other writing and establishes the framework for later analyses. He notes: Endemann argued that even loans that represented. Kaelber. The History of Commercial Partnerships in the Middle Ages. .” History of the Human Sciences 16 (2003): 27-56.MAX WEBER AND USURY 61 authorities would not have expressed heightened concern regarding usury in times of economic expansion. 2003). 1889). Weber thematized the development of markets and the development of usury prohibitions as countervailing rationalizations of the religious sphere and the sphere of the economy. In The History of Commercial Partnerships.

had long been concluded. in need of capital... Almost all statutes addressed it . explains why part of the risk was assumed by capitalists. When the doctrine of usury—if one can agree that such existed— appeared on the economic scene. in fact. which could not perceive of the investment of capital for the purpose of an expedition overseas in any other terms than as a participation in it—that is. or merely the further development of an existing institution. We know of similar attempts to construct the purchase of perpetual rent as a hidden interest-bearing loan secured by a mortgage.. the repayment of a loan taken out for the purpose of funding the venture had to appear highly questionable... There is no evidence for that. and that it fulfilled independent economic needs and not at all acted as a stopgap for the missing interest-bearing loan. But one cannot argue that the development of a new institution of law. supplied willingly . This institution corresponded to views prevalent in Mediterranean trade.. This explains . In the case in which a maritime venture experienced a catastrophic loss.. This. in Italy as well as in other places. While we have also seen that the commenda and the societas maris were indeed used as forms of investment. the oldest area of large trade. why the investment of capital took on the form of a share of the risk in exchange for a share of the profit. rather than a subtle attempt to circumvent the prohibition of usury. the latter of which nascent commerce. it is a vast exaggeration to assume that capital invested in such a way had chosen this form of investment because there was no way for it to be invested in the form of an interest-bearing loan. happened due to this prohibition.. The analyses by Arnold and others have shown that the purchase of perpetual rent developed gradually out of renting real estate in towns.. at that time these partnerships had already developed into their most advanced form in the Middle Ages. as Lastig has strongly argued against Endemann. This holds true even when capital available for investment later employed this institution—but not before it had come to fruition independently—as a substitute for the non-existent interest-bearing mortgage loan ..62 LUTZ KAELBER fixed interest were constructed in the form of a partnership. there is evidence of the contrary . but this view has been abandoned. Changes in these views reflect the fact that risk became more calculable. as sharing its risk as well. The prohibition led to the end of some institutions such as the dare . according to the statutes of Pisa. The role played by the canonical prohibition was therefore not a small one. It also explains why forms of partnerships that economically resembled a loan still appear to have legally been constructed as partnerships with a fixed dividend. even for the property of wards. Therefore. the development of the forms of partnership.

These facts show clearly that the prohibition of usury did not give rise to the form of partnership. Weber distinguishes between loans for consumption and loans for investment purposes. . which corresponds most poorly to the institution of a partnership but seems best suitable as a paradigm of Endemann’s theory.8 While this arrangement took out the risk for the capitalist. 109-10. The History. and otherwise. more common types of partnerships. The prohibition of usury was therefore not entirely without teeth. which was based on a capitalist’s willingness (literally) “to give for making profit on maritime voyages. appears to have been fully developed before the doctrine of usury took hold. Investment loans were more important for economic development than consumption loans. Zur Geschichte. Even the proficuum maris. whereas for the latter it led to the decline of the dare ad proficuum maris.” That form of partnership developed in the later Middle Ages. I have made corrections or retranslated parts of them. 145. he argues. who merely contributed his capital without further involvement and relied on a fixed dividend or rate of return (certum lucrum). Weber. it also made the partnership vulnerable to the accusation of usury and led to its ultimate demise. Zur Geschichte. he does not advocate that usury laws were without impact. Since in 7 In this and other passages taken from English translations of Weber’s writings. 111-4. Weber.7 Weber makes four important arguments here. 136-7. See Weber. Weber’s second argument relates to the investment of capital in other. 122. Weber. For the former the prohibition of interest was indeed a constraining factor. Zur Geschichte.” where an investor invested in a company operating out of a shop. The History. Its equivalent on land was the “dare ad proficuum de terra in bottega vel alio loco.MAX WEBER AND USURY 63 ad proficuum maris. 137-9. a share in which could then be reasonably guaranteed. and in the various forms of partnerships capital found ready investment opportunities. was very limited. as Weber shows for the city of Pisa. 8 Weber. not creative. Weber. when diminishing risks on commercial voyages to sea ports in the Mediterranean allowed for the calculation of an average profit. function. The usury ban’s effect on those partnerships. some of which are buried in obscure language and references. both on land and at sea. First. it also served a restrictive. and it later fell victim to this doctrine once it had fully taken hold. The History. Its demise was not due to the way in which risk was distributed but happened because of the certum lucrum.

176 n.9 it focused more on usury laws’ legal construction. Arnold’s major study on the development of real property in German cities included census contracts (an annuity or perpetual rent). Kalberg (Los Angeles: Roxbury. he could legitimately reap a profit. trans. 2001). which did not emerge as a response to the prohibition of 9 Franz Xaver Funk. 57 n. In 1874 and 1883. Zins und Wucher: Eine moraltheologische Abhandlung mit Berüchsichtigung des gegenwärtigen Standes der Kultur und der Staatswissenschaften (Tübingen: Laupp’sche Buchhandlung. Endemann’s tome was considered the major study of this sort at the time. “[are] today out of date in regard to detail yet still remain fundamental” (Max Weber. 3d ed. M. 10 Weber’s History of Commercial Partnerships and his Grundriss zu den Vorlesungen über Allgemeine (“Theoretische”) Nationalökonomie (Outline to the Lectures on General [“Theoretical”] National Economy) of 1898 mention Endemann on several occasions (Max Weber.32). S. 1988). and economic relevance than on their ethical aspects.64 LUTZ KAELBER most medieval partnerships a partner who provided capital incurred the risk of losing it and sometimes involved himself in carrying on business. In doing so. the legal scholar Wilhelm Endemann had published a massive two-volume study on the economic doctrines in Roman canon law. Weber. the prohibition of usury simply did not apply to most of the commercial associations Weber explored.” in Gesammelte Aufsätze zur Religionssoziologie I (Tübingen: Mohr. which. 12. Weber refers once more to Funk (whose name he misspells) and to Endemann’s studies that. but while Weber acknowledges Endemann’s contributions (as well as Funk’s). Hence. “Die protestantische Ethik und der Geist des Kapitalismus. practical effects. according to him. with certain exceptions. The third argument concerns the timing of the emergence of stricter usury laws and the legal development of partnerships in the later Middle Ages. Such a profit was seen as entirely different from taking interest on a loan. Weber relies in part on the findings of a certain “Arnold.10 he takes issue with Endemann’s contention that medieval partnerships developed mainly as a means of circumventing increasingly stringent usury laws. 17).. Grundriss zu den Vorlesungen über Allgemeine (“Theoretische”) Nationalökonomie (Tübingen: Mohr. but compared to studies by Catholic theologians and authors such as Franz Xaver Funk’s. The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. was prohibited.. . 1868). which is a reference to the scholar of Roman and German history Wilhelm Arnold.” whom he mentions in the quoted passage. 1990). In The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism of 1919-1920. 16. It was not the first study that addressed usury.

Pisa’s codified commercial customs dating back to as early as c.. Arnold. and those of the scholar of law Gustav Lastig. on medieval partnerships. “Rente. Weber considers the first one to be historically older. 92. the unilateral and the bilateral commenda. Rentenkauf. The risk is thus limited to the investor’s contribution. 13 P. II.” in P. 12 G. Weber argues that the unilateral commenda is therefore the medieval precursor to the modern form of commission agency. For a supportive assessment. on the other hand.14 In a bilateral partnership. Rentenmarkt. “Beiträge zur Geschichte des Handelsrechts. the equivalent in modern German commercial law is the “dormant partnership” (Stille Gesellschaft). Jahrhundert: Die Constituta usus et legis von Pisa. 311-7.” in Lexikon des Mittelalters (Munich: LexMa. 1146-1154.11 Yet Weber’s main argument derives to a much larger extent from his own studies. Recht und Schrift im Mittelalter (Sigmaringen: Thorbecke. Classen. which is a constitutive element of the bilateral partnership. 1861). Lastig. I. The managing partner did not partake in the risk and gradually developed into the capitalist’s agent. 1977). 7: 736. In the Constitutum usus. It lacks a separate fund. and his involvement in the partnership is not transparent to third parties. Lastig12 had launched an attack on Endemann’s thesis for not sufficiently distinguishing between different types of partnerships and misrepresenting how capital was invested in them. Of the two main forms of commendas he studied. Classen. In a pioneering analysis of documents in Italian archives. 1995). a capitalist provided capital to an enterprise in which a managing partner carried out the business transactions.-J. Zur Geschichte des Eigentums in den deutschen Städten (Basel: Georg. G.MAX WEBER AND USURY 65 usury. for an investor contributes capital but is not made liable to third parties by his partners’ actions. Lastig.13 this form of partnership was known as dare ad portandum in compagniam. ed. 14 As Weber points out. “Beiträge zur Geschichte des Handelsrechts. In that arrangement. Weber supports many of Lastig’s views but he also goes beyond the latter’s studies by showing that changes in the legal arrangements of medieval commercial partnerships made them increasingly less similar to an interest-bearing loan or other such types of investments at the same time as the usury doctrine stiffened.” Zeitschrift für das Gesamte Handelsrecht 23 (1878): 138-78. a se11 W. buying and selling goods in his own name on the account of the principal. “Kodifikation im 12. This institution of European . Gilomen. see H.” Zeitschrift für das Gesamte Handelsrecht 24 (1879): 387-449.

he follows his academic teacher. In the societas maris referred to in the Constitutum usus.” The fourth argument contained in the passage is implicit but nevertheless important. His viewpoint is based on the supposition that both law and the economy in the Middle Ages had sufficient societal autonomy to proceed along their own trajectories and that developments in either sphere could simply be adduced by reference to another social sphere such as religion. “the development of the forms of partnership . and partnership business is undertaken in a joint name. From a legal perspective the partnership’s capital is separate from the investors’ personal assets. Thus. and with regard to the concomitant increase in the spheres’ relative autonomy. had long been concluded. The History. 22-7. Kaelber.66 LUTZ KAELBER dentary investor as well as a traveling partner each contribute capital and share the profits or losses. “Max Weber’s Dissertation in the Context of His Early Life and Career. The History.. see L. that of the firm. While interdependencies are always empirically observable. which has joint and several liability. when the doctrine of usury got its teeth. Weber argues. whereas the traveling partner’s liability is unlimited.. for the shift away from unilateral partnerships and toward bilateral ones as a preferred form of investment was well underway before elaborations of canonical usury prohibitions began in the late twelfth century. including those who stand in the Anglo-American legal tradition. where undisclosed or “silent” partners have unlimited personal liability in the absence of a limited partnership agreement. to partnerships in Florence. derivative of associations of craftsmen and domestic traders.15 Time is important in this analysis. the sedentary partner’s legal liability is limited to his capital contribution. Zur Geschichte. their existence does not allow for the conclusion that one sphere depends on another or merely mirrors developments in the other. 15 Weber also traces the modern general partnership. Goldschmidt also agreed substantively with civil law does not have an exact equivalent in common law countries. the modern limited partnership had its root in the Pisan societas maris. This finding not only undercuts the argument that religious prohibitions affected these economic changes but also explains why Weber holds that. 108. the legendary scholar of commercial law Levin Goldschmidt. See Weber. . who stressed such autonomy throughout his writings. hence. Weber sees a differentiation of institutional spheres before modernity. 135. Weber.” in Weber.

Usury and Medieval Religion: The “Protestant Ethic” Essays and Weber’s Rebuttals of Rachfahl After finishing his dissertation. 16 .g. However. e. Both were supportive of national liberalism and favored a limited intervention of the state in the economy. 1891). Barbalet. it is likely that he had long before formed an opinion.”18 Weber was thus first exposed to the issue of the prohibition of usury and its effects on economic development in his studies of the medieval urban Italian economy. The agreement between the two scholars extended beyond usury. which he approached as a legal scholar. 151. not to mention more lenient secular laws. based on his own documentary analyses. 18 It seems impossible to determine who influenced whom. “Max Weber’s Writings on the Bourse: Puzzling Out a Forgotten Corpus.” Journal of Classical Sociology 1 (2001): 147-70). J. L.MAX WEBER AND USURY 67 Weber’s position. they had similar views on German politics and economic policy at the time. The History. thus increasing rather than decreasing interest rates. At most usury laws introduced additional restrictions to the market for credit. Weber quickly moved on to other topics. 17 Weber. Zur Geschichte. Goldschmidt made his first extensive comments on the topic in 1891. 170. M. Presumably relying on Weber’s Italian case studies. Weber. Borchardt. He would not address the issue of usury in detail again until his two-part essay “The Protestant Ethic and the ‘Spirit’ of CapitalL.16 Correspondingly. Universalgeschichte des Handelsrechts (Stuttgart: Enke. Goldschmidt stated that the prohibition of usury was not effective in throttling economic development. and law’s and the economy’s relatively high degree of autonomy would affect his views when he revisited the topic as part of his Protestant Ethic studies fifteen years later. Goldschmidt.” Max Weber Studies 2 (2002): 139-62. Rejecting Endemann. “Weber’s Inaugural Lecture and Its Place in His Sociology. 140-1. See K. which he may have expressed to Weber during the latter’s preparation of his dissertation. Weber17 notes in the concluding chapter that the prohibition of usury “was more unsettling to theoreticians than to practitioners. Levin Goldschmidt: Ein Gelehrtenleben in Deutschland (Berlin: Duncker & Humblot. for even canon law had provisions that permitted the taking of interest. Despite Weber’s vociferous remarks toward the Poles in his Freiburg inaugural address (see. 1996).. His arguments concerning the limited effect of religious restrictions on interest in Europe’s most advanced economy. Weyhe.

I: Das Problem.68 LUTZ KAELBER ism” in 1904-1905 and replies to his critic Felix Rachfahl in 1910. The Protestant Ethic and the “Spirit” of Capitalism and Other Writings. and trans. He is now concerned with the practical aspects of religious ethics. This was also the position of those directly concerned. considerable sums of money flowed into the coffers of the Church institutions as “conscience money. It is here that the amoral and in part immoral character of their actions becomes clear.” some of it even going back to former debtors as “usura” wrongfully taken from them.” which was tolerated solely because it had become an established institution. as those concerned themselves saw it. Wells (London: Penguin. but on account of the constant danger of clashing with the Church’s ban on usury. Even skeptical persons not in sympathy with the Church tended to play safe and pay these sums in order to be reconciled with the Church just in case the worst came to the worst. The sources reveal that upon the death of wealthy people. rather than being hostile to. Weber. after all (at least this rather lax view was widely held). spiritually dubious. and 19 M. outward conformity to the laws of the Church was sufficient to salvation. specifically with the ways in which religion inhibited or contributed to the emergence of a modern capitalist ethos represented in modern vocational culture.” Archiv für Sozialwissenschaft und Sozialpolitik 20 (1904): 32-3. [G]ain as an activity pursued as an end in itself was basically a “pudendum. In his Protestant Ethic essay. 25. P. Weber portrays the Middle Ages as a time before the modern notion of a calling (Beruf) broke the Church’s “mold of medieval economic regulation. M. for which he adopts Werner Sombart’s term: the “spirit” of capitalism. Weber’s approach broadens.. when compared to widely held antichrematistic views. Weber.. 2002). this represented a considerable accommodation of Catholic doctrine to the interests of the financial powers of the Italian cities .” This mold he describes as follows: The phrase “Deo placere non potest” was used in relation to the activity of the merchant. something morally neutral—tolerated. But. economic activities in general. ed. It was an insurance against the uncertainties concerning the afterlife and because. Baehr and G. C. . at best. Their life’s work was. A “moral” view like that of Benjamin Franklin would have been simply unthinkable. “Die protestantische Ethik und der ‘Geist’ des Kapitalismus.19 Weber sees heterodox religion in the Middle Ages as accommodating.

The Protestant Ethic.. What is interesting in the passages above. in terms of the interest exacted for the past year. which could occur on a merchant’s deathbed.” 33 n. 51-2 n. The instructions that follow are also highly typical of the a-moral character of capital gains. facing the issue of usury on an almost daily basis. the immediately preceding injunction (chap. 1140) as indicative of limitations on enterprise. “Die protestantische Ethik. Weber. for example.. he comes to the same conclusion as he did about fifteen years earlier.1. International merchants.20 Weber thus continues to draw on his dissertation to inform his assessment of commercial (and religious) medieval practices. but no positive endorsement of methodically controlled acquisitive activity existed. he notes: We can learn exactly how they used to come to terms with the ban on the taking of interest in. In part this occurred through the aforementioned restitution. in part through the corporate 20 Weber. service or reward received.” In other words.MAX WEBER AND USURY 69 mercantile activities in specific. 63) to record all interest and profits as “gifts. for example. as well as. Weber chooses the phrase “Homo mercator vix aut nunquam deo potest placere” (the merchant can hardly or never please God) in Gratian’s collection of church laws (c. did not simply ignore religious concerns regarding their activities but found ways to adapt to them and assuage lingering doubts. Baehr and Wells. I. the guild obtains indulgence for its members through official channels and through submission to the Church. chapter 65 of the statute of the Arte di Calimala . the prestigious guild of merchants of imported wool. and that they do it in the manner most appropriate to the gift.. : “The consuls must ensure that they make confession to those brethren [confessors] whom they judge most likely to pardon them. Book I. according to custom. is that Weber refers to the prohibition of usury and the related restitution of wrongful gain to illustrate his point.” Today’s stock exchange blacklisting of those who refuse to honor forward contracts by invoking the margin defense (Differenzeinwand) in court can be compared to the vilifying of those who went before an ecclesiastical court pleading exceptio usurariae pravitatis. . trans. From his analysis of the statutes of the Florentine Arte di Calimala. however.36. In the accompanying footnote. Accommodation consisted of practices that allow remorseful transgressors to return to the bosom of the Church.

see M. S. which are contractual transactions based solely on the exploitation of the difference between an initially agreed-upon price and the price set later by the market or exchange. G. German civil law had traditionally not allowed forward or arbitrage contracts. these traders are those “who criticize orthodox procedures” and the exceptio usurariae pravitatis is a plea “for an exemption to the prohibition of usury” (Weber. The Protestant Ethic. 1978). The MWG edition of Weber’s writings on the stock exchange in 1894-189621 has made possible a better understanding of the origin of these words and their meaning. Börsenwesen: Schriften und Reden. 23 Weber. 52. Weber. 204 n. trans. 1976). Roth and C. Economy and Society contains a better translation of a similar passage. trans. Borchardt. n. in cases Weber encountered during his studies on the stock exchange. Börsenwesen. and the Differenzeinwand. or “margin defense. 178 n. and trans.23 M. rendering the contract unenforceable and thus the obligation non-binding. Kalberg. the blacklisted traders are those “who take profits from differential rates” (Weber. 225.35). Baehr and Wells. Börsenwesen.70 LUTZ KAELBER practice of creative economic procedures that circumvented the prohibition of interest. Weber.” was the legal defense used against claims in court lest such speculative contracts be enforced. K. ed. Economy and Society. they were not enforceable. MWG I/5 (Tübingen: Mohr. 1893-1898. the defense is analogous to medieval guilds’ strategies to vilify those invoking exceptio usurariae pravitatis. The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. 1040.22 As Weber puts it. Weber. 31). which has escaped all existing English translations of Weber’s Protestant Ethic writings.” in Weber. for Stephen Kalberg. For Talcott Parsons.36). traders who invoked the margin defense were “brokers who hold back the difference between top price and actual selling price” (M. 21 . 1189. stock market traders dealing among themselves could not invoke such a defense. Cf. ed. At the end of the passage. Since such contracts constituted gambling or betting. 1044. a defense based on the claim that one party’s contractual obligation derived from the other party’s depraved usury. “Einleitung” and “Editorischer Bericht. 28-31. and those who tried. T. Borchardt. Weber. Wittich (Berkeley: University of California Press. trans. 220-1. The Protestant Ethic. However. and for Peter Baehr and Gordon Wells. were indeed blacklisted and thus faced marginalization. Parsons (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons. Weber likens the defensive practices of medieval guilds to those of modern stockbrokers. 1999). Börsenwesen. 507. 22 K. the existing translations of the passage.

Therefore. Stehr and R. xiii-xv. “Introduction. because such restraints had not been a decisive factor in the Middle Ages. 1902).” 9 n. Grundmann (New Brunswick: Transaction. and 45. Der moderne Kapitalismus. Simply put. 28 Weber. referring to Rachfahl’s “peripheral points about church doctrine on ‘usury’ in the Middle Ages.25 In Der Moderne Kapitalismus. Weber takes issue with those who argued that modern capitalism emerged because nascent capitalist entrepreneurs were finally able to shed the ballast of religious constraints on secular activities. Capital. Grundmann. but also strands of ascetic Protestantism continued to be concerned about the morality of taking interest. their relegation to marginal status in the early modern era could not account for the emergence of capitalism.MAX WEBER AND USURY 71 In a different part of the essay. The Protestant Ethic. Fowkes (New York: Vintage. Der moderne Kapitalismus (Leipzig: Duncker & Humblot. He mainly addresses Sombart’s thesis in Der Moderne Kapitalismus (1902). 30. “Die protestantische Ethik. Sombart. Sombart.24 Having written a splendid dissertation on the rural proletariat’s impoverishment and exploitation in the Roman campagna (1888) under the guidance of Gustav Schmoller. . Weber is not convinced by Sombart’s thesis. I. B. Marx. N. Sombart was attuned to a Marxist-materialist interpretation of economic history early in his career.” which for 24 W. Stehr and R.28 He affirms this view a few years later in his rebuttals to Felix Rachfahl’s arguments. not only did Luther remain a traditionalist on usury and other economic matters. Sombart argued that the medieval economy was craft-based and the ban on usury reflected its traditionalist ethic. a leader of the younger Historical School of political economy. Weber argues. 1: 184-7. Moreover. 1: 915. Economic Life in the Modern Age.13. Baehr and Wells. Weber. trans. 1977). 25 N. ed. 27 Sombart.27 The corollary of this position is that lifting the prohibition of interest signified a boost for the new modern capitalist spirit.” in W.1. 2001). 26 K. an alleged desire on their part to engage freely in what previously would have been considered a usurious transaction is squarely at odds with the historical record. 46 n. Sombart related to Karl Marx’s26 notion that feudal economic structures—rather than the existence of usury laws in itself—prevented assets generated through usurious practices from turning into industrial capital. trans.

eds. Social Teaching.20. Graf. O. A. trans. 30 M. Shields (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press. 128.20. The Protestant Ethic Debate: Max Webers’ Replies to His Critics. Harrington. with M. 215-33. MWG I/22-5 (Tübingen: Mohr. Weber. G. ed. PA: Pennsylvania State University Press. Wyon (New York: Macmillan. H. 2001). 29 .72 LUTZ KAELBER economic development “are not at all decisive.” in W. 167. Die protestantische Ethik. 2001). 1987). including accommodating economic practices to a certain extent while formally drawing sharp distinctions between ethical and unethical activities.33 In articles later included in The Economic Teachings of the Christian Churches34 Troeltsch posited that the medieval Church affirmed its claim to “absolute universalism” through the establishment and enforcement of a unitary religious culture that bound all Christians together by a fellowship of love.35 and it rejected usury as a violation of the communitarian ethic of brotherhood. including those that resulted in ethically questionable economic practices. 1907-1910. 55-58. The Social Teaching of the Christian Churches. II. II: Kritiken und Antikritiken.11. 35 Troeltsch. J. Die protestanische Ethik. 112. 34 E. Harrington and M. 1987). Mommsen and J. 32 L. The Protestant Ethic Debate. ed. 341 n. trans. 73. 377 n. 319-20. Weber. Weber. J. 5th ed. “Friendship between Experts: Notes on Weber and Troeltsch. Winkelmann (Gütersloh: Mohn.”29 He traces the origins of the Church’s usury doctrine to a false reading of the Greek Vulgate translation of the Decretals. W. By 1910. M. necessitated the lowering of some standards (for the laity). Social Teaching. Max Weber and His Contemporaries (London: Allen & Unwin.. [1912] 1956). 31 Weber. ed. 129 n. 1998). Chalcraft and A. Weber realized. Weber.36 Such a process of universalizing ethical notions. 33 F. D. 36 Troeltsch.. Kippenberg. Kaelber.31 This position not only reflects a shift in Weber’s work toward a sociology of medieval Catholicism32 but also echoes the views of Ernst Troeltsch. J. and alludes to modern Catholicism’s much more lenient dealings with those matters. Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft: Die Wirtschaft und die gesellschaftlichen Ordnungen und Mächte: Nachlass. Troeltsch. with whom Weber formed a “friendship between experts” that led to much cross-fertilization in their work. Schools of Asceticism: Ideology and Organization in Medieval Religious Communities (University Park.30 mentions the Church’s dealings with usury along with confession as examples of the ways in which the Church was willing to accommodate but not approve of moral shortcomings. Teilband 2: Religiöse Gemeinschaften. Osterhammel.

” in Gesammelte Aufsätze. because it cut short entrepreneurs’ ability to make a profit through illegitimate means and prevented the loss of capital stock of temporarily impoverished craftsmen and others in need. Keller M. trans. 168 n. and. 24-8. and The Quintessence of Capitalism: A Study of the History and Psychology of the Modern Business Man. M.MAX WEBER AND USURY 73 Troeltsch’s input. Weber responds to what can only be described as puzzling claims made by the Catholic theologian Franz Keller and by Sombart. Such a tightly confined prohibition of the taking of interest helped rather than hindered capitalist development. the canonical prohibition of usury played no significant role. In the revised Protestant Ethic. usury had thereby become part of Weber’s reflections on the role of religion for economic development. Usury in Comparative and Systematic Perspective: Weber’s Later Writings Several influences on Weber’s views are evident in the revised Protestant Ethic. as he underlines. In one Weber asserts the validity of his earlier remarks to Rachfahl. 27/The Protestant Ethic. his writings on the economic ethics of the world religions. 40 Keller. Epstein (New York: Dutton. 39 W. and the sections on religious communities and secular and religious rulership in Economy and Society. that for the emergence of modern capitalism’s vocational ethic. Keller claimed inter alia that the Church’s ban on usury pertained only to emergency loans made in cases of sudden privation.23. 1913). Weber elaborated on Troeltsch’s views but also took on recent arguments by Franz Keller and Sombart. Unternehmung und Mehrwert: Eine sozial-ethische Studie zur Geschäftsmoral (Paderborn: Schöningh. Luxus und Kapitalismus (Leipzig: Duncker & Humblot. Keller38 and Sombart39 turned the existing paradigm concerning usury upside down. which is one of the longest. Weber. Kalberg. only in this context. he40 maintained. 1913). 38 F. who would soon again be able to contribute to the economy. Unternehmung.37 In the other insertion. Keller. In two separate publications. 1912). “Die protestantische Ethik. trans. 1915). Two new insertions concern the prohibition of interest. 37 . Der Bourgeois: Zur Geistesgeschichte des modernen Wirtschaftsmenschen (Leipzig: Duncker & Humblot. medieval Catholicism is afforded a more prominent role. Sombart.

Der Bourgeois.32. trans. unlike interest. Krieg und Kapitalismus (Munich: Duncker & Humblot.46 Like Keller. 43 W.. Luxury and Capitalism. Sombart. W.” in Gesammelte Aufsätze. Der Bourgeois. Die Juden und das Wirtschaftsleben (Leipzig: Duncker & Humblot.44 and. Sombart furnished few references to literature supportive of this view. the fusion of adventure capitalism (for which he credits in part the European Jewry) with the modern bourgeois’ rational calculability. Sombart. trans. 1913). 1967). 314-22.45 Sombart’s claim was as simple as Keller’s: by forgoing loans. Sombart. W. Dittmar (Ann Arbor. 46 Sombart. and the dare ad proficuum de mari . “Die protestantische. The Quintessence of Capitalism. [2] at the time when this happened the forms of purely business investment were not loans at a fixed interest rate but the foenus nauticum.. 27 n. Weber is as defensive as he had been against Rachfahl. W. R.25. 45 Sombart.. 57 n.42 trade in luxury goods.2.43 war. societas maris. Calling Sombart’s publication “a book ‘with a thesis’ in the worst sense of this expression” and the “by far the weakest . Seemingly intent on finding the capitalist spirit’s roots in anything but Weber’s Puritans. 1913). In his response in the Protestant Ethic. Luxus und Kapitalismus (Leipzig: Duncker & Humblot. 42 41 . they encountered discernable difficulties stemming from the Sombart.74 LUTZ KAELBER made this argument in the space of a few pages and with barely a reference to historical documents. commenda. Sombart. He attributed an important role in the genesis of modern capitalism to the Jews. [3] when investments at a fixed rate of interest and discounting became possible and common. Sombart. yet other than by a few rigorous canonists they were not held to fall under the ban.. 44 W. The Protestant Ethic. Sombart expanded on it in Der Bourgeois. 1911). Epstein (London: Unwin. Der Bourgeois. Kalberg. 47 Weber. 176 n. money had to seek more productive purposes and was thus invested in business.41 perhaps influenced by Keller’s favorable treatment of Sombart’s previous work. Nevertheless. trans. Weber. 168 n. Sombart advanced an ever-increasing hodgepodge of explanations. The Jews and Modern Capitalism. since profit. was not affected by religious prohibitions.”47 he affirms his earlier positions: The truth is that [1] the church began to reconsider the prohibition of interest only at a rather late time. of his larger studies. lastly. M. W. Sombart.. MI: University of Michigan Press. 1913).

nor was the Church’s rejection of interest in return for giving loans. trans. 48 . 57-8 n. Die Anfänge des modernen Kapitalismus (Munich: Akademie der Wissenschaften. was determined by. They had not changed significantly since his studies under Goldschmidt. See L. [4] the canonists’ treatment of usury was purely formal-legalistic. The ban on usury does not rank among the chief reasons capitalism.32. his comparative studies of the economic ethics of the world religions. 49 Cf. “parallels to the prohibition of interest are to be found in almost all religious ethics around the world. Weber did not respond. The Protestant Ethic. 21. on the on hand. Kalberg.1. while firm. in its “modern” manifestation in form and spirit.32.”50 These views touch on two larger issues Weber raised in two main projects in the last decade of his life: the importance of external religious guidelines for secular action.49 responsible for the investment of money in ethically less clouded forms of investments such as partnerships. Kalberg. “Die protestantische” in Gesammelte Aufsätze. 176 n. . in so far as it can be ascertained at all. [5] lastly.. the Church’s attitude toward capitalism. as Weber notes in an earlier passage in the same note. Lujo Brentano. who held that the Church had effectively given up on regulating interest rates in the late Middle Ages and accepted a ceiling on interest rates. on the other hand. Weber’s other major critic.48 Convoluted in the original German. Brentano. and without any such tendency to “protect capital” as Keller ascribed to them. Weber. and the relationship between religion (as a societal order) and the economy. Weber’s statement regarding a prominent existence of usury rules in religious ethics is an implicit reference to. 1916). 176 n. Weber. Weber addressed the former in his comparative studies on the world religions and the latter in Economy and Society. toward the growing power of capital. mostly diffusely held. where he transcends the Protestant Ethic’s much more circumscribed theme of religious contributions to modern capitalism. The Protestant Ethic. trans. which was impersonal and hence not readily amenable to ethical control . this passage succinctly depicts Weber’s views on usury shortly before his death. and a result of.. which led merchant guilds to adopt drastic defensive measures (blacklisting!).MAX WEBER AND USURY 75 prohibition of usury. “Die protestantische” in Gesammelte Aufsätze. the necessity for accommodation. Rather. a traditional hostility. did not develop in the Middle Ages.. 50 Weber. In the conWeber. 56 n.

NJ: Transaction. 342-3. 235. trans. 54 M. 53 W. 57 For discussion. Weber. Schmidt-Glintzer. ed. Relevant passages in the Torah were interpreted.” xxxiii-xxxix. and trans. N.51 as did Indian Brahminism. ed. 625. MWG I/20 (Tübingen: Mohr. Weber.”53 did not at all or only to a very limited extent. H. Weber. 1998). 1996). 52 M. Knight (New Brunswick. 142-3. IL: Free Press. Weber.und Wirtschaftsgeschichte. for which Weber used the controversial concept of a “pariah people. H. Gerth and D. 55 M.54 Judaism is more difficult to characterize. 85-116. Gerth and D. “Introduction. Weber.” ensured the continued existence of this morality.55 Weber in his study on ancient Judaism traces religious provisions that allowed lending money at interest to strangers to the economic ethics of an oppressed people. M. R. 1964). M. 56 M. ed.76 LUTZ KAELBER text of those studies Weber notes that Islam scorned usury. for both political and religious reasons. London: Verso. 1958). Weber. 100. and trans. The Religion of India: The Sociology of Hinduism and Buddhism. Frank. 357-58. and Domination. Economy and Society. 1967). General Economic History. 86. 268. Rationalism. Elaborating on remarks made in his studies on agrarian history in 1908. who argued that Jews had a special propensity to trade and barter and by extracting profit from money lending contributed to the emergence of the adventure spirit Sombart associated with modern capitalism. trans. MWG I/19 (Tübingen: Mohr. H. the marginalization of Jews. IL: Free Press. Martindale (Glencoe. Martindale (Glencoe. Schmidt-Glintzer. I. Weber. Weber. 90. Religion. ed. H. 3rd ed. H. Weber does not go nearly as far as the increasingly anti-Semitic Sombart.52 whereas Confucianism and Taoism. 1988).56 However. Kippenberg. 56. Weber. ed. . Weber. Although voices existed which rejected this in-group versus out-group morality. 1952). 1988). M.und Wirtschaftsgeschichte (Tübingen: Mohr. Gerth (New York: Free Press. Agrarian Sociology of Ancient Civilizations. 137. ed. The Religion of China: Confucianism and Taoism. Solomon. 435. Weber. to mean that the taking of interest was allowed only from gentiles. 279. J. 1989). Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft. Schluchter. and trans.57 In terms of prohibiting the 51 Weber. 354-5. F. H. Winckelmann. H. H. Die Wirtschaftsethik der Weltreligionen: Konfuzianismus und Taoismus: Schriften 1915-1920. due to their rationalism of “world adjustment. 1989). Die Wirtschaftsethik der Weltreligionen: Hinduismus und Buddhismus: 1916-1920. (Berlin: Duncker & Humblot. 118. see Stehr and Grundmann. Berkeley: University of California Press. M. Ancient Judaism. where he briefly touched on the issue of interest in Israel. trans. 1981). Wirtschaftsgeschichte: Abriss der universalen Sozial. ed. 159. M. Gesammelte Aufsätze zur Sozial. M. Gesammelte Aufsätze zur Religionssoziologie III (Tübingen: Mohr.

The Religion of India. Weber addresses this issue on a more general level in the context of the relationship between the economy and other societal orders in Economy and Society. for it did not provide psychological incentives for the pursuit of ethically tempered acquisitiveness. if it had been. Die Wirtschaftsethik der Weltreligionen: Konfuzianismus.MAX WEBER AND USURY 77 taking of interest. 194. 232. Kippenberg. 562. from other Jews in Judaism. ideas. 115. it produced a “naïve affirmation of the world. unless accompanied by internal changes that redirected people’s motives. . Yet they were externally imposed. 460. Weber. A system of external religious prohibitions cultivated from the outside but not from the inside: it could not thoroughly penetrate economic actions with an inner value. Die Wirtschaftsethik der Weltreligionen: Hinduismus. and trans. 59 Weber. The Religion of China. Weber makes clear. Weber. 58 Weber. Weber. Die Wirtschaftsethik der Weltreligionen: Konfuzianismus. Weber. 1958). W. At best. then areas influenced by Confucianism and Taoism should have been the first to usher in the modern rationalized economy. H. Weber. The role of medieval Catholicism in this process was traditional. in the way of the modern economy. From Max Weber. Two chapters. The core of the obstruction was in the ‘spirit’ of the whole system. and it is not a crucial issue: The core of the obstacle [to developing modern capitalism] did not lie in such particular difficulties [as bans on interest in money lending].”60 not ascetic Protestantism’s world mastery. Gerth and C. 348. 112. 457. 235. Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft. which every one of the great religious systems on its way has placed. Judaism is not the most permissive religion. and interests. hence. or has seemed to place.59 This helps explain why in spite of variations in the prohibition of taking interest—none or little in Confucianism and Taoism.58 The taking of interest in return for a loan is thus only one of many prohibited or negatively stereotyped activities that could interpose obstacles to secular activities. ed. 60 Weber. The prohibition was not a decisive factor. they do not prevent the economic process from running its course. ed. 291. Mills (New York: Oxford University Press. both located in the older part. M. H. Economy and Society. from anyone in late medieval Christianity—none of these religions “developed” modern capitalism and introduced economic rationalization.

61 the other. 377-8. Kippenberg..” in Weber. Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft. those of the “market. Economy and Society. 1985). Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft. This took the form of elaborate casuistries by Canon scholars.63 Weber notes that while Christianity from early on rejected ingroup versus out-group morality in its emphasis on what Troeltsch had called “absolute universalism.. 411-32. 584. Kippenberg. ties his writings on the economy in its relationship to other societal orders to his comparative writings in the sociology of religion. ed. Mommsen. Winckelmann (Tübingen: Mohr. Winckelmann.62 Though the chapters’ foci differ. Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft. Weber. Weber. Weber. ed. Weber. Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft. As he did originally in his dissertation. 2001). Weber stresses repeatedly that the systematization of religious ethics did not reflect material conditions and the unfolding of usury prohibitions is inconsistent with a materialist conception of history. 710-12. Mommsen. 61 . Economy and Society. which is part of Weber’s sociology of domination. 711. Weber’s references to usury are similar and some passages virtually identical. Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft. G. Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft.”64 The Church attempted to come to grips with the amoral forces represented by the economy by means of a rationalization of the ethics that governed its hierocratic means. H.” in E. on religious communities. ed. This reflects a “principal struggle between an ethical and economic rationalization of the economy. “Max Weber’s ‘Grand Sociology’: The Origins and Composition of Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft: Soziologie. 376-83. Hanke. 65 Weber. eds. Rationalism. Hanke and W. One thematizes the relationship between secular and religious rulership. 584. he alludes to the same means of evading or circumventing E. usury was one of the foils against which they could construct a moral code of ethical behavior in the secular world vis-à-vis the impersonalization and “a-morality” brought about by the market place. the dispensation of grace. but see W. Weber.” it developed its strongest rejection of the countervailing ethics. 63 Weber. ed. 19-46. 62 Schluchter.78 LUTZ KAELBER concern usury. J.65 Moreover. J. ed. ed. 1189.” History and Theory 39 (2000): 364-83. Kippenberg. Economy and Society. J. “Max Webers ‘Herrschaftssoziologie’: Eine werkgeschichtliche Studie. 377. rev. “Einleitung. 64 Weber. 5th. Max Webers Herrschaftssoziologie: Studien zur Entstehung und Wirkung (Tübingen: Mohr. Kippenberg.” in its opposition to interest when confronting the acceleration of economic growth in the twelfth century. Next to the notion of a “just price” (justum pretium) in economic transactions. Kippenberg. 583-87. ed. 1188-91. 1-83.

” was that of being a burden on economic affairs. Weber considered the Church’s policies toward usury. the blacklisting of guild members who go before ecclesiastical courts. The latter together with the elaboration of the system of penance and the establishment of ecclesiastical pawn lending institutions in the montes pietatis signify provisions by which the Church acquiesced to ethical conundrums resulting from economic action. Weber.. Kippenberg. by way of analogy. 46-55. Winckelmann. did not help bring forth modern capitalism. Winckelmann.” Ultimately. and Modern Debates on the Role of Usury This analysis has shown that usury was not of marginal importance in Weber’s writings. the purchase of general indulgences. ed. i. Economy and Society. Schools of Asceticism. . 587. Kippenberg. next to its doctrine of a just price. at least according to Weber. 382-3. and increasingly became a mere impediment of commercial life.MAX WEBER AND USURY 79 the ban on taking interest as in the original Protestant Ethic. 711. pushing it along the direction of a “moral declassement and obstacle to a rational business ethic..66 In all. ed. 587. Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft. and merchants’ testamentary gifts of conscience money and charitable endowments as posthumous restitution of usury. 1190.”67 Conclusion: Weber. Weber. 68 Kaelber. while “difficult to estimate. Medieval Catholicism. and its system of a monastic supererogatory accumulation of merit. it was “nowhere really successful in cultivating the development of capitalism . its practices of penance. Had 66 Weber. Weber.68 to be a core element of medieval Christianity’s salvation economy. Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft.e. The fact that Weber considered the religious proscription of usurious practices at most a detriment and at least a nuisance to pre-modern economic development certainly does not imply that a sociological exploration of usury provisions and their impact on actual practices is unwarranted—just as no one. 711. Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft. 381-3. Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft. would want to argue that the analysis of Confucianism or Islam is unimportant merely because these religions. 67 Weber. Weber. Economy and Society. ed. In fact. the summary judgment is the same as it had been all along: the practical consequences of the Church’s ban on usury. ed.. 118990.

trans. 71 H. Given the time that has passed since Weber’s death. Religious Poverty and the Profit Economy in Medieval Europe (Ithaca: Cornell University Press. Little. do his views have any pertinence to recent scholarship? Current scholarship on medieval religion is less inclined to provide a broad characterization of a period spanning close to a millennium than Weber. 72 A.72 and literacy73 as crucial transformations toward more rationalized European societies even before the onset of the Italian Renaissance. Reason and Society in the Middle Ages. Hübinger. however. K. whose views were steeped in contemporary presuppositions of Cultural Protestantism with its anti-Catholic and anti-Lutheran elements. and perhaps even backwardness. broadly support Weber’s (and Goldschmidt’s) notion of a relatively high degree of autonomy of the economic sphere from religious interference. Such studies shatter the impression of a relative continuity in medieval culture. An anonymous reviewer for Max Weber Studies took me 69 . without sufficient contextualization. many of them appear too general. rev. ed. Kulturprotestantismus und Politik: Zum Verhältnis von Liberalismus und Protestantismus im wilhelminischen Deutschland (Tübingen: Mohr. While usury has not been a topic of interest for sociologists since Nelson. S. 1978). 1983). 1985). The Implications of Literacy: Written Language and Models of Interpretation in the Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries (Princeton: Princeton University Press.74 it has received ample attention from medievalist econoG. however. For example. and badly in need of revision in view of newer findings.71 reason. and relate advances toward a modern type of market economy to developments in spheres other than religion. The Idea. Grundmann. 74 Nelson. 1994). one might get from Weber’s admittedly fragmented remarks. he would have addressed the inner workings of this salvation economy in his intended study on Christianity.70 religious dissent. medievalists point to twelfth-century developments in the profit economy. 70 L. Stock. 1994). (Oxford: Clarendon Press.69 Even though Weber may have intended his statements to constitute ideal-typical depictions. Religious Movements in the Middle Ages. 73 B. Usury. They do.80 LUTZ KAELBER Weber been able to carry out the remaining studies on the economic ethics of the world religions. Rowan (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press. Murray. one might reasonably argue. would have played an important role in it.

and Organization 5 (1989): 307-31. I wish to thank Dr. Sacred Trust: The Medieval Church as an Economic Firm (New York: Oxford University Press. Economics.75 proposed the following argument: leaders of the medieval Catholic church were no different from entrepreneurs heading economic firms in their attempts to become monopolistic suppliers of goods and services by establishing public policies that give them a comparative advantage over competitors. “Religious Prohibitions Against Usury. Jr.” Journal of Law and Economics 41 (1998): 1-36. L. Donald Nielsen. in the Church’s usury policies. Their studies fall into three categories: (1) neo-classical economists’ attempts at addressing the impact on usury. Bekar. and Weber). Freud. the authors contend.” Journal of Law. T. C. The voluminous collection of Nelson’s papers housed at Columbia University’s Rare Book and Manuscript Library awaits exploration to shed more light on this topic. Glaeser and J.MAX WEBER AND USURY 81 mists and historians. Economists have recently begun to address usury in the Middle Ages using neo-classical models. Yet not only does this approach fit the historical development of the Church’s economic condition and its usury doctrines poorly. once a doctoral student of Nelson. D. Scheinkman. R. Hébert. G. Ekelund. designated to keep interest rates low and allowing the Church to borrow money more cheaply than in a competitive market environment. F. “Neither a Borrower Nor a Lender Be: An Economic Analysis of Interest Restrictions and Usury Laws.. B. while at the same time restricting competition under conditions in which the Church was herself a creditor.76 it is also inferior to task for claiming Nelson all too readily as a sociologist with the argument that Nelson was a trained medievalist and only later turned to social science (Parsons. Nelson undoubtedly explored materials beyond the more specialized range of medieval/Renaissance studies as early as while preparing his dissertation. 75 R. (2) comparative studies that have begun to expand Weber’s inquiries into other world religions and address Christian usury provisions in the light of other religions’ tenets and practices. It is true that Nelson received both his master’s (in 1933) and doctorate (in 1944) in medieval history. 1996). However. et al. Such “rent-seeking behavior” can also be found. Ekelund. R. and R. Jr. and (3) a multifaceted controversy about Weber’s core question of how much the prohibition on taking interest on a loan impeded economic development. B.” Explorations in Economic History 40 . as a prodigious reader. for kindly supplying me with some of this information. Tollison. Robert Ekelund et al. 76 See E. Reed and C. “An Economic Model of the Medieval Church: Usury as a Form of Rent Seeking... and with certainty extended his subsequent studies beyond those three scholars.

Die Wirtschaftsethik der Weltreligionen: Konfuzianismus. who prefaced his exploration of Christian usury doctrines with a study of usury provisions in Judaism. The Idea. Weber. R. 1990).80 A truly comparative analysis of religious prohibitions against usury that (2003): 347-68. Das islamische Recht im Wandel: Riba.77 Weber’s “political economy” model of usury policies. Unlawful Gain and Legitimate Profit in Islamic Law: Riba. namely in its ethical doctrine toward those spheres. S. scholars have studied Jewish vis-à-vis Christian lenders in the Middle Ages. From Max Weber. Medieval Usury and the Commercialization of Feudal Bonds (Berlin: Duncker & Humblot. 479-522.78 Since then. 1993). Gharar. as rationalizations in societal spheres develop according to their own logic and quite possibly in different directions. Rather than being a reflection of changing material conditions. Moneylending. 79 J. not less valuerational. . A. xix-xxii. Shatzmiller. 80 N. and Medieval Society (Berkeley: University of California Press. It is more compelling. Saleh. One of the first scholars to engage in this line of work was Nelson. which may lead to sharper conflicts between these spheres. which affords religion the ability to contribute autochthonous elements to such policies. Weber showed. 1999). Zins und Wucher in Vergangenheit und Gegenwart (Münster: Waxmann. Lohlker. it will respond to a rationalization in politics and the economy that intrudes into its own sphere (as in the twelfth century) by a rationalization of its own. appears to represent a step back from Weber’s studies and might benefit from drawing on some of Weber’s insights. as some neo-classical economists want to have it—one might recall Sombart’s position outlined earlier in this paper—usury policies may thus be in sharper conflict with economic practices. 77 Weber. and Islamic Banking (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Herman. 78 Nelson. 1986). Shylock Reconsidered: Jews. Such policies may become more. therefore deserves more recognition in these debates. at least as currently applied to medieval ecclesiastical policy.79 and Islamic views toward usury in this and other periods. for it relies on the assumption that the Church’s policies were driven by the intent to bring about economic results rather than moral reform. The comparative aspect of Weber’s writings on usury has been taken up by an increasing number of studies that go beyond Christianity.82 LUTZ KAELBER to Weber’s. to assume that when a hierocratic institution is embedded in a political and economic structure in which it can influence but not dominate public policies. 323-59. The neo-classical model.

. McLaughlin. historians have paid much attention to the emergence of the usury doctrine in the Middle Ages and early modern era. Teachings on Usury in Judaism. Christianity. “The Politics of Usury in Trecento Florence: The Questio de Monte of Francesco da Empoli. “The Teaching of the Canonists on Usury (XII. NY: Cornell University Press. Nor is there evidence that disputes over usury simply ceased with the Reformation. that the ecclesiastical teachings did not simply become more “capital friendly” but rather more stringent on usurious loans—as distinguished from other. there exists now a rich literature on how Canon lawyers and Church theologians defined and classified usurious practices. O. Their findings defy simple description. P. Finally. including delayed repayment. and to the ways economic practice reflected them or reacted to it. and Islam (Lewiston. 1957). Noonan. W. 2003) for the religious accommodation of interest on communal public debt in Florence.82 The variations in their views seem far too great to accord with the impression of a strong consistency one might get from reading Weber and his contemporaries. T. L. This literature shows their teachings constituted no monolithic set of teachings but a sometimes discordant set of voices on a common theme. Yet Weber’s overall argument. Armstrong. Langholm. J. NY: Mellen. The Aristotelian Analysis of Usury (Bergen: Universitetsforlaget. L. Charity and State in Late Renaissance Italy: The Monte di Pietà of Florence (Ithaca. and exchange dealing83—is not refuted. “The Teaching of the Canonists on Usury (XII. Princes. 82 See especially T. Menning. Langholm. 2000). 83 These are discussed in the aforementioned literature. 1993) for the credit lending practices of the montes pietatis. S.” Mediaeval Studies 61 (1999): 1-44. Value.” Mediaeval Studies 1 (1939): 81-147. McLaughlin. as if such disputes were merely a reflection of the advent of modern capitalism on the 81 For example. 1200-1350 (Leiden: Brill. T. P. however. cessant gain. Regarding the Church’s “accommodation” of business lending and public finance.MAX WEBER AND USURY 83 includes doctrines81 as well as their secular impact appears to be still in its infancy. Armstrong. XIII and XIV Centuries). Masters. XIII and XIV Centuries). sharing of risk. see C. 1970). emergent loss or damages. Usury and Public Debt in Early Renaissance Florence: Lorenzo Ridolfi on the ‘Monte Comune’ (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies. Baldwin. and Usury According to the Paris Theological Tradition. Exchange. J. and Merchants: The Social Views of Peter the Chanter and His Circle (Princeton: Princeton University Press. Buckley. Money. actually or possibly legitimate forms of taking interest.” Mediaeval Studies 2 (1940): 1-22. annuities. and L. 1992). The Scholastic Analysis of Usury (Cambridge: Harvard University Press. O. In regard to development of doctrine. Economics in the Medieval Schools: Wealth. 1984).

. trans. Interest. The Merchant in the Confessional: Trade and Price in the Pre-Reformation Penitential Handbooks (Leiden: Brill. and the Merchants of Medieval Genoa. Nelson. The still dominant view.” in The Dawn of Modern Banking (New Haven. .” in J. Goldhammer (Chicago: University of Chicago Press.87 But the crux of the matter is actual practice.” William and Mary Quarterly 54 (1997): 747-68. 85 M. L. 2004: Putting an End to Ancestor Worship. The Birth of Purgatory. “The Usurer and Purgatory. L. 86 For example. J. and the Reformation (Aldershot: Ashgate. CT: Yale University Press. Your Money or Your Life. Rodney Stark. F.84 LUTZ KAELBER super-structural plane. 1989). 88 B.” in Studi in onore di Armando Sapori (Milan: Instituto Editoriale Cisalpino. Conscience. 2004).” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 43 (2004): 465-74. Restitution.88 which implies that Church doctrine had not deterred them from engaging in these activities in the first place. Le Goff. LeGoff describes the birth of purgatory as a way of allowing usurers to avoid eternal damnation. “SSSR Presidential Address. “Restitution in Renaissance Florence. While there is evidence of merchants so bothered by soteriological implications of their usurious activities that they paid considerable restitution on their deathbed. Galassi. trans. “Religious Discipline and the Market: Puritans and the Issue of Usury.85 Moreover. F. Marino and T. “Buying a Passport to Heaven: Usury. See J. 1957). A Renaissance of Conflicts: Visions and Revisions of Law and Society in Italy and Spain (Toronto: Centre for Renaissance and Reformation Studies. “The Usurer and the Merchant Prince: Italian Businessmen and the Ecclesiastical Law of Restitution. Jones. P. Le Goff. 1979): 25. Edler de Roover. 1988). Valeri.” Religion 22 (1992): 313-26. 1984). “Usury. Le Goff. that the Church’s condemnation of usurious loans “did nothing to shackle the development of capitalism”89 and was “never a hindrance to the growth 84 N. 89 J. Kerridge. and Public Debt: Angelo Corbinelli’s Testament of 1419. God and the Moneylenders: Usury and Law in Early Modern England (Oxford: Blackwell. Armstrong. eds. A. 87 O. 173-240.84 On the contrary. such disputes were played out with particular intensity in ascetic Protestant groupings.” Journal of Economic History 7 (Supplement) (1947): 104-22. Kuehn. 2003). Weber seems vindicated in rejecting simplistic assumptions about individuals or corporate entities as simply being rational utility-maximizing agents in religious markets86 who operate on the basis of strategic economic interests rather than longstanding normative concerns and ethical principles. L. E. Langholm. Ranum (New York: Zone. A. historians have achieved no consensus on the extent to which usury doctrine influenced business practices and was a detriment to economic development. Usury. 2002). 775-89.

22.” in The Dawn of Modern Banking (New Haven.91 Since the prohibition applied to all loans but usury concerns could be circumvented much more readily in investment credit transactions. Wood. 1974). J. see also H. Wucher. 2002). A History of Business in Medieval Europe. D. Medieval Economic Thought (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. will likely continue to fuel debates among historians about religion’s role in the emergence of modern capitalism. “The Dawn of Modern Banking. Kirshner. and Economic Thought in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe: Selected Studies of Raymond de Roover (Chicago: Chicago University Press. “The Medieval Origins of the Financial Revolution: Usury. 1999). “Raymond de Roover on Scholastic Economic Thought. 70-4. or avoided altogether in investments in most forms of commercial partnerships.92 Moreover. 32-33. ed. Munro. 1200-1550 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. S. Gilomen. that the prohibition had a certain steering function in guiding banking away from loans and toward exchange transactions and annuities. C. While it is true that Weber relied on a much narrower base of documents than economic historians have access to today. which ironically drove interest rates up instead of down. such a function could indeed be readily observed in those areas of commerce and finance.-J.. CT: Yale University Press. 1979). C. 90 . M. Hunt and J. 290-5. Lopez.93 The research on evasive practices engendered by the prohibition of usury. Money and Banking in Medieval and Renaissance Venice (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. his approach to studying usury provisions as an important example of the ways in which religious ideas might shape and direct secular mateR. If anything. Banking. 91 J. Gilomen. Murray. F. “Wucher und Wirtschaft im Mittelalter. 1985).” in J. 92 E. 75-8. Lane and R.” International History Review 25 (2003): 505-62.” Historische Zeitschrift 250 (1990): 265-301. 181-205. and Negotiablity. Mueller. Business. Kirshner. together with the exploration of its unintended consequences. the ecclesiastical teachings were not equitably enforced. the petty pawnbrokers and small lenders of emergency loans for immediate consumptive needs were marginalized or forced out of the market if not legally protected by a charter or a license. associated with the works of Raymond de Roover and others.”90 has been tempered by the recognition. while larger lenders and companies were less likely to suffer the opprobrium of usury when engaging in credit-bearing transactions. Many themes in these debates still resonate with Weber’s exploration. 93 For example. Rentes.MAX WEBER AND USURY 85 of credit institutions.

Max Webers Sicht des okzidentalen Christentums (Tübingen: Mohr. .86 LUTZ KAELBER rial interests can still be considered relevant to these debates. 265. L. Schluchter. ed. played a significant role in medieval religion’s moral economy and was an integral part of his sociology of religion and writings on the relationship between religion and the economy.94 Usury. it occupied institutions and sometimes posed stark ethical choices for individuals. and so did the fourteenth-century Italian Benvenuto de Rambaldis da Imola: “He who commits usury goes to hell. Wucher. 410-36. Weber thought.”95 94 Cf.” in W.. K. Therefore it was an important topic. “Der Aufstieg des Bürgertums und die religiöse Vergemeinschaftung im mittelalterlichen Europa. he who doesn’t. 1988). faces penury. Modern historians agree. 95 Gilomen. Reyerson. as an issue.


x x .

“Presidential Address: History and Africa/Africa and History. breaks with the old and the emergence of the new. 2 Luís Felipe Thomaz.2 Yet. 1 . The purpose of these debates is to discover the historical moments of change. Miller. in different ways. which hailed the overseas expansion for its contribution to scientific discovery and the unfolding of human horizons.” The American Historical Review 104 (1999): 25-32. De Ceuta a Timor (Lisbon: Difel. under the title “A evolução da política expansionista portuguesa na primeira metade de quatrocentos” (pp. the leading figure in the study of economic aspects of the Portuguese overseas expansion. 43-147).1 There are few areas where this approach can be more useful than in assessing the nature and roots of the early overseas expansion. capitalist future. “Le Portugal. F. Thomaz. As Luís Felipe Thomaz has recently pointed out. past historiography has created a double trap for those analysing the early Portuguese overseas expansion: the nineteenth-century tradition. The foremost representative of the Braudelian school of economic historians in Portugal was Vitorino Magalhães Godinho. The entrepreneurial role of the Portuguese Crown in the overseas expansion in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries is intricately woven into debates on the origins of modernity and the capitalist economy. The role of the Portuguese Crown in the economy of the early overseas expansion is thus deeply entangled in an ideological and Joseph C. Miller called for return to a humanist approach to history and to rigorous historicism. Joseph C. both trends saw the overseas expansion and the role of the Portuguese state as a break with the past and a foretaste of a modern. The article was reprinted.THE KING’S BUSINESS IN AFRICA: DECISIONS AND STRATEGIES OF THE PORTUGUESE CROWN Ivana Elbl Introduction In his recent AHA presidential address. in Portuguese. 1994).” Arquivos do Centro Cultural Português 26 (1989): 161-2. et l’Afrique au XVe siècle: Les débuts de l’expansion. in L. and the twentieth-century reaction to this heroizing approach. which stressed a societal and structuralist approach and sought answers in economic and social processes.

The late medieval Portuguese finances followed a pattern similar to those of Castile. While not without usefulness. 1968).”in Vitorino Magalhães Godinho. Manuel Nunes Dias’ enduring concept of the “capitalismo monárquico português” (Portuguese state capitalism) constitutes only one reflection of the essential place the Portuguese overseas ventures have been assigned in the various theories and historical models of the emergence of capitalism. Tracy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. See for example Sanjay Subrahmanyam and Luís Felipe Thomaz.” in Political Economy of Empires.90 IVANA ELBL epistemological modelling that is essentially presentist. 1991). 1963-4). For the period he covered.” in L. Mark A. Administrators of Empire (Brookfield. 1-41. 4 Manuel Nunes Dias. Vt. “Expansão portuguesa e expansão europeia— Reflexões em torno da génese dos descobrimentos.: Ashgate.3 Many modern historians perceived the overseas enterprise of the Portuguese Crown as a substantial innovation in commercial capitalism. edited by James D. Theories of Empire (Brookfield. De Ceuta a Timor (Lisbon: Difel. Thomaz. Rather than following the flow of history from a deeper to a more recent past.: Ashgate) and David Armitage. The main criticisms of his theory focus on his neglect of ideological factors. “Finanças públicas e estrutura do Estado. Ensaios II sobre história de Portugal (Lisbon: Livraria Sá da Costa. Burkholder. the basic precepts of the economic part of Nunes Dias’ interpretation are still generally accepted by contemporary leading scholars. 3 For an excellent and extensive summary of the historiography of the early Portuguese expansion and its perceived links to the emergence of capitalism see Luís Felipe Thomaz. The Political Economy of Empires. 2. such as Tracy. however. both of which have made a deep imprint on the historiography of the overseas enterprise of the Portuguese Crown. See in particular the section “A definição do capitalismo monárquico” (vol.4 It is easily overlooked. 301-2. 2 vols. in particular his Fiscalidad y poder real en Castilla (1252-1389) . this approach invites anachronistic and monist explanations. ed. it looks back into the past from a contemporary viewpoint. The selection of articles in some of the recent collections. F. that the decisions and strategies that the Portuguese Crown had adopted in connection with its African enterprises were based on continuity with pre-existing practices and administrative methods. the socio-economic and administrative history of the fifteenth and early sixteenth-century expansion has been somewhat neglected lately. Unlike the ideological aspects. O capitalismo monárquico português (1415-1549) (Coimbra: Faculdade de Letras da Universidade de Coimbra. 25-63. 5 For a seminal overview of the evolution of Portuguese state finances see Vitorino Magalhães Godinho. Vt. 1998) illustrates this trend clearly by focussing on the later sixteenth through eighteenth centuries. explored in great detail by Miguel Angel Ladero Quesada.. ed. 1994).5 rather than on innovation and change. “Evolution of Empire: The Portuguese in the Indian Ocean during the Sixteenth Century. 189216).

but require an appreciation of the economics of the noble household. but a means through which the quest for power and honour could be satisfied. or customs and taxes sanctioned by tradition. Portugal do renascimento à crise dinástica (Lisbon: Presença.. In other words. Vol. were crucial but subordinate tools in fulfilling loftier goals. whether they were generated by income from land holdings and rents. Like other late medieval noble enterprises. de Oliveira Marques. the Crown overseas ventures cannot be fully understood using the modern concepts of private or state enterprise. “Castile in the Middle Ages. proceeds from regalian rights. 1998). The resulting dissatisfaction among the noble elites constituted an explosive political issue. 1973). were faced with growing expenditures. The revenues of a noble household. 6 For an excellent summary of these developments see the works of Luís Felipe Thomaz referred to above. including that of the king. The Portuguese Crown found itself in the unenviable position of not only having to deal with its own fiscal problems but also to alleviate the social and political crises experienced by its most powerful subjects. economic enterprises and ideologically motivated goals tended to be mutually supportive. ed. ed. Late medieval states and other autonomous units. On the contrary. The problem of growing costs was compounded by a crisis in revenues. in other words in the historical context which they were a part of. There was no strict division between economic and non-economic projects. whether feudal or communal..n. 3. especially those associated with war. at least in principle..6 (Madrid: Editorial Complutense. The Rise of the Fiscal State in Europe. História de Portugal. mostly social or political in nature. with the royal household as its most complex form. For a summary of his findings in English see Miguel Angel Ladero Quesada. This decline affected both royal and noble revenues.THE KING’S BUSINESS IN AFRICA 91 The Crown’s response to overseas economic opportunities were grounded in contemporary needs and attitudes. For an extensive overview. wars and famines. João José Alves Dias. 1987). 1200-1815 (Oxford: Oxford University Press. wealth was not a final objective.. A monárquia feudal (1096-1480) and Vol. which most monarchs of the period had to face. reflecting the triple scourge of epidemics. 1999). José Mattoso. No alvoroço da modernidade (Lisbon: . 1993) and La hacienda real de Castilla en el siglo XV (La Laguna: s. c. all of which contributed to a sharp demographic decline that did not begin to reverse itself until the second half of the fifteenth century. see also A.” in Richard Bonney. Portugal na crise dos séculos XIV e XV (Lisbon: Presença. ed. 2. H. 177-199.

both in theory and in practice. A expansão quatrocentista (Lisbon: Estampa. Royal Power and the African Enterprise It is important to realize that the Portuguese Crown became a dominant economic player in the early overseas expansion not necessarily because of its share in the enterprise. and A. de Oliveira Marques. neither economic rationality nor revenue as such were the paramount factors in the Crown’s decision-making: the ultimate objectives were prestige and political power at home. new lands. The overseas ventures were a source of socially sanctioned opportunities. H. such as Infante D. The extensive rights the Crown claimed over the early overseas enterprise were derived from the medieval notion of the king's sovereignty over his realm. Thus. Henrique and Infante D. and new sources of income. the formative experience and memory of the reconquista provided a vivid reinforcement to this fundamental idea. and the King had the right to use them as he saw fit. The king had the right to decide how the kingdom’s resources were to be used for the common good and to divide the available wealth among his followers. However. and through creating opportunities to implement new taxation. It offered a partial solution to a number of severe problems confronting the kingdom. 1993). They also enhanced the Crown’s power and the means to implement its will by significantly enlarging its revenues through enlarging the royal fazenda (direct holdings). Pedro. 1998).. . The revertibility of fiefs and other holdings back to the Crown was one of the key precepts of feudal law. customs fees. The Portuguese Crown based its policies concerning access to and trade with Africa and other non-Christian areas on these time-honoured principles. all unassigned or newly acquired resources belonged to the Crown. but because of the paramount political and legislative power it wielded. ed. In the Iberian context. and other sources of monetary income. although the first overseas explorations in Africa were undertaken on the initiative of private persons.92 IVANA ELBL The early overseas expansion represented a windfall for the Crown. In principle. the Portuguese Crown had the paramount claim to any tangible results of such ventures because they Estampa.

commercial. and also sent to major potentates within and outside of the Iberian peninsula. 1: 507-8 (doc. vol. 1969). and fishing expeditions not authorized by the King of Portugal or D. 1. 1444). The Portuguese Seaborne Empire. were declared to be offences punishable by excommunication if the offender was an individual or by interdict in the case of corporate bodies.7 Whoever should deprive the Crown of its well-deserved rewards. would show disrespect both for the Apostolic authority of the Pope and for the service rendered by Portugal to God. as a reward for its costly military effort against Islam. 22. directly or indirectly. Henrique. doc. however. or even organizing or ordering interloping expeditions. . 1147-1460 (Lisbon: Instituto para a Alta Cultura. 1: 507 (doc. 10 Silva Marques. 401). maço 5. 401). Gaveta 10. the hard-pressed Pope Nicholas V yielded to the skilful diplomatic pressure of the Portuguese delegation and issued the bull Romanus Pontifex. 1415-1825 (New York: Knopf. Boxer. The revenues generated from the new terrritories were thus conceptualized as a redress for damages suffered and as a just reward for the Crown’s service to God. the Crown first justified its title to overseas dominium invoking the rights of first discovery by its subjects. Descobrimentos portugueses. Subsequently. Lisbon). 401). 1: 505-7 (doc. 27.9 An excerpt from the Bull stipulating these measures was to be posted on the doors of principal churches and announced to the public from the pulpit. Documentos para a sua história. Descobrimentos portugueses. ed. in the name of the king and in the “service of God and the King.8 Interloping south of the Cape Bojador. The Bull carefully spelled out the ecclesiastical prohibition against any military. Descobrimentos portugueses. a more powerful justificatory argument was developed. 9 Silva Marques. to the exclusion of all other Christians. 505 (doc.10 The Romanus Pontifex did not content itself with relying only on the argument of a just reward but exploited the long-standing canon law principle that the Pope possessed the right to regulate contacts 7 João Martins da Silva Marques.” In the international arena. which declared that the Portuguese Crown was to hold dominium over the access to Africa south of Cape Bojador. 401).. 8 Silva Marques. No power or person was to deprive the beneficiaries of the bull of their just reward. For a surviving printed copy of the public notice see AN/TT (Arquivos Nacionais—Torre do Tombo. On 8 January 1455. See also Ch.THE KING’S BUSINESS IN AFRICA 93 were carried out by sworn vassals of the king. Descobrimentos portugueses.

In at least one known instance. 46-7.12 Nevertheless. Secular punishments could be very heavy. contacts which could potentially result in spiritual pollution or corruption.. All subsequent royal legislation stressed the Crown’s sole right to govern the modalities of contact with Africa. The bull itself only threatened offenders with excommunication but made it clear the church was willing to lift the spiritual penalty if they settled with the Crown. the Infante D. 401). caught by Diogo Gomes off the Senegalese coast in 1460. M. Violators of the royal decrees faced severe penalties. provided the Crown with a rock-solid base from which to regulate the African enterprise to its greatest advantage. Ship captains guilty Silva Marques. unauthorized raiding in West Africa. As viagens dos descobrimentos (Lisbon: Editorial Presença. to associate with Muslims and pagans as long as trade in prohibited goods was not involved. 401). The Bull expressly permitted the king of Portugal. 12 11 . this punishment was applied before the codification of the scales of interloping punishments in 1474. with the Romanus Pontifex it became a capital crime. Descobrimentos portugueses. Henrique. the full implications of Bull provided the secular arm of the law with an avenue to invoke a spiritual offence ultimately punishable by burning at the stake. Direct or indirect participation in the West African trade. together with the gold he purchased in Africa and the swords he tried to sell. 13 J. Descobrimentos portugueses. sometimes punishable by burning at the stake. 1983). was publicly tortured on the wheel and burned in Lisbon.11 The two key arguments of the Romanus Pontifex. Garcia. 1: 505 and 507 (doc.94 IVANA ELBL between Christians and non-Christians. 1: 507 ( doc. whereas others might seek only fast profit or even supply weapons or iron to the Infidels. ed. and piracy against the legitimate traffic were all offenses punishable by death and loss of all property to the Crown. Silva Marques. against papal prohibition. and persons authorized by them. While in the 1440s interloping in West Africa was punishable only by confiscation of property. The justification was that the Pope could trust the above mentioned parties that their primary motive was to advance the interests of God. just reward and authorization to associate with non-Christians. An interloper. in order to maximize its revenue advantages.13 The 1474 decree became the first law regulating the West African trade to include a penal scale.

ed. Anyone caught trading illicitly in Guinea in goods worth more than one mark of silver in local value was to be put to death. 115). However. 4-5. Monumenta Missionaria Africana. c. 1999).15 The stiffening of the penal scale reflected. the Crown believed that direct involvement would generate more revenue. 1971). decided by situational dynamics and policy oscillations (Table 1). 3. It habitually reserved for itself trade with gold-exporting regions (Arguim and the Gold Coast). 154 (doc.” in Richard Bonney. 14 Silva Marques. These options permitted numerous combinations. Smuggling or consent to smuggle and a host of other fraud charges called for various fines and in many cases for banishment. Descobrimentos portugueses. So was. 16 For a concise definition of these concepts see Richard Bonney. 2: 79-92 (doc. Well into the first half of the sixteenth century. the punishments had become even stiffer. in the rest of Western Africa the Crown employed mostly indirect methods of revenue gathering. c.. 28). . 1200-1815. aimed at maximization of revenue benefits (fiscalism)16 and political objectives. 2a série (Lisbon: Agência Geral do Ultramar.. Capital punishment applied to a greater number of offenses. and the legal strength of its proprietary claims.14 By 1514.THE KING’S BUSINESS IN AFRICA 95 of false declaration or concealment of goods over one mark of silver in value were also to suffer capital punishment. Unauthorized trading or raiding in Guinea and piracy against the legitimate traffic were still punishable by death and loss of property to the Crown. smuggling of goods over the value of six marks of silver to Guinea. although indirect exploitation of the overseas enterprise clearly constituted a less risky and labour-intensive mode of revenue generation. ed. 1200-1815 (Oxford: Oxford University Press. both the practical difficulties the Crown experienced in enforcing its laws. vol. The Rise of the Fiscal State in Europe. however. Revenue-Generating Options The Crown had two basic strategic options to choose from in managing its business in Africa: direct or indirect participation. “Introduction: The Rise of the Fiscal State in Europe. 1461-1500 (Lisbon: Instituto da Alta Cultura. ironically. 15 António Brásio. 1958).


3: 220-2 (doc. In 1470 the King reaffirmed the licence system. in 15181520. 26) and 7992 (doc. a wealthy Lisbon merchant.21 de facto violating the Gomes contract. in particular malagueta (grains of paradise). the Crown attempted fully to impose such an option only briefly. eventually compelling Gomes to negotiate a separate lease allowing him to trade the spice. The decree of 31 August 1474 prohibited all unlicensed traffic south of the Cape Bojador and reserved the right to profit from the trade with Atlantic Africa to the Crown or its designates. The decree forcefully reasserted the claim that the right to regulate contacts with Africa constituted a just reward for the royal services to God and Christianity and threatened transgressors with severe punishments. 60). 20 . Descobrimentos portugueses. 21 Silva Marques. D. Descobrimentos portugueses. 115). 97). 3: 86 (doc. 24 Brásio. 1988). claimed that the Portuguese King had a monopoly on every major Atlantic import and export commodity and that private parties were left to trade in parrots. 2a série. it relied largely on regional and commodity monopolies. The King reserved to himself specific commodities. Ásia de João de Barros. 72. or on exclusive renewable contracts with private entrepreneurs. Dos feitos que os Portugueses fizeram no descobrimento e conquista dos mares e terras do Oriente. exclusive rights to the West African trade to Fernão Gomes. Monumenta Missionaria Africana. whether partial royal monopolies or monopolistic arrangements with private parties. 22 Silva Marques. 2: 71-3 (doc. Hieronymus Münzer. The ambiguities were resolved only in 1474 when the Crown Prince D. 25 Brásio. 3: 153-4 (doc.24 Although the assumption that a full monopoly was the most rewarding alternative formed the basic platform of the majority of the royal pronouncements on the early overseas ventures. 2a série. a German humanist and diplomat writing in the early 1490s. Monumenta Missionaria Africana. in 1469. Primeira Decada (Lisbon: Imprensa Nacional Casa da Moeda.20 The new Crown policy was far from consistent. The standing privileges of the Cape Verde Islanders notwithstanding.THE KING’S BUSINESS IN AFRICA 97 favour of a more restricted policy. 26) and 7992 (doc. 28). 28). 152). Descobrimentos portugueses. monkeys and Silva Marques. João assumed direct control over the African enterprise. 3: 129-30 (doc.25 Until then. João de Barros. 2: 71-3 (doc. Afonso V leased. 23 Silva Marques. Descobrimentos portugueses.22 Its provisions were confirmed in 1481.23 and in principle reaffirmed in 1514.

the same restrictions were placed on hanbels (voluminous Moroccan outer clothing)29 and conchas. Chancelaria de D. AN/TT. 2: 90 (doc.98 IVANA ELBL straw mats. because of their importance in the Gold Coast trade. civet cats.32 However. Monumenta Missionaria Africana. 60).35 as opposed to disposing 26 Münzer. The Crown kept direct control above all over the main source of African gold. Leis. 26). docs. Afonso V. or simply through the lack of enforcement. Monumenta Missionaria Africana.34 The Crown also used its legislative power to insert itself as a compulsory middleman. 147). 2a série. 2a série. Corpo Cronológico. AN/TT. only one commodity required a special additional licence: civet cats. Primeira Decada.27 Certain key commodities were indeed reserved for the Crown. 28).31 The penal code issued in June of 1514 proclaimed that private traders could deal only in merchandise and areas specified in the respective licence or contract. 3: 86 (doc. 29 AN/TT. 96r. doc. 30 Silva Marques. 2a série. 9. 32 Brásio. and outlawed the export of such commodities to the Cape Verde Islands. Thus Fernão Gomes’ contract demanded that he sell all his ivory to the Crown. parte I. 2a série. 17-8.” in Brásio. 1948). 28 Silva Marques. 2: 71-3 (doc. “Itinerarium. other spices. liv. fol. Monumenta Missionaria Africana. maço 1. 28). the Crown summarily prohibited trade in all goods sold on the Gold Coast. Ásia. . 144 and 185. 3: 214-5 (doc. maço 58. and added brasil wood and precious stones to the list. Even the Arguim trading station was leased out several times before 1521. Monumenta Missionaria Africana. 28). and rhinoceros horns was reserved to the Crown from the very beginning of the trade. Descobrimentos portugueses. a fortified trading station off the coast of Mauritania. 2a série. 155. 31 Brásio. the Gold Coast and Arguim. 2: 81 (doc. The decree of 1470 claimed that trade in melegueta.33 The severity of this decree was further blunted by the availability of special licences and contractual exemptions. Descobrimentos portugueses. 35 Barros. 72. These provisions were later incorporated into the Ordenações Manuelinas 33 Brásio.26 The real picture was not so dismal. a source of valuable musk for perfume production. 27 Viagens de Luís de Cadamosto e de Pedro da Sintra (Lisbon: Academia Portuguesa da História.30 In March of 1514.28 In 1480. which constituted an important link to the Saharan trade networks. 2: 90 (doc. Monumenta Missionaria Africana. 34 Brásio. All other areas could be rented out or licences could be purchased for them. 1: 244-5 (doc. red shells from the Canaries. 31).

37 Silva Marques. from the Crown (whether in São Jorge da Mina or in Lisbon). 2: 139-50 (docs. Descobrimentos portugueses. although they were significantly softened in 1500. 40 See Ivana Elbl. 38 The hardening of punishments for interloping and smuggling in the law of 1474 demonstrates the Crown’s anxiety to master the situation. 39 Brásio. Monumenta Missionaria Africana. 3: 153-4 (doc. forbidding them to buy slaves for export. a well-established. and piracy in Africa. a year later. because even those who would have normally purchased a license resorted to interloping.39 The law of 1518 reserved the Guinea trade for the Crown alone. forcing the Crown to revoked the restrictions shortly after 1520. 44. 2. caused severe shocks both to the traffic itself and to its administration. 200) and 428-9 (doc. continued to have negative impact on the supply of slaves to São Jorge da Mina. 3: 207 (doc. Descobrimentos portugueses. were based exclusively on the desire to maximize Crown profit by preventing competition from private participants and by monopolizing what appeared to be.40 These measures. 36 . 2a série.36 These requirements significantly delayed the progress of São Tomé settlement and. 43.38 In the late 1510s. the Crown almost destroyed the rapidly expanding slave trade with Upper Guinea by first requiring the Cape Verde Islanders to trade only in locally produced commodities and.” Journal of African History 38 (1997): 52 and 69.THE KING’S BUSINESS IN AFRICA 99 of it on the open market. 45 and 47). under a given set of circumstances. the Upper Guinea slave trade declined from c. In the early 1470s. Direct Crown Silva Marques. Silva Marques. tailed pepper.37 Measures such as these. Descobrimentos portugueses. smuggling. in combination with the Crown’s repeated changes of policy. 14501521. lucrative market. 3: 587-8 (doc. 361).000 to 80 slaves per annum. “The Volume of the Early Atlantic Slave Trade. the partial retraction of the Cape Verdian trading privileges and the imposition of the Gomes contract resulted not only in a sharp formal protest from the povo (third estate) in the 1473 Cortes but in near chaos. 289). The São Tomé charters of 1485 and 1493 compelled the settlers to purchase all their manilhas (heavy brass or copper bracelets). 115). an essential European export to West Africa. and slaves to the Crown agencies for a fixed price well below the market value. They further ordered the settlers to sell all malagueta. for example. in particular those introduced in the early sixteenth century. As a result.

Descobrimentos portugueses. later. the term “nossos trautos de Guiné” or 41 . In some instances. assumed a central. 117). the Crown experienced problems faced by all large-scale medieval entrepreneurs engaged in complex ventures over large distances.41 The Lisbon office. 53r-53v). In addition. The jealously maintained and enforced monopoly on the Gold Coast trade is a prime example of this approach. the Crown had to address far too many diverse concerns to give its overseas ventures the necessary and timely attention. However. liv. and the Crown came into possession of its first shore-based West African outpost. 42 The name Casa de Guiné appears first in 1481. Casa de Guiné e Mina. Problems of Direct Control The direct participation strategy frequently backfired because the Crown would overextend its resources and lose ability to act effectively. or to view profit in strictly economic terms. João and D. Arguim. established already in 1455. The organizational structure of the royal West African enterprise emerged only gradually out of the general mechanism or the royal fazenda. The older name trautos de Guiné that was in use since 1455 survived into the sixteenth century. Despite its political power. The death of Prince Henry in 1460 brought the dual control of the West African trade to an end. the Crown relied on shipborne expeditions administered through the Casa da Ceuta. and became eventually known as the Guinea House (Casa de Guiné) or. 1. the name of the agency varied. slow turnover. Chancelaria de D. Manuel hoped the Guinea House António J. in a letter of quittance covering the period 1476-1481 (AN/TT. These included daunting logistics. the most commonly used name of the agency was Casa da Mina e trautos de Guiné (see for example Silva Marques. Since the 1480s. Dias Dinis. João II. imperfect information. not to mention a loss of enforcement capability. fols. hard-to-control transaction costs. 3: 333-4 (doc. and agency problems. Henrique. Monumenta Henricina (Coimbra: Comissão Executive das Comemorações do V Centenário da Morte do Infante D. 14: 280 (doc. In the 1440s and early 1450s. as fazenda de Guiné. In the 1460s the West African enterprise graduated to the status of a special subdivision of the royal estate. 217)). 1973). but not exclusive role in administering the West African ventures.42 D.100 IVANA ELBL control was as a rule imposed on those commodities or in such regions and periods that happened to show remarkable growth or profit ratios.

. he prepared a list of supplies and merchandise needed for the African and. fols. The resulting workload was overwhelming. and the Arsenal (Armazém). The factor was responsible not only for its smooth operation and for enforcing royal instructions. and by agencies located overseas. the Feitoria das Ilhas. 43 See Damião Peres.43 As a result. the vedores. the Casa dos Escravos. was only partial. such as the North African factories. the central agency was beset with inefficiencies which led to serious bottlenecks and slowdowns in turnover. The problem was rendered worse by the fact that the overseas agencies were responsible not to the factor of the Guinea House but directly to the King. Both Houses still shared a single factor as chief executive responsible for all key decisions. and São Jorge da Mina. ed.. 1947). later. D. It was his duty to collect up-to-date information on different trading regions in West Africa. Asian trade was added to the official mandate of the factor of the Guinea House. however.44 At the beginning of each year. Regimento das Cazas das Indias e Mina (Coimbra: Faculdade de Letras da Universidade de Coimbra. 2: 190-1). 6-7. 231 and 232). Arguim. superintendents of the royal fazenda could approve the list and orders could be placed. Regimento. This was not the case: merchandise continued to be cleared through regional customs and tax-collecting agencies (alfândegas and almoxarifados). so that his superiors. João II. 20.THE KING’S BUSINESS IN AFRICA 101 would be able to handle both the Crown’s direct participation in the enterprise and the indirect revenues from it. After the opening of the sea route to India. 44 Peres. The Guinea House acted only as a logistic and clearance center. whose authorization was required in even the simplest matters. liv. and to make recommendations whether they should be rented out or administered directly by the Crown. The reform. The fluid and somewhat confusing nomenclature has led historians to believe that the central agency was effectively established in Lisbon only after 1481 (see for instance Nunes Dias. In urgent “nossos trautos e resgates de Guiné” were used. The Guinea House was complemented by three satellite metropolitan agencies. also Indian trade. six months ahead of the next trading cycle. though obviously referring to the same agency (see Silva Marques. 222) and 348-9 (docs. 2: 339 (doc. Chancelaria de D. Descobrimentos portugueses. the Guinea House and the India House. Capitalismo monárquico português. but also for market research. Manuel was forced to reform the system in 1509 by dividing the agency into two separate Houses. 11r and 114r). AN/TT. 25-26. despite orders to the contrary.

42. and soon became unsaleable. maço 4. 47 AN/TT. AN/TT. as the factor pointed out to the king. This was one of key problems characterizing the royal enterprise: by the time the goods arrived at their destination in Africa. he could request an authorization to make interim purchases. only a royal order was required. the Guinea House found itself unable to fill an order for painted hanbels and large basins desperately needed in Mina. 119 and maço 4. doc. Regimento. and the damage that it usually sustained on its way from Portugal.45 The supply process was time-consuming and inevitably placed a lag of as much as two years between African demand and its satisfaction. doc. 6-7. doc. the opportunities were often gone. 14. despite the king’s repeated and specific orders. to the king’s great loss. The older textiles from previous shipments Peres. maço 3. because the supply ship failed to arrive. nor in those of quality and logistical support. Gaveta 15. doc. cloths kept rotting unsold. In 1513 the factory was left completely deprived of suitable merchandise. See for example AN/TT. 49 Peres. parte I. doc.102 IVANA ELBL situations. Crown agencies were unable to react flexibly to the African demand. The Crown was unable to provide adequate merchandise or facilities even to the gold-producing Mina factory. 14. The officials at São Jorge da Mina perennially complained about the poor state of the warehouses. one of the key Portuguese exports to the Gold Coast. 48 AN/TT. neither in terms of selection and quantity of the merchandise. occurred several times during the early 1500s. Meanwhile. the low quality of the merchandise. It was not a logistical problem. maço 1. the main focus of its entrepreneurial attention. 46 45 .49 with doubtful results. were unsatisfactory from the very beginning. and hurt the trade so much that the King ordered the Guinea House to keep 100. Regimento. Corpo Cronológico.48 Shortages of manilhas. parte I. 8. built together with the fortress in 1482. Gaveta 15.46 The factory facilities. but in 1503 the factor of Mina still lobbied the King to order the construction of a larger factory suitable for the proper storing and display of textiles. Trade was brought to a standstill. Corpo Cronológico. maço 1.47 In 1510. 42.000 manilhas in stock at all times. Material and transport were both available.

maço 2. Núcleo Antigo.52 Shortages of brass and mastic cost the Crown much gold in missed opportunities. thus further hurting the trade. 888. AN/TT. 172r-177r. probably from the Arsenal. Each year. maço 13. or even enough casks to supply them with water. 56 AN/TT. 42. no. fols. 51 50 . in 1509 the factor of Arguim found himself unable for two years to get from Portugal a special order delivery of merchandise paid for with a large quantity of gold. doc. Gaveta 20. Vaz informed the secretary that the small caravel servicing Arguim arrived in Lisbon with slaves and that it brought an urgent request for merchandise and food supplies. maço 5. no. 52 AN/TT. doc. the summer brought a period of hunger to the Arguim fort. however. to make even a small vessel with emergency supplies ready to sail.56 The extent of the problems faced by Arguim officials is well reflected in the 1515 exchange of letters between Estevão Vaz. 55-59. Gaveta 20. which was only of secondary importance to the Crown. Núcleo Antigo. maço 5.50 The Arguim factory. Gaveta 20.53 To the amazement and indignation of the Berber merchants. The merchandise it was to carry remained to be ordered AN/TT. parte I. doc. 42. subsequently. 67 and maço 5. fos. despite complaints and appeals to the King. and about 700 hanbels were lost this way. 42.51 Little effort was made to make attractive and fresh merchandise available during the first half of the year. wheat rations decreased significantly both for the garrison and slaves. when most of the trading took place. maço 5. many slaves starved while awaiting embarkation and. Corpo Cronológico. doc. doc. the factor of the Guinea House. 55 In the summer. 48.THE KING’S BUSINESS IN AFRICA 103 had to be placed in the second-hand cloth factory and sold off at a discount.54 The supply of victuals was an even more nagging problem. Vaz urged the secretary to send the vessel back immediately with merchandise. It proved impossible for months on end. AN/TT. Gaveta 20. as an emergency measure. maço 5. because a large ship able to carry grain would take too long to get ready and would first have to be requisitioned. Supply ships only arrived three or four times a year. In 1509. en route to Portugal. and damaged the factory’s reputation. 888. 42. doc. was much worse off than Mina.55 The factors faced chronic difficulties in securing transport to Portugal for the slaves they bought. 42. Gaveta 20. See also AN/TT. doc. 53 AN/TT. 54 AN/TT. and the secretary of state who acted as the King’s representative.

28). B. sér. “Cartas de quitação del Rei D. parte I.58 It does not call for much imagination to picture how much time was required to process an order lacking urgency. C. parte 58 . 1959). parte II. “An Early Portuguese Trading Voyage to the Forcados River. doc. 2: 89 (doc. “Livre de l’armement du navire São Miguel de l’île de São Thomé au Benin (1522). 237). 6-7. as demonstrated in the misfortunes of Francisco de Almada. 22 (the record of the trial of a royal official. Manuel. doc. 23-4. 4 (complaints about the transfer of goods between royal pilots and the officials of São Jorge da Mina. It took him eight year to clear his standing with the Crown. 40 (1979): 68-71. parte I. doc. Brásio. Corpo Cronológico. H. Gaveta 20. maço 50. 60 For examples of ships’ regimentos see A. 61 See Anselmo Braacamp Freire. 11-15. Hansa e Portugal na Idade Media (Lisbon. For documentary evidence pertaining to concrete situations see. 26-9. a return trip to Flanders took a couple of months. See Peres. doc. Teixeira da Mota and R.” Bulletin de l’IFAN.” Journal of the Historical Society of Nigeria 1 (1959): 301-5. See also See for example Brásio. The elaborate security measures included ship and personal searches. as well as complicated control of access to money chests. Teixeira da Mota.” Archivo Histórico Portuguez 2: 354 (doc. 59 All Crown agencies laboured in an environment of suspicion and distrust. Mauny. Gonçalo de Fonseca. Monumenta Missionária Africana. for example. Domingos in 1526 (Livro de Armação). de Oliveira Marques. Alan F. maço 8. 67. 95. Corpo Cronológico. maço 17. filled with accusations and counteraccusations).60 On-the-spot initiative not only went mostly unrewarded but was often punished. AN/TT. Regimento.57 and even under the best of conditions. ending with a full audit of each ranking employee at the end of his turn of duty. received a 57 AN/TT. “A viagem do navio ‘Santiago’ a Serra Leoa e Rio de S. Corpo Cronológico. 2a série. A. and an accounting system which was almost entirely geared towards inventory control. Tipografia Albano Tomas dos Anjos. 28). Ryder. 79. maço 2. 2: 86-87 (doc. 89-80.” Boletim Cultural de Guiné Portuguesa 24 (1969): 562-7. The policy of micro-management and tight control over Crown employees and agents59 made it difficult to respond to the local demand and opportunities in a timely fashion. A. Almeida sharply increased the supply of slaves to Arguim by fostering relations with mainland suppliers but ran into trouble because of disbursing unauthorized grain rations to feed the human merchandise. either directly or through administrative chicanery. Corpo Cronológico. 8-9. AN/TT.104 IVANA ELBL from Flanders and other places abroad. AN/TT. António Froes. The conduct of trade was regulated by exceedingly detailed sets of binding instructions (regimentos) and price lists (taixas). AN/TT. 2a série. Monumenta Missionaria Africana. 72 (unauthorized trading during unloading).61 Almada’s predecessor. the royal factor in Arguim from 1508 to 1511.

doc.62 Fonseca was reproached and Pardo’s best goods were left to rot in the warehouse until they were finally incorporated into the factory’s inventory several years later. 70 and maço 49. and which should be reserved for the Crown. 62 Freire. which should be placed under an exclusive contract and for how much. Miguel Pardo. but he died before the prize case was cleared. 642). 65 Peres. maço 16. maço 12. Corpo Cronológico. that direct trade was easier to administer and potentially more profitable than collecting revenues from a multitude of participants. 101). maço 27. under the impression that if it took over directly a promising part of the trade it would be able to achieve four times I. and his heiress finally received only a half of the expected sum. Each year. Corpo Cronológico. together with the Crown goods without first consulting Lisbon and obtaining a proper clearance. as payment for the Crown’s mediation in selling the merchandise.” 8: 400-1 (doc. doc.64 The Crown was aware of its inability to compete with private participants on the open market. parte II. The rest was deducted. As long as it believed. The commander of the ship that captured Pardo was theoretically entitled to a half of the cargo. 64 AN/TT.THE KING’S BUSINESS IN AFRICA 105 clearance of his accounts only in 1522. “Cartas. parte I. as it did during the Joanine and Manueline period. it routinely resorted to legislation to preserve for itself access to trade in more profitable commodities or trade with more promising regions. because he sold some of the merchandise confiscated from a captured Genoese interloper. none of the Arguim officials would take the risk of touching them without explicit orders. fourteen years after his term had ended.65 The Crown. the Crown would be presented with an estimate of the revenues expected to come from a particular sector of its overseas enterprise.63 Because they were not on the Arguim price list (taixa). 8. doc. The figures usually reflected the amount of taxes and customs that trade with those regions would yield in a particular year. however ridiculous it may sound. 63 See the inventories from 1511 and 1514 (AN/TT. but also to inspect the ledgers of private merchants newly returned from Africa in order to recommend which parts of the West African trade should remain open. The officials of the Guinea House were instructed not only to watch the royal market. 94. . Regimento. 25-6. doc.

often too dispersed to be managed effectively. 2a série. liv.000 réis (AN/TT. fos. 139-50 (docs.67 The leaseholders paid the Crown either a fixed annual fee. 66 . to take partners. The most obvious example was the attempted take-over of the flourishing slave trade on the Upper Guinea Coast in 1517-1522. Leasing and tax farming came to be definitely preferred over a system of individual licences. claiming that the Cape Verde settlers caused major damage to its proveito e serviço (profit and service) by competing vigorously. 46v-47r). Chancelaria de D.69 D. Henrique initiated this type of policy when he rented out the Arguim trade to a group of entrepreneurs for ten years around Brásio. and eventually made all aspects of its African enterprise available to interested parties with enough capital to provide large sums up-front. and not to licence access for other private traders.106 IVANA ELBL as much revenue. 33. Afonso V. prohibited most of the trade between the Cape Verde Islands and Upper Guinea. however. fols. 46v-47. 69 Silva Marques. It was renegotiated in 1475 in favour of yearly payments of 28. In the course of the sixteenth century. 68 The original 1474-1479 contract on the coast from Pedra de Galee to Cape Bojador called for one sixth of all imports (AN/TT. Afonso V. and the Crown was forced to reverse its policy before 1525. 43. 30. and to that section of the trade in general because they offered the Africans better terms than the Crown expeditions. 33. or to those in need of rewards for services rendered. 132r). 3: 129 (doc. Afonso V. liv. 44. For other payments in specie see below. Monumenta Missionaria Africana. or a share of imported African goods. The Crown promised not to send its ships to such areas. Chancelaria de D. Theoretically. 45. and to issue licences to other traders in the name of the Crown.68 The Crown. Chancelaria de D. and 47. the leaseholders (trautadores) had an unlimited right to trade in the leased region. the Crown came to see leasing and contracting out as more advantageous that direct participation. but this and similar instances tended to undermine private confidence in the safety of investing in West African ventures. 97). often dealt severe blows both to the trade with West Africa and to its own revenues. 67 For a typical contract see AN/TT. liv. seldom refrained from involvement in the leased-out areas and used general regulations limiting traffic in certain goods to extract extra payments.66 Revenues plummeted as a result. fol. Descobrimentos portugueses. The Crown.

fol. although it imposed an additional fee of 100. fol.000 réis. a Florentine merchant resident in Lisbon and a naturalized Portuguese subject. 81 Freire. Primeira Decada.73 Yet in 1473 Gomes still owed most of the rent. “Cartas. 72 Barros. fols. 77 Silva Marques. 68r. 79 AN/TT. Afonso V. the Crown renewed the contract in 1473.100. Descobrimentos portugueses.77 Undeterred. 3: 90-1 (doc. 3: 129-30 (doc. 30. 9. the entire Guinea trade was leased to Fernão Gomes for five years. Chancelaria de D.000 réis. Afonso V.” 2: 239-40 (doc.000 réis (Freire. probably for five more years. 78 Silva Marques. The leaseholders were responsible for maintaining the fortress. 220)). 75 Silva Marques.81 The size of the fee indicates that Marchione was entitled to trade not only in the Niger Delta but also in the rest of West Africa.000 réis annually. liv. 72.71 These actions indicated that the Crown intended to pursue a similar approach in the near future.000 réis : 8. a prime slave freshly arrived from West African coast sold for 8. Descobrimentos portugueses.70 Arguim was still under lease in 1463. 71 70 .82 and most of the Viagens de Luís de Cadamosto. Afonso V. In 1469. Descobrimentos portugueses. but he still remained in control of the Arguim trade.79 Bartolomeu Marchione. 80 AN/TT. Afonso V. for an annual fee of 200. however. AN/TT. “Cartas. 141r. liv. The fee was set at 1. Chancelaria de D. 76 AN/TT.78 The malagueta fee. 3: 112-3 (doc.000 réis = 25. fol. Gomes’ general contract was terminated in 1474.THE KING’S BUSINESS IN AFRICA 107 1455. Descobrimentos portugueses. 97). 3: 129 (doc. 46v-47r. resident in Lagos. 74 Silva Marques. 33. 17. Chancelaria de D.74 despite the fact that in 1472 the Crown exempted him from all taxes except a sisa on the sales of malagueta.80 held a lease on the Niger Delta (Rios dos Escravos) between1486 and 1495. 97). The calculation is 200. 73 In this period.000 réis on the malagueta trade.75 waived all standing regulations in favour of his privileges.” 3: 477-8 (doc. Chancelaria de D. 96r. liv. raising the total rent to 300. 33. 82 In 1502-1503 the yearly rent was 800. 404). liv. 83).72 The rent was relatively low considering that twenty-five slaves would have covered it. were stripped of their offices for mismanagement and replaced by a Lisbon treasurer. did not apply retroactively to the previous years. Ásia.76 and had lent him a round ship to carry on the traffic in 1471. when the royal collectors of revenue from Arguim. 65).000 réis. In the subsequent years the lease on the Slave Rivers were much less than Marchione paid.

86 Malagueta. It was also leased in 1525. 25-6. 84 Freire.900 réis. was not selling very well in the early sixteenth century. O capitalismo monárquico português. maço 58. 87 Freire.83 Marchione could. Marchione made his payments to the almoxarife of the Slave House in Lisbon. “Cartas. 590. La esclavitud en Valencia durante el reinado de los Reyes Católicos (1479-1516) (Valencia: Excmo. 297). and as late as 1514 he still owed the Crown 36. in June 1511 and January 1512.000 réis. but he proved unable to sell all the spices received from the Crown. In 1512 Calliro Redolho leased the entire malagueta trade for two years for a more realistic annual sum of 1. of which 16. but it was renewed for 1492-1495. 155. “Cartas. Núcleo Antigo.050.” 3: 477-8 (doc.84 Later on he invested heavily in voyages to India and in the spice trade. after almost forty years of direct Crown administration. 91 AN/TT. Núcleo Antigo.000. 1: 360-1. Only a very small fraction came from the Niger Delta. payable in two instalments.640. a Jew. and on the whole proved much more dependable than Fernão Gomes. For the link with Cesare di Barchi see year 1497. John’s Day of 1514. fol.500 réis.297 represented several malagueta shipments. 85 Nunes Dias.85 In 1504-1505.108 IVANA ELBL slaves that he imported to Portugal and sold to his associate. 404). Ayuntamiento. parte II.” 2: 441 (doc. for the staggering sum of 4. His original contract was for six years. were Wolof.355 réis.000 in 1511. 58r). and when his contract was renewed he made an advance payment covering two-thirds of the total fee.87 Leasing became routine in the 1500s and 1510s. 89 AN/TT. 105r. for a period running from St. 247). The payments were due after the arrival of the ships and after 83 Vicenta Cortés. in the 1490s. “Cartas. John’s Day (June 24) of 1510 to St. 88 Peres. however. “Cartas.363. 532.89 The Senegal River zone was rented out in 15111512 for 393.514. of which he paid 450.158. He paid regularly. 968 réis.91 Cantor and the Gambia River were leased to Mestre Felipe.88 Arguim was farmed out in 1515-l516. 109 and 110). Corpo Cronológico. 1964). 30. his payments to the Crown rose to 64. Regimento. one the most expensive spices in the late medieval period. 217-471. Cesare de Barchi.” 1: 360-2 (docs. .400 réis. fol. no. 86 Freire. doc. In 1507-1510 his activity expanded.000 réis (AN/TT.90 The amount due in 1511 was 195. 90 Freire.” 2: 440-1 (doc. have sold slaves from this part of West Africa in Mina. for 1. no. 50.

it rose to 1. covered by a contract in favour of Joham de Lila and his partners. .000 réis. or 3.” 2: 441 (doc. “Cartas.884. and was based on extensive precedent. Of these.000 réis annually. and before that for 640.191. was rented separately for 140. “Cartas. Over this period. 297). 532.” 2: 441 (doc. from 24 June 1509 to 24 June 1512. edited by José da Felicidade Alves (Lisbon: Livros Horizonte. the area between Gambia and Sierra Leone. allowed most of its tax and customs revenue to be farmed out. and over the subsequent two years. “Cartas. 101 João Brandão. AN/TT. “Cartas.96 The Slave Rivers were leased in 1486-1495 for 1.” 1: 243 (doc. 100 Freire. 59. fol.97 and in 1502-1503 for 800. António Fernandes.92 Guinea Rivers. 98 Freire. 93 Freire. 404).383. 532. and 1. 97 Freire.000 réis per year.98 Rio Primeiro. 102 Freire. one of the past leaseholders. 44).624 réis.” 3: 477-8 (doc.100 Forty years later.620 in 1512. 108r. “Cartas.94 Sierra Leone was leased prior to 1502 for 600.101 The Vintena House was farmed out in 1509-1510 for 3. in 1552 the annual rate was only slightly higher. 220).000 réis. in accordance with general European practice.” 2: 440-1 (doc. 392). 96 Freire.812 réis yearly.000 réis to Pero de Evora. “Cartas. 297).100. 94 Freire.600 réis. 99 Freire.93 The annual lease amounted to 917.99 Tax farming was probably less risky for the Crown than leasing. standing at 3. 297).376.400. remained owing 84. 911.” 3: 472-3 (doc. 1990).95 In 1510-1513 the lease dropped to about 540. or 1.942.000 réis to another leaseholder.THE KING’S BUSINESS IN AFRICA 109 allowing for expenditures.” 2: 441 (doc. the Portuguese Crown.000 réis were paid in 15091510.” 2: 239 (doc.” 3: 472-3 ( doc.102 92 Freire. 95 Freire. and this policy eventually came to cover those Lisbon agencies which dealt with revenue from West Africa. “Cartas.000 réis. no. “Cartas.747 réis. AN/TT.275 réis.000 réis yearly. were leased for three years. Freire.212. “Cartas. “Cartas. 220). Grandeza e abastança de Lisboa em 1552. east of the Lagos Lagoon. 297). 392). 112r.” 2: 239 (doc. Throughout the late Middle Ages. Núcleo Antigo. the Slave House was particularly relevant because its head acted as receiver of most African regional and commodity rents. 370).” 3: 392 (doc.137 réis annually.666 réis in 1511. 195. Núcleo Antigo. fol. In 1509-1510 the Slave House was farmed out for 6. no. “Cartas.

namely Santiago and Fogo.” 3: 392 (doc. no. Freire. 58r. who held the contract until 1515.999 réis.500 réis. The revenue of the Cape Verde Islands. Monumenta Missionaria Africana. 297).333 réis yearly. 764). but it was still worth to Duarte Afonso and Duarte Bello.” 2: 440-1 (doc. was farmed out to Duarte Rodriguez Pinto and Pedro Francisco for three years in 1504. and was farmed out for 1. Brásio. 90v. 590.200.108 In 1525. Núcleo Antigo. payable in slaves evaluated by the royal almoxarife. AN/TT. “Cartas.130 réis during an unspecified period ending in 1513.112 The Ano Bom Island was a trading backwater.000 réis during that period. one third being delivered in advance as security.105 António Rodrigues joined in partnership with Nicolão Rodriguez.” 2: 441 (doc. 2: 41-5 (doc.100. farming its vintena. Núcleo Antigo. 100r. The revenues of Príncipe were farmed out in 1510-1514 to António Carneiro for 535. when António Rodrigues farmed the revenue of Santiago. 2a série. 532. when the Crown’s repression of private trade reached its height. no. no. doc.103 This amounted to an annual rent of 700. Freire.109 The revenue of São Tomé was farmed out in 1509 to Diogo Fernandes Cabral. Freire. fol.800 réis. and Fogo for three years. 297). fols. 15). for a bulk payment of 535. 116r. Núcleo Antigo. Corpo Cronológico. 532.130. and the sum increased to 900. Freire.113 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 AN/TT. this time to Jorge Nunez. “Cartas.033. maço 8. “Cartas.000 réis. 532.110 Joham de Fomseca continued farming the São Tomé revenues in 1511-1513.” 2: 441 (doc. 297). was later on further raised to 1.107 Graviel Rodriguez was the farmer in 1519-1521. no. .110 IVANA ELBL The West African Islands represented a very attractive target for tax farmers. parte II. some 70.000 réis yearly in 1510.500 réis.104 In accordance with the provisions of the contract the amount. Núcleo Antigo. Freire. fol. AN/TT.000 réis. and in 1510 to Joham de Fomseca and António Carneiro for the sum of 388. the revenue increased again. AN/TT.” 10: 4 (doc. Maio.111 of which he paid 150. They undertook to pay 2. 104. 97r. AN/TT.106 The revenues were promptly farmed again. “Cartas. fol. and by the end of their contract they had paid the Crown 3.000 réis in 1511. 370). “Cartas.

and instead of depending on the open market it signed a partnership agreement with Fernão de Melo. captain of São Tomé. Melo. São Tomé had been a slave supplier to Mina since it was populated in the 1490s. The third estate (o povo). for example.000.Vogt. 1469-1682 (Athens: University of Georgia Press). The Results While modern historians tend to be much more complimentary.114 The frequent changes in Crown policy and strategy reflect the difficulties presented by the logistical and administrative demands of a complex long-distance enterprise. did not have a monopoly on the supply.THE KING’S BUSINESS IN AFRICA 111 In 1514 António Carneiro signed a four-year contract with the Crown. however. The Portuguese Rule on the Gold Coast. 72-73)). in protest against the Gomes contract. “The Early São Thomé-Principe Slave Trade with Mina.000 cruzados (39. D. praised the Crown’s West African enterprise as a “remarkable coordination effort” (John L. Carneiro’s monopoly contract was an exception in this respect. 115 Vogt. The gradual move away from direct control of many of the African ventures reflects the hard lessons of the “capitalismo monárquico” (almost certainly a misnomer).115 contemporaries often criticized the Crown’s business decisions as ill thought-out or even irrational when it came to profit or income maximization.000 réis) in revenues from the 114 John L. 1500-1540. Manuel’s administration tried to assure itself of a guaranteed supply in the early 1500s. The shift in revenue-collecting strategy in favour of guaranteed income was a result of a continual reassessment of Crown options. under which the Crown supplied merchandise and Melo the necessary logistics in return for a share in the sales in Mina. argued in the 1473 Cortes that the Crown could derive as much as 100. binding him to supply Mina with slaves from Benin in return for two thirds of the price of each slave sold in Mina. and a monopoly on the Niger Delta trade. and an example of ongoing adaptation of past lessons from the management of royal domains and other revenues to the conditions presented by far-flung overseas enterprises. who ignored it when they could not bypass it legally. Vogt. .” International Journal of African Historical Studies 6 (1973): 456-7. which was not repeated when a slave supply contract was signed with Duarte Bello in 1519 and João de Odon in 1525. This provision violated the privileges of the São Tomeans.

118 It therefore does not come as a surprise that the Crown. and Albert Rigaudière. In the fifteenth century. Le Mené. Given the fact that the Gomes contract came to only 300. 3 vols (Paris: Comité pour l’Histoire Économique et Financiére de la France.117 It is important to realize that the Crown’s idea of “profit” was not necessarily based on accounting principles. Monumenta Missionaria Africana. particularly chapters 4 and 5. In contemporary usage the word proveito (“profit”) meant both “benefit” and “profit” in a bookkeeping sense. tolls and dues did in the metropolitan area. Brásio.116 Since the Crown dues. 1987). Brásio. Like other medieval political bodies. 2a série. 68.-Ph. which this sum represented. panEuropean methods of reducing overhead and securing a guaranteed. constituted 28. The licencing system and customs network represented a considerable burden for the royal bureaucracy. Genèse de l’état moderne.000 réis annually. 1: doc. in particular Bonney’s “Introduction” (1-17). Prélèvement et redistribution (Paris: Éditions du Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique. see Carolyn Webber and Aaron Wildawsky. the povo certainly seemed to have a point here. fixed income. L’impôt public et le prélèvement seigneurial.. For a general development of revenue administration in the West. J.112 IVANA ELBL African trade if it was kept open. Genet and M. 1986). well beyond mere self-interest. L’impôt au Moyen Âge. Thus transaction costs were one of the key considerations the Crown kept in mind in its continual reassessment of overseas revenue sources.5% of the overall projected value of the trade. the Crown had to consider both non-economic goals and the costs of revenue generation. since the Antiquity to modernity. 117 116 . eds. Jean Kerhervé. the Cortes believed the trade worth at least 120. 1: doc. 68.000 réis only three decades after its opening phase. even if it was lower that the potential overall revenue. also see Philippe Contamine. just as the collection of various taxes.000. 118 For a series of studies on medieval and sixteenth-century revenue collection methods and taxation strategies see the conceptually fundamental volume edited by Richard Bonney. farming out tax collection and contracting out regalian rights were time-sanctioned. eds. Monumenta Missionaria Africana. The Crown tended to voice only one kind of response to these and later protests by disgruntled subjects who pointed out that Crown policies were damaging to the latter’s own interests— invoking the royal prerogative to decide what was to the proveito (benefit/good) of the kingdom at large. The Rise of the Fiscal State in Europe. 2002). in other words invoking what amounted to executive privilege. 2a série. A History of Taxation and Expenditure in the Western World (New York: Simon and Schuster.. fin XIIe-début XVIe siècle.

The puzzling element in the early period of the Portuguese expansion is. was assigned to defray social payments to the nobility. focussed the eventual application of sanctions and deterrents. showed a marked preference for dealing with a small number of large entrepreneurs. the Crown treated the African income the same way it treated its overall revenues: as a giant petty-cash box. The King drew on the Guinea House randomly and haphazardly to cover purchases for the royal household or to transfer money to other administrative departments which stood in need of a cash injection. 3: 396-7 (doc. 190r. 97r-121r. fols.THE KING’S BUSINESS IN AFRICA 113 like its European counterparts. Nobility. but distributed in the form of presents— thoroughly medieval and Renaissance —a form of largesse. no. 120 119 . rather than with the public in general. The Crown’s accounting system was geared towards inventory and agent control. 67. beyond a well-justified but useless notion that the revenue was considerable. In 1486-1493. albeit at the price of potentially lowering the income.” Portuguese Studies Review 6 (1997-98): 53-80. One possible explanation may lie in the fact that its administrative and accounting practices left the Crown in no position to determine efficiently how much profit (proveito) it was in fact deriving from the West African enterprises. 380). in fact. “Cartas”. from which money and goods were drawn as needed. in particular Figure 1. This approach increased predictability. 532. Núcleo Antigo. In essence. namely the Crown’s insistence on direct participation in commercial operations as the preferred option. the rest being distributed as gifts and favours according to royal dispositions in the matter. for example. only one third of the slaves registered as received by the Slave House were actually sold. AN/TT.120 Freire. simplified bargaining. the entire Crown share in the proceeds of the Atlantic slave trade went toward covering the enormous cost of building fortifications in Morocco. and Social Mobility in the Age of Vasco de Gama. not towards cost-benefit analysis or revenue-expense reconciliation. precisely the one that has often been characterized as a progressive feature. The revenue derived from regional leases and tax farms. similarly to some 80 per cent of overall Crown revenues. and thus lowered the Crown’s transactions costs.119 In 1511. “Overseas Expansion. see Ivana Elbl. For the overall pattern. Some of the merchandise arriving from West Africa was not even put on the market.

Afonso V’s minority. and casamentos. Afonso and D. 532. the widow of King João II and sister of the reigning King D.150. no. AN/TT. AN/TT. and its profits were assigned toward the maintenance of his household. fol. 3: 153-4. doc.122 In 1511. Núcleo Antigo. fol. Núcleo Antigo. Núcleo Antigo. fols. it must be stressed. was rather alien to the actors involved in such processes at the time. drew on revenues of the Casa da Mina. the African enterprise supported 45 per cent of the 4. the full amount of the assentamento of D.121 establishing thus a precedent for subsequent heirs presumptive. In this respect the Crown’s approach can be considered “economic” only if the concept is enlarged to include the application of formal economic thinking to social and ceremonial interaction— —something that. 176.460.000 réis to which amounted the assentamento of Queen Lenor. Duarte de Meneses. Manuel. .123 At the same time. Henrique during D.125 121 122 123 124 125 Silva Marques. such as his brother D. 532. In the 1510s.” the daughter and heir of King Henrique IV. D. Núcleo Antigo. AN/TT. fols.124 The revenues from trade in malagueta (grains of paradise) covered the assentamento of the “Excellente Senhora. 532. After Henrique’s death. if not before. D. Grants in the Atlantic Islands and in Africa were one of the ways in which the Regency sought to pacify the restless ambitions of Infante D. Manuel’s consort Queen Maria. Juana “La Beltraneja. becoming as inextricable a part of the system as the revenue from metropolitan fiscal districts.” D. no. Fernando and the celebrated D. the revenues from various West African regions were merged into the pipeline of royal social payments to the nobility: assentamentos. In 1474. amounting to 2.000 réis. and thus constituted an important form of political and social capital. 532. Afonso used overseas resources to offer boons to equally restless subjects. the African enterprise came under the direct administration of the Crown Prince. yet such grants also became an expression of the Infante’s political power once the King had come of age. D. Manuel. 177-177v. 98r-121r. no.114 IVANA ELBL The overseas expansion provided a valuable new source of rewards for powerful subjects or royal favourites. no. 177v. João. who lost her bid for the throne of Castile to Isabel the Catholic in 1474 but because of her betrothal to King Afonso V continued to be the financial responsibility of Portugal. AN/TT. 115. tenças. Descobrimentos portugueses.

000 réis of the Gomes contract look rather insignificant. 1465). within two years of Prince D. it is no surprise that the Crown was easily seduced into believing that its Guinea treasure chest was bottomless. 129 AN/TT. for example. However. The orçamentos are more reliable when the estimates are based on leases and tax farms. 532.000. because those represent actual net income. 590.500 réis and in the 1477 one at 43.129 In 1525.074. 1. Yet it is important to realize that these figures represent gross receipts. fols. the gross yearly revenues exceeded 13. domestic revenues declined to 68 per cent. The 1511 orçamento indicates that African revenues accounted for 17 per cent of the Crown’s expected income. Chancelaria de D. India 14 per cent and the Azores 2 per cent (data for Madeira are missing). not net income. João’s assumption of control over the African enterprise.000 réis. 1r-98r.” 312. In the 1473 orçamento.168. fols. or the overhead. João II. no. 111r. no.127 While nowhere near the 39. “Evolution of Empire.130 These figures suggest that Africa played an important role in the generation of royal revenues. as Table 2 indicates. None of the operating expenses.000 réis. but still formed the majority. 126 . Núcleo Antigo. the potential of the trade was undeniable. fols. 82-5 and 225-9. 128 For some of the problems of Portuguese revenue estimates in sixteenthcentury Asia see Subrahmanyam and Thomaz. 316. Núcleo Antigo. the rest coming from domestic sources. pertaining to 1511 and 1525.THE KING’S BUSINESS IN AFRICA 115 The annual orçamentos (budget estimates) and the receipts of the Guinea House and its satellite agencies indicate that the West African enterprise contributed significantly to the royal income. 53r-53v. Receitas y despesas da Fazenda Real de 1384 a 1481 (subsídios documentais) (Lisbon: Instituto Nacional de Estatística. Moreover. liv. but its share consistently Jorge Faro. Africa provided 16 per cent.126 In this context. had been deducted by the Crown. 130 AN/TT. 1r-118v. Both are incomplete but still comprehensive enough to be comparable. the gross revenues of the Guinea House registered very rapid growth in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth century. the 300.000. the overall domestic revenue of the Crown was estimated at 52. Two of these orçamentos are available for the early sixteenth century.000 estimated by the 1473 Cortes. rather than Crown receipts. 127 AN/TT.128 Since these raw figures were used for casting up the annual orçamentos.


rather than net income.THE KING’S BUSINESS IN AFRICA 117 lagged behind metropolitan sources. Conclusion The West African enterprise. the overseas enterprise was perceived as the dynamic element. . The emphasis placed on overseas income. at the expense of domestic revenues. The Crown’s strategies were thus satisficing—they did not necessarily aim at maximizing revenue. both by limiting outsider access to African markets and by 131 Bonney. as well as the inefficiencies of its various agencies. The limitations characterizing the Portuguese royal enterprise in Africa. distorted the ability of African trading partners to sell and buy. However. It was the gross intake (see Table 2). that dazzled contemporaries and modern historians alike. but rather at achieving an acceptable and sustainable cash flow and securing means to satisfy political and social strategies.131 This system grew out of medieval seigneurial estate and revenue management. constituted a windfall addition to the existing (and limited) resources of the Portuguese Crown. The relative volume of trade with various African regions is frequently seen as a reflection of their supply capacity and of effective demand for European merchandise. and the temporary barriers to private participation that the Crown erected in an effort to manage its short-term revenues had serious impact on the volume and regional development of early European trade with Africa. that the policies and strategies of the Portuguese Crown. however. as formulated by Bonney and Ormrod. It is essential to realize. these strategies were deeply rooted in past practices and political choices (we might say that they were “path-dependent”) and can be best understood in the context of “domain state” fiscal system.” 13. an area that scholars have mostly neglected in their search for the roots of capitalist economy. shows the importance of perception and impression: clearly. “Introduction. From an administrative and strategic point of view the Crown handled this sector in the same manner as it did its metropolitan resources: as a means of attaining the short-term goals of solidifying and expanding its power under very difficult and turbulent conditions. just like the overseas enterprise in general.

and George Brooks.132 It is particularly important to stress this in connection with the early Atlantic slave trade and the debate on the state of slave trade and slavery in the coastal regions of West Africa in the opening period of the European overseas expansion. chaps. 2 “The Development of Commerce between Europeans and Africans” (pp.118 IVANA ELBL making the Crown unable to conduct such trade efficiently. chap. Landlords and Strangers. 1000-1630 (Boulder: Westview Press. see John Thornton. 1993). Ecology.133 132 For comparison. Society. 133 For an elaboration of this argument see Elbl. Africa and Africans in the Making of the Atlantic World. 1992). “The Volume of the Early Atlantic Slave Trade. 7-9. 1400-1680 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. . and Trade in Western Africa.” 74-5. 43-71).

CIVIC TAXES. resulting in an increased tax burden per capita. The case study will be Catalonia. Squeezed. the taxes which paid this debt had to be sustained at a constant rate. especially since the price for failure on the battlefield was often a loss of sovereignty. This is not to say that the middle and upper classes in many cities were not severely harried. but the principle deduced here can be applied to cities throughout Europe. when a long-term cycle of plagues was inaugurated by the Black Death. which during these decades was often protracted and desperate. the increased burden was felt most keenly by the poor. By the 1340s. Since warfare was frequent and widespread in late fourteenth-century Europe. usually consumption taxes. only to have a wave of plague reduce the urban population by some significant amount during the repayment period. Since civic debt simply had to be paid in order for the financial machinery of the state not to fail. wine. Since the taxes used to pay civic debts were often consumption taxes on such goods as meat. and which demanded every surplus penny from combatants’ treasuries. in a quadruple vise of depopulation.and long-term population loss on urban polities which had contracted fixed debt levels on the assumption that a steady level of urban taxes. debt and taxation. especially when it became clear that consumption taxes alone would not be enough to make the next round of interest payments. To the mix must be added the effects of war. urban householders throughout Europe were frequently in an untenable situation during the decades . and especially the Catalan city of Manresa. it often happened that cities would contract a debt burden at the utmost limit of their citizens’ ability to pay. would be available to pay interest on that debt. therefore.CIVIC DEBT. European war was funded almost entirely though deficit financing. AND URBAN UNREST: A CATALAN KEY TO INTERPRETING THE LATE FOURTEENTH-CENTURY EUROPEAN CRISIS Jeffrey Fynn-Paul This paper describes a phenomenon that has not received its due share of attention from historians writing on the European crisis of the later fourteenth century: the effect of unforeseen short. war. and wheat.

“The Vanishing Consulates of Catalonia. it is necessary to describe the evolution and functions of these systems. and Venice between 1350 and 1400. “The Catalan City of Manresa: A Political. meaning that until that very late date Manresa was both a feudal possession and outside of the main stream of Catalan urban development. but as late as 1254 it was granted as a fief to Viscount Ramon Folc IV of Cardona for the duration of the viscount’s life. The persistent urban unrest which characterizes this period may often have arisen from precisely this combination of variables. The conclusion of this paper applies the theory derived from the Manresan evidence to some famous cases of urban unrest in Genoa. were slow to coalesce into what might be called a typical late-medieval form.120 JEFFREY FYNN-PAUL between 1350 and 1400.” Acta Medievalia 20-21 (2000): 177-86. often by a period of decades. Social. Ramon Folc survived until 1274. the new King Pere II reorganized the Catalan administration system. In 1276. and also Paul Freedman.” Speculum 74 (1999): 65-94. as it did in Manresa during the 1360s and 1370s.1 As might be expected. 2 For the creation of the Manresan vegueria.” Speculum 54 (1979): 479-91. 1285-1330 In order to understand the effects of urban tax and debt systems on late fourteenth-century Catalan cities. “An Unsuccessful Attempt at Urban Organization in Twelfth-Century Catalonia. The Development of Regular Tax Systems in the Catalan Cities. Florence. Catalan urban institutions. Manresa itself was a royal city by the late twelfth century. the pace of innovation in the smaller Catalan cities tended to lag behind Barcelona. “Another Look at the Uprising of the Townsmen of Vic (1181-1183).” PhD . see Jeffrey Fynn-Paul.2 1 Philip Daileader. these were abandoned for somewhat mysterious reasons. however. for Vic. both political and financial. It was not until 1274 that Barcelona received a definitive urban government of the type it would retain until the end of the ancien régime. see Paul Freedman. and Economic History. Manresa and certain other towns now became the capitals of their own veguerias. which were large territorial administrative units similar in extent and function to English counties. Although there had been experiments with systems of urban consellers in Catalonia during the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries.

See Fernandez. Throughout the fourteenth century. 1996). 85-6.6 The principal aim of all this reform was. . Jaume added a second fair to the city’s calendar. 70-1. 4 Josep Fernandez Trabal found that wine growing was a principal investment of the Gironese patriciate in the years after 1300. did much to turn Manresa from a feudal market town into a thriving regional capital. 6 Torras. In 1315. ed. esp. 3 Pere Català i Roca. Manresa owed a certain amount of money to the crown each year. in the same year Jaume also gave the Manresans permission to form a conciliar government. to increase revenue. King Jaume had made Manresa into a bourgeois city. the king granted Manresans a monopoly on intramural wine sales. More tangibly. Els castells catalans. ed. 42-3.” L’Avenç 94 (1986): 42-7. who had been exercising various forms of feudal dominance over the Manresan townspeople since the twelfth century. El Llibre. while the landowning patricians of the city were now in a position to charge a premium on their own vintages. increasing its importance as a regional trade nexus. no knights were elected to the office of consul. 5: 658-60. A third element of Jaume’s political policy was to purchase the town’s bailiwick from a noble family. 1327). implemented over the course of a long and pacific reign (d. 6 vols. and his farsighted policies.CIVIC DEBT.. Jaume elevated Manresa from the status of villa (town).3 From 1315. who lost their principal market. As part of the royal patrimony. El Llibre Verd de Manresa (Barcelona: Fundació Noguera. 1967-1990).4 Another royal privilege of 1311 granted Manresans the right to collect taxes from everyone who owned property within the territory of Manresa. “De mercaders a terratinents. Exactly how much this Dissertation. University of Toronto (2006). Jaume’s political reforms were complemented by equally farreaching fiscal innovations.. CIVIC TAXES 121 In 1291 King Jaume II ascended the throne.5 Also in this year. of course. The privilege was especially important to the city’s patricians because wine growing was a principal capital investment for them at this time. for example. 5 Marc Torras. (Barcelona: Rafael Dalmau. In 1311. to that of civitas (city). the de Manresas. few if any noblemen resided within Manresa’s city limits. 88-9. 8-10. This new monopoly represented a serious blow to the seigniors in the vicinity of Manresa.

de la Roncière. These were known in Catalonia as imposicions. 213-60). The imposicion system can be seen as the culmination of Jaume II’s fiscal policy. 1936): Appendices III-V.10 Because the development of an imposicion system happened simultaneously in Barcelona and Manresa. and simple manufactured goods. whether real royal income from the city increased during this period.9 The main reason for this sudden increase in urban tax revenue was another financial reform carried out under Jaume II. which was the creation of a system of indirect consumption taxes on such commodities as meat. It is impossible to say.7 It is known that in 1254. 123. Money. spices. Florentine Studies: Politics and Society in Renaissance Florence (Evanston. Charles M. wine. it appears as though the crown’s income from extraordinary taxes was always earned at the expense of ordinary revenue. ed. By 1326-1350. two years after Jaume’s death. 8 The earliest data are from Earl Hamilton’s Navarre series. the index had fallen back to 125. Medieval and Renaissance Pistoia (New Haven: Yale. Aragon and Navarre. “Indirect Taxes or ‘Gabelles’ at Florence in the Fourteenth Century: The Evolution of Tariffs and Problems of Collection. even though he did not live to see its full implementation. . in years when these were owed. such as Herlihy’s wheat prices. 9 David Herlihy. all of Manresa’s regular revenue from imposicions. shows that wheat prices ranged from an index figure of 125 in 1251-1275. Prices and Wages in Valencia. however. His Aragon series has only fragmentary data prior to 1381.122 JEFFREY FYNN-PAUL entailed at any given time has proven a very elusive figure. 1351-1500 (Cambridge. 1967). and suggest that Jaume II had perhaps doubled Manresa’s real contribution to the Aragonese treasury. IL: Faber and Faber. the city had been worth about £450 per year to Jaume II’s grandfather. grain.8 One can only point to other European trends. The new system proved successful. Manresa was raising over two and a half times the 1254 figure. and the Valencia series does not commence until 1413 (Earl Hamilton. By 1329. less the costs of urban administration. went to the crown. MA: Harvard. Presumably. censal debts. 1968). 10 Comparable systems had been fully developed in most Italian states by the late thirteenth century. to 170 in 1301-1325. it is probable that it was implemented by royal fiat in other Catalan cities at the same time. insofar as it enabled the cautious Jaume 7 The few bailiff generals’ books in the ACA which mention Manresa prior to 1380 give accounts of feudal rents. and later. This in itself is an important distinction which is seldom discussed.. but no indication of total annual payments to the crown. Since these imposicions also went to pay “extraordinary” taxes.” in Nicolai Rubenstein. since there are as yet no price series for Iberia before 1350.

in which the sales of indirect taxes on staples were made only irregularly.11 For example. Broussolle believes that during this 1283-1329 period most of the ordinary revenue paid by Barcelona to the crown “came from other sources” (“consistant en d’autres impôts”). after a quarter century of planning. the tax system entered into an evolutionary phase. who in 1955 published a detailed study of Barcelona’s imposicions. Exactly what these dues entailed. 2000).15 By combining the narratives of Broussolle and Sanchez. the years between 1321 and 1329 can be seen as a further experi- Broussolle. grains. The work of Jean Broussolle. extraordinary royal levies were raised from the Catalan cities by means of direct impositions known as tallias. the control of municipal taxes had passed firmly into the control of Barcelona’s consellers only in 1283. Broussolle discerned that through 1329 Barcelona’s tax system was not regularized.14 The first known references to imposicions date from only a few years before: they are referenced in 1314 in Barcelona. 1998). “Les impositions municipales de Barcelona de 1328 a 1462. and how much revenue they provided. CIVIC TAXES 123 to launch a successful conquest of Sardinia between 1322 and 1326. 91-2. 1995). by which he presumably meant older feudal dues. 12 Broussolle. according to Broussolle. Renda i fiscalitat en un ciutat medieval: Barcelona (segles XII-XIV) (Barcelona: Consejo superior de investigaciones scientíficas. most Catalan cities began to raise sums for extraordinary taxes by selling imposicions.13 The work of Manuel Sanchez has now subdivided and nuanced the evolutionary period discerned by Broussolle. 15 Marc Torras. Late as it may seem. Els privilegis del “Llibre Verd” de Manresa (Manresa: Parcis Edicions Selectes. Sanchez notes that prior to 1321. however. 14. However. 13 But now on Barcelona’s early rents see Pere Orti Gost. 1316 in Tortosa. From 1321.CIVIC DEBT. 14 Manuel Sanchez. remains to be discovered. In fact. 11 .” Estudios de Historia Moderna 5 (1955): 1-164. and ships were sold in 1328 in order to raise money for the marriage of Alfons IV. taxes on meat. “Les impositions municipales.” 16. 152.12 In the face of such irregularity. the true development of this type of urban tax system dates only from this year. El naixement de la fiscalitat d’Estat a Catalunya (Vic: Estudis Universitaris. wine. in 1329 no such taxes were sold. Between 1283 and 1329. is the starting point for understanding the development of the imposicion system.

the imposicions became ensconced as a cornerstone of Catalan urban finance.332 in taxes in 1328. Manresa’s taxes were reorganized along the same lines as Barcelona’s new system. only four taxes were sold. Manresan revenue from regular impositions hovered around £2. while from 1339 onward it stood closer to £2. Since the Black Death cut the population of Manresa by perhaps 30 to 50 per cent in 1348. or from moderate to heavy taxes. and of 50 percent when this is left out. when the first figures become available. and the number of taxes would remain close to this level thereafter. and it was often recorded in special books that were distinct from the records for the remainder of the taxes. Whereas in 1328. Barcelona collected £6. however. The Manresan figures did not increase nearly as much as the Barcelona figures over the same period. Records of meat taxes are therefore often left out of the accounts found in the Barcelona and Manresa council manuals.000. but in 1330 it collected £39. Whether this represents a shift from low to moderate taxes. but were not yet accepted as annual and permanent. and 1339. in 1330 or shortly thereafter. . Manresan revenue from imposicions stood close to £1.892.124 JEFFREY FYNN-PAUL mental period. it was traditional to assign it to a separate purpose. The difference between the number and value of imposicions sold in 1328 and in 1330 is striking. is an open question. but there was an increase of nearly 100 percent when a missing meat tax is added to the total. in 1330 twenty-four were sold. it is interesting to note that the revenue from Manresan imposicions shows a large increase between 1329. except during the Castilian war years of the 1360s and 70s. a new royal campaign was launched against Genoa. and it is likely that this reorganization was imposed by the crown. or over six times the amount collected two years previously. When we consider the portrait of Barcelonese urban finances outlined above.000. The probable explanation for this increase is that. when it surpassed £3. and Barcelona’s tax system was reorganized into the form that it would retain until the outbreak of civil war in 1462. From 1330. In that year.000.16 In 1329. From Table 1 it can be seen that between 1339 and 1418. especially from the point of view of the cities’ poor householders. in which the imposicions were heavily relied upon.000. it is very curious that revenue from imposicions did not change substantially between 1339 and 16 Because the meat tax was usually the single most valuable tax. when the next figures are available.

d .

censal .



in preparation for Jaume II’s campaign against Sardinia. parlaments i fiscalitat a Catalunya: els capitols del donatiu. y finanzas en la Cataluña bajomedieval (Barcelona: Casa Milà i Fontanals.26 The reorganization of regular taxes was one branch of the royal initiative. in effect. Corts. a new wave of levies on the royal cities was begun in 1321-24. Manuel Sánchez Martínez. In fact. sessions that did not eventually produce a substantial levy.. between the years of 1325 and 1378. fiscalidad. 11-54. 1993). “Questie y subsidios en Cataluña durante el primer tercio del siglo XIV: el subsidio para la cruzada granadaina (1329-1334). The new series of extraordinary levies that began during the 1320s was to last with very few breaks until Catalonia became fiscally exhausted in the mid 1370s. Another point to be noted is that Manresa’s portions of 26 Sánchez Martínez and his students have done much needed work on Catalan fiscality. Table 4 summarizes the known payments of over 2. Manuel Sánchez Martínez. 1995). but the known figures provide a sense of the high level and frequency of extraordinary taxes that were being raised from the Catalan cities during the middle decades of the fourteenth century. This campaign would. The only check on the royal will regarding these taxes was that permission be granted by the Corts. See Manuel Sánchez Martínez and Pere Orti Gost. It has been suggested that Jaume’s reforms left the Aragonese fiscal system better prepared to deal with the crown’s newly aggressive foreign policy. It can be observed from Table 4 that extraordinary taxation during this half century was so regular that it became. Departament de Justicia. The list is not complete.” Cuadernos de historia econòmica de Cataluña 16 (1987). if any. initiate a long-standing conflict with Genoa. which reached a crescendo in the early 1350s. Universitat de Girona. CIVIC TAXES 129 royal levies had been a part of Catalan fiscality for centuries. eds. since several subsidies levied after known sessions of the Corts remain unaccounted for. in fact. the financial machine that was marshalled to finance the conquest of Sardinia has been christened “a new page in the history of royal and municipal finance” by Manuel Sánchez Martínez.000s that were owed by Manresa to the crown. and a reorganization of the irregular tax system was another. 1997). 1288-1384 (Barcelona: Generalitat de Catalunya. and Manuel Sánchez Martínez. a further means of ordinary taxation. El naixement de la fiscalitat d’Estat a Catalunya: Segles XII-XIV (Girona.CIVIC DEBT. and although much has been made of the Corts’ intransigence. there were few. . or that were raised by the city as the result of extraordinary demands made by the crown. Estudios sobre renta.



censal imposicions .

” in Marc Boone. Els privilegis. but. since all were equally indebted to the crown by the acts of the Corts. The censal-rente is a distinct instrument from that used in Northern Italy. . 2004). eds. “The Medieval Origins of the Financial Revolution. see Torras. CIVIC TAXES 133 A censal was a perpetual money annuity. “Medieval Origins. no hi ha cap any sense emissions de censals i violaris”). in debt.36 In Catalonia. The Catalan censal could also be sold on the market. 34 It should be noted that Spanish censal = French rente and Flemish rent. 1943). 50-1. Press. meaning that it could be transmitted to an heir at the death of the owner/recipient. the Catalans and the Italians consolidated their systems of loans on Early History of Deposit Banking in Mediterranean Europe (Cambridge. This made censals all the more attractive to late medieval investors since they could be classified by canon lawyers as non-usurious.” and James Tracy. who were usually municipalities. the crown ensured that censals could always be redeemed by the issuing municipality. “Medieval Origins. This is because in the case of censals the principal did not legally have to be repaid except at the will of the issuing authority. issued their own censals. et al. as has been noted. It is likely that the smaller Catalan municipal entities began to sell their first censals at the same time as the larger ones.34 Rates for both the censal and violari varied in response to the flux of the credit market.” 535. 1991). 37 Munro.” 535. 35 Munro. only with the intervention of the issuing authorities.35 Royal municipalities of all sizes. rather than more.. The word rentier is derived from these terms. 147-62. 38 For the appearance of the public debt in Manresa. Christian Guilleré.CIVIC DEBT. On these issues see John Munro. l’etapa d’apogeu (1285-1360) (Girona: Ajuntament de Girona. 36 Sánchez Martínez. CT: David Brown.37 The first evidence for Manresan sales of violaris comes from the early 1340s. since it was to the king’s advantage for his cities to be less. did not appear in Catalonia-Aragon until nearly a century later. says that from 1350 “there was no year in which censals and violaris were not sold” (“A partir de 1350.. the Manresan council manuals suggest that this practice probably became widespread in the early 1360s. 191-9. The rente developed as early as the mid-13th century in Northern France and Flanders. from large towns to hamlets. received by an investor in return for his or her investment of a cash sum (usually substantial). Girona Medieval. speaks of the use of censals as a Catalan financial “system” from the 1360s. 129-34. it seems. MA: Harvard Univ. though. The censal was perpetual. Urban Public Debts: Urban Government and the Market for Annuities in Western Europe (14th-18th Centuries) (Oakville. 13-26. “On the Dual Origins of Long-Term Urban Debt in Medieval Europe. where forced loans or prestanze were used alongside voluntary debt systems. El naixement.38 It should be noted that in this regard.

Sanchez’ views on this point should be emended or at least reworded. and the cities forwarded these sums to the bankers. “The Catalan City. throughout the fourteenth century. that inexperience with managing the new system added to the calamity caused by the plague. had multiplied the cities’ effective short-term revenue nearly sevenfold. Note that the old system of raising tallias (one-time exactions) was still used alongside the imposicion system. then. insofar as the imposicion system was not replaced by the censal system. but the cities could also forward far larger lump sums to the Barcelona bankers. 40 39 . this stream was being used to pay extraordinary taxes. in Catalonia at least. the imposicion system was never replaced.134 JEFFREY FYNN-PAUL a similar time scale. was that instead of paying the Barcelona bankers more or less directly. and the Florentines reorganized their loan system into the Monte Comune by 1345. the Genoese consolidated their loan shares in 1340. see Fynn-Paul. the cities now pledged their regular revenue to a number of intermediate parties. the imposicion system formed a regular revenue stream that was not tied to outmoded feudal dues. The Venetians had developed a secondary market for their loan shares by 1320. Thus. who purchased censals from the city for ready cash. the switch to the debt system.41 Munro. a layer of middlemen was added. the Catalan authorities realized that imposicion revenue could be used to pay censal interest. which paid at 15 per cent in the 1340s. The cities’ regular revenue now went to pay interest on the censals purchased by the investors. after the imposicion system had been made regular and perpetual. and it underpinned the newer censal system. In fact. 41 For interest rates on Catalan violaris and censals. “Medieval Origins. Sanchez suggests. as we have seen. Rather. In effect.” 149-50. In effect.39 That the plague occurred just after these major institutional reforms certainly meant.” 515. These investors paid lump sums to the cities.40 Later. Sánchez has noted the speed with which the crown switched from financing its extraordinary levies through tallias and direct payments to financing these levies through the censal system. however. By 1320. that the imposicion system of consumption taxes was superseded by the system of public debt. The main innovation represented by the censal system. Rather it supplemented both the older loan method of paying extraordinary taxes.

by 1351 Pere III felt strong enough to ally with the Venetians against the Genoese. and Taxation in Manresa. CIVIC TAXES 135 The danger of this system for the cities and for Catalonia at large was that a far larger network of creditors was now co-opted into the royal fisc. The financial effects of this Genoese-Sardinian war on Manresa can be ascertained from Table 4. and when the Black Death struck in 1348. in which the Venetians. Debt. In 1354 a third campaign was required in order for the Catalans to restore some semblance of order on Sardinia. Warfare. see Thomas Bisson. alternately. 1996). From 1353 through 1356. The principal Catalan conflict of the 1340s involved the successful annexation of Mallorca by the new king Pere III (1336-1387). But this was not terribly costly to the Catalan cities. 109. 1991). This expedition was led by King Pere III himself. It is therefore difficult to say that outstanding debts played an important role in civic finances during the immediate aftermath of the 1348 plague. although due to lingering 42 For the former view. Genoa and the Genoese (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. The pressure on city governments to pay their interest on time was now much higher than it had been during the brief era of imposicions and extraordinary taxes. and Greeks won a Pyrrhic victory over the Genoese. 1347-1381 It has been noted that a new age of conflict was initiated by the Catalans with their seizure of Sardinia in 1322-1326. see Steven A. 220. . for the latter.42 The Catalans and Genoese fought another major engagement in 1353. unprecedentedly large annual payments were made to the crown by Manresa. it is likely that the city made payments in those years as well. Catalans. ending their effective resistance for a time. and this time. or. The following year witnessed the famous showdown in the Bosporus. in which the Genoese won a Pyrrhic victory over the allies. In any event.CIVIC DEBT. Epstein. and it is likely that these were paid by the sale of censals and/or violaris. it does not appear as though the Manresan treasury was in dire straits. Plague. The Medieval Crown of Aragon (Oxford: Clarendon. the Genoese were utterly routed off the coast of Sardinia. The effects of unexpectedly difficult wars and unforeseeable catastrophic plagues on this newly emergent system will be detailed in the next section. Since the war began in 1351-1352.

The king therefore ordered a general fortification of Catalonia in 1368. Pedro quickly showed that Castile’s superior resources were more than a match for the Aragonese on land. since Enrique proved himself unwilling to yield concessions made to Aragon during the war. which lasted for over a decade. hostilities did not cease. until the final defeat of Pedro in 1369 by the Aragonese-supported pretender to the throne. unfortunate. “The Catalan City.44 As a result. Enrique of Trastámara. It should be noted that in the 1350s the “Crown of Aragon” consisted of the semi-autonomous states of Catalonia.136 JEFFREY FYNN-PAUL bureaucratic confusion caused by the Black Death. Valencia. from the early 1360s. after a decade of unrelenting subsidies. I take the liberty of using “Aragonese” and “Catalans” and near synonyms. The cities were to pay for their own walls. and the timing was. since about 90 per cent of the population of the Crown of Aragon. without a break. and likewise the vast majority of the confederation’s wealth was concentrated in Catalan speaking areas. Perhaps most dangerous of all was the fact that the French White Companies had gained a taste for Iberian campaigning during the war. Aragon. Table 4 shows the long and depressing list of extraordinary levies that were raised by the Manresans during these several decades of crisis. which I have argued was an extension of the Sardinian war and largely instigated by Pere III himself. 44 43 . was Catalan-speaking. as Pedro I “The Cruel” of Castile (1350-1369) proved himself doggedly willing and able to annex portions of Aragon to his own crown. the Catalans were forced to fight a defensive war.43 But what might have been originally intended as a mere demonstration of Aragonese power soon turned into a defensive war for survival. which Pere III attempted to embellish in various ways. to say the least. Despite recent rebellion and civil war in Castile. and Majorca. It can be seen from Table 4 that the high annual expenses of the Sardinian war led directly. including its royal house. when they had been enlisted on the side of Aragon. into the hostilities of the Castilian war. each successive levy extracted from the Manresan fisc was like wringing the proverbial blood from a stone. Even then. the town records for those years are disorganized and scanty. and presented tempting targets in the event of a mutiny.” 41-9. was Barcelona. The capital of the confederation. Pere III soon realized that most of his cities were woefully under-fortified. Note that most of the largest payments came during the 1350s. Since a detailed history of Fynn-Paul.

a prolonged drought threatened to create the worst famine in a generation. the Catalan populace began to succumb to a fresh wave of plague in the summer of 1362.8. The new plague lasted through the fall of 1362 and into the winter. the Manresan councillors reported a dearth of wine.4.47 Weakened by famine.10. Note: MC stands for the Manuales Concilii of the city of Manresa.200s) toward the purchase of grain. In July 1363.6.22). They are unfoliated but entries are dated in chronological order and they have therefore been referenced by date. The citations relevant to this article are: Arxiu Històric de la Ciutat de Manresa AHCM/AM I-7 (1358. Pere III had little choice but to enlist the French White Companies. it will suffice to focus on two periods. just before the harvest.11375.CIVIC DEBT. adding the threat of sudden death by contagion to the miseries of the Castilian invasion. AHCM/AM I-9 (1373.3). Yet this record is one of the most significant council entries of the fourteenth century. In April 1362 Manresa dedicated £60 (1. AHCM/AM I-8 (1365. indicating a poor vendimia in the previous year.10.9.” MC 1362.5. Together with most of Europe. for no one trusted the companies after their infamous exploits in southern France. the menace of the White Companies.18). and 1375-1377. in which the vise of debt and plague squeezed Manresa with especial severity.3. and AHCM/AM I-10 (1375.7. It may be summarized as follows: Because of the pestilence which recently ravaged the city. .18-1373.3. a situation which caused real alarm in Manresa. and because of the many payments which we must make to the king. Catalonia would continue to experience serious outbreaks of plague in fifteen year cycles after 1348. 47 MC 1363.3. and these cycles did not abate much until the end of the fifteenth century.25-1381. In typical fashion.45 As this drama was unfolding. CIVIC TAXES 137 this period would be beyond the purpose of the present work. The year 1362 saw Pedro of Castile break a Vatican-arranged truce to attack the Aragonese frontier city of Calatayud. In response. 46 “Ad opus emendi frumentum.46 This had not been done since the great famines of the 1330s. and the citizens’ desperate and laborious efforts to encircle themselves with defensible fortifications.6). 1362-1363.1. Barricades were set up at weak points in the city walls. oppressive taxes. the Manresan consellers’ laconic record of the 1362 plague outbreak says nothing about its duration or severity.3.281364. this city 45 MC 1362.30.

Depopulation was now added to the list of enemies they faced. Bridbury. Bridbury argues. The city had been crowded.48 The first thing to be gleaned from this entry is that the plague of 1362-1363 hit the city with some severity. despite the ravages of the Black Death. Henceforth they considered their city to be underpopulated. 26 (1973): 557-92.49 The Manresan councillors’ sentiment could not be a more fitting illustration of an analysis made by Anthony Bridbury regarding the effects of the first two waves of plague on the populace of England.3.. On the mortaldat dels infants. and other occasional taxes. likewise it is our duty to attempt to populate the city by whatever means possible. the town councillors felt it necessary to foster policies that would increase the number of householders in the city. the Manresan councillors gave no indication that they felt the city’s population to be inadequate. 3: 252. likewise they shall be free from all regular civic taxes (imposicions) for a period of ten years. 50 A. Història de Catalunya (Barcelona: Edicions 62. see Carme Batlle.. These shall be free from all fogatges. and even overpopulated from the vantage point of the lower classes. during the first half of the fourteenth century. rather.” Economic History Review. but it is clear that the Manresans also experienced it as a mortaldat dels menestrals (labourers). however. Catalan historiography has made much of a reference which calls this plague the mortaldat dels infants. It was not until the plague of 1362. MC 1363. Bridbury argued that in England the plague of 1348 did not cause a severe labour shortage. 1999).” in Pierre Vilar. it had served only to alleviate the severe overcrowding experienced by most of the country through the first half of the fourteenth century. ed.138 JEFFREY FYNN-PAUL stands in need of people who practise the mechanical arts. 2nd ser. From 1363. 49 48 . Therefore we proclaim that all those who are not natural to the city and who wish to stay in it for more than ten days must write their name in the book of the city. “The Black Death. After the plague of 1362. their attitude changed dramatically. R. questias reyals. “L’expansió baixmedieval [segles XIII-XV]. Bridbury’s assessment also holds true in Catalonia. Between 1348 and 1362.50 As far as can be determined from the Manresan evidence. that the country began to experience an acute shortage of labour.5. The year 1362 thus marks a very important psychological turning point in the mentality of Manresa’s citizens and government.

On the same day that the consellers inaugurated their new immigration policy. 52 MC 1363. 1896-1922).21. all of the city’s imposicions were sold for the upcoming four months. and the city was now forced to sell 21. For the fogatge at Monzón. Eight Manresan men. even more important than the labour shortage caused by the plague was the shortage of taxpayers it created. two from each quarter. As a short-term expedient. a fogatge. and as a unit of account it was used in Catalonia throughout the middle ages for assessing judicial fines. Not surprisingly.000s worth of new censals to make a payment on the fogatge. presumably at the Corts of Monzón in February 1363. Certainly this phenomenon was having an adverse effect on the Manresan economy. or hearth tax. were appointed to collect a new tallia for the maintenance of this company. . who were probably mounted men-at-arms. 53 MC 1363. CIVIC TAXES 139 But the councillors’ own words show that. As the population continued to shrink. While the city’s debt burden continued to grow. had been declared.5.26.53 In an effort to speed up the tax collection. these may have been some of the very Frenchmen against whom the Manresans were so desperately fortifying themselves. see MC 1372. all of whom were well-to-do and well connected to city government.5. they recorded that the treasurer had examined his books and determined that the city’s regular impositions were no longer sufficient to pay its censal annuities. the plague of 1362 had wiped out a significant portion of the taxpaying households.6. the royal veguer and batlle imposed a deadline upon the tax collectors themselves. on 6 April the consellers reported that the eight men were having some difficulty in collecting the money. 54 The morabatí was derived from an old Arabic coin. 2: 149-50.51 As though this were not burden enough. after which time they would be personally responsible for paying a penalty of 500 gold morabatins. This is mentioned at the Corts of Barcelona. beginning 10 March 1364.3.4. Meanwhile. For the equivalency in sous (1 morabatí = 9s).52 In fact. to their minds. the eight members of the committee. see Cortes de los Antiguos Reinos de Aragón y de Valencia y Principado de Cataluña (Madrid: Real Academia de la Historia.54 In this difficult situation.3. claimed that they had not consented to this 51 MC 1363. the debt burden remained to be shared amongst fewer survivors.CIVIC DEBT. one month earlier the king had required the city to pay for the upkeep of a contingent of 25 clients. or mercenaries.

who received authority to hear accounts from whomever he saw fit. MC 1363. the Manresans could continue to raise additional funds. Torras.140 JEFFREY FYNN-PAUL penalty and were therefore not bound to it. Bernat was to receive the very high rate of 3 sous per livre.6. In this dispute may be seen one of the early foreshadowings of the state of affairs described in the royal privilege of 1380.57 The use of guards to enforce the payment of taxes was a novel step at Manresa. since at this moment Pedro of Castile threatened their very sovereignty.” Every Sunday one 55 56 57 MC 1363. In Manresa. After “maxing out” their regular revenue in 1362-1363. the city gave plenum posse to a new treasurer. Bernat de Area. In the summer of that year. and it is unfortunate that the results of this challenge cannot be known. or 15 per cent. El Llibre.000s levy of 1365 was raised by the expedient of a “weekly tax. . of the money that he extracted from the citizens. the 28. in addition to the authority to collect what was due to the city. The city remained in a state of quasi-revolt through the entire period.7.4. but only at the cost of introducing novel modes of taxation.15. 269. in which the councillors had complained that the city’s best men were avoiding public service.55 Unfortunately. and so they paid up.56 Further signs of unrest were also evident in 1363. but years of high taxation had created a situation in which it was becoming increasingly unpleasant to be a conseller or jurat. but this tactic would continue to be employed through the early 1370s. It is probable that some of this commission was destined to go to the guards who were appointed to help Bernat in his efforts. It is very interesting to learn that the town patricians claimed to have the right to consent to fines imposed upon them by the bailiff and veguer: This was clearly a challenge to the authority of the royal officials. But they had no choice. who were admittedly acting in an extraordinary manner. Not only were the lower classes becoming restive about sustaining such a high tax burden. the entry breaks off at this point and nothing more was written on the matter. The incident highlights important changes taking place in the tone of civic life. Civic officials were now inescapably sandwiched between the ire of their neighbours and the impatience of the powerful agents of the crown.

1 and MC 1367. this order. when Pere III ordered Manresa and other cities of Catalonia to construct new fortifications. in inelegant Latin. MC 1368. and especially had become impoverished [because of him] .8. suggesting that the rest of the principality was in similar straits. albeit at the cost of six or seven more years of extraordinary expenses. 1980). The 1368 order to fortify led to the imposition of another new tax. This was a Herculean effort: in August of 1375.CIVIC DEBT. The city’s credit had reached its limit.30.4. see Eduard Junyent.61 This is borne out by the narrative sources as well. CIVIC TAXES 141 or more shillings were collected from each head of household according to their income level. He notes that “Our house of Aragon had had great trouble and harm from King Don Enrique [of Castile].19.7.”62 MC 1365. Tellingly. which they viewed as their primary defence against famine. “La fortification de Vich en 1368.17 62 Mary and J.9. N. Manresa’s jurats had admitted. the administrator Pere Nadal had rendered an account for his office of the “clavarius of the impositions assigned to pay censals. that they could find no one to purchase more censals from them—mutuo invenietur non potest.4..000s over the next three years in order to complete their irrigation works known as the cequia. I suspect from the nearly identical architecture that the walls of Montblanc and parts of Barcelona’s walls were also built in the same year. the king specifically calls attention to his financial incapacity during the years 1375 and 1376.” Ausa 2 (1955-57): 347-56. was obeyed.59 In 1368. 2: 590. another famine menaced the city. In a unique passage from the Chronicle of Pere III. Hillgarth. in July. indicating that the order to fortify was probably widespread. too. interest rates on censals were at an all-time high. Only a month before. Pere III. I have found payment records for the weekly tax between MC 1365..311 on the debt over the previous year.26. after nearly thirty years of unrelenting hardship. Chronicle (Toronto: Pontifical Institute. 59 58 . 60 Renewed efforts on the Manresan walls (picking up from the panicked efforts of 1362-1363) began in September 1368.58 This weekly tax was collected between 1365 and 1367. the “daily tax” about which little is said in the records.” which showed that the city had paid £3. the city voluntarily raised 51. trans.9. 61 MC 1375.26. For the fortification of Vic in 1368. In addition to other levies. for the “daily tax” see MC 1368.60 In 1375..

Years of high censal payments combined with demographic decline was taking its toll on Manresa’s vitality. Utilizing vastly reduced navies. which between 1200 and 1500 gradually increased its maritime influence. and on its very viability as a socio-political entity. also applicable to the experience of the Catalans’ archrival Genoa. It should be noted that Epstein follows a long Italianist tradition of describing the 1350-1355 war as “Genoa’s war with Venice. MC 1377.142 JEFFREY FYNN-PAUL Nor did the crisis abate with the lessening of invasion fears after 1376. and the Genoese debt had remained very high due to almost continuous warfare.” 64 Epstein. largely at the expense of Genoa. transferendo eorum domicilia aliundem. They were. By the 1390s. fittingly. In his account of the 1350-1355 Genoese-Catalan-Venetian war.. 219-21. consumption taxes were primarily used to pay interest on the debt. On 10 January 1377 this trend was analyzed by the councillors of Manresa in no uncertain terms: Many inhabitants of this city have deserted it. By 1380.64 Nor did the Genoese situation improve over the next several decades. as in Catalonia. Florence. “. plures ipsius civitatis habitatores deseruit ipsam civitatem. the Venetians. Steven Epstein describes a situation in which the Mediterranean powers paradoxically began a new conflict just after their cities had been devastated by the worst plague in memory..63 Applications: Genoa. on account of which this city is becoming depopulated. moving their homes elsewhere. Genoa and the Genoese. a third major Mediterranean naval power. consumption taxes were at revolutionary levels. the Genoese tax on salt had raised its price to twelve times what the state paid for it. in effect. and Venice This analysis of the Catalan evidence is. 63 .10. and unprecedented levels of coercion were required in order to collect them. and there are not enough people to pay the censals and other burdens by which the city is bound. Epstein reports. propter quod ipsam civitatis inhabitatibilis effici posset et non esset qui solveret censualia et alia onera ad que ipsam tenitur. This is mentioned only because one of the purposes of this paper is to show how thoroughly the Catalans were integrated into the Mediterranean trade system by this time.” even though Catalonia played an equally important role in the conflict. In Genoa. As in Catalonia.1. with dire results for Genoa. Catalans and Genoese fought on.

68 Roberto Barducci. question about the Genoese situation described above. and abolish the hated salt tax. 66 Epstein. 67 Herlihy. 65 . 234-6. “Le riforme finanziarie nel tumulto dei Ciompi. Genoa and the Genoese. it attempted to suspend all payments on the funded debt for a three month period. at least for a brief time.” whereas in Catalonia censal holders were almost always voluntary investors. we are now in a position to answer one further. and very important. firewood.66 Although Liguria is isolated from the rest of Italy. must be the fact that the state had contracted a high debt burden. 243.68 The Ciompi government of July and August of that year did manage to lower the tax rate in the Florentine contado by one third. Epstein. Acts of the Congress of 1979 (Florence: Olschki. and why were unprecedented levels of coercion required in the collection of taxes? Much of the specific mechanism behind these factors. and population levels did not recover between major visitations.67 With the Manresan example at hand. such as that which occurred in 1385. As is well known. at the same time that householders continued to perish in significant and unforeseeable numbers. and Tuscan comparisons must be taken with a grain of salt. CIVIC TAXES 143 “creditors were so vital to the continuing functioning of the state their goodwill naturally took precedence over common people needing bread. Genoa also experienced recurring outbreaks of plague. years or even decades before. Florence. Pistoia lost between two thirds and three quarters of its population. Likewise.” in Il tumulto dei Ciompi: Un momento di storia fiorentina ed europea. The remaining householders had no choice but to pay off the debt which had been contracted in the name of a significantly larger populace.”65 Of course.CIVIC DEBT. one of first demands of the rebels was an abolition of the funded debt and a lowering of the gabelles that had paid its interest. which was impossible to pay off in the short term. Herlihy estimated that between 1340 and 1404. debt shares were often assessed as involuntary “forced loans. The Manresan example can also be applied to the famous case of the Florentine Ciompi revolt of 1378. which we now recognize as a “classic” post-plague urban crisis. Secondary markets for forced loan shares did open up to some degree in all three Italian republics however. 1981). Note again that in Genoa. 76. and Venice. Genoa and the Genoese. Medieval and Renaissance Pistoia. and salt. Why did extravagant consumption taxes and state creditors become such an issue during these decades. 100-1.

for its part. 70 On the issue of emigration to the capital. called an estimo. Between 1378 and 1381. at the same moment that Florence became embroiled in its civil war. more than ever before. the Florentines themselves were less acutely aware of the continuing effects of population decline on their debt system. It is possible that through the 1370s. This would have provided an illusion of continual demographic replenishment. was a focus of emigration.144 JEFFREY FYNN-PAUL Another related reform was the creation of a program for implementing a direct tax. Creating the Florentine State: Peasants and Rebellion. The Venetian debt system.71 In 1378. 84. and because Florence.” in Rubinstein. and Brucker lays much of the blame for the regime’s failure on its vacillating debt policy. however.. the Venetians were forced to lend 41 percent of their assessed patrimonies to the state.70 In medium-sized cities such as Manresa. But in the end. even slight losses in population would have been more obvious and more keenly felt by civic officials in need of funds. Cohn.69 Part of why the Florentine situation became so dire by the 1370s might be ascribed to the mechanisms described above. “The Medieval Origins. like other metropoles. Many defaulted and had their lands sold at auction. at least for a time. at least. see Semuel K. “The Ciompi Revolution. when the government ceased to make any pretence of redeeming forced loan shares. known as the War of Chioggia. which alienated both the government’s lower and middle class supporters and the state’s wealthy creditors. 69 . Florentine Studies. Here Cohn quotes a document of 1402 in which the Florentines admit that their estimo had to be reassessed because war and plague had reduced the population of the mountains in particular. the revolutionary government found that it could not function without maintaining interest payments on the debt. and only at this moment did it succumb to temporary insolvency. 1348-1434 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 338-44. began to show serious signs of trouble from 1363. 71 Munro. never recovered from the blow it received during the Gene Brucker. Jr.” 515. The Venetian debt system. It is very notable from the point of view of the present discussion that Venice managed to pay the interest on its state debts regularly between 1262 and 1380. according to Mueller. Venice became involved in a disastrous war with Genoa. This could have occurred both because the nature of a large city is such that it is difficult to judge marginal population decreases. 1999).


TOLL AND TRADE IN MEDIEVAL ENGLAND James Masschaele In the year 1272. but the erstwhile common clerk’s behavior upon learning of his indictment has few. 55 (London: Longman. Like Black himself. is a fascinating account of the government and economy of a major English port in the later thirteenth century. ed.n. was indicted as a notorious thief. 2: 1-207. To spite his fellow townsmen.. commonly referred to as the Ipswich Domesday Book. Upon learning of the indictment. Initially. The passages about the town’s tolls that are discussed in this paper are found on pp. however. these guarantors of Ipswich’s privileges and freedoms were never to be seen again. A good summary of the circumstances in which the text came to be written is given in Ninth Report of the Historical Manuscripts Commission. Eventually. they came to view the absence of a formal documentary basis for local government as a problem. 239-43. 1 . 1873). Black somehow managed to gain possession of the town’s customary and a number of its foundation charters before his departure from the town. Ipswich’s leaders made a sustained effort to specify the distinctive features of the commodities liable to pay toll and the circumstances of their circulation as trade goods..1 It naturally has much to say about local government and commercial regulation. part 1 (London: s. They began with a description of the extensive array of tolls Printed in Sir Travis Twiss. 184-207. nor about Black’s decision to flee rather than face justice. Rolls Series no. if any. The document they produced. and they decided to convene the citizenry to draw up a new statement of the customs by which the town was governed. There is nothing particularly unusual about the indictment of a public official in the period. The Black Book of the Admiralty. but what is most surprising about the document is its lengthy account of procedures for collecting tolls. Henry Black. the leaders of the town sought to continue the routines of local government as if though nothing had happened. In this account. the common clerk of the town of Ipswich. parallels. Black fled from the town and was never heard from again. 1883).

This article will examine four issues related to the use of tolls in medieval England. wool. fish. Between these various accounts of the items traded and the rates of toll imposed in each market. for example. and animals. but the toll on hemp seed was paid in the cheese market. the authors distinguished not only the different goods that were traded in that market but also their mode of transport and a host of incidental details about how goods might be processed or modified in the course of being sold. The third Georges Despy. Well over 50 lists of tolls collected in English towns and markets prior to 1350 can now be found in print and hundreds more exist in manuscript form. appertained to the cloth market. These documents are a heterogeneous bunch. They are. economic historians have paid relatively little attention to them. cheese. Les Tarifs de Tonlieux. The first section summarizes the main types of toll levied in medieval England and sketches their chronological development. Though exceptionally detailed. timber. Within each account. 1976). and then followed up with a series of shorter descriptions of the tolls collected in eight separate markets specializing in cloth. 2 . Like the documents Georges Despy described in his survey of medieval toll documents in France and Germany. 19 (Turnhout: Éditions Brepols. Typologie des sources du moyen âge occidental. the compilers of the document entered brief notes summarizing unusual features of the markets: the toll on hemp.2 Perhaps because of their heterogeneity. in fact. 13-6. meat. and their study has been left largely in the hands of local historians and antiquarians. a treasure trove of information about the conduct of trade in medieval England and they raise an important but curiously neglected issue for medieval commerce. But their sheer number suggests that they are of more than local interest and deserving of more careful scrutiny than they have hitherto received. English lists often appear in ad hoc forms that defy easy generalization. the account of toll collection in Ipswich represents a common documentary genre of the high and late Middle Ages. bread. The second section provides some quantitative evidence for the revenues generated by tolls and relates the revenue figures to the rates of toll specified in extant toll lists.TOLL AND TRADE IN ENGLAND 147 collected on the town’s quay. ranging from expansive descriptions like the one found in the Ipswich Domesday Book to simple lists with a small number of commodities and rates. namely the relationship between tolls and the development of trade.

it is helpful to divide them into two principal types.4 3 Throughtoll was sometimes levied on roads or bridges that were not associated with a specific town or market but it was far more commonly levied in places that had commercial facilities in which sales tolls were collected. Peasants. but in general extant lists give frustratingly little detail about when and where tolls were assessed. In theory these were two distinctive forms of taxation.148 JAMES MASSCHAELE section looks at the payers of toll and considers how different groups of payers were affected by royal grants of exemption from toll. Information of this sort is more likely to be found in court records dealing with disputes over exemptions from toll than in lists of toll rates. Tolls on passage were sometimes denoted by the Middle English thurghtoll but the Latin word teloneum (with common variants teoloneum and theolonium) could be used to describe just about any toll. 4 Such disputes are discussed more fully in James Masschaele. the two most important being toll collected on sales in a marketplace or fair and toll imposed on the passage of goods through a particular town or along a particular route. . Each type merits consideration on its own before any general assessment of the relationship between tolls and trade can be offered. An appendix enumerating the many lists of tolls that have appeared in print can be found at the end of the article. and it seems likely that municipal officials did not distinguish sharply between the two. but in practice it is often difficult to determine which type is documented in a particular list. The fourth and final section offers some thoughts on the overall impact of tolls in the period. one associated with the collection of local or customary tolls and the other with special tolls collected for a fixed period of time to finance public works projects.3 In more descriptive accounts the circumstances of collection can sometimes be diagnosed from incidental details. The Ipswich account in the town’s Domesday Book is a good example of a document concerned with the collection of local or customary tolls. The two types had different histories as well as significantly different roles to play in urban finance. Such lists encompass several different kinds of toll. Types of Toll To make sense of the great variety in the form and structure of tolls and toll lists.

” in La Città nell’alto Medioevo. British Borough Charters. . Darby.” 9 A. eds. (London: Routledge.8 Over the course of the twelfth century. Evidence related to the actual functioning of tolls in the period is. s. 1997). E. L. S. 485-508. a formula that goes back to the tenth century. 1904). Sussex. 1998).v. Merchants. 6 F. “A propos du tonlieu à l’époque Carolingienne. but there is no question that tolls were levied in the period. passim. Middle English Dictionary. P. Harmer.TOLL AND TRADE IN ENGLAND 149 Local tolls existed well before public works tolls came into being and they also predate by a considerable margin the earliest lists that have survived.. 1913). 1977). electronic version (http://ets. as do the formulaic references to “toll and team” in Anglo-Saxon An undated eleventh-century list of the local tolls collected at Billingsgate in London points to the same conclusion. Domesday England (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ.umdl. since the vast majority of the exemption charters (25 of 30) date to the second half of the twelfth century. 1042-1216 (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. For the continent. The Early English Customs System (Cambridge. 1959). and many monasteries had done likewise.umich. By 1200. “Chipping and Market: A Lexicographical Investigation. B. 6 (Spoleto. Examples of both transit tolls and sales tolls can be found in the Anglo-Saxon world and may go back to the late Roman period. Settimane di Studio del Centro Italiano di Studi sull’alto Medioevo. particularly in the form of charters granting exemptions from toll.6 Domesday Book contains numerous references to toll income and includes a rudimentary list of the tolls collected in Lewes.n. The Domesday Boroughs (Oxford: Clarendon Press. the documentary evidence associated with toll collection becomes much richer. if not earlier. 129-46.. 73-5. nearly 30 towns had acquired a charter granting toll exemptions.” in Cyril Fox and Bruce Dickens. F. Ballard. 7 H. “Tol. and Markets: Inland Trade in Medieval England (New York: St. and also suggests that their development was particularly extensive in the period after 1150.]. The Early Cultures of North-West Europe (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. C. Adolphus Ballard. Sawyer. 1918). Press. Mass. 335-60. Press. ed.5 Similarly detailed study has not been carried out for Anglo-Saxon England. 5 Ganshof. From Roman Britain to Norman England. 225-6. Gras.: Harvard Univ. Martin’s Press. 153-5. 8 N. 1950). cxxxviii-cxlv. 2nd ed. Ganshof has shown how Merovingian and then Carolingian kings sought to emulate late Roman practices with respect to toll and toll exemptions. H. Press.9 This body of evidence suggests that local tolls had become widespread by the end of the twelfth century. [s.

From Memory to Written Record.11 The most common context in which lists of local tolls were recorded is. the increase in documentation may be due mainly to the nature of our source material rather than to any substantive change in the practice of toll collection. one describing tolls collected in Newcastle in the reign of Henry I and the other detailing tolls collected in Cardiff in the second half of the century. the twelfth-century evidence suggests that tolls were going through a phase of significant growth. Both bear close resemblance to lists from later periods. the thirteenth century was a period in which local rights and privileges came in for close scrutiny. 1963). but they enumerate fewer items of trade and their descriptions of commodities lack the precision and specificity of later examples.10 In this regard. 12 Maurice Beresford. Similarly. Wales. particularly rights and privileges that bore an association with royal authority. 1278-1294 (Oxford: Clarendon Press.150 JAMES MASSCHAELE unfortunately. 1993). the relationship between the survival of sources and real economic change is difficult to disentangle. a royal inquest to establish how tolls were collected in a particular place. Only two lists that can be securely dated to the twelfth century have surfaced to date. But it is also likely that there were substantive changes in the role tolls played in urban finance and the economy as a whole. The volume of documentary evidence related to tolls increases dramatically in the thirteenth century. 1967). but it also suggests that they had yet to reach their mature form. In general. The thirteenth century is in general much better documented than the twelfth century and the insistence that longstanding practices and traditions be put in writing is one of its great hallmarks.12 It was. (Oxford: Blackwell. Sutherland. New Towns of the Middle Ages. in fact. 11 Donald W. As is often the case. Quo Warranto Proceedings in the Reign of Edward I. each with the right to collect tolls on the transactions they facilitated. 2nd ed. and Gascony (New York: Lutterworth Press. especially after 1150. Even statements of toll rates and procedures that were not directly developed in response to a formal investigation may owe their existence to an awareness that the king looked more favorably on franchise holders with evidence in writing than on those who relied on longstanding tradition. 10 Michael Clanchy. relatively meager. Richard . The “long” thirteenth century was a period characterized by the foundation of a plethora of new markets and towns. Town Plantation in England.

Press. 13 Ballard.” Past & Present 190 (Feb. 1923). a period in which many of the larger towns acquired greater local control over their markets and tolls through the acquisition of royal charters granting self-government. 2nd ed.15 The most common type was murage. significant technological innovation. Other common types included pavage. 1971) and Constance Fraser. Hardy. 1216-1307 (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Rotuli Litterarum Clausarum in Turri Londinensi Asservati. 15 These grants have not been systematically studied in their own right. 1833-1844). 16 T.TOLL AND TRADE IN ENGLAND 151 moreover. Ballard and J. 1996). a period in which toll collectors were well rewarded for their work and thus particularly interested in enhancing their rights. (London. eds. collected for the construction. Baker. British Borough Charters.13 Most of these towns appear to have collected tolls before they acquired formal status as self-governing royal boroughs. Press. was made in 1216. ed. or maintenance of city walls. involving a dramatic increase in the money supply. 1265-1350. to finance the construction of a town wall in Hereford. D. A. Public works tolls constituted a special form of toll granted by the king to a town to allow it to raise money for a local construction project. Perhaps most significantly of all. ed. collected for the improvement of city streets. 15. The Commercialization of English Society. the “long” thirteenth century was a period of considerable economic growth. Record Commission no. 14 For a recent assessment of the period’s growth. (Manchester: Manchester Univ..” Northern History 4 (1969): 44-66. . and Markets. Town Defences in England and Wales (London: J. British Borough Charters. “Commercial Activity and Population Growth in Medieval England. “The Pattern of Trade in the North-East of England. Turner. see John Langdon and James Masschaele. The earliest grant of this form of toll. Masschaele.16 The Hereford charter provides few specifics about Britnell... 2006): 35-81. and vastly increased commercial activity at both regional and international levels. Tait. improvement. consequently.14 It was.. but their agreement to pay an annual farm to the king in return for their rights meant that toll revenues came to loom much larger in borough affairs. in their dealings with the king many town leaders made a direct association between their right to collect local tolls and their duty to pay their annual farm. 2 vols. Merchants. 1042-1216. Peasants. and pontage. The history of public works tolls also points to the thirteenth century as a period of significant growth. Record Commission. but good accounts can be found in Hilary L. collected for the improvement of bridges.

: Duke Univ. owed its existence to the activities of the toll collectors of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. Early murage grants are discussed in Charles Young. 274. Investment at levels that characterized the thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries was sustained in relatively few towns in the fifteenth century. 104.19 In the later fourteenth century public works tolls began to fall out of favor. and for some time beyond. AD 1216-1225. 1901).000 grants of public works tolls. The first grant that specifically instituted new tolls occurred in 1220. Harvard University (1998). 700-1300). Turner. AD 1216-1225 (London: Mackie. 1961).” Ph. and it seems as though the overall economic contraction of the period meant that tolls were no longer a cost-effective means of generating revenue. What began as a matter of military necessity in the troubled period following the death of King John gradually developed into a routine act of government.D. but the renewal sheds little additional light on the original grant.152 JAMES MASSCHAELE how tolls were to be collected. Over the course of the next century and a half. one could rightly conclude that much of the infrastructure of English urban life in the Middle Ages. 17 The grant was renewed in 1219. C. 19 Alan Ralph Cooper. Town Defences. referring only to a collection of customary charges on loads of goods that were brought to the town. the list of tolls established in this joint grant of 1220 is fairly rudimentary. when Shrewsbury and Bridgnorth acquired the right to collect tolls to facilitate the construction of their walls. Thesis. 1: 267b. Press.17 It is difficult to determine from the wording of the grant whether the king intended to give the citizens of Hereford the right to impose a second set of tolls that mirrored the town’s local tolls or simply the right to retain revenue from the local tolls that had formerly flowed into royal coffers. “Obligation and Jurisdiction: Roads and Bridges in Medieval England (c. as towns moved towards direct taxation of local inhabitants as a preferable means of generating revenue for public works. The English Royal Boroughs and Royal Administration 1130-1307 (Durham. 224. . Patent Rolls of the Reign of King Henry III. 18 Patent Rolls of the Reign of King Henry III. English kings made more than 1. 238-43. along with rates for seven different types of livestock.18 By the standards of later grants. N. indeed. cart. 238-9. packhorse and backpack. giving rates for loads of unspecified merchandise conveyed by ship.

Parliamentary Papers 1888..TOLL AND TRADE IN ENGLAND 153 The period from 1150 to 1350 can fairly be described as the heyday of toll collection in medieval England. deal with relatively small amounts of money. 1889). into the nineteenth century. and the borough markets of Okehampton (Devon) and Tewkesbury (Gloucestershire) were valued at less than £1. 20 . MA: Mediaeval Academy of America.20 But their internal development and their impact on trade were especially pronounced in the two centuries before the Black Death. First Report of the Royal Commission on Market Rights and Tolls. although it is possible in the latter case that the entire revenue of the market was included. Carl Stephenson. Already at the time of Domesday Book there are indications that tolls were well worth collecting: the tolls of Dover were said to be worth £22 in 1086. the system of local tolls fixed in place in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries persisted. when we next have a substantial body of quantitative evidence. vol. and Others. 109.n. Borough and Town. Domesday England. The dearth of information in Domesday Book about market and toll revenues in larger towns makes generalization difficult. 369. Reports from Commissioners.22 Markets in the small boroughs of Taunton and Frome in Somerset were valued at less than £3. Inspectors. many towns Great Britain House of Commons. 53. By the later thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries. Rates and Annual Revenues Both local tolls and public works tolls were capable of generating significant revenues. 1933). 22 Darby. 30 (London: s. 369-70. accounted for toll revenues of only £4. and consequently their development in this period deserves particularly close scrutiny. but it seems likely that most towns would have envied Dover’s toll receipts in 1086. with occasional additions of new trade commodities. 300. Domesday England. however. which appears to have been thriving in 1086. Indeed. Tolls certainly existed well before the expansion of the twelfth century and they continued to play a significant role in urban budgets for many centuries after 1350. Sussex. Even the port of Pevensey. vol.21 Most of the Domesday entries referring to the value of markets and tolls. and even the small market town of Leighton Buzzard in Bedfordshire accounted for market tolls of £7. A Study of Urban Origins (Cambridge. 21 Darby.

E101/505/24.24 An account of the town of Scarborough in 1316-1317 records toll receipts of £28. Accounts for Oswestry.154 JAMES MASSCHAELE were enjoying remarkably healthy incomes from their tolls. New Towns of the Middle Ages (New York: Praeger.n. 27 Court Rolls of the Borough of Colchester. Baugh.. 23 . The National Archives. Colchester. Monmouthshire. part 10 (London: s.30 Municipal officials enjoyed similarly high revenues when they collected public works tolls. ed. 25 London. ed. Historical Manuscripts Commission Twelfth Report. W. 1: 3. 24 M. 4: Victoria History of the Counties of England (Oxford: Constable. C. while Gloucester’s bailiffs reported more than £50 and Lincoln’s more than £75 in single years. SC6/913/23.29 Ipswich generated more than £69 by leasing out the revenues from its markets in 1287-1288. a jury stated that the tolls of the market and fair were worth £20. yielding an average yearly intake of G. written a few years later.. 1891). 1989).]. William H. 1884). 30 Nathaniel Bacon. Early English Customs System. 29 London. 4 vols.28 Still higher amounts are recorded in several bailiff’s accounts of the late thirteenth century: Northampton’s bailiffs accounted for about £44 in one year. 26 London. Isaac Herbert Jeayes. The National Archives. E101/506/22.26 Even higher revenues accrued to larger towns. London. 28 Gras. 1967). a jury in Berwick in 1303 responded that they could be let at farm for £40 per annum. Beresford. Lincolnshire in 1324-1325 states that the tolls and tronage of the market were farmed for £25. (Colchester: [s.25 An account for Grantham. Cowell. record incomes from tolls and market fees of £20 in 1271 and more than £27 in 1276.23 In an inquisition post mortem in 1307 for the town of Chepstow. for example. 1921).27 When asked to report on the revenue that could be raised by leasing the town’s tolls. for example. Shropshire. SC6/1248/8. 420.n. trans. 68.H. Richardson (Ipswich: S. 68. with the tolls and other perquisites of the fair bringing in roughly the same amount. 165. A History of Shropshire. The Annalls of Ipswich. leased its tolls for £35 per annum in 1310. gives such a lavish description of how the town collected its tolls. An investigation into the conduct of toll collectors in Bristol in 1340 found that £516 had been collected in the preceding twenty years. vol. 66. a figure that helps to explain why the local Domesday Book. The National Archives. Even some relatively modest towns brought in more than £20 per annum from their local tolls. The National Archives.

1272-1307 (London: H. 90-3. The very fact that kings and local officials viewed tolls as the best way Henry Bush.31 Shrewsbury collected nearly £30 in murage in the politically troubled year of 1264-1265. Standards of Living in the Later Middle Ages (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ.33 London decided to lease its murage tolls in the early 1330s and earned £109. 132.39 Other towns were not quite as fortunate but could still expect to requite between a third and a half of their annual farm from the sums collected in toll. 1918). 34 R. Town Defences. M. 32 31 . Calendar of Letter-Books Preserved Among the Archives of the Corporation of the City of London. 3365/310..35 Walls and bridges were voracious consumers of capital and Hilary Turner has argued that the sums collected from tolls were often insufficient to fund the projects for which they were earmarked. Gloucester’s farm was £60 per annum. Press. murage collectors brought in more than £66 in 1342-1343.TOLL AND TRADE IN ENGLAND 155 approximately £26.. 252. Newcastle was able to generate revenues comparable to those in London. and £113 from three annual leases. It is worth remembering. 1275-1498.n. Bristol Town Duties (Bristol: J. with an annual farm set at £40. part 2 (Norwich: s. 35 Calendar of the Fine Rolls Preserved in the Public Record Office. and that relatively few lords enjoyed annual incomes greater than £100. Yarmouth. 191. 27-48. C.36 While Turner’s argument certainly has merit. The Great Roll. the sums collected are nonetheless impressive when viewed in their own right. Sharpe. £126. The Great Roll of the Pipe for the Twenty-Sixth Year of the Reign of King Henry the Third (New Haven: Yale Univ. Shrewsbury. Shropshire Record Office. E.38 Gloucester. Gouch. Tingey. and Lynn. (London: J. that an annual income of £20 was held to be the threshold for knightly status in the period. actually took in more from leasing its market revenues in 1287-1288 than it paid to the king for its privileges. too. 11 vols. Press.M. Stationery Office.” Original Papers Published Under the Direction of the Committee of the Norfolk and Norwich Archaeological Society. 136. 18. Ipswich. 37 Christopher Dyer. “The Grants of Murage to Norwich. 1911). 48. 38 Henry L.34 Somewhat surprisingly. nearly managed to pay its entire farm from its toll receipts. for example. 1828). 33 J. 36 Turner. ed.. 39 Cannon. R. ed. raising £120 from its murage grant in 1280.32 In Great Yarmouth. 1913). Cannon. ed. Francis. Letter Book E: 273-4.37 It is also worth remembering that revenues like those itemized above could account for a significant portion of a town’s annual farm to the king.. 1989). 1899-1912).

Most surviving toll lists can facilitate analysis along these lines. local toll lists. to establish the proportional rate of taxation on trade. though. local tolls are more likely to include entries dealing with small quantities of goods. The lists ordinarily do not record the price of the enumerated goods. Local tolls tend to place greater emphasis on the modes of carriage used to transport particular commodities: grain. it is necessary to describe more carefully the nature of the source material. In this respect local lists probably reflect more accurately the real circumstances of trade in the period. rates applied to goods carried on a man’s back are common in lists of local tolls but rare in lists of public works tolls. whereas lists of public works tolls convey little information beyond the commodities and rates. the printed form of many of the lists gives a misleading impression about their level of specificity. on which the grants were recorded. lists of public works tolls give a more standardized and formulaic representation of English trade. since. In the case of public works tolls. But there are a number of differences between the lists that are worth noting. In this same vein. gained by comparing annual receipts with the rates paid for specific commodities. The editors of the Patent Rolls. Carefully itemized individual statements of goods and rates characterize lists derived from both major types of tolls and the range of commodities and the units of measurement show considerable overlap. whereas in public works tolls it is ordinarily taxed by the quarter. is often taxed by the cartload or packhorse load in local toll schedules. but we have sufficient price data from other contemporary sources to establish a relationship between the actual value of the listed goods and the amount of toll each incurred. in addition to enumerating the commodities on which toll was collected. they also stipulate the precise payment that was due for a specific quantity of each good. in other words. for example.156 JAMES MASSCHAELE to pay for essential public facilities is a testament to their ability to generate revenue. at least the longer and more detailed lists. are wont to give occasional incidental details about where and how tolls were exacted. Before offering such calculations. it is possible to calculate the percentage of the likely sales price that was owed as toll. or. Similarly. Overall. The best perspective on the sums generated by toll collection is. Using this method. while local toll lists tend to be more idiosyncratic and reflective of unique or unusual local circumstances. . however.

A summary of the basic information that can be extracted from extant toll lists is provided in Tables 1 and 2. The lists of the early thirteenth century often provide statements of rates based on cartloads or boatloads of goods rather than precise quantities. General rates for a cartload or a boatload of goods still occur sometimes. those of the later thirteenth and fourteenth century are much more carefully itemized. Table 1 gives an overview of the rates on common trade goods documented in a selection of local toll lists. The towns in the tables were selected partly because they have relatively extensive lists of rates and partly because 40 They did. and occasionally with two or more standard units of trade.” and Tingey. “Pattern of Trade in the North-East. Subsequent columns record the toll demanded for the given standard unit of the good in a number of towns.40 Antiquarians and local record societies have published some of the later lists but the vast majority is accessible only by consulting the original manuscript sources. but they were hemmed in by the extensive lists of specific commodities. while Table 2 furnishes information about rates occurring in lists of public works tolls. but then opted to save space in later calendars by omitting the lists of commodities and rates appended to grants made after 1232. each with a separate toll rate based on a standard unit of trade. This situation is unfortunate. see Fraser. because the earlier lists are much shorter than later lists and often much less precise. the later lists are obviously better suited for calculating the relationship between commodity prices and toll rates. and also by the inclusion of specific ad valorem rates assessed on the value of merchandise that was not specifically mentioned in the list. Their decision to omit the lists of commodities appears to have been based partly on their sheer volume. On the issue of repetition in the lists. Including all of them would have significantly lengthened the published form of the calendars.” This is a subject that would repay more careful investigation. For the purposes of the current analysis. . The first column of each table records the type of good and the standard unit of measurement with which it appears in the lists. continue to include entries denoting the recipients and general terms of these later grants. It may also have been based on the knowledge that the lists often repeated information provided in earlier lists. “Grants of murage. however.TOLL AND TRADE IN ENGLAND 157 included in their standard calendars virtually the entire text of the grants made between 1220 and 1232. typically listing more than 100 separate goods.



a common rate for the sale of a horse was 1d.” meaning that there is no data for that good. and woad is most often taxed by the ton in local lists but by the quarter in public works lists. On these grounds. it is relatively easy to convert the rates from one unit of measurement to the other. First of all. hides are typically listed by the dicker of ten in local lists but by the single hide in public works lists. grain should also have been included.d. it is important to note that the units of measurement in Table 1 do not always correspond with the units in Table 2: herring is usually taxed by the last of 12. and a common rate for a ton of wine was 4d.. the rates specified in local tolls lists tend to be somewhat higher than the rates in public works lists. goods that do not occur in a particular town’s list are indicated by the notation “n. was 4d. In the case of herring and hides. perhaps a common rate associated with dues paid to the king in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. Goods that occur in a list but with an unusual unit of measurement are denoted by the abbreviation “n. In both tables. Second. Even when different rates were charged they often bear a simple arithmetical relationship to the standard rate (typically half as much or twice as much as the standard rate). It seems possible that local rates might have been based on some earlier commonality. per sack. Several features of the tables call for comment. but grain tolls often appear in the lists in units of measurement that are not easily comparable. which were centrally defined and organized. for example. The goods in the tables were selected to represent different levels of commercial activity and also to reflect some of the more prominent commodities in circulation in the period. Third. Such uniformity might be expected in the case of the public works tolls.” (for non-standard). the primary purpose of assembling the data in Tables 1 and . a feature that is particularly pronounced in the rates applied to wool and wine. making direct comparison difficult and potentially misleading. This may well have been an intentional policy on the part of royal administration to make the public works tolls more palatable to the people who had to pay them. but the relationship between a ton and a quarter of woad is uncertain. but it is more difficult to explain in the case of local tolls.s.000 in local lists but by the thousand in public works lists.160 JAMES MASSCHAELE they reflect a variety of urban types and chronological periods. While there is much to learn by comparing the lists with each other. the lists show a surprising degree of uniformity in the assessment of rates: a common rate for wool.

H. of course. consistent toll rate constituted a higher proportion of the average sales price of a given commodity in the early thirteenth century than in the early fourteenth century. sometimes much less. for example. James Thorold Rogers. 2 vols. “Prices and Wages. 2 (1042-1350). and Henry Cobb. the toll represents less than four-tenths of one per cent (0. ed. 1: 73.42 The average price of wool in Farmer’s index period of 1330-1347. David Farmer. the geography of production and trade could also exert an influence on the price structure. Comparing toll rates with average prices is indeed a useful way to assess the influence tolls might have had on trade. ordinarily constituting less than one per cent of the average price of a commodity. A History of Agriculture and Prices in England. This can best be done using the price data assembled by David Farmer and James Thorold Rogers. per sack. The Local Port Book of Southampton for 1439-40 (Southampton: The University..36 per cent) of the average price of wool in the 1330s and 1340s. 7 vols. The primary conclusion yielded by such an exercise is that toll rates were exceptionally low. 779-817. 1988). 1961). in 8 (Oxford: Clarendon Press. Prices of goods also fluctuated significantly from one year to the next depending on weather conditions and the presence or absence of impediments to trade such as war.” in H. The 1330s and 1340s constituted a period of unusually low wool prices. would have comprised well below three-tenths of one per cent of the value of the wool. Hallam. 41 . 1885). 1866-1902). 7d. ed. 42 Similar conclusions are presented in Hubert Hall.41 There are. many caveats that need to be offered when making calculations of this nature. Thus.TOLL AND TRADE IN ENGLAND 161 2 is to facilitate a comparison between toll rates and the actual value of the goods. meaning that a standard. A History of the CustomsRevenue in England. was £4 12s. but surviving data would have to be far more extensive to allow for exact calculations to be made. According to Tables 1 and 2.. Prices tended to rise over the period as a whole. lxv. a common rate for the toll on a sack of wool was 4d. But a general sense of the parameters within which tolls were collected is well worth having and can be calculated with some degree of confidence. The Agrarian History of England and Wales (Cambridge: Clarendon Press. (London: Stock. Finally. in ways that cannot be accounted for with surviving data. and Farmer’s data shows that for much of the thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries a toll of 4d.



Wool appears to have been treated relatively favorably by toll collectors, but low figures can also be calculated for some of the other goods found in Tables 1 and 2: the common toll of 4d. per ton of wine represented less than four-tenths of one per cent of the average selling price in the period; the toll of one farthing on 1,000 herrings amounted to less than three-tenths of one per cent of the average price of herrings.43 The toll on horses was one of the more onerous dues among the ones summarized in Tables 1 and 2. According to Farmer’s data, a toll of 1d. constituted just over eighttenths of one per cent of the average price of a general farm horse (an affer) in the 1330s and 1340s and exactly one-half of one per cent of the average price of a carthorse in the same period. Confidence in these calculations can be increased by comparing them with occasional entries in the lists that provide ad valorem rates or other information about the values of commodities occurring in the lists.44 The London murage grant of 1315, for example, stipulates a special toll of 1d. on horses worth 40s. or more, whereas the standard toll on horses in the list is one half-penny. It also stipulates that a toll of 1d. could be charged on all merchandise worth £1 or more not specifically mentioned in the list. Norwich’s murage grant similarly mentions special tolls on a few goods with stated values: a whole cloth worth £2 or more owed 1d.; a boat carrying ale, firewood, or turves worth £1 or more owed 1d.; anyone with a trussel of merchandise worth more than 10s. owed one half-penny. The Norwich list also notes that any merchandise worth 5s. or more and not named elsewhere in the list owed a farthing. Other lists suggest that an ad valorem rate of a farthing for every 5s. worth of goods was common; the attraction of using a rate based on the principle of a penny per pound of merchandise is obvious.45 Tolls set according to this rate amount to four-tenths of one per cent of the value of the goods, a figure that is strikingly similar to the ones that can

The decennial average for wine in the 1330s calculated by Rogers (Rogers, History of Agriculture and Prices, 1: 641) was £4 12s. 9d.; the decennial average for 1,000 herrings in the same period was 9s. 3d. Rogers calculated wine prices per dozen gallons. I converted his price into a price per tun of 252 gallons. Wholesale prices per tun would, of course, have been lower, meaning that the proportion represented by toll would have been higher. 44 See the Appendix for the sources on which this paragraph is based. 45 E.g. Dublin murage tolls in 1308; Gloucester pavage tolls in 1332; Southampton local tolls in 1329.




be calculated by comparing standard toll rates with prevailing commodity prices. An important exception to the general rule of low toll rates applied to traders who operated on a small scale. Part of the reason toll rates are so low in surviving lists is that the units of measurement were ordinarily quite large, meaning that the value of the goods on which toll was levied was correspondingly high. A sack of wool, for example, represented the clip of about 260 sheep. It was the common unit used in international trade conducted by wealthy merchants and is the most common unit to appear in surviving toll lists. But for the millions of peasant producers responsible for the bulk of England’s wool production, it represented commercial activity on a scale beyond their normal experience. At the local level, wool was typically traded in units of pounds and stones, and toll represented a higher share of the value of sales transactions. Extant toll lists have less information about the tolls imposed on this level of trade than on the trade conducted by wealthier merchants. Typically, they specify rates for the more humble branches of trade based on how goods were carried into the market rather than on precise units of measurement. But they do occasionally furnish more precise details about the treatment of local trade, enough to signal the likelihood that peasants and small scale traders had to pay higher proportional rates than did the merchants engaged in longerdistance trade. The extensive list in the Ipswich Domesday Book provides particularly good evidence for differential toll rates applied to smaller scale trade. Merchants who shipped a sack of wool from the quay could expect to pay 4d., but if they shipped a last of wool (equal to 12 sacks) they had to pay only 8d. In other words, they could ship twelve times the amount of wool and pay only twice the amount of toll. Those who sold wool in the wool market confronted a sliding scale depending on the mode of transport used: a cartload paid 2d.; a packhorse paid one half-penny and a person carrying a backpack of wool paid one farthing. These rates seem to be on a par with the rate charged per sack, if one accepts that a human was capable of carrying at least 23 pounds in a pack, or that a horse could be saddled with twice that amount. But a fourth rate also applied in the wool market: a farthing would be collected from anyone who sold wool worth 2.5d. This unusually precise rate probably represented the value of a single fleece of low to middling quality, the



kind of good that a peasant with a cottage and a few acres of land might occasionally bring for sale.46 As a simple ad valorem rate the toll amounts to ten per cent of the value of the wool. But it seems unlikely that many people would have been forced to pay such a steep rate. Since the farthing payment was the same for a single fleece as for an entire backpack, the rate dropped precipitously with each additional fleece sold. Thus, someone selling two fleeces would have paid approximately five per cent of the value of the wool in toll and someone with five fleeces would have paid less than two per cent. To reach the level at which the rate would have approximated that paid by merchants, an individual would have had to be able to sell the wool from a flock of about 15 sheep. Many peasants had flocks of this size and larger, but such peasants were generally among the better off members of a village.47 Regressive rates can also be found in the Ipswich tolls imposed on hides. The standard rate in Ipswich was 4d. for a dicker of ten hides, an unusually high rate by the standards of other towns. But the high rate per dicker melted away with increased volume, so that a merchant who shipped as many as 100 hides (a half-last) paid the same amount as someone who dealt in a single dicker. Conversely, the rate per unit was much higher on small transactions: an individual who sold a single hide had to pay one half-penny. Thus, someone who sold eight hides had to pay as much in toll as someone who carried 100 hides into the town. According to the data collected by Thorold Rogers for the early fourteenth century, a single unprocessed ox hide typically fetched a price of approximately 2s., while raw horse hides were worth about half as much.48 Prices varied significantly from one year to another and even between different sets of accounts in the same year, but the decennial averages calculated by Rogers suggest that a half-penny toll would have amounted to a bit more than two per cent of the value of a single oxhide and a bit more than four per cent of the value of a single horsehide.

46 A single fleece probably weighed a bit less than 1.5 lbs., and according to David Farmer’s data, would have sold for about 4d. in the 1330s and 1340s. On fleece weights see E. M. Carus-Wilson and O. Coleman, England’s Export Trade 1275-1547 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1963), 13. 47 Masschaele, Peasants, Merchants, and Markets, 42-54. 48 Rogers, History of Agriculture and Prices, 2: 451.



The Payers of Toll Comparison between toll rates and commodity values reveals that the rates were extraordinarily low but also suggests that tolls may have affected different social groups in different ways. Any attempt to assess the relationship between tolls and trade clearly needs to take this social variability into account, and the best way to do so is to look at the practices of toll collection. Of particular importance is the issue of who actually paid the rates specified in the lists. Were the principal payers the wealthy merchants who traded goods such as cloth and wine in wholesale quantities over long distances, or were they mainly the humble peasants of a town’s rural hinterland who needed to sell a few pounds of wool in order to pay their rent? It has often been suggested that peasants inhabiting the hinterland of towns and prominent rural markets and other smaller scale traders inhabiting the market site were particularly prone to paying tolls, and that their payments accounted for the lion’s share of the income raised by toll collectors.49 This view is based mainly on indirect evidence derived from sources dealing with exemptions from toll, exemptions that were widespread in the period. Local merchants who were freemen of a town or members of the town’s merchant gild, for example, ordinarily traded without tolls in their own town. Merchants from other towns were also sometimes exempted from tolls, if their own town had a royal charter granting exemption. Larger monasteries were also common recipients of royal grants of exemption. Peasants and other petty traders in the town were, on the other hand, seldom endowed with such privileges. A few select groups of peasants were able to establish and enforce toll exemptions—principally tenants of royal demesne and, occasionally, the tenants of some ecclesiastical estates—but the vast majority of peasants and artisans had little choice but to pay the farthings and half-pennies demanded at the gates and in the marketplaces where they conducted their business. While there is little doubt that peasants and artisans were major contributors of tolls, their role as toll payers needs a great deal of
49 Gras, Early English Customs System, 26; K. M. E. Murray, ed., Register of Daniel Rough, Common Clerk of Romney 1353-1380, Kent Records 16 (Ashford: Records Branch [of the Kent Archaeological Society], 1945), xix; Maryanne Kowaleski, Local Markets and Regional Trade in Medieval Exeter (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1995), 200-1.



qualification. For one thing, it is important to keep in mind that the term “peasant” is extraordinarily broad, ranging from small cottagers who might have only a single fleece to sell in any given year to wealthy virgate-holding tenants who were likely to have dozens of fleeces to sell at one time. For wealthier peasants—the ones most likely to be implicated in the commercial economy—the regressive scale found in some of the toll lists may not have caused much concern, certainly not as much as it would have for poorer peasants and artisans. Anyone in a position to take a full cartload of grain to market or to sell wool in units of stones rather than pounds would have enjoyed a toll rate closer to the one enjoyed by merchants than the one enjoyed by smallholders and artisans. The extent to which merchants managed to escape tolls because of their chartered exemptions also needs careful scrutiny. There is certainly a good deal of evidence to suggest that merchants were adamant about asserting their right to exemption and vigilant about protecting it, but there were limits to the exemptions. Indeed, anyone who reads the individual entries of a surviving toll list would be hard pressed to form the impression that the trade of merchants was not a major concern of the framers of such lists. Many goods occurring in the lists were clearly the commercial preserve of merchants rather than of peasants or artisans: dyestuffs, for example, or metals, or other imported goods. Equally revealing is the presence of so many entries dealing with wholesale quantities of goods: herring assessed by the thousand and almost as commonly by the last of 12,000; hides assessed by the dicker of ten and often by the last of 200; wooden boards (frequently imported from Ireland or the Baltic) assessed in units of 100 and only rarely in smaller amounts. Even farm commodities routinely occur in relatively large units. Rates for ten sheep, for example, are more common than rates for single sheep, and other common units of measurement in the lists include five flitches of pork, 2,000 onions, 100 rabbit skins, and a wey of cheese (336 lbs.). Such large units are particularly characteristic of lists of public works tolls, but local lists also devote a surprising amount of space to quantities that are clearly implicated in trade at a wholesale level. A desire to target foreign merchants explains at least some of this emphasis on imported goods and wholesale quantities. Foreigners accounted for a significant share of English trade throughout the Middle Ages and were particularly prominent in the thirteenth and



early fourteenth centuries when most of the surviving toll lists were written.50 From the perspective of an English toll collector, they were also ideally suited to pay toll: their status as toll payers was simple and straightforward, they were less likely to have corporate support to fend off demands for toll, and they had the ability to pay. It was not in anyone’s interest to abuse foreign traders by demanding excessive payments for the right to trade, but vigorous enforcement of dues that were either customary or sanctioned by the king was certainly well worth the effort, and probably accounts for a significant share of the figures for toll income given above. In 1303, however, the toll paying status of foreign merchants underwent drastic revision with the issue of the Carta Mercatoria, an edict designed to protect the interests of foreign merchants in return for their agreement to contribute to a new national customs duty.51 One of the key provisions of the document stipulated that foreigners were henceforth to be exempt from all levies of murage, pontage, and pavage throughout England. Exemption from the payment of local tolls was not included in the grant and appears not to have been claimed subsequently. This abrupt change in status with respect to public works tolls raises a perplexing problem, though. If foreign merchants were the only significant merchant group paying these tolls, one would expect to find a significant change in the nature of the toll lists drawn up after 1303, as well as a precipitous decline in the revenues yielded by public works tolls. Neither of these propositions finds much support in surviving documentation: the emphasis on mercantile exchange is every bit as prominent in later lists as in the earlier ones, and murage receipts remained healthy in the early fourteenth century, although the number of surviving accounts is too small to allow a categorical conclusion on this point. Another possibility worth considering is that English merchants were not quite as successful at evading tolls as the evidence regarding the enforcement of their privileges might suggest. Native merchants could be forced to pay toll in several different ways. First of
50 M. Prestwich, “Italian Merchants in Late Thirteenth and Early Fourteenth-Century England,” in The Dawn of Modern Banking (New Haven: Yale Univ. Press, 1979); T. H. Lloyd, Alien Merchants in England in the High Middle Ages (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1982); Joseph P. Huffman, Family, Commerce, and Religion in London and Cologne: Anglo-German Emigrants, c. 1000-c. 1300 (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1998). 51 Gras, Early English Customs System, 257-64.



all, royal exemptions were conditional rather than universal and toll collectors were able to ignore the exemption privileges of many of the merchants who passed through their town gates. They were entitled to do so because of a legal doctrine that placed great weight on the date on which an exemption was first granted, a doctrine that is sometimes referred to as “priority of seisin” or “priority of charter.”52 Grants of toll exempt status could not be applied retroactively, meaning that they were not valid in towns or markets that had a preexisting right to collect tolls. Thus, the merchants of Ipswich, who acquired their exemption in 1200, could expect to trade free of toll in King’s Lynn, which acquired its formal right to collect tolls when it became a borough in 1204, but not in Norwich, which could trace its collection rights back to its acquisition of its borough farm in 1194.53 According to the data assembled by Adolphus Ballard, dozens of towns acquired toll exemptions so late that their privileges would have been viable in very few of the major towns and rural markets of the kingdom. By the end of King John’s reign in 1216, for example, virtually all of the major towns in the kingdom and several hundred rural markets had established their right to collect toll, but the list of towns that lacked formal exemption privileges at that time includes such places as Coventry, Huntingdon, Leicester, and Worcester, along with many other smaller towns.54 Priority of seisin was, in fact, less straightforward than legal theory might suggest. First of all, rights and privileges could lapse through lack of use. If the first merchants to trade in a particular town did not insist on their rights, then other merchants from that town could not do so, even if their exemption charter predated the other town’s right to collect.55 Second, exemptions from toll were almost always conveyed by specific words in a formal charter, but the right to collect tolls was not always specifically mentioned in a royal act. Many of the older and larger towns in the kingdom had prescriptive
Masschaele, Peasants, Merchants, and Markets, 111-16. Ballard, ed., British Borough Charters, 1: cxli, cxliii. 54 Ballard, ed., British Borough Charters, 1: cxxxviii-cxlvii; 2: xc-cii. On the degree of commercial development before 1216 see Langdon and Masschaele, “Commercial Activity and Population Growth,” 42-54. 55 George Woodbine, ed., Bracton on the Laws and Customs of England, trans. Samuel Thorne (Cambridge, MA: Bellknap Press of Harvard Univ. Press, 1968), 2: 166-73.
53 52



rights to collect tolls based on usage that went back to the AngloSaxon period. Some, but not all of these towns, also acquired the farm of their boroughs in specific royal acts, and the date on which they acquired the farm typically became the date used to determine priority of seisin vis-à-vis other towns who enjoyed chartered exemption rights. How priority of seisin would have been determined in places that never acquired a formal charter granting the farm of their borough—including some major commercial centers such as Bristol—is an open question. Ambiguities in the possession of collection rights might also explain cases in which towns agreed to compromise in toll disputes in which the issue of priority of seisin appears to have been clear-cut. In 1239, for example, the town of Southampton agreed to stop collecting tolls from the merchants of Marlborough, “notwithstanding that the charter of our [i.e. the king’s] men of Southampton is prior to that of our men of Marlborough.”56 The relevant charters for both towns are still extant, and they show that Southampton did indeed have the legal right to demand toll, since it acquired the farm of its borough in 1199 and Marlborough acquired its right of exemption in 1205.57 A second important limitation on the universality of exemption privileges applied in the case of public works tolls. In theory, the principle of priority of seisin should have meant that relatively few English merchants contributed to public works tolls, since the grants of such tolls typically postdated the acquisition of chartered exemptions: the vast majority of English towns had already secured exemption rights by the time kings began to make murage grants. But exemptions that originated as a means to deal with local tolls did not necessarily extend to public works tolls. The limited character of toll exemptions is well illustrated by King Henry III’s grant of exemption from murage to the inhabitants of Shrewsbury and Kings’ Lynn in the 1260s as a reward for their support during the Barons’

Ballard and Tait, eds., British Borough Charters, 2: 257-8. Ballard, ed., British Borough Charters, 1: cxliii, cxliv. In the fourteenth century, Southampton made a similar compromise with the merchants of Salisbury, agreeing to forego its priority of seisin in order to reach agreement about how the two towns would collect toll from each other’s merchants. P. Studer, ed., The Oak Book of Southampton, 2 vols., Publications of the Southampton Record Society, nos. 10 and 11 (Southampton: Southampton Record Society, 1910-11), 2: 1-17.




Revolt.58 Both towns had acquired general toll exemptions much earlier, Lynn in 1204 and Shrewsbury in 1227, but it is clear that the general exemptions had not extended to the most common form of public work toll.59 In the case of King’s Lynn, the newly acquired exemption from murage was valid only for five years; even the expansion of toll privileges was kept within strict limits. A similar process of enhancing and extending exemption privileges probably also helps to explain the subtle changes in language one commonly finds in royal confirmations of previously granted borough charters.60 Early urban charters usually specify that the town’s privileged members were henceforth to be free from teloneum, the generic Latin word for toll; later confirmations usually stipulate that the exemption covers murage, pavage, pontage (and sometimes other dues like stallage) as well as teloneum. A confirmation in 1348 of a charter originally granted to the town of Huntingdon in 1205, for example, states in the preamble that the burgesses “fear that they may be in future impeached touching liberties and customs which they have hitherto used under ... general words” and then goes on to enumerate various tolls and dues which were not specifically included in the 1205 charter.61 Uncertainty about the extent of exemption privileges conveyed in general grants is also manifest in an inquest into murage collection in Newcastle in 1281. In the course of the inquest, a jury noted that local merchants, who “should have paid murage on their merchandise ... in the same way as foreigners,” stopped doing so six months after collection had begun in the town.62 The Newcastle inquest is particularly interesting, because the jurors mentioned in

Calendar of the Patent Rolls Preserved in the Public Record Office, AD 1258-1266 (London: H.M. Stationery Office, 1910), 455-6; Calendar of the Patent Rolls Preserved in the Public Record Office, AD 1266-1272 (London: H.M. Stationery Office 1913), 214. 59 Ballard, ed., British Borough Charters, 1: 188; 2: 255. 60 Calendar of Charter Rolls Preserved in the Public Record Office (London: H.M. Stationery Office 1908), 3 (1300-1326), 9, 100, 217. Many more examples could be offered. 61 Calendar of the Charter Rolls Preserved in the Public Record Office(London: H.M. Stationery Office 1916), 5 (1341-1417), 94-5. A similarly explicit confirmation was made in the same year for the town of Hedon (Calendar of the Charter Rolls, 5 (1341-1417), 88). 62 Calendar of Inquisitions Miscellaneous (Chancery) Preserved in the Public Record Office (London: H.M. Stationery Office, 1916), 1: 366.




passing that local merchants stopped contributing when they learned that merchants in Lincoln and York did not pay murage in their home towns.63 The Newcastle verdict suggests that the issue was still up in the air in the 1280s, long after the inauguration of public works tolls. It also implies that even on a merchant’s home turf, where privileges were most securely held, exemptions from toll were not necessarily ironclad. The third and final limit to the exemption rights of English merchants worth considering is simply that merchants did not always insist on the letter of the law.64 Fighting for recognition of privileges was usually an arduous affair that risked reprisals and protracted court battles. Towns frequently undertook the task of litigating on behalf of an individual who had been forced to pay toll in contravention of the town’s charter, and there is certainly no shortage of examples documenting their commitment to defending their chartered rights. But these manifestations of corporate vigilance and assertiveness in defense of toll exemptions have some curious features. Litigation sometimes recurs between two towns even after a royal court has issued a definitive ruling on their respective toll rights. Litigation also sometimes occurs long after commercial relationships had begun; in the later fourteenth and fifteenth centuries towns were still engaging in disputes related to priority of seisin and still invoking late twelfth- and early thirteenth-century charters when doing so. One can legitimately wonder if the lingering lack of certainty manifested in these types of litigation might have been caused by the willingness of individual merchants to pay a few pennies for the right to trade rather than to enter into a lengthy dispute by insisting on their formal privileges. A merchant of Norwich made just such a decision in 1286 and was fined for his behavior in his local court. The court entry notes that he paid toll in markets and fairs “of his own accord” and thus damaged the town’s liberties.65 The temptation simply to get on with one’s affairs must
63 It is interesting to note that both Lincoln and York were particularly turbulent in the 1280s and 1290s and that much of the turbulence had to do with what the king and the less privileged members of the town were wont to describe as oppressive abuses of their privileged status within their respective towns. 64 E. Lipson, The Economic History of England, 5th ed. (London: Black, 1929), 1: 257. 65 William Hudson, ed., Leet Jurisdiction in the City of Norwich during the



have been considerable, and giving in to the temptation must likewise have been common enough to obscure what in theory should have been clear and unassailable commercial privileges. Thus, while peasants in hinterland villages and petty urban traders who were neither full citizens nor gild members undoubtedly featured prominently among the payers of toll, they were by no means the only groups affected by the taxation of trade. The only statement that can be made with complete confidence on the matter is that the merchants who dominated gilds and town governments of the period ordinarily did not pay local tolls in their own town. (Had they not been exempt, the revenues cited above would have been significantly higher than they actually were, since local merchants were the most active commercial presence in every town’s market.) But when they traded in another town, or even when they traded in their own town while public works tolls were being collected, the situation became murkier. In these situations exemptions were often claimed and often even allowed; they were, however, neither universal nor infallible. Exemptions were an important element of the period’s commercial mix, but they were sufficiently circumscribed that merchants, even English merchants, frequently contended with demands for toll payments in the conduct of their business. The payment of toll was, in short, an issue that touched a relatively broad constituency.

The Impact of Tolls on Trade The breadth of this constituency probably goes a good way toward explaining the sensitivity to tolls that can be found in the period. Medieval people were well aware that the level of toll rates could affect trade volumes and general prosperity. The founders of new markets, for example, sometimes encouraged traders to use their facilities by lowering or eliminating the tolls they were entitled to collect, applying an economic rationale that is strikingly similar to the reduced sales taxes offered in “urban enterprise zones” in many American cities today.66 The effectiveness of such a strategy can be

XIIIth and XIVth Centuries, Selden Society, vol. 5 (London: B. Quaritch, 1892), 29-30. 66 Masschaele, Peasants, Merchants, and Markets, 68-9.



seen in a dispute over market rights in Lancashire: the abbot of Furness maintained that his market in Dalton was losing much of its trade because the holder of the market in Ulverston did not require traders to pay toll there, and the court accepted his argument and quashed the upstart market.67 In a similar vein, the towns of Cockermouth and Grimsby presented formal parliamentary petitions pleading for the king to shut down nearby commercial sites where trading occurred without the payment of toll, claiming that their towns were greatly impoverished by the loss of revenue.68 One has to allow for some hyperbole in these petitions, but the behavior they describe and the measures they take to deal with the problem suggest great sensitivity to the practices of toll collection. This sensitivity is harder to account for than might appear at first glance. Indeed, it is somewhat puzzling to contemplate the frequency of surviving toll disputes in light of the fact that toll rates were so low. Nobody likes to pay taxes and perhaps one need go no further than a general anti-tax sentiment to explain the sensitivity to tolls encountered in the period. But the vehemence and perseverance with which toll rights were contested suggests that something more than bellyaching about taxes was going on. The exaction of tolls— even tolls set at very low rates—was a serious matter, one that raised important economic issues for the parties involved. The import of these issues can best be studied by disentangling the different interests of collectors and payers. The economic interests of the collectors of tolls are probably the easiest to diagnose. They had a natural desire to maximize their income. This can be viewed as a byproduct of simple greed, although the wealthy merchants who controlled town governments also claimed to be acting in the interests of the community, since the proceeds from tolls were used to underwrite their town’s annual farm and to finance the building and repair of its walls, streets and bridges. Whatever the motivation, achieving maximum income from tolls required careful policy decisions. Raising rates was seldom an option because of the general unwillingness to accept modifications to custom, meaning that the central policy decisions revolved around

67 William Farrer and J. Brownbill, eds., The Victoria History of the County of Lancaster, 8 vols. (London: Constable, 1906-1914), 8: 350. 68 John Strachey et al., ed., Rotuli Parliamentorum; ut et Petitiones et Placita in Parliamento, Record Commission, 6 vols. (London: s.n., 1783), 1: 197, 412.



questions of who should be made to pay the customary rates and what sorts of transactions could be treated as subject to payments of toll. Even in these areas, though, toll collectors had to limit the scope of their ambitions. By the middle of the thirteenth century at the latest, commercial venues were so numerous that buyers and sellers were often able to choose where to conduct their business. If traders deemed a town’s toll collectors too aggressive or too arbitrary, they would vote with their feet and revenues would suffer as a result: medieval commerce was remarkably adept at relocating in response to relatively small marginal incentives. A loss of trade meant more than a loss of toll income; it could also mean a loss of rental income, a loss of spin-off business, and a dearth of provisions for the inhabitants of the town. Thus while maximizing current revenues was certainly a high priority, those vested with authority over tolls also paid heed to broader concerns about the economic health of their town. In these circumstances, the best toll policy was one that was vigorous but not overly zealous. Finding the right balance could not have been an easy thing to do. For local traders active in retail and small-scale trade, even relatively low rates of toll could have a significant impact on household income. The regressive rates found in many toll schedules suggest that the toll payments of smaller traders constituted a higher proportion of their market income than was true of wealthier merchants. But the real issue for people who sold goods in small amounts was probably the frequency with which they had to pay toll rather than the regressive character of the rate schedule. Those who purchased foodstuffs and other basic necessities were ordinarily exempt, but those who sold simple commodities often had to comply with demands for toll, depending on the item and the scale of the transaction. Many towns sold licenses to butchers, bakers, and other artisans in lieu of collecting tolls on every transaction—a policy most familiar from the routine fining of brewers and tapsters—but such licenses were seldom available outside the food trades. Nor were they ordinarily available to the peasants, victualers and petty traders who resided in the town’s hinterland. These extramural traders were, however, less dependent on a single market than were the artisans and retailers living inside the walls, and they may have seen their greater choice in marketing venue as preferable to the payment of a standard licensing fee. Wholesale merchants had the luxury of viewing tolls from the perspective of the profitability of their trading ventures rather than

The Eyre of Northamptonshire. 3-4 Edward III. Local Port Book of Southampton. Stationery Office...69 Merchants sometimes sought detours around towns as a way of reducing the number of tolls they had to pay. no fewer than 22 English towns were authorized to collect public works tolls. but it is possible to establish how often a merchant would have encountered demands for toll at any given time. for example. When carting his goods across the country. 1: 315-16. A. xii.D. 70 1 69 . they were hard to shirk and sufficiently widespread to make a real difference in a merchant’s bottom line. Drogheda.M.TOLL AND TRADE IN ENGLAND 175 their immediate effect on household income. he was likely to pass through one or more towns vested with the right to collect murage or pontage. 1981-82). while hundreds of other towns and rural markets had the right to collect local tolls. The great proliferation of tolls that characterized the twelfth and thirteenth centuries is. ed. but towns took countermeasures by setting up collecting stations at crossroads situated many miles from the town. 1895). but whose primary shipping depots were in the east. for example. whose best sources of supply were in the west and north of England. and Clonmel are not included. collected toll on all goods that passed through the town on the way to its port and even collected toll twice if the goods were not only brought into the town but sold there as well. but public works tolls were another matter. 2 vols. with the plight of a wool merchant. In the year 1300. M. 1329-30. but like smaller-scale local traders their primary concern was more the frequency with which tolls had to be paid than the absolute rate imposed in any single place. and several others that might endeavor to impose local tolls on the wool. Dublin. for example. 97.70 We do not have itemized business records to establish just how often toll was paid by any particular trader. One might sympathize.. consequently. Donald Sutherland. passim. a particularly important issue to address when assessing how tolls affected the overall health of Cobb. Selden Society vols. Further tolls were also likely to be due in the port from which the wool was shipped: Southampton.71 Merchants with good exemption privileges were probably able to avoid most local tolls. 71 The number of public works tolls in effect in 1300 has been calculated from entries in Calendar of the Patent Rolls Preserved in the Public Record Office. ed. 98 (London: Selden Society. Stationery Office. AD 1292-1301 (London: H. Calendar of Inquisitions Miscellaneous (Chancery) (London: H. 1916). 1: 243-44.

For though the Crown was largely responsible for extending the use of tolls. 1870). Public works tolls were.. Green. This commitment can be seen in several ways.D. The policy of limiting their duration to a specified number of years points in the same direction.. Since it was the English crown that introduced and expanded the use of public works tolls. Edward II turned down an entreaty from the burgesses of Scarborough to add murage and pavage dues to those they were already collecting for the repair of the town’s quay.”74 72 John Munro. the crown would even consider how a new set of tolls might affect the general level of tolls in a particular town or area. carefully monitored to make sure that the money they produced actually went to the projects they were intended to fund.72 But in the case of tolls.176 JAMES MASSCHAELE the commercial economy in the period. at least. Cloth. and Gold. Rolls Series 53 (London: Longmans.73 At times. The Struggle for Bullion in AngloBurgundian Trade 1340-1478 (Brussels and Toronto: Éditions de l'Université de Bruxelles 1972). It is worth noting in this regard that the terminal dates of surviving murage accounts indicate that towns adhered closely to the terms defined in their grants. continued through the imposition of a national customs system under Edward I. one might even see a continuum in royal interference in trade relations over the course of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. & Co. but their request for an extension was often accompanied by a scrutiny of what had been done with the earlier grant and sometimes even an assessment of the condition of the walls or streets earmarked for improvement. Gilbert. J. one that began with the introduction of public works tolls in the 1210s. noting that “it would be too great a burden to people to have murage and pontage in the same place where there is quayage. Historic and Municipal Documents of Ireland A. In 1324. 1171-1320. the relationship between royal policy and commercial development is more complex than such a trajectory might suggest. 74 Strachey. Wool. ed. Indeed. T. one could reasonably conclude that royal policy posed a considerable threat to the viability of commerce in the period. and ultimately led in the fourteenth century to the system of staple ports and bullionism so well described by John Munro. 1: 423. . Many towns received extensions of their terms. it was also committed to keeping them within reasonable limits. Rotuli Parliamentorum. 73 Royal oversight is particularly well documented in the multiple murage grants obtained by Dublin. for example.

reprint London: Dawson of Pall Mall. Eyre and A. c. Peasants. 31).TOLL AND TRADE IN ENGLAND 177 In a similar vein. eds. Flower. 1818).” and threatened to terminate the rights of any market-holder who charged rates that were deemed to be too high. Illingworth and J.. 1922).78 The salient point. Caley. Toll collectors sometimes acted in ways that were arbitrary and capricious. 1810.. 109-20. for example. 76 Statutes of the Realm (London: G. it is rather that their commitment to action fostered an economic environment in which people by and large respected the rules of the game. Placita de Quo Warranto. Strahan. Eyre and A. contrary to the common custom of the realm. As early as 1201. has many examples but is not exhaustive. 1: 449-50. the king denounced those who collected “outrageous toll. and Markets. 75 . 77 W.77 The town’s privileges were suspended as a result and reinstated only after the payment of a heavy fine and a promise to end the practice of collecting “excessive” rates. Record Commission (London: G. but on the whole their behavior was based C. Many similar examples of the crown’s willingness to regulate methods of toll collection and to intervene on behalf of those who paid toll could be offered. Merchants. however.76 In the statute. ed. a lawsuit was filed in the king’s court to challenge what the plaintiffs described as a change in toll rates collected in a local market. Numerous enquiries related to the statute can be found in the Hundred Rolls of 1274 and the quo warranto pleas of the later thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries. In 1330.75 Similar cases can be found throughout the thirteenth century and were common enough to lead King Edward I to include a clause dealing with toll rates in the First Statute of Westminster of 1275. 160-61.M. a lengthy quo warranto investigation of commercial practices in Derby established that the town required people residing outside the county to pay rates that were twice as high as those paid by inhabitants of the county. Strahan. 1: 34 (Statute of Westminster I. It also found more general expression in a broad supervision of toll collection practices throughout the kingdom as a whole. T. This is apparent in the care taken to define rates when making grants of public works tolls and also in the policy of setting those rates below the customary local rates charged in towns and markets. the crown made an effort to ensure that toll rates remained at low levels. 78 Masschaele. Curia Regis Rolls of the Reign of Richard I and John (London: H. Stationery Office.1963). is not simply that Angevin kings sometimes acted to protect the interests of toll payers.

178 JAMES MASSCHAELE on an ingrained acceptance of custom and routine rather than a willful flouting of rules. they usually involved calculated actions undertaken to stretch rather than break conventional boundaries. In most economies. at least not in England. since they were so widespread and so important to the bodies that collected them. it must be added. Even when disputes arose over aggressive toll collection. . In other words. And in the circumstances of the time. They were prevented from doing so by an effective assertion of public authority. the regularity and predictability of the costs born in trade matter at least as much as the absolute level of those costs. the form of both public prosecution and private litigation suggests that people by and large accepted the existence of norms governing the rates that could be charged and the circumstances under which toll could be demanded. tolls had the potential to undermine people’s ability to make rational cost calculations in the conduct of trade. The crown was not capable of ensuring cost certainty for traders under its jurisdiction. Ultimately they did not play that role. that was no mean feat. but it did manage to establish relatively narrow limits within which uncertainty fluctuated. In the circumstances of medieval commerce.

ed. The Early English Customs System (Cambridge. 1100-1135 Cardiff. 19231935). 1240 Okehampton. M. ed. British Borough Charters. The Percy Chartulary. W. 333-4. S. Chronicles and Memorials of Great Britain and Ireland during the Middle Ages no. London. H. Munimenta Gildhallae Londoniensis: Liber Albus. 1918). T. 1226-1377. 1916-1937). ed. Green. and Roberts.: Harvard Univ. A. Easterling (Oxford: Oxford Univ.. Flower. Riley. Press. Stationery Office. Mass. 1194-1242 Southwark. Longmans. 3 vols. 1: 26a. 24. (London: H. Schopp and R. (London: H. c. The Anglo-Norman Customal of Exeter. 153-5. Lists of Customary Local Tolls Lewes. N. C. The list is incomplete.M. 1042-1216. 7 vols.n. 1228 Exeter. J. ed. Curia Regis Rolls of the Reigns of Richard I and John. 1913). (London: s. Martin. B. 1201 Torksey. Brown. 1925). Gras. Abraham Farley. 1911). 178. 3 vols. 1266 . ed. Early English Customs System.TOLL AND TRADE IN ENGLAND 179 APPENDIX A Handlist of Medieval English Toll Lists Prior to AD 1350 in Published Sources A. 1: 103. Ballard. T. Press. ed. in 4 (London: Longman. M. Stationery Office. et Liber Horn. Ballard (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. 1: 449-50. T. ed. Press. 1266 Calendar of Inquisitions Miscellaneous (Chancery) preserved in the Public Record Office. C. 177-78. London. 1: 229-36. 1086 Domesday-Book. 12. seu Liber Censualis Willelmi Primi Regis Angliae. Liber Custumarum. Gras. 2 vols. 1859-62). Surtees Society 117 (Durham: Published for the Society by Andrews and Co.. Newcastle. late eleventh cent. British Borough Charters. 1147-1183 Yaxley. 155-8. 1783).

c. 1818). 2 (Appendix. 2: 199-205. (London. The Records of the City of Norwich. 1272 JAMES MASSCHAELE Rotuli Hundredorum temporibus Henrici III et Edwardi I in Turri Londinensi et in Curia Receptae Scacarii Westmonasterii Asservati. Record Commission. 1275 Huntingdon. Part 2): 184-207. William Hudson and John Tingey. A History of the Town and Port of Fordwich (Canterbury: Cross and Jackman. Kent Records 16 (Ashford: Printed for the Records Branch [of the Kent Archaeological Society]. Illingworth and J. The Making Of King's Lynn. 99-102. c. 18 (Bristol: Bristol Corporation. Bristol Record Society Publications. Caley. ed. 1945). 4. 1300 Romney. The Great Red Book of Bristol. M. 2. (Dated on the basis of references to Jews). ed.180 Dartmouth. 4 vols. 16. c. M. Dorothy Owen. 1812-1818). 8. W. ed. 1300 Norwich. (Norwich: Jarrold and Sons. 55. 1300(?) Sandwich. Furley (Oxford: The Clarendon Press. J. E. Chronicles and Memorials of Great Britain and Ireland during the Middle Ages no. E. W. 435-40. Collection for an History of Sandwich (Canterbury: By Author. c. 1291 Bristol. ante 1290 King's Lynn. vols. 1290 Ipswich. 4: 90-1. Register of Daniel Rough. 32-42. William Boys. 28-35. Record Commission (London: Eyre and Strahan. S. [1895]). ed. 1931-53). Murray. Rates applied only to trade with Southampton. Records of Social and Economic History. 2 vols. 19061910). 32-5. Travis Twiss. 1300 . Woodruff. Illingworth and J. C. Rotuli Hundredorum. 2 vols. 1984). c. The Ancient Usages of the City of Winchester. 1286 Fordwich. (London: Public Record Office. 1: 90. Caley. c. ed. ed. K. W. 1272 Winchester. 1792). Hornsea. 1871-76). 1: 106. Veale. 1927). Placita de Quo Warranto. Black Book of the Admiralty with an Appendix. 302. Press. E. new series 9 (Oxford: Oxford Univ. ed.

Illingworth and Caley. Early English Customs System. ed. 3 vols. 553. Bakewell. 160-1. 1340 Placita de Quo Warranto. ed. P. Chester in the Plantagenet and Tudor Reigns (Chester: The Author. ed. Illingworth and Caley. Placita de Quo Warranto. 2: 2-17. Calendar of Inquisitions Miscellaneous (Chancery) Preserved in the Public Record Office (London: Public Record Office. 1303 London. 2: 421. and 58. ed. Studer. 1330 Measham. 552.n. John Harland. ed. Gras.. 164-7. 1329 Derby. 1330 Placita de Quo Warranto. of Manchester. 56. ed. Illingworth and Caley.. Chester. Studer. ed. 53.d. 146. 2: 282-3. Riley. 159-63. Oak Book of Southampton. 1916). c. Illingworth and Caley. Rupert H. 1300 The Oak Book of Southampton. 1330 Peterborough. Subsequent volumes calendared the grants of tolls. Public Works Tolls Note: The editors of the patent rolls included lists of tolls granted to finance public works in the volumes covering the years 1216-1225 and 1225-1232. 1321 Southampton. 1272-1307 Manchester. Morris. 554-58.. n. 2 vols. Placita de Quo Warranto. 140. Berwick.). 18-27. Illingworth and Caley. 1320 Mamecestre: Being Chapters From the Early Recorded History . but did not include the lists of commodities and rates appended to the grants. Rates applied only to trade with Salisbury.. Publications of the Southampton Record Society nos. ed. A number of these . 1330 Oundle. Placita de Quo Warranto. 1861-1862). 1303 Ipswich. Munimenta Gildhallae Londoniensis. Early English Customs System. ed.TOLL AND TRADE IN ENGLAND 181 Southampton. Chetham Society vols. (Manchester: s. 1910-11). 10 and 11 (Southampton: Record Society. 1330 Ipswich. B. Gras. 1: 223-9.

Rather than record each early list separately. Dublin murage. Lincoln. 1308 Dublin murage. Chronicles and Memorials of Great Britain and Ireland during the Middle Ages no. 1225 (508-9). Historic and Municipal Documents of Ireland. Patent Rolls of the Reign of Henry III Preserved in the Public Record Office. Waterford. Yorkshire.J. Letter Book E. 1227 (182). ed. Gilbert. 18991904). 1224 (499). Gilbert. 1229 (253). 1279 Calendar of Letter Books Preserved among the Archives of the Corporation of the City of London at the Guildhall. Letter Book A. 191-4. Historic and Municipal Documents of Ireland. Historic and Municipal Documents of Ireland. Gilbert. A. 222-3. 1295 Dublin murage. J. Historic and Municipal Documents of Ireland. 1224 (433). been published in other venues. Worcester. Bristol. 218-21. ed. 1226 (32). London murage. Sharpe. Gloucester. Reginald Sharpe (London: E. ed. 1230 (343). 1225 (555-6). Letter-Books A-F. and then furnished individual entries for later lists. ed. A. “Feria” bridge. 1224 (445). 1232 (483). 1284 Dublin murage. 1315 Historic and Municipal Documents of Ireland. 189-90. Stafford. Francis. 1227 (116). 1903): York. ed. Green & Co. 270-3. Great Britain. Gilbert. Northampton. Scarborough. 63-6. 1224 (459). 1220 (238-9).182 JAMES MASSCHAELE later lists have. 1216-1225 (London: Public Record Office. 1227 (173-4). . 1225-1232 (London: Public Record Office. 53 (London: Longmans. A. Shrewsbury.D.D. Historic and Municipal Documents of Ireland. ed. 194-5. T. however. Public Record Office. 1312 London murage. 1228 (228). 1225 (518). I have summarized the material available in the early volumes of the printed calendar. Patent Rolls of the Reign of Henry III Preserved in the Public Record Office. 13021303 Dublin murage. Hereford. 308-12. Calendar of Letter Books. Gilbert. 1297 Dublin pavage. Hereford. Gilbert. 1901): Shrewsbury. 1232 (479). Public Record Office. Bridgnorth. 1172-1320. 1232 (477).D. Great Britain. Drogheda Bridge. ed. Worcester. 1870). Hithe. ed.

39-40. ed. Ives. W.Gutch. 54-5. 1345 Calendar of the Records of the Corporation of Gloucester. Stevenson. 1331 Peterborough pontage. 1893). Fair Tolls St. ed. C. ed. Fairs of Medieval England. ed. Winchester. S. 1315 Drogheda murage. 1334 Gloucester pavage. E. England from 1000 to 1760. Northampton Record Society 9 (Northampton: s. J. Documents in English Economic History (London: G. Bell. 1252 Ellen Wedemeyer Moore.. Studies and Texts 72 (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies.n. Giles Fair. Bristol Town Duties (Bristol: J. ed. 1886). 1318 Newark pavage. Jurica. Mellows. H. W. 233-4. An Introductory Study. 1939). 237-8. AD 1349 (Winchester: s. R. Calendar of the Records of the Corporation of Gloucester. The Fairs of Medieval England. Gilbert. Summarized in Moore. 50-2. Henry Bush.. 233-4. 413-17. Bellows. 1828). 1985). Historic and Municipal Documents of Ireland. Peterborough Local Administration. A Charter of Edward the Third Confirming and Enlarging the Privileges of St. ed.n. 1334 Gloucester murage. T. 88-9. 197. Fisher and A. Mellows. 1328 Peterborough Local Administration. Winchester.TOLL AND TRADE IN ENGLAND 183 Peterborough pavage. 1977). 1349 . 197. Bristol quayage. M. H. Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies. Stevenson (Gloucester: J.

x x .


x x .

His lengthy bibliography and the seminar discussion opened my mind to ways of looking at medieval warfare which I have profited from ever since. The fluctuation of such currency over this period. finally. which comes in at 1045 pages. Smith of the Royal Armouries. . I was told. I have still remained interested in the financing of warfare. co-written by Robert D. John Munro’s seminar at the University of Toronto twenty years ago. 2005).400 Burgundian gunpowder weapons dating from 1410 to 1477. strategy. made such a study nearly impossible. This was followed by one of my first medieval historical “reality checks. and planning to make a comparative study of these costs. it also lacked any comparative cost analysis of the gunpowder weapons of the four Valois dukes of Burgundy. The Artillery of the Dukes of Burgundy. 1363-1477 (Woodbridge: The Boydell Press.1 Nevertheless. the reality of Burgundian monetarism was pointed out to me. many listed with costs.CALCULATING PROFITS AND LOSSES DURING THE HUNDRED YEARS WAR: WHAT REALLY FORCED PHILIP THE GOOD FROM THE WAR? Kelly DeVries I first became concerned with war financing when I took Dr. especially as it was not currency but currencies that these records report. too. Smith and Kelly DeVries. In my Cumulative Bibliography of Medieval Military History and Technology. was published in 2005. and tactics. and especially how such affected and effected military policy. and I am sure that it will come as a relief to John that when. in which some of the following is discussed and elaborated on. From that conversation. yet I am ashamed to admit that military historians have not paid enough attention to economic matters. my study of Burgundian gunpowder weapons. I profited.” when in approaching John with a project concerning a data base of some 4. This should be a matter of immense importance. only three of those pages are devoted to war financing in general with an additional four pages devoted specifically to 1 Robert D.

there were several lands involved. 11 July 1302. none.3 But for the later Middle Ages. over the reign of several kings and magnates. none of these discussed the financing of the rebellion. In this author’s opinion. It was fought for a long period of time. David Richard Ferguson (Woodbridge: The Boydell Press. save Christopher Allmand’s The Hundred Years War. are more clearly identified. it seems that we should know more about the military financing. adds only six more references (46. 398-402. although he discusses only “Taxation and Fiscal Institutions” and hides it in the middle of his section on “The Institutions of War. I found that even trying to determine the financing behind the Flemish rebellion of 1302-1305. the most complete studies of the 1302-1305 rebellion remain J. have the slightest discussion on the financing of the conflict. let alone from any of the other lands involved: Scotland. published in 2005. there are no extant records that can be used to study the financing of William the Conqueror’s conquest of England. extant records are more numerous. but from the reign of Philip the Fair. Burgundy. V. Allmand’s book does consider the subject. the project I eventually attempted for John’s course. was nearly impossible—Bruges paid for the majority of it. and the various Low Countries entities. F. 2005). Spain. A Cumulative Bibliography of Medieval Military History and Technology (Leiden: Brill. The Hundred Years War: England and France at War 2 . and especially the Hundred Years War.188 KELLY DEVRIES financing in the Hundred Years War. from either the English or French side. trans. 1297-1305 (Antwerp: N. anything more detailed was undetectable. 4 Christopher Allmand. 232-4). with Ypres and Courtrai in for a chunk. this has made little impact on the scholarship.2 Perhaps for the earlier Middle Ages this is excusable. an update. Of the prominent general studies of the war in any language.4 Sometimes. Germany. Indeed. Kelly DeVries. Still. Standaard Boekhandel. this neglect can become quite Kelly DeVries. in eight pages. Verbruggen’s De slag der guldensporen: Bijdrage tot de geschiedenis van Vlaanderens vrijheidsoorlog. with the seven hundred year anniversary of the battle of Courtrai (see Cumulative Bibliography Update. 2002). and military actions. 3 Although several new studies of this conflict appeared in 2002. 73.” Furthermore. 2002)—and Vlaanderen naar de Guldensporenslag (Bruges: Westvlaamse Gidsenkring. and not a single word is devoted to the financing of the fifteenth-century warfare. 204). ed. most of his examples in this chapter come not from any king ruling during the war. as are the causes of these victories and defeats. 1952)—now translated as The Battle of the Golden Spurs: Courtrai. A Cumulative Bibliography of Medieval Military History and Technology Update 2004 (Leiden: Brill. winners and losers. Portugal. 1991). 262-5.

despite the town being on the verge of defeat. 1327-1360 (Woodbridge: The Boydell Press. The Hundred Years War (London: Routledge. Jean Favier. The Hundred Years War. 2nd ed. 1300-c. Philippe Contamine. 1990). and Anne Curry. and German allied forces were also involved. B. 1450 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. André Leguai. it was well in hand by 1341 when Edward was prepared to make yet another assault on the continent. why Edward had not arranged his financing more completely before he left England. part 1. vol. (Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan. 1974). Hainaulter. 1937). 1977). War Cruel and Sharp: English Strategy under Edward III.6 (As one might guess from my criticism. 2003). 1978). La guerre de cent ans. Burne. why if his war financing was such a hardship in 1340. probably in greater numbers than the English. (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France. 1337-1453 (New York: Atheneum. La France et l’Angleterre en conflit (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France. La guerre de cent ans (Paris: Fayard. Desmond Seward. The Hundred Years War: Trial by Battle (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. the breaking apart of the southern Low Countries and German alliance. and Clifford J. and. 1955). The Hundred Years War. why England was paying for the siege alone when Flemish. 1327-1360. my own study of the failure of the siege of Tournai has determined a different cause. . 1951). Alfred H.5 Yet. In the last thirteen years two major studies on the first decade of the war have been published. 199-216. 7.HUNDRED YEARS WAR 189 absurd. La guerre de cent ans (Paris: Editions Fernand Nathan. Robin Neillands. 102-11.” Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research 56 (1983): 102-13. W. 1360 (London: Eyre and Spottiswoode. trans. 3rd ed. Histoire du Moyen Age. Jonathan Sumption’s The Hundred Years War: Trial by Battle. 1991). and Clifford Rogers’ War Cruel and Sharp: English Strategy under Edward III. Brabantese. Burne. Rogers. Edouard Perroy. neither details what forms of financing there were. 1980). “English Armies in the Early Stages of the Hundred Years War: A Scheme in 1341. why such financing was solely in the hands of Parliament. with both determining the cause of Edward III’s failure at the siege of Tournai as the unwillingness of his Parliament to pay for the sustained siege. The Hundred Years War: The English in France. 1988). 2000). Syntheses on the Hundred Years War that exclude any discussion on financing include Joseph Calmette and Eugène Déprez. 5 Jonathan Sumption. 338-70. The Agincourt War: A Military History of the Latter Part of the Hundred Years War from 1369 to 1453 (London: Eyre and Spottiswoode. 6 On the desire to return to combat by the end of 1341 see Michael Prestwich. The Crecy War: A Military History of the Hundred Years War from 1337 to the Peace of Bretigny. with the c. Wells (New York: Oxford University Press. 1956). Alfred H. finally.

9 Only Philippe Contamine has attempted to take a larger look at the “cost” of the Hundred Years War. Suffice it to say.” considering the war as a whole.” in England in the Fifteenth Century: Collected Essays (London: Hambledon. and John Bell Henneman. scholars discussing the Hundred Years War from the Burgundian or Low Countries’ perspective have done a far better job of investigating the profits and losses of the Hundred Years War. état et société à la fin du moyen âge: Études sur les armées des rois de France. This brings me back to Dr. Munro. Money and Power in FifteenthCentury France (New Haven: Yale University Press. 1428-1442. and his “approaches. “The Costs of the Hundred Years War. “War. 1972). 10 Philippe Contamine. with few considering smaller instances of war financing and their effects on the fighting of the war. 139-50. 9 See. 1981). “An Economic Aspect of the Collapse of the AngloBurgundian Alliance. 13561370 (Philadelphia: The American Philosophical Society. 1971) and Royal Taxation in Fourteenth-Century France: The Captivity and Ransom of John II. 7 Kelly DeVries. 1337-1494 (Paris: Mouton. 1340.190 KELLY DEVRIES defection of the Brabantese). Miskimin.” Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research 47 (1974): 125-49. so far have been more theoretical than substantive. the Economy and Social Change: England and the Hundred Years War. 8 K.7 I could go on. McFarlane.” which appeared in the English Historical Review in 1970 and which was extended later in his book. Postan. except for an article by John Munro.” Past and Present 27 (1964): 34-53. See also Contamine’s Guerre. there are so many of them that I was recently able to combine several together to present a larger perspective on how the economic costs seem not to have mattered in determining the number of rebellions of the Southern Low Countries’ towns during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. None of the studies mentioned above have suggested any determination of military strategy or tactics. Harry A. 1984). 1322-1356 (Princeton: Princeton University Press. and M. B. the McFarlanes and Postans. Although most of these studies have been focused on smaller situations. that most scholars who have written about the English side have been interested in the subject of Hundred Year War financing as a “big picture. 1976).” Nottingham Medieval Studies 39 (1995): 70-105.8 About France the opposite has been the case: there more studies have appeared considering smaller examples of war financing and their limited effects.10 Interestingly. among others. either chronological or geographical. “Contemporary Views of Edward III's Failure at the Siege of Tournai. .” as he calls them. M. Royal Taxation in Fourteenth Century France: The Development of War Financing. “La guerre de cent ans en France: une approche économique.

Cloth. Now. the like of which they had never seen before nor.” 11 .11 First. after his failure at the siege of Calais in 1436. Joan of Arc menaced them. ironically born and raised in Burgundian territory. one might add. Meung-sur-Loire. to the two failed Burgundian sieges and their financing problems.HUNDRED YEARS WAR 191 Wool. I will not attempt to summarize Munro’s article or book. she had relieved the English siege of that town. that first creates a negative economic divide between Burgundy and England. instead it would last until 1453. A month later. but that it was his abandonment of the French that meant the war would not be over quickly. which increases his war financing problems. It was Philip’s abandonment of the English that meant they would never win the war. the agreed upon “turning point” of the Hundred Years War. a process which I see beginning with his failure at the siege of Compiègne in 1430. he also abandons the French. and also look at the issue a bit deeper. But to the English. to turn his military focus towards the Low Countries and the economic problems he has created for himself there by his Hundred Year War decisions in 1430-1436. and Gold: The Struggle for Bullion in Anglo-Burgundian Trade. I discuss the military situation created in the forthcoming “The Effect on the Hundred Years War of Philip the Good’s Failures at Compiègne (1430) and Calais (1436). an incredibly difficult task considering that they were in control of the fortified bridgehead across the Loire. meaning that Duke Philip the Good of Burgundy does not simply abandon his English allies in 1435. The previous year a young peasant woman. published two years later. and Beaugency—and had won While this article focuses on the economic woes created by Philip’s failures in these sieges. 1340-1478. after. To the Burgundians. appeared saying that she had received a mission from God to free occupied France from its English occupiers. I agree with John. the Tourelles. Almost anyone who knows even the most meager history of the Hundred Years War will know that 1430 was not the best year for the English. she was a military disaster. Joan of Arc posed little problem. I only wish to say that he suggests that economics had something to do with the break-up of the Anglo-Burgundian alliance in 1435. she removed the remaining English forces from their Loire strongholds—at Jargeau. Less than a week after she had arrived at Orléans. But I want to take it a step further. but.

when the Burgundian duke demanded payment in return for services. Compiègne. 139. 17. capturing towns along the way. I have used the translation found in Pernoud and Clin. It is edited in Jules Quicherat.15 The Burgundian army then set out against its first objective. 14 Richard Vaughan. Joan of Arc. 253-4. 1906). 1841-1849). Bedford was desperate for Burgundian assistance. Then. where Charles the Dauphin was crowned King Charles VII of France. Procès de condamnation et de réhabilitation de Jeanne d’Arc dite la Pucelle. And. 15 This plan is in the Bibliothèque Nationale. A detailed and intricate military plan was agreed on.000. Joan of Arc.13 What Joan of Arc and Charles VII did not offer Philip the Good. 5 vols. 5: 1267.. 1999). 30. had joined with Charles VII after he had been crowned. money was a more important incentive to the Burgundian duke than Joan of Arc’s or Charles VII’s prospect of peace or French unity.14 Obviously. however. fols. (Paris: Jules Renouard et Cie. she led an army to Reims. MS fr. J. did: money. D. Joan of Arc: A Military Leader (Stroud: Sutton Publishing.. and what new military targets were to be undertaken. Philip the Good did: by the end of 1431 he had been paid £150. no. So. Guillaume de Flavy: Captaine de Compiègne: Contribution à l’histoire de Jeanne d’Arc et à l’étude de la vie militaire et privée au XVe siècle (Paris: Honoré Champion. Compiègne. 1970). the English leader in France. after his coronation. Philip the Good. 13 One extant letter is preserved in the Archives du Nord in Lille.000. shortly after. See also DeVries. It is edited in part in Pierre Champion. Joan of Arc: Her Story. Charles VII. Adams (New York. Yet. Philip the Good: The Apogee of Burgundy (London: Longmans. although he was still owed £100. indicating how those lands currently held were to be apportioned and by whom governed. despite staying in the town for several days before Joan of Arc’s 12 On the military life and leadership of Joan of Arc see Kelly DeVries. made entreaties for peace towards the Burgundians. The reverses suffered by the English at the hands of Joan of Arc in that year were more significant than any in the last fifty years.12 All during this time. John. . 67-8. the Anglo-Burgundian alliance was once again in force.192 KELLY DEVRIES the battle of Patay. like several ungarrisoned French towns. Joan and. 22-4. the English leader was forced to ensure that the Burgundians would get it. Bedford needed Philip and. and rev. By the end of 1429. ed. With this settlement. duke of Bedford. 1998). He needed to halt their progress before the English lost any more territory. 1278. indeed. and translated in part in Vaughan. trans. and Régine Pernoud and Marie-Véronique Clin. 12-14.

19 Jehan de Waurin. Contemporary chroniclers report the existence of at least five large bombards. J. (London: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office. Charles retreated to his Loire River holdings following her failure to take Paris. Such bravery inspired Joan of Arc who felt that she had been held back from military engagements since the beginning of the year. L. and almost all of it was directed at Compiègne. 6 vols. Wiesbaden: Kraus Reprint Ltd.. Georges Chastellain. 1857-1862). They chose to remain French even though that meant that they would have to resist attempts to capture their town. Chronique. Récueil des croniques et anchiennes istories de la Grant Bretaigne. 20 Philippe Contamine.000 lbs. Heussner. Joan of Arc. The people of the town received news in March 1430 that Philip was planning to lay siege to Compiègne and decided that they would not surrender to him. 1898-1902). C. The citizens of Compiègne began to stockpile supplies and weapons. 18 This is discussed more completely in Smith and DeVries. “La guerre de siège au temps de Jeanne d'Arc. 166-70. abandoning Compiègne and the other towns in the region which had joined him. of gunpowder with the artillery train. and two “engins” among the besieging Burgundian army. See also DeVries. trans. DeVries. 5 vols. ed.18 At this date. 2: 53. 3: 319-23. The Artillery of the Dukes of Burgundy. 1864-91). 153-4. 3: 362. rpt.17 Philip had amassed a large army and an impressive artillery train.16 Philip the Good may have thought that as Compiègne had gone over so easily to Charles. (Brussels: F. Douet-d'Arcq. 17 16 . L. L’industrie et le commerce des armes dans les anciennes principautés belges du XIIIème à la fin du XVème siècle (Paris: Société d’Edition “Les Belles Lettres”. and E. 1863-66). Hardy. Joan of Arc. Joan of Arc.HUNDRED YEARS WAR 193 attack on Paris. Dorez (Paris: Librairie Renouard. 4: 418-9. especially as he had. 1973). 111. ed. Enguerran Monstrelet. Chronique: Extraits relatifs à l’histoire de France. Œuvres. Eventually she joined the townspeople in the defense of their town. L. 8 vols. However. ed. Renouard. and Claude Gaier. there was perhaps no power with a stronger or more numerous gunpowder weaponry arsenal than the Burgundians. innumerable couloverines. arriving there before the Burgundians. W. Kervyn de Lettenhove.20 Extant artillery comptes for the Burgundian forces DeVries. (Paris: Mme. and Antonio Morosini. it seems. one large and one small. two veuglaires.” Dossiers d’archéologie 34 (May 1979): 16. so quickly abandoned the town. 169-70. P. it might just as easily leave him. Compiègne was not going to abandon the French king.19 other sources record the transportation of at least 17. and ed.

the governor of Compiègne and leader of its defense effort. it never did occur. a bow-shot from the town. Joan of Arc. 176-82. no one has adequately explained.21 This was not going to be a quick siege. The fortifications of the town were very strong. These guns would prove very effective. for it was unsuccessful and she was captured. Despite the large number of gunpowder weapons which Philip the Good had at the siege. “the great number of small engines. Enguerran Monstrelet describes a siege where the Burgundians built a large bastille or boulevard of earth. the defenders of Compiègne had their own gunpowder weaponry arsenal. 49 n. which were made of bronze and which fired lead balls. A little more than a year after she had been captured. What she hoped to accomplish with this misguided tactic. particularly. All contemporary narrative sources record that the Burgundian guns were very powerful and very destructive. its walls. gates. the capture of Compiègne was quite another matter. felt that they could still achieve a victory. with a small group of soldiers.000 livres tournois to Jean of Luxembourg. especially Jean of Luxembourg. These were aimed Quoted in Champion. in which they set up their gunpowder weapons.194 KELLY DEVRIES have shown that these tallies are far too low. as reported by an anonymous eyewitness. Guillaume de Flavy.10. and the constant bombardment against the town. and inhabitants. Procès de condamnation. the sum the English paid for her ransom. the town did not capitulate.22 Her capture proved to be worth 10. Joan of Arc was burned to death as a heretic in the market-place of Rouen. even against such a fortified location and even against Joan of Arc. Joan of Arc gave the best account of this at her trial (in Quicherat. on 30 May 1431. Not accustomed to stand behind walls in a defensive posture. but the Burgundian leaders. Additionally. on 23 May 1430. 176. The actual defeat of Joan was accomplished quite easily. and they had prepared their defenses to use it by destroying any superfluous fortifications which might hinder gunfire. But this show of military technology did not intimidate either Joan of Arc or Guillaume de Flavy. 1: 207-8). she decided to ride out of the town and strike into the Burgundian army.23 However. Joan of Arc. 22 21 . 23 DeVries. called coulovrines. In fact. whose men had captured her.” He even boasted that these balls were able to penetrate the armor of a man-at-arms. See also DeVries.

ed. bridge. cannons. 2: 53. 3: 319-23. According to both Le livre des trahisons de France envers la maison de Bourgogne and Jean de Waurin.25 Throughout the summer the siege of Compiègne went on. Mines also were attempted and failed. Monstrelet claims that it was a decision made by Jean of Luxembourg. the besiegers were both fatigued and tormented by their inability to conquer the site.” The mills ceased to mill. coulovrines. and one gunshot even killed Louis de Flavy.” But. 3859. Guillaume. The joy of capturing Joan of Arc was soon forgotten. and the plodding of the constant conflict must have worn on the soldiers. mills. What actually happened is truly one of the biggest mysteries of the Hundred Years War. the Burgundian general at the siege. Récueil. the Burgundians abandoned the siege. serpentines. 3: 388-9. In fact they abandoned it so quickly that they left behind their numerous gunpowder artillery pieces which the inhabitants of Compiègne quickly captured and brought within the gates. Surprisingly. despite being encircled by hostile forces. Chronique. the gunpowder weapons of the townspeople seemed to have been as effective as those of the Burgundians.24 Still. and “many other notables in their company. thus missing a narrative topos so prevalent in accounts of other Hundred Year War sieges. why did they leave with such speed that they abandoned “a very large number of large bombards. Œuvres. with “one cannon mounted on the wall” killing ten or twelve besiegers. 25 Le livre des trahisons de France envers la maison de Bourgogne. 4: 390-91. little fatigue seems to have afflicted the besieged. and other artillery which were left in the hands of the French. 3: 361-3. See also Waurin. because of the continuation of large stones which they fired. Récueil. 24 . Suddenly.HUNDRED YEARS WAR 195 against Compiègne “which. 176. their adversaries?” Monstrelet ends his account: Monstrelet. 1873). the count of Hontiton. Kervyn de Lettenhove (Brussels: M. Hayez. veuglaires. who seem to have been well provided for. and Morosini. the brother of the governor. Chronique. and really without an adequate explanation in any of the original sources. Guillaume de Flavy continued to defend diligently the walls and the boulevard. in Chroniques relatives à l'histoire de la Belgique sous la domination des ducs de Bourgogne (texts français). Chastellain. and boulevard of the town in many places. On the other hand. disrupted and breached the gates. if this was the case. No contemporary source even mentions hunger being a problem inside the town. See also Waurin.

29 Champion. this can hardly be the sole or even the primary reason for such a quick withdrawal. 27 26 . many do not even record the siege. was of enormous importance both to the next phase of the Hundred Years War and. with its attendant loss of gunpowder artillery.”27 Still. 1998). Although Monstrelet reports that Jean of Luxembourg was condemned for his actions by Philip the Good.30 and none mention the Burgundian financing problems that resulted from the defeat. Guillaume de Flavy. and Ferdinand Lot. Philip the Good. and other artillery which fell into the hands of the enemy. For my part. he clearly makes this known: Most redoubted lord. whose reputation he was trying to rehabilitate from one who “gave up” Joan of Arc. 176. 1924. 4: 418-9. 30 See. Yet. I recommend myself to you in all humility.29 surprisingly. In a letter written 4 November 1430 by Philip to Henry VI. to the relationship between the Burgundians and the English. at whose behest the duke of Burgundy was undertaking the siege. Le livre des trahisons de France envers la maison de Bourgogne. L’art militaire et les armées au moyen-âge en Europe et dans le proche orient (Paris: Payot. Sir Charles W. I Monstrelet.28 Pierre Champion praises the inhabitants of Compiègne and especially their governor and military leader. 31 Monstrelet. especially. for example. I imagine that you and your councillors remember that it was at your urgent request that I took part in your French war. 1946). the failure of the Burgundians to capture Compiègne. London: Greenhill Books. veuglaires. Modern authors are equally befuddled at the Burgundian retreat. 2 (London: Methuen. Guillaume de Flavy. 4: 419. 42-58. rpt.31 the duke himself felt that blame for the military debacle should be laid firmly at the feet of the English. Oman. vol. A History of the Art of War in the Middle Ages. The Agincourt War. except for its relationship to the soon-to-be martyred Saint Joan. serpentines. 24. 162-82.” The author of Le livre des trahisons de France envers la maison de Bourgogne professes that it was the defensive gunfire which “convinced them to retreat.C. Richard Vaughan suggests only that the Burgundians “were forced” to leave. Chronique. cannons. 28 Vaughan. Chronique. Burne.196 KELLY DEVRIES “This artillery was the duke of Burgundy’s!”26 Jean de Waurin is equally confused and offers the same surprise at the abandoning of “a large quantity of large bombards.

The same goes for the artillery...1: 156-64. my good cousin of Huntingdon has been unable.32 It was under the impression that this would be done on your part. It is a fact that. according to him. J. and myself.. acting in your name. both on account of the two months abovementioned. as a result. 24-5.000 saluts. reprint Wiesbaden: Kraus Reprint Ltd. Stevenson. as well as the cost of the artillery.. though this was contrary to the advice of my council and my own opinion. I cannot continue these [military operations] without adequate provision in future from you . all my lands both in Burgundy and Picardy have been and are at war and in danger of destruction . 1965). But. for want of payment... I ask and entreat you most humbly to see that the said sums are paid over at once to my people at Calais who have been waiting there for this purpose for some time . and without payment of what is due to me. It is also true.500 francs of royal money each month for the expenses of my troops before Compiègne. while my good cousin the earl of Huntingdon with his company ought to have remained with me before the said town of Compiègne ... 33 32 .. it was at your request and command that I undertook the siege of Compiègne. these payments have not been kept up by you..... most redoubted lord. 2. Philip the Good. Moreover. For it had seemed to us better for me to advance towards Creil and Laon. 2 vols. ed.. and especially that the said payment would be made without fail. that. you ought to have paid me the sum of 19. Thus most redoubted lord. to keep his forces in the field any longer . in 3 (London: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office. This letter is edited in Letters and Papers Illustrative of the Wars of the English in France during the Reign of Henry VI. and for the artillery. The partial translation I am using comes from Vaughan. according to the agreement drawn up on your part with my people. for they are in arrears to the tune of two months. most redoubted lord. for which I myself paid out over 40. as appears in the recommendations drawn up on this and sent to Calais by our secretary Master Jehan Milet. as agreed.HUNDRED YEARS WAR 197 have so far accomplished everything that I agreed to and promised in the indenture made between . Likewise.33 This was the sum agreed to by the duke of Bedford before the siege. that I had my men stationed before Compiègne all the time. the cardinal of England [Henry Beaufort].. My redoubted lord.

as Joyceline Gledhill Dickinson and others have suggested. whenever a leader needed to gather a large number of gunpowder artillery pieces.. Nor. Its symbolism may even have outweighed its strategic significance. There is of course much history in between the failed siege at Compiègne and that at Calais. in 1419. most importantly. Had Philip successfully besieged Calais. including. 1999).34 In 1436. as the siege of Calais reI think that Joyceline Gledhill Dickinson (The Congress of Arras. does Vaughan. Philip began to formalize his plan in January 1436. except to suggest that it was not so much a Burgundian treason against the French. Because of logistical problems. for which Philip asked to be recompensed. Duke Philip the Good of Burgundy proved beyond any doubt that the Anglo-Burgundian alliance was at an end when he directed his largest army and artillery train yet assembled to attack Calais. following so closely on the heels of their diplomatic defeat at the Congress of Arras. Charles GiryDeloison. perhaps never an entirely solid one during the reign of Philip the Good. the English would surely have changed their strategic plans for the future of the Hundred Years War. By the way. and Christophe Leduc. XVe-XVIe siècles (Arras: Artois Presses Université. the siege of Calais was a resounding defeat for the Burgundians. was irreparably damaged at Compiègne for a lack of promised financing. 98-107. Instead. and plan to return later to it. 34 . Arras et la diplomatie européenne. the costs of the artillery lost to the French. as it was an attempt by the duke to bring the two sides together and their obstinacy which caused his reversal of previous policy. John the Fearless.198 KELLY DEVRIES The Anglo-Burgundian relationship. never was paid. with some correcting by the various essayists in Denis Clauzel. ed. the Congress of Arras. 1435: A Study in Medieval Diplomacy [Oxford: Clarendon Press. Philip the Good. in my view. This important coastal town had since 1347 been securely held in the hands of the English. 1955]) does an excellent job of examining the Congress of Arras from the Anglo-French perspectives. I have attempted to do this briefly in my and Bob Smith’s The Artillery of the Dukes of Burgundy. But neither she nor those in the latter work analyze the Congress from Philip’s position. where Philip the Good led the Burgundians away from the alliance they had had since before the assassination of Philip’s father. I do not have the time to go into this in depth. Let me jump to 1436 and the siege of Calais. although it appears that some of the promised funds were eventually paid.

“L'armée Bourguignonne au siège de Calais de 1436. Holland. and 1 Iron Bombard from the Saint-Bertin Monastery in Saint-Omer (indicated in other documents to have been brought there as a central site) 1 Bronze Bombard chamber for the Bourgoinge from the Saint-Bertin Monastery 7 Gros Veuglaires taken from naval vessels 4 Iron and 1 other Gros Veuglaires from Saint-Bertin Monastery 2 Iron and 3 other Gros Veuglaires (no site mentioned) 2 Gros Veuglaires from Gravelines 1 Gros Veuglaire from Damp 17 Iron and 13 other Veuglaires from Sluys 23 Veuglaires from Bruges or Sluys 11 Veuglaires from Holland 35 This quote comes from a document written by an English spy (Archives départementales du Nord. 203. local armories. and Rotterdam. 36 Monique Sommé.” in Guerre et société en France. 29) with a complete transcription in Vaughan. and thus had to amass his gunpowder weapons from smaller. B10401. Contamine et al. Most of the guns used at the siege of Calais were supplied from the Low Countries. 75-80. “stuffed with the most strong ordnance and all other materiel of war that any man had ever heard of. en Angleterre et en Bourgogne XIVe-XVe siècle. ed. Biervliet. 1991). a longer planning time was necessary. two crapadeaux with six chambers. not to mention a large number of lances and crossbows. There were also four hundred ships. named Pruce and Bergiere. especially from the counties of Flanders.HUNDRED YEARS WAR 199 quired. Université Charles de Gaulle Lille III. Philip the Good. In this case the Burgundians had no central artillery arsenal. and bombard gunstones weighing between 180 and 350 livres. fol. P. one hundred bronze coulovrines.” which sailed from the harbors of Sluys. not including additional smaller vessels.36 Notarial documents at the Archives de la Côte-d'Or record the following numbers and types of Burgundian gunpowder weapons at the siege of Calais: 3 2 3 2 2 Iron Gros Bombards and 3 other Gros Bombards from Holland Iron Bombards from Picardy Bronze Bombards from Burgundy Iron and 1 other Bombard from Abbeville Bronze Bombards. .35 One convoy from Holland included a large veuglaire with eight removable chambers. and Artois. (Lille: Centre d'histoire de la région du Nord et de l'Europe du Nord-Ouest. Picardy.

masons carved stone cannonballs. 4: 160.200 KELLY DEVRIES 14 Iron and 9 other Veuglaires (no site mentioned) 6 Iron Veuglaires from naval vessels 1 Veuglaire. Lambin (Ypres: Lambin en Zoon. Chronique.38 The expense was enormous. and mantlets for the large.and medium-sized gunpowder weapons. J. and 2 other Veuglaires from Abbeville 2 Iron Veuglaires from Avennes 2 Veuglaires from Bruges 23 Petit Veuglaires (no site mentioned) 2 Petit Veuglaires from Abbeville 4 Veuglaire Chambers from Sluys 23 Cannons or Veuglaires from Sluys 2 Petit Cannons from Abbeville 12 Iron Crapaudeaux (site not mentioned) 5 Iron Crapaudeaux from Gravelines 3 Iron Crapaudeaux from Abbeville 2 Petit Crapaudeaux (site not mentioned) 48 (or 52) Gros Coulovrines 200 Bronze Coulovrines 40 Iron Coulovrines 3 Other Coulovrines 2 Bronze Coulovrines a escappe37 It is also recorded that Burgundian and Low Countries’ carpenters made carts. 38 Sommé.” 203. cannons. ed. and Liber de virtutibus sui genitoris Philippi Burgundiae . Merkwaerdige gebeurtenissen vooral in Vlaenderen en Brabant van 1377 tot 1443. 5: 240. J. 151-63. The size and presence at Calais of this incredibly large gunpowder artillery train is commented on by all of the chroniclers who discuss the siege. See also Le livre des trahisons de France envers la maison de Bourgogne. Récueil. ribaudequins. wagons. As a whole they are impressed with what the duke of Burgundy was able to deliver to the walls of the English town. 211. named Anvers. and large serpentines. L’artillerie des ducs de Bourgogne d’après les documents conservés aux archives de la Côte-d’Or (Paris: Honoré Champion. 1835). 39 Monstrelet. “L'armée Bourguignonne. 40 Waurin. 150. Enguerran de Monstrelet describes the “large number of ribauds carrying canons and other large engins” to the siege.”40 And Jean 37 See the documents preserved in Joseph Garnier. See also Oliver van Dixmude. and cannoneers purchased saltpeter and made gunpowder.39 Jean de Waurin writes that the Philip the Good had “a large number of bombards. 1895).

Then the cannoneers began to attack the town: Gonners began to shew thair art. preserved by God. That theyme myght helpe and avance. ed. Saint Barbara: Thanked be god. Kervyn de Lettenhove (Brussels: M. The most cinematic portrayal of this comes from a Middle English poem written at the time of the siege. Ribawdes. and. that began in earnest on 9 July 1436. Day and night cannonballs fell on the walls and flew over them to land on the buildings inside. (Paris: P. in Chroniques relatives à l'histoire de la Belgique sous la domination des ducs de Bourgogne (texts latins). Was neuer better devyse. the patron saint of cannoneers. With many a proude pavis.HUNDRED YEARS WAR 201 Chartier notes that one of the Burgundian bombards was so large that it required 50 horses to pull it. Mary. Vallet de Viriville. fortunately. First. the Burgundian army not only placed them at weak spots around the walls. ne childe. roi de France. another 36 horses. Jannet.41 This artillery force was so large. Gailly paynted and stuffed wele. 1876). woman. armed with Iren and stele. 3 vols. 41 Jean Chartier. that to utilize their numerous gunpowder weapons. 1: 242. . Chronique de Charles VII. Hayez. ducis. not including the large number of other various sized guns which accompanied those larger weapons. but also constructed their own earth-andwood artillery fortifications. it seems. 1858). ed. Into the tovn in many apart. the townspeople were preserved from the terror that these weapons delivered. boulevards and artillery towers around Calais and filled them with guns. and marie mylde. was an intense bombardment of the town. But. the anonymous author of this poem describes the weapons which the duke had brought to Calais: With gonnes grete and ordinance. The result of all of these gunpowder weapons at the siege of Calais. and others 26 horses each. 62-3. Shot many a full grete ston. They hurt neither man. interestingly.

“Seynt Barbara!” than was the crie. who has worked on these poems. and a second in Oxford. This might be credited to the defensive gunpowder weapons which were inside the town which. these gunpowder weapons “strongly damaged” the walls of the town. the Liber de virtutibus sui genitoris Philippi Burgundiae ducis. 245. However. when it came to the larger and better defended walls of Calais. one in London. and Balinghem. Klinefelter. ed. Historical Poems of the XIVth and XVth Centuries (New York.” Publications of the Modern Language Association 67 (1952): 888-95. 102. 63. with one Calaisien gunshot even piercing Philip the Good’s tent. 5: 243. how effective can a bombardment lasting only fifteen days be? The military history of the fifteenth century showed 42 The version of this poem used is Ralph A. Bodleian Library. they note that neither the offensive nor defensive gunfire was effective. ed. 44 Monstrelet. 1959).202 KELLY DEVRIES Houses thogh they did harme. Paul. it did kill a trumpeter and three knights who were with him.. most contemporary chroniclers give no credit to the town’s defensive weapons in relieving the siege. 6. Marck. despite their power and numbers. 4: 175. they were incapable of breaching them. University of Auckland. Whan stones in the tovn flye. as Monstrelet claims. by placing their guns near the walls and battering them down. Brie (London: K. F. Philip the Good. “‘The Siege of Calais’: A New Text. The fortifications of the nearby castle of Guines also held out during the siege. Trench. at least according to the English chronicle. Chronique. assures me that there are at least two more such poems as yet unedited. Merkwaerdige. and Vaughan.. Monstrelet (Chronique. 43 The Brut. While the Burgundian forces were easily able to conquer smaller nearby fortifications.42 Yet. 1545.. D. 5: 245) confirms this. ed. Digby ms. See also Olivier van Dixmude.44 On the other hand. 78-89. but without success. The Brut. The Brut. such as Oye. Lambeth Palace Library. The quotes which appear in the text above are found on pp. Trübner and Co. even if. W. were not successful in breaching the walls or causing the town’s capitulation. they originated in The Brut. 2: 578. . Indeed. For fifteen days they fired on the town. were very effective in the defense of the town. adding that while the cannonball did not kill the duke. They cowde noon other charme.43 However. 2: 577-9. 891-3. Récueil. See also Waurin. ms. 1906-1908). 79. Roger Nicholson. Three more poems can be found in Rossell Hope Robbins. or the Chronicles of England. of the Department of English. All were written within a few months of the end of the siege. New Zealand. these Burgundian gunpowder weapons.

Andrew Villalon and Donald Kagay (Leiden: Brill. 152-4. such as those gained by Henry V in Normandy and Joan of Arc along the coronation route to Rheims. L. Joan of Arc. military leaders simply gave up when their combatants and artillery were unable to bring about a victory either from intimidation at the sight of the large number of gunpowder weapons facing a site or the increased fear of destruction after a few days of gunpowder weaponry bombardment. 12 (1991): 129-81. 46 See DeVries.47 In the meantime.” Studies in Medieval and Renaissance History n. and ever more frequently during the mid-fifteenth century. Such can only be the reason for Charles VII’s unwillingness to pursue the attack of Paris after only one day in 142946 and perhaps may also be the reason why Philip the Good raised his siege of Calais after little more than two weeks in 1436. raised largely among Flemish and Dutch coastal towns. 79. if the inhabitants desired to withstand a siege. rivalry between two of the larger factions of Flemish troops. to arrive at Calais at the same time as the army. ed. Unwittingly. it did little to change the situation.s. strong fortifications generally took a very long time to be defeated. that it was extremely difficult for a blockade of any size to cut off all relieving maritime traffic to the stricken inhabitants. On the problems of Edward III’s siege in 1346-1347 see Kelly DeVries. Richard Vaughan raises other possibilities. English ships had sailed in and out of Calais. 1346-47. Flemish Participation and the Flight of Philip VI: Contemporary Accounts of the Siege of Calais.HUNDRED YEARS WAR 203 that. 2005). Once the Burgundian fleet arrived. appearing only after fatigue and discouragement had begun to inflict their toll on the besieging troops. on some occasions. Before they arrived.” in The Hundred Years War. had begun to affect the morale of the Burgundian troops. Indeed. He cites the failure of the Burgundian fleet. At all other times sieges either failed or dragged out until fatigue or privation on one side or the other brought about victory or defeat. the Brugeois and Ghentenaars. “Hunger. the Calaisiens 45 I investigate this more in “‘The Walls Come Tumbling Down’: The Myth of Fortification Vulnerability to Early Gunpowder Weapons.45 Yet. J. it seems that only when there was no desire to withstand a siege was there a quick capitulation. 47 Vaughan. Philip the Good. even when faced with the constant bombardment of gunpowder weapons. . proving as Edward III had discovered in 1346-1347 when he conquered the town. and there was no evidence of distress among the besieged inhabitants.

they made a sortie from the Boulogne gate. Philip the Good. It was now the Brugeois soldiers’ turn to respond with their own derision. Record of Flaundrys. 2: 582-4. Vaughan. and as fear and rumors of other attacks spread throughout their camp. 79-80. surprising a unit of Brugeois troops.204 KELLY DEVRIES played on this rivalry. On 26 July. The next morning. 49 48 . that at the time also included Philip the Good. And comen of more gentill blode. Récueil. See also Vaughan.48 The defeat was made even more serious by the abandonment of many of the Burgundian gunpowder weapons to hasten the retreat. (“The Englishman’s Mocking Song Against the Flemings”)51 Vndyr a veyle of fals decepcioun. When ye laide seege to Caleis. 80. of olde antiquitie. Certainly the English felt so.50 In these there is little doubt that the Flemings were to blame for the defeat: Remembres now. 2: 581. For more of reputacioun. The rest of the Burgundian army soon followed suit. See also Waurin. 4: 186. On 28 July. For fflemed men & banshid men enhabit first youre land. the day after the Burgundian ships’ arrival at Calais. The Brut indicates that the Brugeois tried to bury some of their guns in the sand in an effort to keep them from falling into English hands. This defeat was met by jeers and mockery from the Ghentenaars. 583. ben Englisshmen þen ye. 50 The Brut. 4: 188-9) claims that the Flemings did take their best gunpowder weapons with them. ye Flemmynges.49 Whether the Flemings were to be blamed entirely for this military debacle is debatable. Jean de Waurin (Récueil. Philip the Good. they fled during the night. 2: 583-4. whiche falsly dothe malygne. but most seem simply to have been left behind. ye wer right still to blame. The Brut. 600-1. vpon youre owne shame. the Brugeois joined them. again by surprise. 51 The Brut. with poems such as “The Englishman’s Mocking Song Against the Flemings” and “An English Ballad Against the Flemings” becoming so prevalent that they found their way into accounts of The Brut. The Ghentenaars had reached their breaking point. another group of English inhabitants of the town attacked a wooden artillery tower manned by Ghentenaar troops. For Flemmynges come of Flemmed men ye shal wel vndirstand.


. we were forced to depart and withdraw to Gravelines with the Flemings. Because the spot where we and our people of Ghent were lodged was unsuitable for fighting a pitched battle when the enemy came. having put the river [Aa] at Gravelines between themselves and the enemy.. There. 55 . considering neither our honour nor their own. Hugh de Lannoy.. Arthur de Richemont.. ed.55 But Philip’s councillor. and the Franc of Bruges. Ypres. which was said to be the best. they would await events. and at a time when we were expecting the enemy to arrive on the following Monday or Tuesday. The original is edited in Marie-Rose Thielmans.” Bulletin de la commission royale d'histoire de Belgique 115 (1950): 285-96. and placing those problems firmly in the Low Countries: A translation of this letter is found in Vaughan. Since the contingent of noblemen we had with us was too small to do battle with the enemy .. they persuaded the men of Bruges.. And at once. Moreover. “Une lettre missive inédite de Philippe le Bon concernant le siège de Calais.. although she mistakenly has Philip the Good sending the letter to his other brother-in-law. to withdraw likewise. on Saturday 28 July late at night. abandoning what we had begun with the utmost chagrin. together with the men from the castellany of Ghent. who would willingly have stayed to carry out our wishes. they departed that night.. and the men of Bruges. not content with this. came to tell us that they had decided to decamp that night and to withdraw to a place near the town of Gravelines in Flanders. without listening to our requests or waiting for our advice. Nevertheless. 81-2. In a letter to the duke written 10 September 1436. which is three leagues from Calais. puts a more realistic spin on problems at Calais. we asked them to withdraw with us and the noblemen in our company to a certain place quite near their encampment . and withdrew to the above-mentioned position near Gravelines.. most suitable and most advantageous position to await the enemy in battle order. . the Franc of Bruges their followers and some of our nobles in another place . these people of Ghent. he blames the defeat at Calais on problems financing the siege.206 KELLY DEVRIES us in one place. while at the same time prophesying of future financial problems brought about by the defeat. and they agreed to do this . regardless of the promises which they had that very day renewed. Ypres. Philip the Good.

1369-1530. there is much anxiety. and other lands of yours. nor are your domains. finding themselves without commerce. it can only be with the consent and good will of the people. Covetousness exists among the well-off. Elizabeth Fackelman (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. according to reports. some of them. the Flemings. Again. what harm was done by the lack of finance. will probably make an alliance with the English. which could be very much to your prejudice and dishonor. they will soon go further than mere talk. other towns.56 The original of this text is found in Kervyn de Lettenhove. And you appreciate how much it cost to send a fleet to sea to protect this commerce and resist the enemy. In this matter. able to help you. 14 (1862): 218-50. which have similar aspirations.HUNDRED YEARS WAR 207 You must have appreciated. Moreover. especially when they see that you are at war [with England] and that the Flemings seem likely to revolt against you at any moment. and it is very like that. If you need to raise finance in Brabant. Edward Peters.” Bulletin de l’Académie Royale de Belgique 2nd ser. 56 . 84. I have used the translation found in Wim Blockmans and Walter Prevenier. On the other hand. “Programme d’un gouvernement constitutionnel en Belgique au XVe siècle. you have no territory whose populace is not hard pressed financially. the English are planning to keep a large number of ships at sea in order to effect a commercial blockade of your land of Flanders.. I note that. are in armed rebellion. or saddled with debts. for such harm would result if that country were deprived for any length of time of its cloth industry and commerce. Moreover. and involved in war on sea and land. Strange and bitter things have been said about yourself. will rebel in the hopes of getting similar treatment. ed. 1999). Holland. your enemies. and your leading councillors. If the truth be told. during the siege of Calais. you have seen how agitated your Flemish subjects are. if you punish and repress them. you can imagine how much worse it is among the populace. your government. indeed. and they will probably want to do this. and it is to be feared that the war has only just begun. trans. If by chance they start pillaging and robbing. if you pacify them by kindness and by accepting their demands. sold. This is a grave danger. which are mortgaged. if Holland and Zeeland continue their trade with the English. having got as far as talking in this way. The Promised Lands: The Low Countries Under Burgundian Rule. it is possible that every wicked person will start plundering the rich. it is to be feared that they will make disastrous alliances with your enemies. without their cloth industry.

“Provisions for the Ostend Militia on the Defense. 82-84. They would rebel. as a number of letters from the ducal court to the Ghentenaars and others in Flanders insisting that the Flemings must defend themselves suggest. with the Flemish town rivalries perhaps at fault. Fris. The Artillery of the Dukes of Burgundy.” Journal of Medieval Military History 3 (2005): 176-83. “Documents Gantois concernant la levée du siège de Calais en 1436. duke of Gloucester. It would not be long before the first paragraph of Lannoy’s letter would also be fulfilled: the larger towns of the southern Low Countries would seek their own means to ensure their economic wellbeing. Lamertin. war financing can also be blamed for the failure. De Brugse opstand van 58 57 . 59 See V. 1904). the irony of it all is that these were the people with whom Flanders had been allied for more than two centuries. August 1436.60 It was the first of many Vaughan. once again. John of Bedford. found themselves in the ironic position of defending their countryside and towns from the very people on whom their livelihood chiefly depended. Humphrey. Philip the Good. Gloucester burned several villages south of Dunkirk and around Ypres.59 One would expect to see a similarity throughout Flanders during these troubled times. and.57 This fulfilled in essence the last paragraph of Lannoy’s letter: the citizens of the southern Low Countries. the previous year. led by their soldiers returning from Calais.58 Philip the Good and the Burgundian army would not be coming to their aid. led his own raid into western Flanders. For one thing.208 KELLY DEVRIES At the siege of Calais then. 60 The military history of this siege can be found in Smith and DeVries. and who had arrived to take command at Calais only to see the flight of the besiegers. far longer than they had been in Burgundian control. and the Flemings in particular on this occasion. The English fleet also raided along the Flemish coast as far north as the Zwin estuary and the island of Cadzand before both army and navy returned to Calais. who had succeeded to the leadership of the English troops in France after the death of his brother. See also Jan Dumolyn. 245-58.” in Mélanges Paul Frédéricq (Brussels: H. the inhabitants of Bruges began an open rebellion against Philip the Good. The economic problems that directly followed the failed siege must also be considered. Already by the end of 1436. Taking advantage of the Burgundian confusion. Examples of the cost of this defense appears in Kelly De Vries. immediately after the Burgundian withdrawal.

Philip the Good.” in The Medieval Crusade. Susan Ridyard (Woodbridge: The Boydell Press. 61 See Kelly DeVries. 2004). and his treasury. . Vaughan.HUNDRED YEARS WAR 209 Low Countries’ rebellions Philip the Good would be forced to face and put down. and Blockmans and Prevenier. Although he frequently drifted into Crusading fantasies and other imaginative and unfulfilled military adventures. Never again would he rely on someone else to pay for an engagement. Although he allowed some generals aligned with him to fight on the side of the French. 157-70.61 from this time forward the duke’s focus was firmly placed on the southern Low Countries. financially. “The Failure of Philip the Good to Fulfill His Crusade Promise of 1454. Philip the Good himself never returned to the Hundred Years War. 86-92. The Promised Lands. nor did he allow the Burgundian army to be used en masse in any of Charles VII’s military conquest.A. ed.. such as at Calais. geographically. as he had with the English at Compiègne. 98-99. or risk an enormous amount of expensive weapons on a single military endeavor. 1997).G. 1436-1438 (Courtrai-Heule: U.

. It is true that household numbers had been on the rise in preceding reigns. both Henry VII and Manuel I undertook a number of important building projects: the former king refurbishing and constructing large palaces along the River Thames.2 But the research of Sean Cunningham has shown that Henry VII doubled the number of dependants known as knights of the body as part of a strategy designed to increase his own political security. it is evident that during these reigns. attributable to location of the household and immediate political circumstances. at the turn of the sixteenth century. 3 Sean Cunningham. 1989). Lancaster University (1995). are strikingly similar. records from the reign of the Portuguese king João II point to an escalation in the number of residents at court receiving stipends or moradias. Diss. Richard III: A Study in Service (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 3: 217-224. Humble Ferreira The changes brought to bear in the royal courts of England and Portugal. and Rosemary Horrox has made a convincing argument that Richard III of England (1483-1485) appointed many of his retainers to positions within the royal household. 2 D. more people came to live as dependents of the king than ever before. 3: 440-476. “The Establishment of the Tudor Regime: Henry VII.” Ph. The households of both Henry VII (1485-1509) and Manuel I (14951521) underwent a sizeable increase in both human and spatial terms.THE COST OF MAJESTY: FINANCIAL REFORM AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE ROYAL COURT IN PORTUGAL AND ENGLAND AT THE TURN OF THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY Susannah C. Provas da história genealogica. Despite the constant fluctuation in population. António Caetano de Sousa. 1 . Rebellion and the Financial Control of the Aristocracy 1485-1509. while the latter erected and expanded his Rosemary Horrox. 1947). 4 Caetano de Sousa.1 Similarly.4 In order to accommodate these growing numbers.D. Provas da história genealogica da Casa Real portuguesa (Coimbra: Atlântida.3 And the surviving records of Manuel I’s court indicate a similar trend occurring in Portugal.

a number of historians have cautioned against straightforward readings of exchequer and household accounts. 1993). 6 British Library (BL) Add. see H. reveals a changing attitude toward the royal household and arguably marks a shift from a medieval household to a Renaissance-style court. 2: 1024 and 4: 223. Colvin.. In Portugal. . History of the King’s Works (London: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office. Information on Manuel I’s expenditure on building works can be found in Anselmo Braamcamp Freire. and could not. Thus as historian David Grummitt has noted. in both England and Portugal. new ordinances in 1516 allowed lower ranking servants to maintain wives and families. 3: 40. 1983).6 And by the turn of the sixteenth century. 1963-1982). 7 Geoffrey Elton. the size of the royal households in both kingdoms began to outstrip the proscriptions that had limited their sizes in earlier centuries. Manuel. Also Simon Thurley. M. No longer was presence at court restricted to essential personnel and a handful of grandes and no longer were household ordinances punctuated by legislation limiting their numbers.ROYAL COURT IN ENGLAND AND PORTUGAL 211 domiciles in and around the important towns of Santarém. From the medieval royal household.” Archivo Histórico Portuguez 1-7 (1903-1909). ed. have materialized from thin air. emerged the renaissance court devoted to appearances of opulence and majesty.”7 Of course. In revisiting the world of late medieval royal finance. Studies in Tudor and Stuart Politics and Government (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Évora and Lisbon.5 Such rapid expansion. Given the imperfect separation between personal and professional identity. Such was the transformation that historian Sir Geoffrey Elton could glibly claim: “the Tudor court as a centre of social and political life springs suddenly into existence with the accession of Henry VIII. 19. transformation was attributable to major changes in the financial administration of both the royal households and the kingdoms. 20958. The Royal Palaces of Tudor England (New Haven: Yale University Press. the royal courts did not. “Cartas de quitação del Rei D. the oftcited accounts of the treasury of the chamber record only the sums 5 For a comparison of the money spent by Henry VII on palaces as compared to Edward IV. Henry VII and Manuel I were able to overcome substantial household debt and expand their royal courts. Research reflects that by securing a steady and reliable cash-flow into the coffers of the royal household. the officers who handled the king’s money were individually responsible for sums in their possession. obsessed with economy.

as the kingdom’s primary financial department in the reign of Henry VII.10 While the Treasury of the Chamber was undoubtedly the backbone of the financial machinery throughout much of the reign of Henry VII. Henry VII (Berkeley: University of California Press. mantieiro of the royal household had to account for all the silver and goods that had been in his possession. Lovell was given the position of Treasurer of the Household in what was ostensibly a promotion. Chancelarias de D.8 This principle of private accountability is evident in the Portuguese quittance letters. C. 10 W. has muddied our understanding of court finance. many of whom held more than one office. A clue to the veritable relationship between these two departments can be seen in relation to the career of Sir Thomas Lovell. it becomes necessary to consider the personal relationships of administrative officials. From 1485 until 1492. it was not the primary financial department at court: that place belonged to the Treasury of the Household. 11 S.” Historical Research 179 (1999): 229-243. fol. in order to understand the operation of household administrative departments. 9 For example. the wife and heirs of Estevão Pestana. B. Richardson’s Tudor Chamber Administration in 1952. Manuel. 8 . thereby offering him greater access to the king. or cartas das quitações that are made known to us through the royal chancery records. These quittances show that a crown official had to account for all money in his possession—sometimes even from beyond the grave—and officials and their families were held accountable for sums as if they had been held as a personal loan. John Heron and do not reflect a complete picture of the money controlled by the department as a whole. Lovell served as Treasurer of the Chamber. the attention given to the Treasury of the Chamber. 126. But his new appointment also brought a closer social tie between the treasuries of the chamber and house- David Grummitt. Richardson. C. “Henry VII. Chrimes.9 Thus. Arquivos Nacionais/Torre do Tombo (AN/TT).212 SUSANNAH HUMBLE FERREIRA of money that passed through the hands of the Treasurer. 1952). Since the publication of W. 1972). Chamber Finance and the New Monarchy: Some New Evidence. liv. also occupying the office of Chancellor of the Exchequer. Tudor Chamber Administration (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press. But after the death of Sir Richard Croft in 1502. 29.11 The new office would have been more prestigious inasmuch as it gave Lovell an important position within the itinerant court. 118.

was to regulate the expenditure of the royal household. the two main figures in its operation were the Treasurer. it was the official known as the Cofferer who managed the daily expenses of the major household departments. or counting house as it was sometimes called. 5. the sergeants of the various departments were also supposed to deposit their tallies with the Cofferer.14 For this reason. then local merchants and innkeepers would not be repaid. 12 . 13. it would appear that the treasury of the chamber was working to facilitate the expenditure of the treasury of the household. 8. 416/1. the king’s subjects were undoubtedly affected when several hundred hungry mouths descended suddenly upon a village. 6. 15. and were often physically absent from the household. the official in charge of running all aspects of the household. who had previously been serving as Lovell’s deputy.13 According to the Black Book. 1959). the smooth running of the royal household depended upon a regular supply of coin into the hands of the Cofferer. 167. Further A. It was financial constraint that limited the size of the royal household during the late middle ages. Myers. The Household of Edward IV The Black Book and the Ordinance . The traditional role of the treasury of the household.12 Because these officers were of high social rank. If the Cofferer did not have enough cash in hand to redeem tallies. Although the head of this department was nominally the Lord Steward. 415/1. 7. Household of Edward IV. 144-7. 3. 13 Public Record Office (PRO) E 101 413/5. so that they might be redeemed by the various merchants and suppliers in the localities. 13. while house-to-house purveyance was a thing of the past. Extant Cofferer’s accounts reveal that while the responsibilities of this official changed somewhat over the course of the reign. 9. 414/2. of 1478 (Manchester: Manchester University Press. 14 Myers. 9. Large households placed considerable strain on surrounding areas and. 12. 12. who looked after all monetary assignments to the household and the Controller who kept a counter roll of expenses. he continued to disburse money to the purveyors of the major household departments for diet and supplies throughout the reign.ROYAL COURT IN ENGLAND AND PORTUGAL 213 hold insofar as the new Treasurer of the Chamber was John Heron. demanding food and accommodation. Presuming that the relationship of the two office-holders reflects the relationship of the two departments. R.

1767). and in 1454. Household of Edward IV. 2001). according to the Commons. Rotuli Parliamentorum. went unpaid and were forced to obtain food and lodging by whatever means necessary—bad credit. “been grievously charged with continual taking of their goods and chattels for the expenses of his most honourable household whereof they have not been sufficiently contented nay paid. Parliament authorized an increase in the annual subsidy paid to the royal household. ut et Petitiones et Placita in Parliamento (London: s. Strachey et al. violence or theft. it was realized that this expectation was unrealistic.. as the crown faced civil war. 18 J. 17 Myers. 301. 16 Myers. eds. both the Black Book and Ordinance 15 Bertram Wolffe.n. 87. 74. had encouraged the promulgations of an ordinance that attempted to limit its size. 20 David Loades. Henry VI. .16 Although financial recovery was seen during the reign of Edward IV. Household of Edward IV. cautioning that “the kyng wull haue his goodes dispended but not wasted. who received wages in lieu of diet. 6: 299. Although there is evidence of expansion by the end of his reign. 63-75. Henry VI (New Haven: Yale University Press. 19 Wolffe.”17 In 1485. but rather to alleviate the burden placed on the king’s subjects who had. provoked a reaction from Parliament.19 Upon his accession in 1461 Edward IV began to channel his private revenues into the treasury of the chamber in order to meet costs and tackle the debt of the royal household.. The treasury’s inability to meet household running costs. By the reign of Henry VI. to their great impoverishing.15 The poor management of the treasury of the household during the reign of Henry VI (1422-1461). The Tudor Court (London: Batsford.”18 It had long been the expectation that English kings should “live of their own.” meaning that they should finance their households with the profits of the lands that they had controlled as individuals. seemingly its objective was not to underwrite the costs of expansion or enhancement. which by 1449 were estimated at £24. the Black Book attempted to limit the membership of the royal household. 1986).000 per annum.500 to help to defray household expenses.214 SUSANNAH HUMBLE FERREIRA social unrest resulted if household servants. 282-3.20 But his efforts were designed to get household finance on solid footing rather than to expand his household and Edward IV’s initial measure was to reduce household size.. the king was granted a meager allowance of £5.

1: 470-6. 24 A description of the lands comprising the Duchies of Cornwall and Lancaster is provided by Colvin. but formed part of the patrimony of the crown. By 1485.22 By the accession of Henry VII to the throne in 1485 it is clear that the crown was in financial trouble again.24 The matter might appear to be academic. when Parliament agreed to raise the annual exchequer assignment to the treasury of the household to £11. History of the King’s Works. Household of Edward IV. Rotuli Parliamentorum.000 appears to be a tacit acknowledgment of the differences between a king’s public and private wealth. he did not possess enough private property to help him meet the running costs of the government. 230. including revenues from the vast duchies of Cornwall and the Lancaster.ROYAL COURT IN ENGLAND AND PORTUGAL 215 of 1478 were preoccupied with economy. As heir to the Duke of York. Thus in 1485. However the bulk of the landed revenues available to Henry VII had been acquired through formal Acts of Attainder in Parliament. then this king did not remain on the throne long enough to put them into play. Myers. The household assignment Myers. Household of Edward IV.000. was no longer controlled by the king as a private landholder. Richard III was entitled to do the same with the lands he controlled as the Duke of Gloucester. 12-3. 6: 299. Edward IV had been able to put his private revenues toward household expenditure and freely channeled these receipts through the Treasury of the Chamber. Parliament increased the subsidy from £11. The expansion of the household undertaken by Richard III was not accompanied by administrative changes that would sustain a larger household over the long term.000 and augmented this sum by £2.100 to pay for supplies in the royal wardrobe.23 This increase of more than £5. it still fell short of the household running costs which the Black Book had estimated to be £14. but the implicit differences between public and private wealth appeared to have had an effect on the way revenues were controlled. the income that had traditionally financed the royal household.21 And in 1482. and was thus processed through the national treasury of the exchequer. Thus they could only be made available to the king through Parliamentary assignment. 23 Rotuli Parliamentorum. 22 21 . if such changes had been on the horizon.000 to £14. 6: 198-202.000. Henry VII had an added disadvantage—unlike his Yorkist predecessors.

y Wes- .

30 BL Add. 1: 421. although the assignment from the exchequer might have appeared to have been reduced from 1489 onward.29 Yet according to the extant accounts of the Treasurer of the Chamber.000 per annum stipulated by Parliament. the Coffer’s accounts mask a number Rotuli Parliamentorum. by the end of the reign it is evident that nearly all servants received their wages from the Treasury of the Chamber. A fragment of a document outlining household accounting procedure reveals that before 1493 the wages of most household servants: including sewers. waiters. E101/415/6. E101/414/2. from the Treasury of the Household. 1914-1916). 6: 433. E101/415/12. the king could collect the equivalent amount of money from other sources of public revenue. E101/416/1. Accompanying such double dipping was a change in the way in which various expenses of the royal household were being paid for. Only knights and esquires of the body received their wages from the Treasury of the Chamber. in actuality Henry VII was collecting on some of this income twice.28 The substitution clause of 1489. ushers. See Calendar of Patent Rolls (London: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office. carvers and cupbearers were paid directly from the exchequer. E101/413/12.30 Toward the end of the reign. At this time other honorary servants such as sergeants-at-arms. E101/413/7.ROYAL COURT IN ENGLAND AND PORTUGAL 217 1495. such as customs revenues or tunnage and poundage. 21480. 29 28 . such as the building expenses and entertainment. pages and even servants of the chamber were paid by the Cofferer. Thus. ensured that despite the fact that the revenues from these lands were actually going through the chamber. E101/413/5. PRO E 101/416/11. messengers. the amount received per annum was consistent with the £13. Given his inclusion as one of the members of the household. John Heron. E101/415/9. The sum of money that the treasury of the household received from the Exchequer does not appear to have increased over the course of the reign. this document appears to predate the death of Thomas West who died in 1493. the various accounts belonging to the Treasury of the Household reveal that the bulk of expenditure went towards diets while the Treasury of the Chamber came to underwrite other costs. 31 PRO E 101/413/4. E101/414/9: E101/414/13. grooms. E101/414/5.31 Although this fact seems to suggest that the expenses of the treasury of the household did not increase.



a devastating war with Castile (14751479) wreaked havoc on royal finances. 1955).”34 Thus it appears that £1. surplus cash from both departments came to be stored in the crown coffers in the Tower of London. However administrative changes undertaken during the reign of Henry VII offered treasury officials greater flexibility and reflect a marked effort to organize finances in such a way as to increase the flow of cash into the hands of the Cofferer. The fact that Cope continued to receive this assignment until at least 1505 suggests that the Chamber assignment became an enduring arrangement. but to expand the size of his household. in effect the treasury of the household was receiving a total in excess of £25.000 was to be granted to the Cofferer each month and “provided that if there are tallies that cannot be met” he would receive “allowances for the same. was streamlined into the department that merely financed the diet and supplies of the expanding royal household. And as Grummitt has shown.000 per year after 1499: £13.000 from the chamber to meet the cost of tallies. Moreover. Although the kingdom did not suffer the same damaging effects of a long-term dynastic struggle akin to the Wars of the Roses. Afonso V (14331481) had granted lands and annuities at an unprecedented rate 34 Calendar of Close Rolls (London: Public Record Office. . Portugal presents itself as an interesting comparison to England. Thus. Couched in the terminology of an indenture. The diversity of payments listed in the accounts of the treasury of the chamber gives a false impression that the financial departments in operation during the reign were crude in their administration. once a department that handled the majority of crown expenses. At the turn of the sixteenth century. The treasury of the household. whereas the treasury of the chamber received profits from crown lands. And it was the regular and reliable supply of money into this department that not only allowed Henry VII to achieve solvency and quell the complaints of the Commons. the terms of this financial arrangement are laid out in a Close Letter of 1499 stating that £1.000 in assignments from the exchequer and £12.220 SUSANNAH HUMBLE FERREIRA Chamber to the Treasury of the Household.000 per month was being used by Cope to redeem tallies brought to him by local merchants and suppliers and that Cope was personally liable for any of this money not accounted for. 1: 322. The exchequer of receipt channeled public monies such as customs revenues and tunnage and poundage.

While the successive conquests of the North African captaincies might have been lucrative from the perspective of individual nobles. but only if the crown exercised restraint. 37 João José Alves Dias. 179. Lands confiscated from those nobles implicated in the conspiracies of 1483 and 1484 were soon granted out again and after 1489 the crown lost the valuable revenues from the Duchy of Viseu.35 Until the turn of the sixteenth century.. Manuel. was to play an important role in stimulating trade—the effects were not seen until the end of the reign. João II (1481-1495) worked hard to place the crown on surer financial footing. 55. Even as late as 1498. Furthermore. the kings of Portugal were to enjoy additional income from the profits of the overseas expansion. Ensaios II. ed. begun in 1482. the Cortes entreated the king to keep a moderate household. But until the turn of the sixteenth century the ability of the crown to fund the royal household from these revenues was limited. the crown remained plagued by financial shortfall that placed limitations on the size of the royal household. 384. 2002). Unlike the English crown. And although the construction of the important trading fort of São Jorge da Mina. Sobre história de Portugal (Lisbon: Sá da Costa. although the development of sugar plantations in the Atlantic islands contributed to metropolitan wealth and trade. Although his successor. immediate profits belonged to the Duchy of Viseu and were exempt from crown taxation. 1990). the defense of such places as Ceuta and Tangier drained crown resources. Cortes portuguesas: Reinado de D.36 Representative assemblies expressed a willingness to provide for the royal household. Cortes de 1498 (Lisbon: Centro de Estudos Históricos.ROYAL COURT IN ENGLAND AND PORTUGAL 221 over the course of his long reign that further impoverished the crown. 363. 1978). While the Portuguese crown was able to maintain the royal household on a system of credit. In the session of 1459. his success was limited. representatives demanded that the king exercise moderation in household expenditure and in 1472-1473 it was explicitly requested that Afonso V reduce the size of the royal household. As Cortes medievais portuguesas.37 The complaints of these representatives reflected the frustrations of a populace burdened by crown debt and it is evident from the cartas das quitações that even as late 35 Vitorino Magalhães Godinho. its repeated failure to meet costs outraged the Cortes. 36 Armindo da Sousa. . 1385-1490 (Lisbon: Imprensa Nacional.


2: 326. 1983). rules and rates changed during successive reigns in the fifteenth century. It is often assumed that social and economic change occurring in Portugal in the early sixteenth century was attributable to the windfall of the Indian Ocean spice trade. Afonso V to combat abuse. See “Dizimas.” in Joel Serrão. While extraordinary riches were indeed dumped in the lap of Manuel I (whose unabashed epithet was “the Fortunate”). Like Henry VII.ROYAL COURT IN ENGLAND AND PORTUGAL 223 nues was derived from the customary taxes of the sisa and the dizima. on the other hand. Few records are left that can testify to the effect which the conflicts and confiscations had on revenue collection at a local level. ed. but it can be surmised that war in the 1470s and the purges of the nobility that took place in the 1480s brought an added confusion to the networks of crown administration operating in the localities. baked bread. Given the volume of trade coming through Portuguese ports in the fifteenth century. The sisa. was levied on all imports by sea and on goods coming through dry ports. then interruptions in their collection would have had a direct impact on its operation. was levied on any merchant activity or sales and was most often paid at trade fairs on wine. Dicionário de história de Portugal (Lisbon: Iniciativas Editoriais. João Cordeiro Pereira. Exempt from this tax were gold. Para a história das Alfândegas em Portugal no início do século XVI (Lisbon: Universidade Nova de Lisboa. Very few exemptions were granted on the sisa. his good luck has masked the concerted efforts put forth by his administration to instigate reform and increase revenues from domestic sources. 22-6. meat. 43 Once rated as a tenth of the balance of trade. colored cloth and imported textiles. silver. Manuel I inherited a kingdom rife with political faction. horses and arms. Amendments to the dizimas were made during the reigns of D.42 The dizima. 42 . which formed nearly three quarters of crown revenues in the fifteenth century. João I and D. the yields from this tax should have been lucrative.. cereals. If the profits of the sisa and the dizima were the main sources of cash feeding the coffers of the household. 1979).43 The stumbling block was that the system of collection and delivery to the central coffers of the Casa dos Contos was inefficient. The efforts of the Manueline administration to reform local practices of revenue collection in the early years of the reign can therefore be seen as a conscious attempt by the king to increase his ability to finance the royal household. and nobility and even royalty were obliged to pay this tax.

the reign witnessed the standardization of weights and measures and also the reissue of town charters. They clearly articulated the duties. 1: 24. Similar to the practice of Henry VII. many of which had a perceptible impact on revenue collection. Manuel (Coimbra: University da Coimbra. These enquiries would have provided information about the effectiveness of local administrative officials as well as up to date information about the rents and taxes owed by towns and independent landholders. to a significant degree. (Lisbon: Editorial Presença. In addition. . 714. the self-interest of the crown. first published in 1514 but reissued in 1521. Manuel I was a much wealthier king. As heir to the Duchy of Viseu. a number of reforms were put into effect. to examine local charters in order to assess obligations of taxation and to perform a local survey establishing the lands held in feudal tenure. they undoubtedly reflect. Rui Boto. obligations and procedures to be followed by crown agents and officials. Manuel I was able to draw upon lands and income worth more than twenty-eight million réis. Also. 1949). Manuel I authorized commissions to investigate the condition of the administrative machinery. these added revenues gave him an initial cash injection as well as the ability to buy the support of various sections of the political elite at the time when he first took the throne. Crónica de D.224 SUSANNAH HUMBLE FERREIRA Compared to his predecessor João II. Portugal do Renascimento à Crise Dinástica. 45 João José Alves Dias. 1998). known as the fazenda. While the reforms undertaken over the course of the reign might seem to demonstrate an altruistic interest in good government and civil harmony. ed. Ostensibly they provided the background information that prompted the program of administrative reform enacted later in the reign. Notable among these reforms were the Ordenações Manuelinas. In 1496 the king sent a commission led by his chancellor Dr.44 While much of this land was granted away in the decades to come. Both of these latter reforms would have had direct repercussions on revenue collection because they controlled prices and established concrete guidelines enabling crown agents to better enforce the payment of the sisa. in 1516 the king and his ministers oversaw the reform of the financial administration of the entire kingdom.45 During the reign. even before his proverbial ships came in. It remains that the administrative re- 44 Damião de Góis.

47 Virginia Rau. or Receivers. collected and processed much more quickly than annual rents.000 rs. what the crown was attempting to do was to speed up the process by which money made its way to the central coffers. who had once performed these duties.) in 1496. Contadores collected money owed to the crown and conveyed the 46 The increase in revenues from the individual almoxarifados can be exemplified by Guarda. of the sisa could channel the profits to the central administration on a more regular basis. officials designated as Recebedores.000). Dicionário. 62-7. while the officials known as Almoxarifes.ROYAL COURT IN ENGLAND AND PORTUGAL 225 forms put into effect had a perceived effect on domestic revenue. to £31 (54. Contadores.). Taken at the point of sale.700 rs.46 It is important to recognize that the reforms of the fazenda were not enacted merely to impose an academic sense of order upon the network of financial administration. were responsible for conducting the audits. officials called Contadores were entrusted with the task of collecting rents and chasing down withheld payments. the Almoxarifes continued to administer and collect the sisa which. as Rau notes herself. Thus.) in 1510.) in 1504. See “Finanças públicas e estrutura do estado. A Casa dos Contos (Coimbra: Faculdade de Letras. leveling out between 1516 and 1521 at £245 (430. evidenced by the claims of Vitorino Magalhães Godinho that crown revenues increased by fifty per cent between 1506 and 1518. where revenues went from £27 (47. 1951). to £65 (113. .000) to nearly a hundred million réis (£54. Thus under the new system. the Contadores would have been summoned to Lisbon in order to render their accounts to the central authorities. as mentioned. who were burdened with the more cumbersome task of rent collection would be given more time to complete their duties. rising from sixty-six million réis (£38. the sisa could be assessed. Virginia Rau has argued that the Portuguese crown increased the efficiency of revenue connection by separating the departments of collection and audit. remained one of the main sources of crown revenue.” in Serrão.47 It appears that rather than legislating a strict division between officials of audit and collection.500 rs. One of the provisions of the fazenda reforms was the regulation of the tax schedule so that both taxpayers and officials could thus anticipate the process of collection and get their accounts in order. 3: 32-3. headed by the Vedores da Fazenda. every other January.000 rs. But. Every two years.

the Algarve. Viseu and Guarda. Alenquer and Setúbal. and because the process of audit was undertaken by the Vedores da Fazenda. changes to the system of household finance also increased the ability of the crown to access money in order to pay for the royal household. Thus. . in 1504. Whereas beforehand the department that had regulated the expenses of the royal household had been termed the Contos do Rei and was separate from the Casa dos Contos. known as the Provedor. 1 June: Évora. Casa dos Contos. 62-7. Apart from reorganizing the financial administration of the kingdom. Since the household does not appear to have generated any significant source of revenue. Beja. Porto. 49 Rau. it can be assumed that the primary purpose of this official was to communicate the financial needs of the royal household to the Casa dos Contos and to ensure that the necessary sums of money were brought into the coffers of the household. A decade later. On 1 May: Contador Mor. accommodation for the king and his dependents was managed by local counting houses called aposentadorias. the formal structure of the financial administration was altered in order to reflect the fact that the royal household was now drawing its income freely from the profits of the kingdom. and the Contadores would then assemble their reports to present to the Vedores da Fazenda and their deputies in the late spring and summer. the new department was an amalgamation of the two and was called the Contos da Casa e Reino.48 By relieving the Almoxarife from the responsibility of collecting rents and by remitting the revenues from this source separately. Leiria. the king appointed a new official. On On 1 July: contadores of Moncorvo. The changes undertaken at the level of the royal household were aimed at making the financial administration more flexible in order to channel the increased revenues directly into the hands of the Escrivão da Camara.226 SUSANNAH HUMBLE FERREIRA amounts to the Almoxarife. the crown greatly increased the efficiency of the system of revenue collection. Casa dos Contos. which 48 Rau. Balances were then to be settled by the middle of February. Coimbra.49 The impact of this reorganization on the financial footing of the royal household becomes immediately apparent when one examines the way that the issue of lodging was handled. At the turn of the sixteenth century. to act as a liaison between the national treasury known as the Casa dos Contos and the Escrivão da Camara. Santarém. Guimarães and Tôrre de 27.

came under the direct control of one of the Vedores da Fazenda.. Chancelarias D. 12. such as those derived from the sisa. Chancelarias D. 12v. the crown was obliged to remunerate both innkeepers and private citizens for the lodging and food provided. 57. 44v. liv. the AN/TT. however. Chancelarias D. fol. Leitura Nova. Santarém and Évora to rapidly pay off the debts that they had been accruing since 1477. that were collected in these areas. which had been filled at least until 1497. and then worked with the local aposentadorias to requisition the appropriate number of beds. fol.50 Instead. this income contributed a sizeable forty million réis or £23. In 1506. 17. 2.ROYAL COURT IN ENGLAND AND PORTUGAL 227 were supervised by a crown official known as the Aposentador Mor. 51 50 . João III. 7. Estremadura. AN/TT.51 What these changes implied is that revenues. fol.000. Manuel. the road to financial recovery in the earlier part of the reign lay in its ability to access the increased revenues coming in from the almoxarifados. 23. liv. Lisbon and Évora—where the court was most frequently in residence.52 For the royal household. 42. Although the king’s subjects were required by law to provide housing for the members of the court when it was in residence in their village or town. liv. crown revenue agents came partially under the authority of the aposentadorias.000 to crown revenues and profits from the spice trade were about the same—forty-four million réis or £25. Manuel. liv. the position of Aposentador Mor. 128v. fol. At the same time. The failure of previous kings to meet these payments and the tendency of members of the court to abuse their privileges had roused an endless number of complaints in the Cortes. This shift undoubtedly allowed the aposentadorias of Lisbon. 52 AN/TT. Twelve years later. liv. But it cannot be denied that the great injection of wealth brought into the hands of the Portuguese crown from the profits of the emergent spice trade was to have a major impact on the development of the royal court. seems to have been rendered obsolete and is not mentioned in the Ordenações Manuelinas. fol. could be used to directly pay for the debts incurred by the aposentadorias. By 1513. around the time when the gold trade had reached its peak. the departments of the aposentadorias of the three cities—Santarém. This official was responsible for ascertaining the numbers of people at court who were entitled to lodging through the royal household.

000. 54 53 . (later the Casa da Índia) becomes obvious. either as receipts from the almoxarifados or other revenues associated with regular taxation. Just over ten years later. 1988). more than half of these revenues derived from overseas sources and the majority came from the pepper trade.54 The royal court thus began to siphon off the wealth generated through overseas trade and diverted it in order to finance the royal household. Despite the fact that increased revenues were coming in from domestic sources. If the royal household had once suffered because of a dearth of cash or saleable goods. then the monetary surplus allowed household officials to redeem tallies and pay for necessary provisions from this department. the amount being received from customs was about “Finanças públicas.228 SUSANNAH HUMBLE FERREIRA amount of revenue generated by the spice trade was close to one hundred million réis or £55. the crown established the joint Casa da Índia e Guiné in order to manage the profits from both the spice trade and gold trade.53 The vast quantities of cash. more than forty per cent of the money being taken to pay the living allowances of the fidalgos resident at court came from the kingdom. 61. spices and other moveable goods that tumbled into the harbour warehouses in the port of Lisbon presented a golden opportunity for the cash-strapped Portuguese royal household. It can be no coincidence that the Casa da Índia e Guiné came to be located in the Ribeira Palace complex. In 1498. this opulent edifice on the main commercial square of the River Tagus replaced the castle of São Jorge as the residence of the royal court when it was housed in Lisbon. Damião de Góis. If one examines the changes in the money used to pay the stipends or moradias of the kings dependents. money from the Casa da Índia e Guiné was more readily usable. In 1501.” 3: 33. About twenty per cent of the income derived from customs subsidies while another twenty per cent came from foreign trade. Begun in 1505. which had been part of the patrimony of the Duchy of Viseu that Manuel I was able to bring with him to the throne. most of which comprised profits from sugar from Madeira. Money from the almoxarifados and rents consisted of about only twenty per cent of the money received by the fazenda. Descrição da Cidade de Lisboa (Lisbon: Livros Horizonte. the relationship between the court and the Casa da Índia e Guiné.



Over the course of the reign. Even when Henry VII began to divert revenues from crown land. Henry VII increased revenues by ensuring that his receivers were both loyal and efficient and by exercising his prerogative in all cases where he stood to profit. in addition to the income received from the exchequer. the construction of the Ribeira Palace. he continued to collect the full sum of the assignment. both public and private through the Treasury of the Chamber. the financial departments of the kingdom were reorganized so that the Treasury of the Household paid only for the diet and supplies of the household—which required a steady influx of cash. At least £13. achieved during the reign. Even before the windfall of the India trade deluged the warehouses of Lisbon. which jointly housed the king’s household and the Casa da . also helped crown agents in this task. substituting other revenues from the sources specified by Parliament. The replacement of the Aposentador Mor by one of the Vedores da Fazenda as the official in charge of organizing and paying for accommodation for the royal household epitomised the crown’s objective of properly funding the royal household and this move drastically reduced the red-tape involved in paying for lodgings. and. Finally. The Manueline Reforms of 1516 allowed the Almoxarifes to streamline their process of revenue collection and to rapidly funnel the profits of the sisa into the central coffers. the Cofferer of the household received an additional £1. the crown facilitated the financing of the royal household by making alterations in its personnel. Developments in the financial administration of Portugal suggest that Manuel I had a similar priority of providing adequate and regular funding for the royal household. The standardization of weights and measures.ROYAL COURT IN ENGLAND AND PORTUGAL 231 In general. The creation of the office of Provedor in 1504 allowed money to be carried freely between the counting house and the royal household and this link was formalized with the formation of the amalgamated department of the Contos da Casa e Reino.000 was guaranteed to the king by way of exchequer assignment which was ostensibly to be comprised of customs revenues and other public money coming from landed estates confiscated through acts of attainder.000 per month. But it was not enough for the king to merely generate income—he had to make sure that the monetary surplus was channeled directly into the central coffers. The reform and standardization of urban charters or foros helped to regulate prices and thus normalize taxation. after 1499.

let alone expansion. The changes that rendered crown finance more efficient were not undertaken in a spirit of altruism. This development may have been stimulated by a wish to keep up with expanding courts elsewhere in Europe as well as to extend and strengthen their political connections within their kingdoms. .232 SUSANNAH HUMBLE FERREIRA Índia allowed the court to directly draw upon the revenue and saleable goods coming from India. the monarchs of England and Portugal had faced great difficulty in paying the diets and wages of a household restricted in numbers— previous kings had difficulties achieving solvency. Yet in the century that preceded the reigns of Henry VII and Manuel I. Reforms affecting the financial administration in both England and Portugal at the turn of the sixteenth century were precipitated by the kings’ determination to expand the size of the royal household. nor were legal reforms and the standardization of weights and measures seen in both kingdoms for the benefit of the kings’ subjects alone and the self interest of the two monarchs is evident in the spoils raked in by their tax collectors. The ability of the kings to enlarge their households depended on their ability to channel money into the hands of the Treasurers of their household and many of the major reforms undertaken in these reigns were designed to do just this.

King.” Past and Present 22 (1962). 11-32. Government. civilisations 20 (1965): 788-91. M. D. see especially Edward Miller. Sherborne. M. M. Sherborne.” Annales: Économies. See also a review of the debate in Philippe Contamine. “The Hundred Years War: The English Navy: Shipping and Manpower.. the Economy.” in Essays on Medieval Agriculture and General Problems of the Medieval Economy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Taxation. The English Peasantry and the Demands of the Crown. and Social Change: England and the Hundred Years’ War. B. Coleman and A. J. 49-62. 1981). M. 1976). from A.” Bulletin of the . Bridbury. “Some Social Consequences of the Hundred Years’ War.” in War and Economic Development: Essays in Memory of David Joslin. first published in Economic History Review. H. ed. John (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. J. McFarlane. 63-86. J. sociétés. B. R. Bridbury’s argument that there was nothing special about the Hundred Years War in a society in which war was a constant factor. Postan published a negative view and K.” in Trade. 1973). J. 1. Parliament. with discussion on 13-18. Postan. R. first published in Past and Present. 1st ser. Harriss. R. McFarlane. and Economy in Pre-Industrial England: Essays Presented to F. L. England in the Fifteenth Century: Collected Essays (London: Hambledon Press. W. 163-75. J.” in Essays on Medieval Agriculture. Maddicott. 2 A. “War. Winter (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. G. and Public Finance in Medieval England to 1369 (Oxford: Clarendon Press. B. “The Hundred Years’ War: Costs and Profits. For discussions of the impact of war taxation.1 The debate has since developed many strands. McFarlane a more positive assessment of the impact of the war on the English economy.” Past and Present 37 (1967). 1975). “The Costs of the Hundred Years’ War. Postan. 1975). 12 (1942): 1-12. C.WARFARE. W. Oxford. reprinted in K. “War. M. 3-13. SHIPPING. “Le coût de la Guerre de Cent Ans en Angleterre. 34-53. M. 1294-1341 (Past and Present Supplement no. and the English Economy in the Late Thirteenth and Early Fourteenth Centuries. 27 (1964). and see also. ed. 1975). no. 80-95.2 Other scholars have focused on the costs and bene1 K. AND CROWN PATRONAGE: THE IMPACT OF THE HUNDRED YEARS WAR ON THE PORT TOWNS OF MEDIEVAL ENGLAND Maryanne Kowaleski The debate on the economic costs and social consequences of the Hundred Years War has been part of most economic history syllabi since the 1960s when M. Fisher. 139-50. “The Cost of English Warfare with France in the Later Fourteenth Century. to conflicting analyses of the impact of rising war taxation.

4 This essay concentrates on an overlooked but crucial part of the debate by exploring how the Anglo-French conflicts affected the shipping available in British port towns.” Vierteljahrschrift für Sozial. Christopher Allmand. Strayer. Kenneth Fowler (London: Macmillan. Rodger. 269-92. Simon Walker.” in Arms. Richmond. “A Business Partnership in War and Administration 1421-1445. 1971). Munro. W.” Transactions of the Royal Historical Society. 68. Sherborne.3 John Munro has made particularly valuable contributions to the debate by pointing out how the disruptive effects of warfare from the 1290s through 1340s contributed to an industrial transformation in the textile trades. D. 1290-1348. 5th series. 1290-c. F. 149-83. Although historians have long noted the devastating impact on ports of naval impressments. 1300-c. 1374. Ormrod. “The Domestic Response to the Hundred Years War.” English Historical Review 78 (1963): 290-316. Campbell (Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press. Armies and Fortifications. Maryanne Kowaleski. K. 4 J.” in Before the Black Death: Studies in the ‘Crisis’ of the Early Fourteenth Century. W.” in The Medieval City. ed. 1988).” Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research 58 (1985): 100-6. “The Costs and Profits of War: The Anglo-French Conflict of 1294-1303.” in Arms. M. Ormrod. for example. John Talbot and the War in France 1427-1453 (London: Humanities Press.5 no one has focused exclusively on port towns and few Institute of Historical Research 50 (1977): 135-50. J. W. Pollard. R. 7 (1957): 91-116. “The Crown and the English Economy. 1340: Economic Progress or Economic Crisis?” in Before the Black Death. Norton. H. B. ed. S. A. Miskimin. Udovitch (New Haven: Yale University Press. Shipping and Manpower. “English Navy. H. N. J. Armies and Fortifications in the Hundred Years War. “Port Towns: England and Wales 1300-1540.und Wirtschaftsgeschichte 88 (2001): 1-47. and K. 1450 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ed. “Profit and Loss in the Hundred Years War: The Subcontracts of Sir John Strother. 1977). 1997). Postan. L. 83-101.” in The Cambridge Urban History of Britain. “Industrial Transformations in the North-West European Textile Trades. 1991). “War at Sea. M. plunder. 122-23. 1983).” Michael Hughes. 121-43. 91-116. A.234 MARYANNE KOWALESKI fits—through ransom. A. and Transaction Costs. Anne Curry and Michael Hughes (Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer. . and the disruption of maritime trade routes during the Hundred Years War.” in The Hundred Years War. McFarlane. and the award of offices—to the aristocratic elite which led the war effort.” 64. coastal raids. B. c. “The Fourteenth-Century French Raids on Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. 88-9. 110-48. C. M. 3 For example. 1994). 5 See. McFarlane. “Costs of the Hundred Years War. The Safeguard of the Sea: A Naval History of Britain 660-1649 (New York: W. M. ed. See also his “The ‘New Institutional Economics’ and the Changing Fortunes of Fairs in Medieval and Early Modern Europe: The Textile Trades. Warfare. 96-121. A. B. “The Investment of Sir John Fastolf’s Profits of War. ed. The Hundred Years War: England and France at War c. Herlihy. particularly during the fourteenth century. privateering.

moreover. and Timothy Runyan. When the English kings needed ships to transport troops and supplies.” unpublished paper given at the 38th International Congress on Medieval Studies. W. 6 Maryanne Kowaleski. The entrepreneurial merchants. 1: 469-70. and up the coast to Cumbria). One was to call on the Cinque Ports. “Shipowners and Shipping in Medieval England. and mariners of English port towns sometimes found ways to profit from the War. Palliser (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Indeed. however. the value of ships probably outstripped all other forms of industrial investment in England during the middle ages. Other historians who have emphasized the negative costs of the Hundred Years War to the maritime sector include: H. . and Wales. M. Shipping and Manpower. “Ships and Mariners in Later Medieval England. 2000). J. MI. patrol the coast.” Journal of British Studies 16 (1977): 1-17. 1966). “English Navy. The Organization of War Under Edward III 1338-62 (Manchester: Manchester University Press. Sherborne. I want to query the uniformly negative view of the War’s impact on the maritime economy.WARFARE. Hewitt. is that the picture is not as unrelievedly grim as naval and economic historians have claimed. particularly in the western ports (those from Hampshire westwards. SHIPPING. But the Cinque Ports were rarely able to fulfill this quota by the fourteenth century because of the silting of their ports and war-time interruptions of the maritime trade on which their D. as I have argued elsewhere.” see also his “The Battle of La Rochelle and the War at Sea. although it represented the chief form of capital investment in port towns. more likely to address their petitions. who has argued—as part of the Past and Present debate between McFarlane and Postan—that coastal areas suffered from shouldering a greater proportion of the costs of war than inland regions. they had three options. a confederation of south-eastern port towns which owed 57 manned ships for two weeks of service a year in return for a number of privileges and tax exemptions. 1372-5. AND CROWN PATRONAGE 235 have discussed shipping.7 What I would like to suggest here. The essential contributions of the port towns to the war effort.6 In focusing on shipping and port towns. a view which has been promulgated by historians such as J.” Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research 47 (1969): 17-29. 7 Sherborne. Kalamazoo. and inclined to reward them with charters and other privileges. 473. Cornwall. around Devon. made the Crown increasingly open to their interests. 2003. shipowners. or engage the enemy at sea.

243. moreover. which had to be specially outfitted with sterncastles and topcastles for war-time service. Timothy J. for example. the king’s ships never represented more than 4 per cent of the fleets employed in the fourteenth-century naval campaigns. E. 206-16. By the late 1340s the constant impressment of merchant vessels was provoking bitter complaints from port towns.8 A second option was for kings to build or purchase ships of their own.” History 49 (1964): 285-7. 12 For example: McKisack.” in Essays in Maritime History. or with hurdles and gangways if they were to transport horses. ed. N. 11 Many of the accounts survive. For a similar sale to settle Edward III’s debts. The Constitutional History of the Cinque Ports (Manchester: Manchester University Press. To impress these merchant ships for naval duty. In fact. Safeguard. or diverted to another port to pick up goods or troops for a period of weeks or even months at a time.” English Historical Review 110 (1996): 636-51.10 The third and most commonly used option was to impress mercantile shipping into naval service. 1987). “The Naval Service of the Cinque Ports.12 Impressed ships could also be captured or destroyed and their crews held to ransom or killed.” 9. May McKisack. Runyan (Detroit: Wayne State University Press. Timothy J. The National Archives. 1935). royal officials traveled from port town to port town to supervise their arrest. 77. Organization. See also Rodger. 10 When Henry V died. Rodger. for example. see Colin Richmond. see Runyan. the superb fleet of some 40 ships that he had assembled was sold—on his order—to pay off his debts. The Fourteenth Century 1307-1399 (Oxford: Clarendon Press. 118. Fourteenth Century. Safeguard. 1959). 118-25. showing their routes and work at each port. Murray. “Ships and Mariners. 41/33. M. although this alternative was rarely pursued because of its enormous cost. were considered the kings’ personal property and could be sold or given away at any time. “The Organization of Royal Fleets in Medieval England. 244. see. 9 Rodger. “The Keeping of the Seas during the Hundred Years War: 1422-1440. M. Many of these cargo ships were cogs. forced to unload their goods before they reached their final destination. 53/39. Runyan. A. Hewitt. Public Record Office [hereafter PRO] E101/40/21. an activity which became much more frequent and onerous for shipowners from the 1290s on.11 Ships could be impressed before their voyage was completed. who pointed out the unreasonable burdens that shipowners were expected to bear since they received no compensation for their ships when on naval service and also lost 8 K. 44-9.9 These vessels.236 MARYANNE KOWALESKI economies relied. .

(CD-ROM. Rotuli Parliamentorum [hereafter Rot. See also Hewitt. Parl. 128-34. that the cash-strapped Edward III increasingly resorted to this practice. This experiment was enough of a success. Organization.M.]...S. vol.15 The Crown was even able to shift the costs of purpose-built barges and balingers (oared vessels especially suited to war at sea because of their maneuverability) to port towns by instructing them to build ships for the navy on five different occasions from 1294 to 1401. Martin. (London.14 From the Crown’s point of view. “Parliament of April 1379. The barge provided by Southampton. 1783-1832). AND CROWN PATRONAGE 237 out on the commercial freightage they could have earned. Organization. 2: 320. Rot. 136. 16 In 1294 the Crown ordered 30 towns to provide a total of 20 large galleys or barges. item 50. another 32 in 1377. in outright disobedience by shipmasters who either ignored the ship call or left naval service prematurely to take on a commercial cargo.S. “Navy.O. 2005) [hereafter PROME].” PROME.O. however. for newly edited texts and translations.. Calendar of Close Rolls [hereafter CCR] 1349-54 (London: H. at least 70 barges and balingers in 1373. ed. and victualling to port towns.M. “Parliament of April 1376. Ormrod. 1937).M. see W.. 72. III (London: H. Ormrod. 77. 89. they also acknowledge the Crown’s creative financing in transferring the costs of shipping. We know that at least eight of these vessels were constructed.48. H. M. 1905). the chief benefit of this reliance on mercantile shipping was its relatively low cost compared to what it would have to spend to build and maintain a permanent navy.. W. n.WARFARE. 14 For example: CCR 1343-46... “Parliament of November 1373.13 The dissatisfaction port towns felt about these naval burdens was evident in the slowness with which many met the king’s orders for ships.” PROME. crews. and an additional 54 in 1401. for instance. 14. Although naval historians—many with the model of the modern navy foremost in their minds—have for years lamented the inefficiency and slow response time of the medieval naval system. cost the town £246.16 Town revenues 13 Calendar of Inquisitions Miscellaneous [hereafter CIM].. 1906). 7 vols. Given-Wilson et al. Hewitt. Text and Translation. and by the mounting chorus of petitions from port towns and their residents regarding what they viewed as excessive and unfair burdens on their purse. ed. Calendar of Patent Rolls [hereafter CPR] 1348-50 (London: H. C. 346. ordering six barges in 1354. 15 Runyan. 550-1.” Rodger. 345. G. Leicester: Scholarly Editions. ]). items 133. SHIPPING.” The Parliament Rolls of Medieval England. 118-25. R. ed. while London’s two barges cost the city over £580 in a five-month period. at considerable expense to the port towns. “Parliament of February 1371. 83. “Ships and Mariners.S. Ormrod. . ed. Safeguard. ed.” PROME. no.O. 448.” (hereafter “Parliament of [ .. item 29.M. See also Sherborne. Parl. 3: 66. item 32. Shipping and Manpower. 2: 307.” 164-66.. See below.

port towns were forced to spend significant amounts to construct and maintain seaward defenses. 107-16. 998-9. Exeter City Archives. 3/ii. Receiver’s Accounts. for instance. the money came from a special rate assessed on the richer burgesses. Ian Friel. Miscellaneous Roll 6. m. 19 Margery K.” 469. Anderson. the barge that Exeter built in 1374-75 cost over £200 at a time when the town revenues were in the neighborhood of only £100-£120 a year. in 1377. A. 17 [for the special rate] and mm.R. 39. Tinniswood.D. 17 Devon Record Office [hereafter D. Safeguard.000 tuns a year by the end of the fourteenth century and even less by the mid-fifteenth century. In Exeter. 17a. but that amount fell to about 10.000 tuns of wine a year to England in the first decade of the fourteenth century. though Gascony was still in English hands.18 To counteract these threats. n.” Archaeologia aeliana. for instance. along with a smaller sum granted by the king from a tenth. For barges that Exeter was ordered to build for the king. Enemy coastal raids became a particular danger during the Hundred Years War.17 The War also cost the port towns in other ways. ed. and reinforced stone walls and towers. War-time disruption of overseas trade routes was also costly. “The ‘Newcastle’ Galley.]. R. 17. in 6 [hereafter Foedera]. 4th series.. . E. 238. such as chains strung along harbor entrances. “English Galleys. Veale (Oxford: Clarendon Press. Thomas Rymer. Studies in the Medieval Wine Trade. a cost it only grudgingly met.” Mariners’ Mirror 14 (1928). The lucrative annual voyage to Bordeaux to fetch wine.238 MARYANNE KOWALESKI were nowhere near enough to pay for these new ships. 4: 28. so port towns had to raise the money from their own citizens. and Frederick Holbrooke (London. 221. used to bring back some 20.1294. conventiones.16. et cujuscumque generis acta publica inter reges Angliae . “The Building of the Lyme Galley.. ed.. 220-41. Nonetheless.” Mariners’ Mirror 35 (1949): 276-315. 18 Kowaleski. 1816-69) 3 vols. T.” Proceedings of the Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society 108 (1986): 41-4. And a few years later. Whitwell. litterae. for this and the following. “English Galleys in 1295. M. Adam Clarke. 2 (1926): 142-96. 12941296. 41-3.O. see above.19 Shipowners also had to absorb the costs of armed convoy ships when they went to Gascony during J. “Port Towns. James. Exeter City Archives. 10. For the financial difficulties faced by other towns ordered to build similar barges. 1971). CCR 1399-1402. J. comp. Record Commission. The annual town accounts are in DRO. see also CPR 1354-58. 473-5. Foedera. C. Rodger.. 1272-1377. John Caley. 25-28 [for the building and repair accounts of the barge in 1374-75 and 1376-77]. the town was ordered to provide yet another barge. artillery fortifications. targeting ports from Scarborough to Haverfordwest in Wales.

1983). 1992).WARFARE. 1: 63. ed. 38. 125-33.” Stephen P. (London: Conway Press. Bryan Waites. by the fifteenth century.21 The picture painted here reflects the traditional. “Maritime History. Pederdy (Southampton: Southampton County Borough Council. 25-6. 5th series. particularly those in northern ports such as Newcastle. obviously enriched some merchants and shipowners. “Southampton as a Naval Centre. C. therefore. “The Port Towns of Fourteenth-Century Devon. . Studies in the Wine Trade. Ford. L. Oppenheim. “Flanders and the Hundred Years War: The Quest for the Trêve Marchande. 22 Rosemary Horrox. 37 (1959): 303-25. Barbara Carpenter Turner. ed. 92-3. J. 1958). The remainder of the essay. ed.23 South20 James.” in The Victoria History of the County of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. M. War profiteering. 15:2 (2003): 196-7. Fraser. Pistono. AND CROWN PATRONAGE 239 wartime. but I do not believe it tells the whole story. for example. 1926). Duffy et al. The capture of Calais increased traffic through Sandwich.” Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research 49 (1976): 185-97.” in Collected Essays on Southampton. ed. “Maritime History. 1414. as when 25 English ships returning from Brittany with cargoes of salt were attacked and either captured or burnt by a Spanish fleet. Carr Laughton. 29 (1979): 63-77. Maryanne Kowaleski.” International Journal of Maritime History.20 Piracy and privateering also took their toll during the tumultuous war years. 2: 247. Page (London: Constable.” Archaeologia Aeliana. and Scarborough which served as supply points during the Scottish wars. M. Hull. I accept this picture too. 1912). “The Medieval Ports and Trade of North-East Yorkshire.22 Other ports prospered when they served as embarkation ports for naval fleets. 21 Richmond. considers how the kings’ wars could also promote economic development and political empowerment. while Plymouth benefited from the more frequent expeditions to Brittany and Gascony. SHIPPING. The De La Poles of Hull (East Yorkshire Local History Society Series.” Transactions of the Royal Historical Society. “The Life and Death of John of Denton. C. Maryanne Kowaleski. B.1458. and. “Keeping of the Seas. W. “The Commercialization of the Sea Fisheries in Medieval England and Wales. 5: 360-8. 36-8. G. Some of these opportunities have been acknowledged by scholars. 4th series. J. The Black Prince’s Expedition of 1355-1357 (Manchester: Manchester University Press. 1961). Morgan and P. see M.” Mariner’s Mirror 63 (1977): 138. 9-27. 148-9. “Piracy or Policy: The Crisis in the Channel. no. Hewitt. especially when ships and their crews were forced to wait weeks until favorable winds or sufficient supplies arrived. H. J. 269.” in The Victoria History of the County of Kent. accepted view of the impact of warfare on late medieval shipping and the port towns’ economies.” in The New Maritime History of Devon. the costs of ‘wafting’: protective convoys for the Yarmouth fishing fleets. W. Page (London: Constable. 23 For this and the following. 1400-1403.

11. 1374 and 1376—as many as forty to fifty ports were ordered to each send one to four experienced mariners or men knowledgeable about shipping to advise the King’s Council at Westminster on nautical matters.” PROME. 27 Report on the Dignity of a Peer of the Realm (London. and mariners could make to strategic planning.. See also Nicholas Harris Nicolas. Keeper of the King’s Ships.” PROME. however.240 MARYANNE KOWALESKI ampton and Portsmouth became major naval bases. 526. Ormrod. 95. 39-67. Introduction. A History of the Royal Navy. 1342. 152.24 What has not been fully recognized. The kings’ growing reliance on shipping to carry out their territorial ambitions. 123. 2 vols. stimulated more recognition and appreciation of the contributions that shipowners. 1826). 4: Appendix. 1847). ed. as well as passage of a tax to provide for the safety of the sea. The Navy of the Lancastrian Kings: Accounts and Inventories of William Soper. v. 1995). 1982). The shipbuilding that the king ordered so many ports to undertake also provided employment and training for a body of skilled shipwrights. 1150. Shipbuilding and Technology in England 1200-1520 (London: British Museum Press. “Edward III: Parliament of January 1340.27 These specific calls to 39-47. shipmasters. 1422-1427 (Navy Records Society. 26 Rot. 82-3. Safeguard. 4. 24 Ian Friel. 25 CCR 1323-27.. 108. In 1326 the king’s admirals were ordered to bring two men from each port who were well informed about shipping to London to advise the king and his Council. 1369. in addition to channeling business to the merchants and shopkeepers who furnished naval supplies and victuals. (London: Richard Bentley. 1002. “Parliament of January 1340. 2/ii. 3/i. 880-1. 566. Susan Rose. 527. 539-40. 1341. going so far as to summon them to the so-called “Councils of Shipping” and “Naval Parliaments” in the mid and late fourteenth century. are some of the other ways that the Hundred Years War altered the profile of port towns on the national stage. 1347. homes to extensive shipbuilding enterprises for the royal fleet. 3/ii. 12. Part II. 2: 107. Foedera. 2: 74. Ormrod. Parl. 105-6. the Crown increasingly went out of its way to consult these shipping experts.26 And on eight other occasions in the middle decades of the fourteenth century—in 1336.. customs duties levied to help . 1344.25 In 1339 shipmasters and mariners were issued writs to appear in Parliament. 1193. for example. and their presence is reflected in agreements during the Parliament of 1340 to provide shipping to combat the French threat. and Rodger. 469-70. The Good Ship: Ships. M. W. Their ability to articulate maritime needs also prompted in 1347 the first grant of tonnage and poundage. Indeed. 124-5. ed. items 5.

Politics and Finance under Edward I (Totowa. 3: 86. item 47.28 Called “ton-tight”. War. passim. 212.. Given-Wilson. the rate for those joining the Gascon expedition was . knights and men-at-arms going overseas for wartime service had to pay shipowners to transport their horses. see Rodger.. it had been given to shipowners on an ad hoc basis from at least the late thirteenth century. ton-tight was back to 3s 4d per ton for every three months of service by the reign of Henry V. item 31. but it rose again in subsequent years and some form of monetary payment to shipowners became a regular feature of most naval impressments from this time forward. Add. 125.. SHIPPING. 29 For example.WARFARE. item 27. PRO. for instance. from the late fourteenth century on. Safeguard. Parl. 1983). Ms. of recording the tonnage of each ship impressed for service. GivenWilson. See also Michael Prestwich. “Parliament of March 1416. this compensation was paid at the rate of 3s 4d per ton for each three-month period of service. ed.” PROME. in many cases.29 By at least 1338. The allowance fell to 2s per ton when the grant was renewed in 1385. AND CROWN PATRONAGE 241 include shipping experts in political deliberations at such a high level deserve more attention. shipowners negotiated for a rate of 7s per ton.. Henry S. 51 (1997): 73 n.19.” PROME. The Wardrobe Book of William de Norwell: 12 July to 27 May 1340 (Brussels: Palais des Académies. Chris Given-Wilson. 7966a. ed. Mary Lyon. In 1358. 4: 79. fols. not least because of the influence they must have exerted in the flood of parliamentary petitions and decisions concerning shipping and the navy during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Parl. An allowance for wear and tear on the masts of ships pressed into naval service was made available in 1378. the shipowner (who would have received the ton-tight payment) is also noted.. 482-83. “Parliament of October 1385. n. 28 Rot. In 1301.. “Parliament of October 1416. Lucas. 145. 102-3. eds. shipowners were receiving 1s a ton per month. Bryce Lyon.” Handelingen der Maatschappij voor geschiedenis en Oudheidkunde te Gent.Wilson. and in 1380 shipowners were finally granted regular compensation for the impressments of their ships. at the rate of 6s 8d per horse. “The Infrastructure and Purpose of an English Medieval Fleet in the First Phase of the Hundred Years War (1338-1340). Although 1380 was the first time that ton-tight was made a regular payment. a sum closer to commercial freightage.s. The growing political clout of the shipping industry is evident in the Crown’s more positive responses to shipowners’ grievances from the mid-fourteenth century on.” PROME. The regularity of ton-tight payments is also evident in the practice. ed. 1972). ed.” PROME. Given. E101/48/15. Rot. 104. New Jersey: Rowman and Littlefield. item 28.. British Library. “Parliament of January 1380. By the 1480s. moreover. 130-31.30 Further concespay for the ships involved in the siege of Calais that year. CCR 1296-1302. 30 Bryce Lyon.

item 11..” PROME. “Parliament of January 1377.” PROME. “Parliament of January 1489. 534-5. Ormrod. 372-3. 2: 345-6..” PROME. ed. ed. ed. A. “Parliament of October 1399. 55. 3: 120.. Parl. note. ed. 94. 120. “Parliament of November 1391. “Parliament of November 1381.” PROME. Organization.242 MARYANNE KOWALESKI sions included more substantial reimbursement for the war-time loss of impressed ships (although this did not always happen). “Parliament of October 1435. idem. “Parliament of November 1380. The shipowners’ lobby was also probably behind parliamentary legislation forbidding confiscation of a ship when it carried uncustomed merchandise. R. item 39. Curry. but also increased in scope as they continued into the reign of Henry VII. 5: 27. ed.” English Historical Review 24 (1909): 675-97. 5: 504. (London: Record Commission. ed. and exempting ships from being forfeited as deodand when a mariner fell out and drowned. GivenWilson. 4: 12.” PROME.31 Starting in 1381 there was also a big push to restrict the transport of English-owned imports and exports to English ships because the increased business. Horrox. item. Ormrod. item 50. 296. 29.. “Early Prize Jurisdiction and Prize Law in England. “Ships and Mariners. Anne Curry.” PROME. which met with some initial success. 11 vols. “Parliament of October 1399. 31 Hewitt. “Parliament of January 1442. “Parliament of November 1439. ed. II.33 Other parliamentary petitions put forward by shipowners included release from responsibility for the misdeeds of their mariners (which could result in the forfeiture of the ship) and continual complaints about the misuse of safe-conducts by foreign shippers. ed... . Curry.34 Lower down the social ladder.. item 73. Given-Wilson. Parl. Given-Wilson.” PROME... 52. item 107. Runyan. 444. Foedera. R.” PROME. ed. would strengthen the merchant fleet on which the king relied for naval service. 412..” PROME. eds. G. Statutes of the Realm.. Parl. Given-Wilson. ed. Horrox...32 These petitions not only prompted statute legislation. “Parliament of April 1463. 89. 278.. 3/i. “Parliament of November 1381. is particularly noteworthy. ed. 1810-28). item 35. item 18. Luders et al. Given-Wilson. 52-3. E. Given-Wilson.. item 33. 26. items 44.” PROME. “Parliament of November 1390. items 18. 33 The continual stream of petitions to outlaw deodand. ed. shipmasters also appear as a noble (6s 8d) for two horses. 492.” PROME. 6: 437.” 11-3. item 107.” PROME. “Parliament of April 1376.. “Parliament of May 1413. 32 For this and the following. item 152. Marsden. the petitioners stated.” PROME.” PROME. the latter petition prompted the king to sanction a procedure to deal with captured ships. ed..” PROME. see Rot.. item 153. 34 Rot. and explicit instructions reserving a portion of plunder taken at sea to shipowners. see Rot. ed.. 3: 444. 26. Given-Wilson. item 133.

ed. 7. 54/4. and Maryanne Kowaleski..” PROME. 1970). 3: 17. PRO. 2: 287. 19 Edward I-Henry VIII. port towns were also specifically exempted from subsidies and other taxes.39 By the 1370s. 26. 36 This bonus was recorded in naval accounts from 1387 through at least 1450. 319-20.” in Simonetta Cavaciocchi. Ormrod. secc. were paid by the voyage. AND CROWN PATRONAGE 243 petitioners. 1: 405. ed. “Parliament of October 1377. Rotuli Scotiae in Turri Londinensi et in domo Capitulari Wesmonasteriensi asservati. 29. m. Istituto internazionale di storia economica F. Ricchezza del mare.” PROME. ed. 2 vols.. 238-40. 11-15 aprile 2005. item 52. ed. E101/40/36. 1: 211. 44. successfully protesting the delay of wages when pressed into naval service and the seizure of ships for minor customs infractions. Safeguard.WARFARE. 33. G. ed. 123. in contrast. “Parliament of October 1378. 37 (Florence: Le Monnier. 1871). 41/33.. The Crown.. (London: Record Commission. CPR 1288-96.. C47/2/63/2. C47/22/9135. while port towns were regularly being released from contributing to ‘land service’ by the early fourteenth century. 182. 48/15. PRO. see Travers Twiss. 57. items 28. “ PROME. 2:. 2. See also Rodger. 54/10. H. 40 Rot Parl.. . ed.36 Port towns also began to receive some relief from the burdensome costs of ship impressments. Prato. 53/12. 1: 138-42. “Parliament of January 1365. 39 For example. Ormrod. Macpherson et al. Ormrod. Parl. Datini. 1296-1302. Parl. Town Defences in England and Wales: An Architectural and Documentary Study AD 900-1500 (London: John Baker. “Parliament of January 1348. 172. item 59.. began to group seaports together administratively so that they shared the expense of providing ships and men. Mariners on trading vessels. 52. 42. no. 37 For example. SHIPPING. 51. 497-8. Rot. 1399-1402. 38 Hilary L. “Working at Sea: Maritime Recruitment and Remuneration in Medieval England. item 26.40 In exchange for particularly meritorious 35 Rot. items 38. Atti delle Settimane di studi e altri convegni. towns that had built barges for the navy were allowed confirmation of their franchises free of charge... for example. D. Monumenta Juridica: The Black Book of the Admiralty (London: Rolls Series. 39. Martin. XIII-XVIII: atti della “trentasettima Settimana di studi”. ed. Richezza dal mare.35 Common mariners also reaped benefits.” PROME. Turner. see. for example. although the king would not promise to compensate them for all the ship’s equipment that might be damaged during naval service. 18141819). CCR 1377-81. CPR 1413-16. 55. forthcoming).. serie 2. “Parliament of November 1373. including bonuses (called ‘regards’) of 6d per week which was added to their regular pay of 3d per day. PRO.38 To compensate for the cost of outfitting and victualling ships for naval service.37 The costs of strengthening seaward defenses were defrayed by murage grants.” PROME. Martin. 53/25.

Crispin Gill.” PROME. Appendix.. 155. 83-4. (London: H. to help citizens guard against enemy incursions.. 309-10. Parl. Hilary recorda. m. Plymouth. “Parliament of November 1381.. as the town did in a successful petition against a corrupt royal customs official in 1396. tiny Dartmouth was granted its own coroner and in 1463 the borough was allowed to absorb its suburb. Dartmouth (Devonshire Association Parochial Histories of Devonshire.” item 107. The tin monopoly was annulled in 1391 as inconvenient for merchants. 275. Plympton Priory. ed. Given-Wilson. CPR 1461-67. “Parliament of November 1411. when it received a charter granting it self-government after a long struggle with the town’s manorial lord. Parl. 92-7.S. Dartmouth’s neighbor to the south. 43 Statutes of the Realm.. Dartmouth.45 Not so long afterwards.” no. 1935).244 MARYANNE KOWALESKI service.” PROME. Plymouth City Charters 1439-1935: A Catalogue (Plymouth: Plymouth City Council. 5.M. ed. and a charter of liberties—including the right to elect a mayor—in 1341 in consideration of “the great expense and loss they have suffered by reason of the war” and also for providing two large war ships with a double crew for the king. 1966). 37-9.. “Parliament of April 1463. 32.” PROME. Given-Wilson. Plymouth was also incorporated. being named in 1384 as one of the places where passports to depart the realm were available and in 1389 as one of two seaports sanctioned for the departure of pilgrims to Santiago de Compostella. ed.. 3: 295-6.. 82. no. some seaports received entirely new privileges. 338-9. 2: 68. ed.”42 In 1393. E159/172. “Parliament of November 1391. 1327-41. item 48. 3-4.41 In 1390. item 40. ed. 1962). 45 For this and the following. E. item 48. 3: 662-3. Welch. See also C. Parl.43 Nor did Plymouth hesitate to remind the king of its wartime services to him. 41 .. see Rot. 44 PRO. the first town in Devon to do so. Watkin. 338. Plymouth: A New History (Newton Abbot: David and Charles. 5. 5: 9.” PROME. 5-16. 6 vols. 18-22. for example.. Given-Wilson. Rot. “Parliament of January 1390. “Parliament of November 1439.O.. Given-Wilson. 42 See for this and the following: CPR 1388-92. ed. 389. CPR 1461-67. Rot. 555-61. 307. 3: 120.. Southtown. Curry. ed. Horrox. Hugh R. and therewith has wrought great havoc on the king’s enemies. was granted freedom from tolls throughout the realm in 1337. 1903-27).44 The culmination of Plymouth’s rewards came in 1439. items 20. 1341-1417. also benefited from its naval contributions. 18. Calendar of Charter Rolls. Dartmouth was given a monopoly on the export of tin for three years because it “above other places in the realm has long been and still is strong in shipping.

see Gill. 47 A. vol. Carpenter Turner. Rose. first of all.” 39-47. 72-5. Maryanne Kowaleski. Laughton.46 In 1337.WARFARE. and repair facilities. which also controlled Fowey Water. “Introduction. but their ability to meet these obligations arose in large part from deliberate Crown patronage. 44. a crucial trigger that helped to stimulate their shipping and maritime economies.” The Haveners’ Accounts of the Earldom and Duchy of Cornwall. and Southampton. 46 . Indeed. where royal investment in shipbuilding and storehouses is well-known. SHIPPING. chief among them Portsmouth. 2001). which rose from just under 40 per cent of English ships at the beginning of the War to 54 per cent by the end of the War (Table 1). the Crown transferred its rights over these two strategic harbors to the newly-created Duchy of Cornwall. Plymouth. AND CROWN PATRONAGE 245 The advantages that accrued to Dartmouth and Plymouth in the fourteenth century were due mostly to their naval contributions. the Crown had completed a process begun decades earlier to consolidate control over the two fine. “Maritime History. Lostwithiel. Temple Patterson. where English commercial and military interests were expanding at this time. 26-30. 1976). n. and wine fleets.. Navy of the Lancastrian King. clearly encouraged the use of these ports as embarkation points for troops and supplies. led by the Black Prince and closely linked to the Crown. Other western ports also benefited from royal investment in the navy during the fifteenth century.s. deep harbors of Dartmouth Water and Sutton Pool in Plymouth. This vitality in the region’s shipping sector was evident. dry docks.” 364-73. Portsmouth: A History (Bradford-on-Avon: Moonraker Press.47 Crown patronage of these western ports was. which lies at the mouth of the river leading up to the administrative capital of the Duchy. Thus the Duchy of Cornwall. Crown patronage. One reflection of this stimulus was the progressively larger share of shipping these western ports were able to provide. a remarkable achievement when we consider that it ranked around For this and the following. 5-11. Dartmouth alone provided more ships for the war effort than any other single port in England. as well as the location of these harbors on the best shipping lanes to Gascony and Iberia. pilgrims. where the Crown spent large sums on seawards fortification. ed.. in its contributions to naval impressments. I argue. came to control three choice harbors on the southwestern coast. 65-7. “Southampton as a Naval Centre. 1287-1356 (Devon and Cornwall Record Society. Shortly before the Hundred Years War began.



PRO E101/555/8. Note that probably fewer than eight of the 20 ordered in 1294 were built. see CPR 1350-54. 1931). 25-28 (work on the Exeter barge). 1377-81. Roll 6. Barbara W. PRO E101/41/2.R. however. 145-64. 49 Dorothy Burwash. that the shipping and trade of the smaller ports of Norfolk and Suffolk fared better than the larger head ports of eastern England. 46-7. 17. n. 1947). Exeter City Archives.S. There is some evidence. 114. CPR 1350-4. Misc. Ships from the western ports were also responsible for almost 70 per cent of the late medieval pilgrim transports to St James of Compostela. The Maritime Trade of the East Anglian Ports 1550-1590 (Oxford: Clarendon Press. Carpenter-Turner. Valentine and Falconer at Southampton. may well have stimulated shipbuilding in these counties. in 1294. “The Building of the Gracedieu. 13 (1961): 327-41.O. 238-40.. and probably none of those ordered in 1401 were ever constructed. 1988). 43-4. Part II. J. 50 From the 1350s through 1380s. 120.49 How were the western ports able to increase so substantially their share of the nation’s shipping? The Crown’s constant need for ships. Register of Edward the Black Prince (London: H. 1354-8. B. Safeguard. 32-3. Dartmouth. D. 48 . 386. 221. fully half of the 54 orders were directed towards these ports.248 MARYANNE KOWALESKI 88th in total wealth in 1334 and its population in 1377 was only about 1200. 55.. mm. M. the western ports were capturing a larger share of overseas trade and competed more successfully against foreign carriers than did vessels of the eastern ports. and Plymouth all funded the building of new barges or the fortifying of old ships in response to the government’s needs. and above. CCR 1377-81. The Crown’s recognition of the westwards expansion of shipping is also evident in the regional distribution of the orders it placed for the construction of barges and balingers for naval service. 1385-89. 150. only 24 per cent of the 21 barges ordered were from the western port towns. 80.O. 474. J. particularly its orders for port towns to construct barges at their own cost for naval service. See also Rodger.51 And the fact that more barges and balingers (oared sailing Foedera. C. Plymouth. English Merchant Shipping 1460-1540 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press.48 There was a similar rise in the western ports’ visibility on the valuable wine route to Bordeaux. Exeter. CCR 1399-1402. but by 1401. 428. where their share of British shipping rose from around 45 to 73 per cent between the early fourteenth and mid-fifteenth centuries. see Geoffrey V. Dawes. 386. 298. 51-2.50 Devon’s reputation for shipbuilding was certainly well known.16. And studies by Dorothy Burwash indicate that by the fifteenth century. 57. Williams. 181-2.M.” Economic History Review.. “English Merchant Shipping at the End of the Middle Ages: Some East Coast Evidence. Gill. Scammel. 51 PRO E101/555/8. 2nd series. 4: 28. ed. N.

and 22 from Devon). The mizen probably carried a lateen sail. 190-200.WARFARE. especially Dartmouth. AND CROWN PATRONAGE 249 vessels whose speed and maneuverability made them particularly desirable during wartime) were active in western ports. 120-3. Spinaces were oared and decked sailing vessels. 128-31. suggesting a trend of innovation that may originally have been fostered a hundred years earlier.53 Funding for these ships came from a variety of sources. Sherborne. Ian Friel. see also Wendy R. There was also considerable shipbuilding in Southampton Water (above. Carvels were light.” Mariner’s Mirror.” in A New Maritime History of Devon. the mercantile shipping capacity of the western ports. as indicated both by the rise of the western ports’ share of the important carrying trade of Bordeaux wine and by their significantly greater profile in the transport of pilgrims to Compostela (Table 1). particularly those of Dartmouth and Plymouth was clearly growing relative to capacity in eastern ports. it must be significant that three new types of boats—the crayer. 65.” Mariner’s Mirror. Merchant Shipping. W. 53 Burwash. 40 (1954). . each supplied with a yard. also suggests that West Country shipping was sparked in part by Crown needs during the Hundred Years War. 125-6. for the names of West Country shipwrights who were fined for refusing to go to Southampton to work on the king’s ship. 54 On this point. For two masts and other gear shipped from Dartmouth to Greenwich in 1396. J.44) and Bristol. a “musyn” and a “fukke”. Sherborne. SHIPPING. swift ships (with hulls presumably carvel-built). Merchant Shipping. including first and foremost. The Port of Bristol in the Middle Ages (Bristol Branch of the Historical Association. Local History Pamphlets. 11 Cornishmen. During the period of the Hundred Years War. “English Barges and Balingers of the Late Fourteenth Century. see J. a main. 1965). Crayers usually carried three masts and set a bonnet on both fore and mainsails. a small craft with comparatively elaborate sail. W.54 The passenger trade involved in pilgrim transport was capable of turning a tidy profit since the whole voyage took only three to four weeks and 1416-1420. 1600. see PRO. “Devon Shipping from the Middle Ages to c. see PRO E122/40/21. 52 Burwash. Childs. C47/2/49/14 (7 from Bristol. and carvels. commercial freightage. n. spinace. 63 (1977): 109-14. 83 (1997): 272-92. 74. Grace Dieu.” Mariner’s Mirror. 112-5. “The Commercial Shipping of South-Western England in the Late 15th Century. another oared but also decked sailing vessel. speedy and highly maneuverable vessels that may have been influenced by the Portuguese caravel—were also found in significantly greater numbers in the western than eastern ports in the late fifteenth century. 107-8. 17. with three masts.52 Indeed.

” English Historical Review 90 (1975): 322-30. 58 George Warner. Kingsford and others emphasize the Crown’s helplessness. eastern. Privateer.” Economic History Review.” Transactions of the Devonshire Association 110 (1979): 145-63.250 MARYANNE KOWALESKI shipowners could earn about £30 for taking 80 passengers.” in Prejudice and Promise in Fifteenth-Century England (Oxford: Oxford University Press. “Commercial Shipping. 78-106. 78. Also significant as a spur to investment in shipping was the rising prosperity of West Country agriculture and the growth of overseas trade in the region (especially the profitable export of cloth and tin) over the course of the late middle ages—in contrast to the “depression” which hit so many areas of northern. 1925). and southern England. “Port Towns of Fourteenth-Century Devon. specifically cited Dartmouth. “The Expansion of the South-western Fisheries in Late Medieval England.” 56 Kowaleski. Devon and Cornish men took such a leading role in privateering57 that the Libelle of Englyshe Polycye. Plymouth and Fowey men for their effective harassment of foreign shipping in the English Channel. see also Childs. Charles Kingsford. Pistono. The cost from Plymouth was probably slightly less since the voyage was shorter.” 476-87. “Henry IV and John Hawley. indicating a charge of 7s 6d per passenger.. Libelle of Englyshe Polycye: A Poem on the Use of Sea- .55 The vigor of the carrying trade in the ports of Devon and Cornwall. which together accounted for almost one-half of all voyages to St James of Compostela from 1390 to 1484 and almost one-half of all wine voyages to England from Bordeaux by the mid fifteenth century is especially notable (Table 1).g.58 55 The only recorded charge is in 1473. ed. a 1436 tract arguing for the economic and political advantages that England could accrue by exercising control of the seas. “Port Towns. 177-203. “Piracy or Policy.. “West Country Piracy: The School of English Seamen. “Henry IV and the English Privateers. Pistono. view periods of rampant “piracy” as government policy to weaken the French. see CPR 1476-85. Stephen P. Ford.” The point of disagreement usually revolves around the degree of control the government could exercise over lawlessness at sea. Stephen P. Maryanne Kowaleski. For this and the following. 1399-1408. J. Pistono. 57 E. a “low cost” solution to the king’s dilemma on how to fund a viable navy. 53 (2000): 420-54.” Kowaleski. for a London ship of 320 tons taking 400 pilgrims for 225 marks (£150). As C.56 Substantial funding may have also come from the spoils of war via privateering and piracy. the Crown increasingly pursued a deliberate policy of licensing shipowners and shipmasters in the early fifteenth century to defend English interests by giving them free reign to attack enemy shipping. Ford has argued. while Ford and to some extent.

A truce intervened.. serving as mayor of Dartmouth fourteen times. Their effectiveness can also be seen in the petitions of their victims. . Dartmouth. 121. and piracy was William Smale. and acquiring immense amounts of real estate in the Southwest. in paying £500 cash up front to farm the customs of tonnage and poundage in the whole country. 1436 (Oxford: Clarendon Press. ed. who in 1379 was commissioned. Often thought to be the model for Chaucer’s Shipman. 120. SHIPPING. 22. both as a shipowner whose vessels were impressed for service. Exeter Port Customs Accounts. C47/6/4. Gardiner. 111-12.WARFARE. CPR 1358-61. Dawes. 2: 84. III. 115. 12. AND CROWN PATRONAGE 251 An early example of the profitable merger of interests in naval service. 584-5.60 Although accused of irregularities on many occasions. A Calendar of Early Chancery Proceedings Relating to West Country Shipping 1388-1493 (Devon and Cornwall Record Society. ed. n. 59 CCR 1343-6. 1349/50-1360/1. power. “John Hawley of Dartmouth. 1976). “Hawley. Hawley prospered as the owner of no fewer than 15 ships. “Roches contre Hawley: la cour anglaise de chevalerie et un cas de piraterie à Brest. Pistono. he was also personally involved in naval service. 87. 1926). they were diverted into piracy and profited from the capture of Flemish cargoes worth over £2000. 60 For this and the following.. Dartmouth. to set out with a fleet of seven vessels against the King’s enemies for a period of one year. Smale was also accused of plundering a ship in Dartmouth harbor in 1343. 183. threw its mariners into the sea and absconded with the ship and its rich cargo of wine and other goods. he had no difficulty. 141. Michael Jones.. ed.” PRO. D. 27. CPR 1343-45. and without the means to pay the crew or the costs of the squadron. for instance. 21. privateering. 100-1. Watkin.s. CCR 1360-4. CIM. Mayor in 1346. 1386-1402.” Transactions of the Devonshire Association 98 (1966): 173-205. holding various royal appointments in Devon..R. 271. 106.. on whose behalf he assembled fifteen Devon and Cornish ships (seven from Dartmouth) for the king in 1360. with two fellow burgesses. see Dorothy Gardiner. and in his capacity as lieutenant of Lord Guy de Brien. see Dorothy A. “ Mémoires de la société d’histoire et de l’archéologie de Bretagne. admiral of the West. however. 4. the carrying trade. 64 (1987): 53-64 . Hawley’s activities made him tremendously wealthy. a Dartmouth merchant/shipowner active from the 1330s. and the relevant documents in Watkin. and several years later two of his ships were part of a private squadron of 13 vessels that pirated a Spanish ship. vol. Register of the Black Prince.O.59 An even more notorious example is John Hawley of Dartmouth. 150-1.

and receivers of pirated goods. that the vessels most often associated with piracy— carvels in particular.56 who cites a M. and Kingsford. “West Country Piracy.61 In 1449. 61 . 23d. 64 Burwash. “West Country Piracy. Safeguard. 120-3. 1327-1485 (London: Eyre & Spotiswoode.63 It is surely no coincidence. 1992). The Storey of Fowey (1950. A. Merchant Shipping. Exeter Mayor’s Court Rolls. 7. Balingers and barges were associated with ports like Dartmouth from the fourteenth century on. English Historical Documents. Arundells. see A.65 From Poole comes the notorious Henry Pay. 75-6.64 And it was the ports where the shipping trade had developed most precociously—Fowey. L. 125-6. Thomson.. whose Gardiner (West Country Shipping.” Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research 45 (1972): 233. n. as shipowners. F. “Devon Privateering from Early Times to 1688.O. reprint Redruth: Dyllansow Truran. John brought the ship and its rich cargo back to Fowey. 1404/5. 313. 63 Kingsford. 128-31.” in The Little Land of Cornwall (Gloucester. the significant profits to be gained from privateering and plunder encouraged the emergence of a more organized and businesslike approach to these activities. R. reprint Redruth: Dyllansow Truran. 178-90. and under color of their county offices. “The Turbulent Career of Sir Henry Bodrugan. see also J. 1990).252 MARYANNE KOWALESKI By the fifteenth century. mm. “The Courtenay Family in the Yorkist Period. From Fowey come Cornish privateerpirates such Mark and John Mixtow.” in A New Maritime History of Devon. “Port Towns. 523. L. Rowse. J. moreover. 1986. Redruth: Dyllansow Truran. and even the Courtenays (whose head was the earl of Devon) also collected the profits of piracy. see also Kowaleski. Dartmouth. xvi-xvii) cites evidence on this point. Litt.” passim. D. A. Bodrugans. whose targets included a Genoese carrack off the coast of Portugal. Myers. 259.” A. see for example. 1941. See also Rodger. Appleby.62 Prominent gentry from such West Country families as the Trevelyans. CIM. carvels appear in the mid-fifteenth century. 1969). Tudor Cornwall: Portrait of a Society (London. 1987). and Poole in particular—that were at the forefront of the privateering and piracy that was so prevalent in the late medieval ports of western England. 24-33. IV. 28d. reprint. 90-2. but also barges and balingers. C. a privateering squadron led by Robert Wennington of Dartmouth captured over 100 ships in the Hanseatic salt fleet. which led to a lively trade in prisoners in several West Country ports. 62 For an account of the capture. investors. cavalierly putting its crew ashore in Portugal destitute. vol.” 491. vol.. Rowse. ed. 65 John Keast. Others profited from the ransoms they collected.R. because of their speed and maneuverability—were concentrated in the West Country ports. study of piracy 1450-1500 that found that 60% of known English pirates were barges or balingers.

in town defenses and quayside facilities.69 In other words. “Henry Pay: The Story of a Noted Poole Worthy. most of which were in service for just under one month.66 Although Smale.050. Kingsford. “Keeping of the Seas. Hawley. P. and in the training and employment of a whole range of maritime workers.” 149. 2 vols. We also need to consider the sheer amount of cash that the war effort siphoned to port towns.” Proceedings of the Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society 61 (1939): 89-93. the Mixtows. see Kowaleski. “English Navy: Shipping and Manpower.70 Few accounts survive of the legitimate distribution of these profits. their crews were also entitled to a share of the profits. Normandy. Brittany. or 23 per cent of the total spending on war. Gardiner.” 121. I hope this essay illustrates that it is worth considering the ways that the War stimulated investment in shipbuilding. which reduced the royal share of captured cargoes and ships to virtually nothing by the fifteenth century.WARFARE. 66 .” 66-7. naval costs accounted for over £246. “Early Prize Jurisdiction. 127. F. for instance. and Castile drew the attention of Spanish chroniclers. and the crews half of the spoils. Marsden. A. an incentive that must have drawn a wide variety of port-town residents into this shady but profitable maritime world. “West Country Piracy.” Richmond.325 were mariners) in 370 ships. from shipwrights and ropers to mariners and masters. See also Sherborne. the central government was transferring more money to port towns than it was taking away in the form of taxes. 1: 178-82. 67 For the variety of occupational backgrounds practiced by the mariners aboard ships of John Hawley accused of piracy. Less quantifiable is the impact of the increasingly favorable distribution of prize money. Smith." Law Quarterly Review 48 (1932): 521-46. (Poole: Looker. Matthews. “Infrastructure.67 Although it would be foolish to deny the very real damage that shipping and port towns suffered during the Hundred Years War. 1951). AND CROWN PATRONAGE 253 raids on Flanders. 70 D. when shipowners customarily received one-third.263 maritime workers (of whom 11.68 Edward III’s campaign to the Low Countries in 1338 included wage payments of almost £5. SHIPPING. W. Rodger.” 68 Sherborne. "The History of Belligerent Rights on the High Seas in the Fourteenth Century. “Working at Sea.000 to 12.” 69 Lyon. “Costs of English Warfare. between 1368 and 1381. The History of the Borough and County of the Town of Poole. and Pay as ship captains benefited most from these illegal and semi-legal activities at sea. but the proceedings of inquisitions into H.” 82-3. Safeguard. shipmasters one-sixth.

ed. and piratical activities of late medieval English mariners that provided the “school for seamen” and training for Britain’s later voyages of exploration and colonization to the New World. must be considered as a significant source of profit and investment. because it was the navigational experience and entrepreneurial spirit formed by the naval.254 MARYANNE KOWALESKI illegal privateering or piracy suggest very large profits indeed..71 Nor must we forget the bigger picture here. see Gardiner. which given the notoriety of the West Country seamen for these activities. Early Chancery Proceedings. privateering. For examples of illegal profits made by Devon pirates and privateers. 71 .


x x .

La servitude dans les pays de la Méditerranée Occidentale chrétienne au XIIe siècle et au-delà: déclinante ou renouvelée? Mélanges de l’École Française de Rome 112 (2000). the introduction to this volume by Monique Bourin and Paul Freedman is online at http://lamop. hereditary. in particular an onerous form of lordship. . and shameful attachment to a lord embodied in MEFRM2000.2 Did serfdom indeed rebound in Provence in the later Middle Ages. “Le nouveau servage en Provence au XIe-XIIIe siècles: absence ou rareté?” Mélanges de l’École Française de Rome 112 (2000): 911-1007. what was its relationship to the economic problems of the period? We should first clarify the vocabulary and language of serfdom. and if so.1 This reassessment comes in the context of a renewed interest in serfdom among French historians. Monastic sources attest to it widely for perhaps a century after 1050..” Conférence à Göttingen. “‘Nouveaux servages’ de l’Europe médiane et septentrionale (XIIIe-XVIe siècles). a victim of economic change and the pressures upon lordship created by the reconstruction of centralized authority in Provence. who have recently discovered that serfdom survived in areas where they thought it to have been abolished in the course of the thirteenth century. foremost of which were payment of a tallage and obligatory labor works or corvées. Monique Zerner suggests that this “bondage to land. 2 Monique Bourin. In the later Middle Ages. It fossilized in most areas into symbolic dues after 1200. Marc Bloch defined servitude as a personal.PEASANT SERVITUDE IN LATER MEDIEVAL PROVENCE: ARCHAISM OR INNOVATION? John Drendel Peasant servitude lasted only briefly as a generalized phenomenon in Provence. and restric- 1 Monique Zerner.pdf. ed. localized in a swath of villages astride the highlands of Provence.univ-paris1. 6-8 février 2003. we encounter mentions of serfdom. characterized by tenures burdened with heavy charges and restrictions upon inheritance. reviewed by Julien Demade. Histoire & Sociétés Rurales 19 (2003): 354-9. as sources become more abundant.” rather than being a declining artifact of an earlier age represented a revival of peasant servitude.

4 The period between 950 and 1120 is documented by the monastic cartularies of the great Provençal abbeys. This form of dependence was created by the land a peasant held.. 4 Georges Duby.R...N. Laurent Morelle. Robert-Henri Bautier and Janine Sornay. eds. Les sources de l’histoire économique et sociale du Moyen Âge: Provence.” in Pierre Petot.D. Unlike the north of Europe. 1993). and of dependents designated as servi in the period prior to 1000. particulièrement en France.S. Comtat Venaissin. but with an important difference. “L’Élaboration du grand cartulaire de Saint-Victor de Marseille. ed. Mélanges Historiques (Paris: Sevpen. usually in the form of onerous fines. 121 du C. and notarial and communal records from the countryside allow us to pick up the thread again in the late thirteenth century. beginning in 1252. against marriage among peasants of different lords. and Michel Parisse. 5 Monique Zerner. Montmajour and the episcopal cartulary of Apt. Dauphiné. contribution à une étude des classes. the term “slave” refers to human chattels under Roman law. rather than by inheritance of a personal tie. “Liberté et servitude personelle au Moyen Age.R. 1: 286-91. Victor of Marseille.5 The lacunae of documentation between Marc Bloch. 141-46. the term “real servitude” or “bondage to land” describes an onerous and degrading status in later medieval Provence not unlike serfdom. serfdom and bondage as synonyms referring to dependent status as Bloch defined it. St. Savoie (Paris: CNRS. leaving a hiatus of a century before the enquêtes of the Angevin counts. Mémoires et Documents de l’École des Chartes (Paris: École des Chartes. the most important limited the right to possess property and to marry. by virtue of mainmorte. Études d’histoire du droit privé offertes à Pierre Petot (Paris: Librairie Générale de Droit et de Jurisprudence. alleutiers in French.” in Olivier Guyotjeannin. 1959). Pons. in theory a peasant who renounced his holdings no longer endured the servitudes they imposed. while formariage imposed barriers. Lérins. 1972-1974). In what follows. 3 . Most of these sources peter out before the middle of the twelfth century. Actes de la Table Ronde Organisée par l’École Nationale des Chartes et le G. records of seigneurial administration are not numerous in any period. 1963).3 Among the latter.” in Marc Bloch. the lord inherited part or all of the real or movable goods of his serfs.258 JOHN DRENDEL tions upon personal freedom. “freeholders” refers to peasants possessed of non-dependent allods. Sources for the study of dependency in Provence are skewed towards the end of the Middle Ages. I use the terms servitude. St. 217-46. “Note sur les corvées dans les Alpes du sud en 1338. Les Cartulaires.

in 812/13. 10 Paul-Albert Février. These Provençal manors at least did not have the bipartite structure of estates in Northern Francia. but the records which survived in the period following 1250 describe its remnants and perhaps its sequels. 88. the economic and social status of these dependents improved. La Provence et la société féodale 879-1166. the Bishop of Marseille’s enumeration of his lands and dependents mentions no freedmen or demesne slaves at all. Provence did experience considerable domestic warfare and suffered incursions by Islamic raiders in the period 870-972 which may have contributed to breaking the “nexus between peasants and land. 92. rector of the Tarentais. Beginning in the late tenth century. without assistance from the families of diverse status which held individual properties.6 The disappearance of public jurisdiction allowed local lords to treat the bodies and lands of free peasants as no different from those of their slaves. Servi cultivated the Provençal demesnes which Abbo. La Provence. 7 Jean-Pierre Poly. despite the discrepancies between Provence and Burgundy. The Rhône Basin at the Dawn of the Carolingian Age.7 In the eighth century. 1952. the social landscape of Provence resembled late antiquity more than the region between the Loire and the Rhine. 1985).PEASANT SERVITUDE IN PROVENCE 259 1150 and 1250 leave us in the dark concerning the period during which servitude withered. reflecting a simplified social structure. Recent historians of the early feudal period in Provence more or less follow this model. 9 Poly. bequeathed in his will of 739 to the Abbey of the Novalesa. a roughly equal number of colons and slaves worked on tenures.”10 6 Georges Duby. “Review of Les Sarrasins dans le Haut Moyen-Âge . Geary. 8 Patrick J. Contribution à l’étude des structures dites féodales dans le Midi. Collection “Études” (Paris: Bordas. legal distinctions among peasant were fewer. 173-262.9 Though some slaves probably worked the lands of the colonicae dominicatus. 1988). Aristocracy in Provence. La société aux XIe et XIIe siècles dans la région mâconnaise (Paris. 1976). The Middle Ages (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. George Duby’s influential thesis on the Mâconnais explained the manifestations of personal servitude as arising from the disappearance of the Roman notion of liberty and private land which the Carolingians sustained until the tenth century. Although Paul-Albert Février believed the impact of the sarrazinades to be wildly exaggerated.8 Less than a century later. reprint Paris: Éditions de l’École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales. colonicae.

“Sur la croissance agricole en Provence. Some rich peasants may have escaped upwards into the ranks of the warrior aristocracy but most fell under its domination. or built after 1040 on allodial lands. “La transformation. géographie.” Bibliothèque de l’École des Chartes (1966): 301-3. Weinberger. ed.11 Indeed. and the emergence of a broad servitude. “La transformation. 153-67. the miles exploited jurisdictional powers of public authority: justice. Stephen Weinberger. 92. the changing vocabulary was not wholly unfavorable towards the peasants who found their social role valorized. hospitality (alberga). These were the pretexts for the imposition of arbitrary confiscations—malos usos and malas consuetudines— upon the peasantry. 1990). 108. but the end result was the disappearance of freeholding peasants. La Provence. termed miles after 1050. La Provence. Weinberger. The language of sources refers to peasants with less pejorative language. military service (cavalcata) and somewhat later the assistance (quista) owed by a vassal to his lord. La croissance agricole du Haut Moyen Âge: Chronologie.” in Centre Culturel Départemental de l’Abbaye de Flaran. From castles held for the count. 11 Poly. modalités.14 The characteristics of this servitude are disputed. Sociétés. profiting from the reclamation of wasteland.260 JOHN DRENDEL Mentions of mancipia disappear in the latter half of the tenth century. 12 Weinberger. they are no longer objects. and notably the freeholding peasants. beat down the free peasantry. Monique Zerner. . the ascendant warrior class of caballarii. particularly through contracts of medium vestum which gave peasants the ownership of half the land they cleared after a period of five to seven years. 134.” 10-12..12 An opposing social force. The decline of comital power led to the privatisation of Church lands in the late ninth century. Monique Zerner. For Stephen Weinberger. “La transformation de la société paysanne en Provence médiévale. Civilisations 45 (1990): 10. “La transformation. 92 14 Poly. 1965).” 12-13. in this period a group of peasant freeholders briefly emerged.” Annales: Économies. followed by those of the count in the 1040s. the distinction between free and unfree after 1040. but rather actors in the social landscape. who has closely studied the cartulary of St. Flaran (Auch: Centre culturel départemental de l’Abbaye de Flaran. La Provence. finds within it scarce evidence of peasant servitude. Victor for this period.”10-12. 13 Poly. About 40 twelfthFrançais (Histoire et Archéologies) (Paris: Maisonneuve et Larose.13 The result was a new social division between rusticus and caballarii.


inspired by Italian influence and the renaissance of Roman law. avec une étude sur le domaine comtal et les seigneuries de Provence au XIIIe siècle (Paris: Bibliothèque Nationale. Mouans Sartoux (1984): 361-96.” Actes des Journées d’Histoire Régionale. 1969).23 The fading of servitude parallels the disappearance of traditional peasant census tenure in favor of the Roman law contract of emphyteusis. as we have seen. Raimund Berenger V used this tradition to weaken highland barons by creating consulates in the towns and villages of highland Provence where they did not exist. . he abolished serfdom. which suggests that the peasants’ relationship to land was already more powerful than personal bondage.2. While such “coseigneuries” were generally managed through a single baile in the thirteenth century and later. Aubenas.” 510 n. 74-5.21 The counts of Provence reconquered their ascendancy after the marriage between the count of Barcelona and the heiress of Forqualquier in 1094 brought to Provence a powerful and dynamic Catalan dynasty. 155-9 Poly. Édouard Baratier. The allodialisation of seigneurial power in a region with a strong tradition of Roman law resulted in a collective possession of lordship shared among heirs equally in each generation. The Angevin counts of Provence continued this policy in the second half of the thirteenth century by granting “safeguard” (salvatoria) to serfs who left their lord. In the first half of the thirteenth century. existed in villages of eastern Provence from at least 1064. “Le servage. Enquêtes sur les droits et revenus de Charles Ie d’Anjou en Provence. the decline of millenial serfdom resulted from the decay of seigneurial prerogatives. In the thirteenth century. the fragmentation of lordship weakened its holders in the face of competition from resurgent comital power. La Provence. “Les consulats ruraux dans le ressort de l’Évêché de Nice (circa 1150-1326). Consular governments. a status which brought them under the lordship of the count. in so doing. Those who did so abandoned the lands and goods they held from their personal lord. 23 Jean-Paul Boyer and Alain Venturini. whenever the sisters of La Celle had the occasion to relet or renew a traditional censive holding. La Provence. particularly in the highland regions where lords opposed comital power most fiercely.262 JOHN DRENDEL Louis initiated a general movement towards the abolition of serfdom in the thirteenth century. they 21 22 Poly. 318-58.22 Raimund Berenger III and his heirs attacked strong lordship by undercutting its social domination. 1252 et 1278.

which saw lords divide up seigneurial demesnes constituted during the eleventh century among free peasants and peasants soon to be free. 26 Baratier.26 The servitude which emerges in the records of the later Middle Ages reflects the enduring power of seigneurial jurisdiction in some 24 25 L’Hermitte-Leclercq. and a general renaissance of written records. where baronial families like the Glandèves retained much land and power. John Drendel. 87-90. but more often they accorded franchises to entire villages. a revived Roman law notariat. shed new light upon the status of peasants in the second half of the thirteenth century. as we noted. Robert-Henri Bautier and Janine Sornay. even in the highland regions north of the Var. Still. Enquêtes. In some instances lords freed their own serfs individually.24 The Capetian dynasty of counts which succeeded the Catalans in 1246 launched a series of detailed enquêtes in the 1250s. Many such acts survive from the thirteenth century. These records show. This evolution was part of the global remodeling and concentration of habitat in Provence. Les sources de l’histoire économique et sociale du Moyen Âge.2. even to the point of emulating the counts. “The Institutions of Village Goverment in Later Medieval Provence and the Origins of the Council of Trets. the archbishop of Arles held all rights of justice in Salon. Baratier. save for justice over homicide.PEASANT SERVITUDE IN PROVENCE 263 did so using the newer Roman law contract. 178. But the counts were not successful in wresting all elements of public authority from the lay and ecclesiastical lords who wielded it. the abbot of Lerins held all rights of justice in Cannes and its neighboring coast. and permitting villagers to create permanent institutions of self-governance. Enquêtes. south of Brignoles.” Historical Reflections/Réflections Historiques 19 (1993): 249-66. the lands of the sisters of La Celle. were exempt from the count’s jurisdiction as well. Edouard Baratier found that the count had recovered comital domain over the lands of lay lords. 143. Le monachisme. that the count tended to dissolve servitude in villages where he was a direct lord.25 These surveys. n. Lords like the viscounts of Marseille limited the count’s jurisdiction in the Val of Trets to the east of Aix. Baratier edited the most important enquêtes from the thirteenth century. modeled upon Saint Louis’ administration of Languedoc. but only a few of the many detailed enquêtes of the fourteenth and fifteenth centurys are available in print. These accords were paid for by converting onerous or shameful services into cash payments. 1: 35-53. . in the inquest into comital rights conducted in 1252 and 1278. 75.

Enquêtes. Baratier. Hommes et communautés du haut pays niçois médiéval.264 JOHN DRENDEL (although by no means all) of the mountain valleys of highland Provence.” According to Zerner “men of the quista” refers to the same comital obligation owed by all the counts subjects. in the upper valleys of the Durance.” Cahiers du Centre d’Études des Sociétés Méditerranéennes 53 (1) (1966): 25-26. 102. Aups were they distinguished from “free. One can find remnants of mainmorte. The lords of the village of Saint Christol on the plateau of Forqualquier continued to levy quistas in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. Enquêtes. 28 Baratier. Poppe.” Annales du Midi 69 (1957): 229-36.29 Baratier described the servitude of homines de quista and casamenti as comparable with the status of serfs in notarial registers from the Strong communities and a strong count reduced lordship to very little in the upper valley of the Vésubie after 1250. it continued in the thirteenth century to refer to both seigneurial and comital obligations. In Reillanne. 72. 357-83. Colette Samaran. “Saint-Christol. “Nouveau servage. Jan Stodolniak and Lidia Carminati-Nawrocka (Wroclaw: Académie Polonaise des Sciences. homines de mercedem referred to men in Castellane whose annual tallage was a mark of dependence. and Var rivers. Economie et société d’un bourg provençal au XIVe siècle: Reillanne en Haute Provence. 129-134. noting that only in one locality. personal dependents of the count outnumbered free peasants in numerous villages. 1980). The enquêteurs called these dependents “men of the market quest” (homines de quista ad mercedem). is a term which originated in the eleventh century as one of the malos usos. Danuta Poppe. quistas which in the case of the Abbey of Saint-André were limited by arbitration in 1270 to five cases modeled upon those which circumscribed the quistas of the count. “Saint-Christol à l’époque médiévale.” 1004. Danuta Poppe.” 25-26. Jean-Paul Boyer. La Vésubie (XIIIe-XVe siècles).” 78. inhabitants paid a seigneurial quista as well. Verdon. 1990). the casamentum. 27 . Danuta Poppe. Institut d’Histoire de la Culture Matérielle. however.27 In 1252. Zerner. This suggests how broad the quista was beforehand. La Provence. 29 Aubenas. “Le servage. Poly. in 1341. preface by Noël Coulet (Nice: Centre d’Études Médiévales de Nice. “Note sur la dépendance personnelle en Haute-Provence au XIVe siècle. Quista. Zerner argues that these men were not serfs. trans. the same arbitration conceded to the inhabitants the right to dispose of property by will. corvées and seigneurial quistas scattered across highland Provence from Forqualquier to the valleys north of Grasse. Other dependents bore servitude by virtue of their attachment to a specific type of tenure. 134.28 There is considerable evidence that homines de quista ad mercedem refers to a specific obligation owed by men by virtue of their subordinate status.

“La famille et la terre: exploitations paysannes au sud du Léman à la fin du XIIIe siècle. the lord recovered the casamentum through mainmorte. dwellings and outbuildings. 1997). other than to hold it and bequeath it to a direct heir. 33 Samaran. “Note sur la dépendance. Caslani and casamenti alike owed their lord tallage in six customary cases. “Note sur la dépendance. La vie montagnarde en Faucigny à la fin du Moyen Âge.31 These obligations are very like those owed in this period by peasants in the Alps of Savoy and Dauphiné to the north. The maleservus had no other rights over the casamentum. garden. “Note sur la dépendance. the free peasant who acquired a casamentum acquired a personal tie to the lord.30 These acts reveal in much more detail than the comital records the subjection in the region of Grasse of two classes of men: caslani and maleservi. the burden of comital taxation. Caslani in the village of Caussols had no more freedom to buy and sell their land than maleservi. 2001). The document from Puget-Theniers will be discussed below. the holding could not be divided but only held undivided. where lords inherited the goods of many villagers. If there was more than one direct heir.” 78. 32 Henri Falque-Vert. could release himself from that same bondage by relinquishing his holding. Samaran.PEASANT SERVITUDE IN PROVENCE 265 early fourteenth century studied by Colette Samaran. Maleservi possessed a casamentum. For casamenti.34 Although the language differs Samaran.” 229-36. Nicolas Carrier. though in fact it was often relet to close relatives or other members of the village.” 232.” Revue Historique 307 (2002): 891-937. up to 4 sesters and 3 quarters of grain after the harvest. “Le servage.” 230-32. Économie et société. and corvées. this form of servitude derived from the status of land and was not personal. whose goods were subject to mainmorte unless their children held the land undivided. 31 30 . Fabrice Mouthon. fin XIIIe-début XVIe siècle. 34 Aubenas. but elsewhere they appeared to possess land in emphyteusis. and in theory.32 The maleservus owed a heavy dues. a coherent unit comprised of arable land. vineyard and pasture held not in emphyteusis but by virtue of an act of homage. Les hommes et la montagne en Dauphiné au XIIIe siècle. Collection Logiques Historiques (Paris: L’Harmattan. It is also similar to the bondage of peasants described in a comital inquest in the region of Puget-Theniers.33 It is comparable to the servitude of men known as maleservi in Castellane in 1341. Collection “La Pierre et l’Écrit” (Grenoble: Presses Universitaires de Grenoble. in the absence of heirs. the obligation to inhabit the village and use the lords oven and mill.

pointing out that civil law commentators had little interest in the status of peasants in the twelfth century. Duby. Aubenas argued that the clarity of Roman law laminated a diversity of social statuses into a stark opposition between free and unfree. as George Duby pointed out long ago. and that the broader impact of their interpretation of the law uniformly promoted the Roman law notion of liberty. but Gouron disagrees.” Revue d’Histoire de Droit 56 (1978): 215-52. but lords in the mountains used rights over land to capture economic resources from peasants beginning in the late twelfth century. The consensual essence of Roman law contracts renders the legal system unusable in an unfree society. and not personal.” 144. the prevalent form of servitude in these highlands appears to have been real.37 Zerner. 1980). Roger Aubenas. 37 The question of the impact of Roman law upon freedom merits a separate discussion. it never really had existed. John Drendel. The apparent rise of bondage to land may be a simple reflection of more abundant sources after 1250.266 JOHN DRENDEL from place to place. much as English common law polarized the status of villani in opposition to free men. “Le crédit 36 35 . servage et glossateurs. The rapid. XVI-XXVI.” 1005-7. Moreover. but it overlooks the clear. but it conferred fundamental rights of possession incompatible with seigneurial restrictions on inheritance and alienation. evidence of personal servitude based upon jurisdictional rights prior to 1150.35 The distinction is neat. and the details as well. “Nouveau servage. as their jurisdictional rights decayed. precocious and widespread diffusion of Roman law and the notariat in the Provençal countryside widely promoted emphiteusis tenure and credit. and in particular by emphyteutic tenure. and its fossilized remnants later. whose close relationship I have explored elsewhere. the idea that lords would use rights over property to limit the freedom of peasants and extract greater rent goes against the grain of an agrarian legal system dominated by Roman Law. albeit scanty.” Recueil des mémoires et travaux publié par la Société d’Histoire du droit et des institution des anciens pays de droit écrit (1980): 41-51. reprinted in La science du droit dans le Midi de la France au Moyen Âge (London: Variorum. “Inconscience de juristes ou pédantisme malfaisant? Un chapitre d’histoire juridico-sociale.36 Finally. “Liberté. personal serfdom had not only disappeared from Provence. a dependent peasantry in Provence made no sense to lords moving towards salaried agricultural labor in the monetized economy of the early fourteenth century. cited by André Gouron. “Note. Emphyteusis was a flexible contract adaptable to very different relations of power between peasants and lords. XIe-XVe siècle. The rise of bondage to land underlies the paradox of Zerner’s final conclusion.

“Note sur un recours de feux dans la baillie de Puget-Théniers en 1343.” Provence Historique 27 (1977): 59-80. Collection de l’École Française de Rome (Rome: École Française de Rome. 1967).39 The inhabitants of some villages decried poor weather and sterilitas as the fundamental causes of the region’s malaise.PEASANT SERVITUDE IN PROVENCE 267 The economic illogic of bondage to land for both lords and peasants in the fourteenth century emerges most clearly in a source from the later Middle Ages which has not been examined from this perspective.. Notaires et crédit dans l’occident méditerranéen médiéval. Édouard Baratier discovered this source. 1969). 39 Baratier. introd. The investigation documents a dramatic population loss of one-third of the region’s population in the space of a dozen years. Marie Louise Carlin. 1961).. La démographie provençale du XIIIe au XVIe siècle. Édouard Baratier. with the exception of a few villages. Démographie et Sociétés (Paris: S. The collapse in population is unequalled in any other region of Provence. This source has been interpreted as evidence of a Malthusian crisis in Provence. also in highland Provence. La pénétration du droit romain dans les Actes de la Pratique Provençale (11e-13e siècle).P. named the missing tax payers. along with the original document. however. a drop affecting nearly every village. . Ilona Jonas. by Roger Aubenas (Paris: Librairie Générale de Droit et de Jurisprudence. if known. 38 Archives Départementales des Bouches-du-Rhône. avec chiffres de comparaison pour le XVIIIe siècle. Paul-Louis Malaussena. Edouard Baratier declined to invoke overpopulation. to write the following passages. and his student Ilona Jonas studied it in a fine article which I have relied upon. described the time and cause of their departure.N. 80. speaking rather of “serious economic difficulties” which neither he nor his student Ilona Jonas explored. 223-4. B354.38 The Chamber of Accounts in Aix ordered local officers to investigate the missing foci or basic taxpaying unit in 25 villages and 4 small towns. affected by the introduction of outside flocks onto common pastures. La vie en Provence orientale aux XIVe et XVe siècles. and indeed sources do mention regional climatic crises and food shortages in dans les archives notariales en Basse-Provence au début du XIVe siècle. 2004).E. eds.E.V. 80. and their present residence.” in François Menant and Odile Redon. In each community the officers empaneled jurors who identified the hearths. Bibliothèque d’histoire du droit et droit romain (Paris: Librairie générale de droit et de jurisprudence. an enquête which the auditors of Provence’s central accounting office ordered into declining tax revenues in the mountain baillie of Puget-Theniers in the spring of 1343. La démographie.

bequeath them to heirs or use them as collateral for loans. . 42 Jonas. and 1339-1340.268 JOHN DRENDEL Southern France in 1329-1330. The nature of the tie between lord and peasant is expressed by the term “man of” (suus homo erat) or the remark that the goods escheated to the lord pro servicio. Whereas elsewhere in Provence. Marie-Joseph Laurénaudie.42 The enquête of 1343 is unclear concerning the specific nature of servitude in Puget-Theniers. lack of freedom singularly restricted the ability of peasants to mobilize capital. creating a land market. a figure reflecting not the lack of legitimate offspring but rather their emigration. which harvest failures may well have provoked. the difference between the percentage of homes and properties sold (12 per cent) and recovered by creditors (16 per cent) as opposed to those claimed by the lord is convincing evidence of the servile incapacity of a substantial proportion the households to sell their goods. a prosperity brought down not by crop failure or overpopulation by rather by a crushing burden of war taxation. peasants borrowing would have restricted what few precious movables they could pledge. Villagers and the Count in Haute Provence: Marginality and Mediation. On a few occasions the term homo de casamento is expressly mentioned. 284. “Note sur un recours. “Les famines en Languedoc au XIVe et XVe siècles. 41 John Drendel.41 What is specific to Puget-Theniers. 1970). but in any case. Credit existed— the jurors specified many peasants who had lost their goods to creditors—but without the collateral of land. apart from the catastrophic loss of population. but eloquent in its description of its economic impact. climatic incidents. in these highland villages. Yet no region of Provence outside of Puget-Theniers appears to have suffered social and economic dislocation on this scale as a result of food shortages.” Provence Historique 49 (1999): 217-31.” 72-4.6 per cent were in the hands of heirs. while only 9.” Annales du Midi 64 (1952): 23-35. or debt. 1331-1332. was the high population of dependent peasants: 24 per cent of 226 peasants hearths deserted by death escheated to the lord. Ravitaillement et alimentation en Provence aux XIVe et XVe siècles (Paris: Mouton. the transition from feudal tenure to emphyteusis gave peasants rights which accelerated the liquidity of land.40 Other jurors fingered debt. Indeed it is difficult to understand how the lords themselves might 40 Louis Stouff. my own study of a neighboring region suggests that highlands village sustained a relative degree of prosperity through the first four decades of the fourteenth century. 80. a market for credit. “Jews. and above all.

( ) .

network economies. and it would take a D. or sheer uncertainty over the precise outcomes of alternative arrangements then generate rents or quasi rents for a subset of actors. Sugden. R. Sugden. Young.2 multiple stable equilibria lead to arbitrary or stochastic selection through “sensitive dependence” on small events (path dependence). Thomas. On the other side. 2 P.. The Rise of the Western World (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Varoufakis and D. eds. which for want of a better term could be called the “QWERTY view” after David’s influential article. 1990).” Economic Journal 101 (4) (1991): 751-85. 1973). “Convention. who will find it advantageous to invest resources in protecting and enforcing existing institutions. emerge. 821 TO 1517 A. 1 . put forth for example by North and Thomas or Sugden. Francesco L. R. proponents of either approach can point to a mismatch between the opposing model and everyday observation. on the one hand the “functionalist” view. 68-90.BARGAINING POWER AND INSTITUTIONAL CHANGE: SEVEN CENTURIES OF ITALIAN SHARECROPPING CONTRACTS. Galassi I A fundamental division lies at the heart of what has been called the New Institutional Economics (NIE). North. “Rational Choice: A Survey of Contributions from Economics and Philosophy. Institutions. No guarantee of efficiency or even reversibility exists. To stylize a complex debate. Sugden. Change undeniably takes place. C.” American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings 75 (2) (1985): 332-7.” in Y.1 argues that the multiplicity of stable equilibria leads to the establishment of competing selfreinforcing conventions. 1990). Institutional Change and Economic Performance (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Institutional choice and change occur as the most successful conventions. R. North and R. Increasing returns. usually defined as the least costly ones.” Journal of Economic Perspectives 3 (4) (1989): 85-97. 3 D.D. David. C.3 As always when worldviews differ. Conflict in Economics (Hemel Hempstead: Harvester Wheatsheaf. “Spontaneous Order. Creativity and Conflict. “Clio and the Economics of QWERTY.

At the same time.8 the difficulty may be reduced to what Vromen9 has argued is the real puzzle in that exercise: arriving at a satisfactory specification of the transmission mechanism. however. Economic Evolution (London: Routledge. become a new norm? How does it “reproduce”? The biological analogy is both troublesome and insightful. Mass.4 The root of this division probably lies in the conceptual difficulty of modeling change in social relations. Troublesome because it brings back Alchian’s concept of “fitness. of the three constituent elements of evolution—mutation. J. Evolution and Economic Theory. To detached inspection. Vromen. the functionalist approach has more than a whiff of teleology or at the very least bears a strong resemblance to the smoothness of an Arrow-Debreu setting.7 If seen from the perspective of the numerous attempts to apply evolutionary thinking to economics.: MIT Press. 8 For review see G. the disagreement does not ultimately hinge on the sources of social change. 1989).ITALIAN SHARECROPPING CONTRACTS 271 particularly obdurate mind to deny that historically the broad thrust of institutional change has been towards increasing efficiency and reducing transaction costs. 1993). S.5 To be more specific. 1995). Organizing Ecology (Cambridge.10 If transmission is unclear selection cannot be understood 4 J. determinism and free will. 5 M. Sober. Hannan and J. in that both approaches can deal with randomness or intentionality.: Harvard University Press. Freeman. 1996). 1984). Archer. The Nature of Selection (Cambridge. Alchian. 1992). The difficulty lies rather in the process of transmission: how does a mutation. Culture and Agency (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. or any mixture of these. as Knight pointed out. albeit with checks and reversals. 10 M. But the insight into the tension running through the whole body of NIE-inspired literature may well be worth the small price of underscoring that distinction. the world is not a Panglossian equilibrium where all is at its best. at times on a macro scale. however it may have arisen. Institutions and Social Conflict (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Economics and Evolution (Cambridge: Polity Press. 9 J. “Uncertainty. In fact. 7 E. 6 A. Hodgson. Mass. Knight. . and transmission—this last aspect remains the most troublesome for social science. selection. A. M. T.” Journal of Political Economy 58 (1950): 211-22.”6 so that it becomes necessary yet again to separate success from optimality.

the individual “routine” used in any given economic process. 1996). whether consciously put in place or slowly arrived at by random walk or learning by doing.272 FRANCESCO L. then. J. The problem can therefore be put in these terms: reconciling the functionalist vs. T. 12 R. 13 R. That in turn depends on defining what is being selected. The population needs to be. recognizing that to reach meaningful conclusions the time horizon might have to be longer than most studies of institutional change allow. North. in their framework. then we could watch economic evolution in action and study the selection process. Alston. As a first approximation. in an environment whose broad features are reasonably well known. first. A gene can be isolated as a unit of information within a biological organism. it should be possible to identify an institution and isolate within it a set of rules whose incidence in the population changes over time. we need a well-defined population with a clearly identifiable set of characteristics. Since routines can be learned. An Evolutionary Theory of Economic Change (Cambridge. if these routines are to be considered the economic equivalent of genes how they replicate is not clear. MA: Belknap. successful. If a basic (set of) unit(s) can be agreed upon. The Meme Machine (Oxford: Oxford University Press. To achieve this. 1997).12 The unit of selection is. while a “routine” is not similarly identifiable. 1982). Eggertsson. However. in that the units on which selective pressures act have to be identified before the process of selecting can be mapped. R. Blackmore. Nelson and S. GALASSI either. 1976). and D. that is reproduce over long periods of 11 L. . so that unsurprisingly the evolutionary analysis of institutions has been focusing on case studies.13 though fascinating is difficult to test and use analytically. The Selfish Gene (Oxford: Oxford University Press. and change occurs through their differential survival rates).11 One important proposal in this direction was put forth by Nelson and Winter. this makes economic evolution Lamarckian (transmission of acquired traits) rather than Darwinian (only genotypes are capable of replication. We could then correlate these changes with potential transmission links. Empirical Studies in Institutional Change (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. NIE does not have a general answer to this puzzle. S. Winter. The suggestion that there are “units of culture” (memes). path-dependence debate involves specifying an agreed (set of) evolutionary mechanism(s). Dawkins. G. C.

La Toscana Agricola.14 On a much more modest level. yet he probably would have had no trouble recognising as fundamentally the same agreement as his own a contract in use in Tuscany over 1. the earliest known sharecropping agreement in Italy and one of the earliest surviving farm contracts anywhere. We need. rent consisted of half of all output and the tenant agreed to live on the farm. in central Italy it accounted for over half (in some areas over 2/3) of all farm employment. Evolution in Real Time (London: Vintage Books. 16 C. At its zenith. streams and pasture. Grant. Imberciadori.] vines. “Livellario nomine.” Biological Journal of the Linnaean Society 25 (1985): 1-39. something akin to Darwin’s Galápagos finches. “Variation in the Size and Shape of Darwin’s Finches.ITALIAN SHARECROPPING CONTRACTS 273 time. woods. in the nineteenth century. Osservazioni ad alcune carte amiatine del sec. Part 1: 463-466.. .16 Then too. beside the land and the house. S.000 years later. Mezzadria classica toscana (Florence: Vallecchi. M.D. IX.. and was used in every part of country and 14 P. II In early June 821 A. 1995). J.15 Leuprandus was illiterate. but what had really changed by the late nineteenth century was the sheer number of stipulations that had been added to that basic agreement over time: the later contract consisted of 4 closely printed pages and 26 distinct clauses. 15 P. in this paper I propose to look at just one such population. 78. some fifty kilometres south-east of Siena (central Italy). in fact.” Studi Senesi 1 (1906): 275-301. in a village called Baiano. 1951). Atti della Giunta per la Inchiesta Agraria e sulle condizioni della classe agricola (Rome: Forzani. Weiner. Mazzini. Mezzadria (sharecropping) pre-dated Leuprandus and lasted well into the post-1945 years. Variable inputs were supplied in somewhat different proportions. 3. tilled and untilled land” for which he agreed to pay the Abbey “omnia medietate. Leicht. the Abbey agreed to supply oxen and half the seed while Leuprandus promised to live on the farm.. was simplicity itself: in a few lines. 1881).” half of all [products]. R. and second. a farmer named Leuprandus leased from the Abbey of San Salvatore a farm “with a house [. The agreement. The Beak of the Finch. I. changing yet reasonably stable (does not undergo such profound modifications that descendants cease altogether to resemble ancestors).

This excludes emphyteosis or ad meliorandum agreements with share rents. “Historical Perspectives. 1986). I will first briefly discuss the adoption and spreading of share contracts in Italy in the late Middle Ages.2 million hectares) was sharecropped. 19 For the present purposes. 17 .. The framework within which these changes can be understood is an agency problem.20 share contracts became increasingly common in Italy from the thirteenth century onwards. But success of what? What is the link between Leuprandus and the Italian farm census of 1961? Because it is the evolution of a contract that forms the focus of this inquiry. twelve per cent of all farmland in Italy (some 3. In the remainder of the paper. though in practice it almost always is. In effect I will treat the early contracts as an initial benchmark against which mutation can be measured. eleven centuries can be considered longterm success. M. 18 Istituto Centrale di Statistica (ISTAT). 20 Byres. stagnation and decline. J.” in T. ed.” in M. From June 821 until January 1517 I can then track the geographic spread and frequency of these clauses through a sample of 832 sharecropping contracts. Sharecropping and Sharecroppers (London: Frank Cass.21 T. “Medieval Agrarian Society in its Prime: Italy. What the inquiry will show is that the spread of mutation to the original “benchmark package” (that is. 1-18.18 As economic events go. J. following them through periods of demographic expansion. exactly 1. I will look at changes brought over time to land rental contracts having the following characteristics: first. 1983).140 years after Leuprandus put his cross on that contract. Byres. III Though already used in antiquity.. 189.” 21 P. J. rent is paid as a share of the product19 and second.17 As recently as June 1961. it does not matter whether that share is ½. GALASSI throughout the Mediterranean basin. Byres. let us be very clear. the land is already “improved” and constitutes a farm with a house for the tenant to live in. Sommario di statistiche storiche 1926-1985 (Rome: Istituto Poligrafico dello Stato. “Historical Perspectives on Sharecropping. then will identify three clauses which appear quite early on in the centuries.274 FRANCESCO L. Jones. the transmission) is linked to the channels of communication.

“Moral Hazard and Assets Specifically in the Renaissance: The Economics of Sharecropping in 1427 Florence. Since not all opportunistic choices would have been known at the time when the early contracts were designed.. ed. . “A Discrete Random-Effects Panel Data Model of Farm Tenures in Fifteenth Century Florence. “Tuscans and Their Farms: The Economics of Share Tenancy in Fifteenth Century Florence. and one way to reduce the problem was to introduce strong self-monitoring incentives. Thus tenants sought to reduce their inputs into the proPostan and H. 1968). which in turn gave renewed scope for opportunism.” Economica 65 (1998): 535-56. L. “From Manor to Mezzadria. olive and fruit trees. As techniques became more labor intensive the scope for opportunism by laborers increased.” Rivista di Storia Economica 9 (1992): 77-94. The sharing rule went some way towards solving the monitoring problem. Multiple performance margins and strong exogenous influences meant that room for discretion had to be built into the contract. Share contracts responded easily to this new situation by allowing landlords to concentrate costly resources on supervising invested capital while in effect leaving tenants to run the farm on a daily basis. L. P. Botticini. F. eds. The Cambridge Economic History of Europe (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. J. and F. A. D. After the demographic crisis of the fourteenth century. The object of the game was to appropriate as much of the joint product as possible while limiting one’s own contribution to the competitive minimum. L. Galassi.22 The intensification of farming that resulted from rising population pressure in the late Middle Ages altered relative factor prices and encouraged the creation of exclusive property rights in land. “The Choice of Agrarian Contracts in Early Renaissance Tuscany: Risk Sharing. Habakkuk.: Northwestern University Press. Mealli. Ill. Moral Hazard. it is possible to imagine landlords and tenants being engaged over the years in a repeated positive-sum game with learning. but at a cost. Rubinstein. 1964). as did the cost of careless or dishonest activity.. F. 22 F. J.” Advances in Agricultural Economic History 1 (2000): 177-206. such as vines. S. Galassi. Galassi. who increasingly were urban dwellers engaged in trade or manufacturing. Florentine Studies (Evanston. Ackerberg and M. 193-241. I: 340-430. changing terms of trade altered the crop mix in favor of costly products with high sensitivity to proper care and handling. Supervision was difficult for landlords. or Capital Market Imperfections?” Explorations in Economic History 37 (2000): 241-57. Jones.ITALIAN SHARECROPPING CONTRACTS 275 Recent quantitative studies show that their diffusion can be related to imperfect capital markets and incentive compatibility issues.” in N. Pudney.

Tenants and landlords were very well aware that they were engaged in this game. for instance. 210.”24 Two centuries later. Landlords. other players would adopt it. so 23 Note that neither incentive exists in contracts where one party acts as full residual claimant. seeing me often. and eventually measures to regulate or prohibit it would wind their way into the contract. one of the architects of the Italian Renaissance as well as a rich landowner. mostly labor.26 The point is that the margins where either party could engage in opportunistic behavior were likely not at first fully known to either landlords or tenants.. and be more diligent at their work. they would seek to draw the largest possible benefit from the capital invested in the farm. where I could often go. “Multitask Sharecropping Contracts: The Italian Mezzadria. of course. 24 Imberciadori.23 Tenants were constrained by the probability of detection. 90.276 FRANCESCO L. and the labourers. Alberti. 25 L. [1468] 1906)..” Economica 63 (1996): 445-58. Each time the game was played. Luporini and Parigi have shown that limitations imposed on tenants’ activities are statically efficient in a multi-tasking framework. If the gambit produced a reward. On 11 August 1255 a court in Lucca sentenced a sharecropper named Grispi to pay his landlord three pounds in damages for “not ploughing and sowing at the appropriate time as he had undertaken to do. Luporini and B.”25 In general. and possible sanctions.. my emphasis. had the incentive to skimp on capital investment and force tenants to work as much as possible. That is the explanation for the obligation the Abbey of San Salvatore imposed on Leuprandus to reside on the farm (limit his opportunities to undersupply labor) in the 821 contract. while landlords were constrained by monitoring costs and the tenants’ shadow reservation wage. Ways of pruning vines. B. At the same time. Alberti. the game was still going on. Della famiglia (Milan: Istituto Editoriale Italiano. would cheat rarely . both because labor creates disutility and because of Marshallian disincentives caused by the sharing rule. and take my exercise walking around it. including dismissal. wrote that “I would have my farm in a place . GALASSI duction process. B. Mezzadria.. there was a probability that some player would find a new margin over which to capture some portion of the income streams. Parigi. 26 A. L. Over 400 years later. .

There must be. that changes in the set of clauses are directional and cumulative. But showing that change takes place is not evidence of evolution in the sense used in Section I. 27 . L’Italia rurale nel Basso Medioevo (Rome: Laterza. and the contract changed as a result. Cherubini. XIII-XV: problemi della vita delle campagne nel tardo medioevo (Pistoia: Centro italiano di studi di storia e d’arte. in other words. probably had to be worked out over time. Testing it is the next step. 29-52. This is the general hypothesis of the paper. C.ITALIAN SHARECROPPING CONTRACTS 277 as to maximize short-term output at the cost of the longevity of the plant. are multifaceted mutual commitments operating on several margins simultaneously.” in Civiltà ed economia agricola in Toscana nei secc. Bec. have a learning curve.27 In addition. “Le paysan dans la nouvelle Toscane. 134-8. then it is reasonable to argue that the early contracts were signed by people who had not yet traveled far on that curve. In other words. careless handling of tools or livestock could affect the capital value of the landlord’s investment. Another way of saying this is that characteristics acquired over time spread through the population. The next section discusses the design of the test. Repeated interaction revealed this over time. where tenants are often shown teaching one another how to hide grain already mown but not yet threshed. If that is correct. 1984). 1981). something that benefitted the tenant. What needs to be shown is that there is a line of transmission of these changes. in the earlier period of the contract’s life there may still have been a great deal of uncertainty about how to make the agreement work to one’s advantage. even simple ones. or putting it differently. cheating and monitoring. how to extract wine from a sealed barrel without leaving marks. A reasonable approach to designing a test is to use the earliest contracts as a benchmark. The “thieving sharecropper” was a stock character of Renaissance plays and stories. or how to work away from the farm without the landlord finding out. learning. and to track deviations from their set of clauses over time. but it was difficult to predict ex ante what form damage caused by neglect (a manifestation of opportunism) might take. IV Contracts. and especially knowing what to monitor. Like other activities. The definition G.

“the tenant promises to work well”) of little practical value. then the clauses that spread should be those that further constrain opportunistic behaviour. in a sense. share-rent paid for an “improved” farm and tenant’s residence obligation. then discusses the sample used and presents summary statistics of the contracts under consideration. To show that an evolutionary approach can yield insight into institutional changes. increased its frequency in the population)..” Secondly.” This section identifies a group of clauses to be tracked as they spread through the population. the clauses whose presence is tracked must be clearly identifiable. This means that they have to be reasonably simple clauses. all that matters is that c should at some point start to spread in the population. and even if they do I have no way of knowing this. the chosen clauses must then be shown to have spread chronologically and/or geographically from their inception point. so that there can be no question of one appearing in a modified form that may alter its effect on the contracting parties. At the same time.278 FRANCESCO L. To anticipate one possible objection. GALASSI I am employing. Two basic issues need to be addressed to study mezzadria in an evolutionary framework. I will call clauses satisfying these criteria “nonreducible rules. the constant linking Leuprandus to the second half of the twentieth century. It is the process of spreading that I am trying to follow. wherever and whenever it first appeared. I have to rely on geographic or chronological proximity to argue that a solution found in one location spread (that is. However. That would vitiate the analysis. the obvious ones to follow given the agency framework I am using. tenants and landlords had to . The non-reducible rules I propose to track are three and are also. Any element detailing an obligation incurred by either party in addition to that basic core I will call a “clause. An econometric test is carried out in section V. the clauses must not be picked only because they are common in later contracts. Rather the choice must be based on a priori considerations: if I am right that sharecropping was a way of introducing incentive compatibility. Besides committing labor on one side.g. viz.. Because I cannot observe communication flows between actors. First. they cannot be those common catch-all clauses (e. and on the other land and fixed capital. the sample contracts are obviously unlikely to include the very first instance of clause c making its appearance. No priors exist as to when or where c began. forms the core of mezzadria.

are common complaints for medieval and Renaissance landlords in Tuscany.ITALIAN SHARECROPPING CONTRACTS 279 agree on who would supply at least three other significant inputs: seed. At what point is the tenant siphoning rent? How expensive is it to stop him? Perhaps above all. . but even aside from the latter’s ability to incur the cost this was a mixed blessing at best. Sharing inputs was resorted to. The last part of this sentence is deliberately vague: finding the right tolerance for such “diversions” was not easy. Tales of seed given for sowing but never put in the ground (as in Grispi’s case). If the landlord supplied them.” With the advantage of hindsight. the advantage of passing these costs on to tenants was that the range of necessary monitoring activities shrank. tenants had no incentive to care for them. No magic formula could protect everybody. if tenants supplied complementary inputs. the supply of working capital was subject to bargaining between tenants and landlords. If this reasoning is at least broadly correct. or left in the fields. they had the incentive to use as much of the farm output as possible to feed their own livestock. once other factors are taken into account. or be leased out to work other farms. L’Italia. stolen.28 On the other hand. If 28 Cherubini. one reasonably stable solution was to force tenants to internalize as many of the costs of supplying complementary inputs as possible. and livestock. how can you really tell how much is being siphoned? In spite of such metering problems. of cattle worked too hard or not properly fed. To be more specific. and to sow what they wished. but even so the agency problem remained acute for the landlord: one can imagine a tenant reporting that “your cow has died. while using scarce monitoring resources to ensure that they did not divert income streams from the farm to maintain their own capital beyond a certain point. then I expect to find that sharecropping contracts over time increasingly came to include clauses that shifted onto the tenant the responsibility for the provision of complementary inputs. however. 134-8. Landlords may have preferred to shift the burden of supplying complementary inputs on their tenants. but ultimately must have been decided by the land/labor ratio. of tools broken. tools. The outcome of the bargaining was affected by several unobservable variables. Animals fattened on the farm’s output would be sold by the tenant to his sole benefit.

The notary begins his text with religious formulae followed by date and location. G. just as the language tends to shift from Latin to Italian.30 The number of contracts extant in the archives drops off dramatically during the sixteenth century. Pinto and P. Pisa and Arezzo. Mezzadria. G. The wording of the contracts is reasonably standardized.. then identifies himself and the contracting parties and describes the purpose and duration of the 29 Imberciadori. and have been selected trying to maximize temporal continuity and geographic coverage. Il contratto. The discussion so far has mostly set the stage and presented in general terms what testing is to be carried out. the sample is almost surprisingly large. 1987). Muzzi and M. The time has come to focus more closely on the sample. for sampling criteria. so well known that there was little need to reproduce it. Il contratto di mezzadria nella Toscana medievale. GALASSI tenants could not easily find another farm. 1349-1518 (Florence: Olschki. Siena. and becomes more so over time. Demographic trends will matter to the test of the evolution of mezzadria. and published over the past fifty years. Nenci. Mazzini. La Toscana. 30 Pinto and Pirillo. 325-80. Il contado di Firenze. Il contado di Siena. Il contratto di mezzadria nella Toscana medievale. secolo XIII (Florence: Olschki. Il contratto di mezzadria nella Toscana medievale. Il contado di Siena. The contracts relate in all cases to first-time agreements (renewal or termination were oral). 1992). written between 821 and 1517 A. XIII-1348 (Florence: Olschki. If tenants were scarce. have been collected from the notarial chartularies of the State Archives of Florence. yet it obviously represents only a minute fraction of all sharecropping contracts signed over these seven centuries. sex. The 832 contracts of the sample. Pirillo.29 Given their great age (42 per cent of sample contracts predate 1300). landlords would have to supply a greater proportion of complementary inputs and thereby shoulder the risk of incurring capital losses. D. 31 Piccinni. 463-6. Piccinni. Il contratto. the contracts of the “early” centuries constitute the case of an institution in full evolutionary adaptation.31 If so.D. O. . something that may indicate that the agreement had achieved a sort of canonical status.280 FRANCESCO L. landlords must have been able to force them to internalize more costs than tenants would have liked. This is indirectly confirmed by the strong similarity between the contracts dating from the late 1400s/early 1500s and the standard forms that came to be used in the nineteenth century. 1988). Lucca.

if any. The other peculiarity may appear to be the division at 1347. this is still a remarkable sample. lists of capital maintenance work to be carried out each year. and a list of loans. This is in fact a wealth of information. Other clauses include where the rent had to be paid (on the farm or at the landlord’s residence). I have a clear question I can ask these data: do the non-reducible rules aimed at limiting discretion in an agency context spread chronologically and geographically in such a way as to suggest a learning process? Do these contracts evolve? Or are the changes non-directional? Table 1 reports some summary statistics relating to these clauses. depending on which clause). granaries and wine and oil making equipment. Fines are set against either party failing to live up to their commitments and at times arbitration procedures are outlined. livestock and tools of direct interest to this analysis. such as demographic trends. Even considering that not all contract specifically list the three clauses I am trying to track (only about 500 do. We do not always know exactly where the actual farm was.ITALIAN SHARECROPPING CONTRACTS 281 contract. though we know which political jurisdiction it came under. There follows a description of the farm and its location. Above all. There follow the clauses agreed upon by the parties. An inventory of stocks already on the farm is then added. Since very few contracts (hardly a dozen) survive from before 1199. we have over 800 observations of a well-defined institution scattered across the arc of some 700 years in a restricted geographic area where we have reasonably good information about other important historical events. the tenant’s residence obligation is the first mentioned. First. the periodization. received by the tenant to start work. any additional payments owed for keeping fowls or other animals not directly covered by the contract. followed by the details for the provision of seed. with details of the house or other buildings such as stables. The late 1340s marked a dramatic crisis all over Europe as the Black Death . the first column inevitably covers an abnormally long time period. the prohibition (usually) from seeking work off the farm. and the contracts end with the list of witnesses and the signatures (or marks) of all present. Almost invariably. For all contracts we know where landlords lived and where they signed the agreement with their new tenants. More importantly. We know something about the crop mix of the farm and the presence of animals and buildings/improvement works. Some comments are in order.


meant that the parties could hardly devote time and resources to working out in the necessary detail what clauses to impose on one another. In the centuries of demographic expansion.ITALIAN SHARECROPPING CONTRACTS 283 These bare demographic facts fit easily with the trends in the clauses highlighted in the table. Evidence of changing relative bargaining power. landlords and tenants were engaged in an ongoing search for the appropriate solution to the agency problems they faced. They knew what they wished to achieve in entering into the agreement. An evolutionary adaptation involves transmission. 1978). whether in the provision of livestock or of seed. the bargaining between landlords and tenants was being resolved against the latter. The mid-fourteenth century constitutes a structural break. had already designed clauses aimed at obtaining the results they Sociales. before the sixteenth century when the contract became so well established that it was seldom written down. How can this learning process be modeled? My argument is that. who had experience of contracting practices. The Malthusian limit was fast approaching. in this case by learning. their contingent nature and the uncertainty inherent in any agreement where time consistency was a significant element and exogenous influences were strong. when that is the land/labor ratio was steadily falling. which is all the table shows. Fortunately this was not necessary because they could hire a specialist. . but probably did not actually have a fully formed mental picture of how to go about their goals. the notary. landlords increasingly had to commit complementary inputs to their farms and renounce gains accumulated since 1200. Their contribution was rising. There is a hint in these data that at the peak of the demographic boom (early fourteenth century) tenants may have grown increasingly unable to meet the kind of capital commitment required of them: the proportion of tenants supplying all livestock (the most expensive working capital) in the first half of the 1300s is halved relative to the proportion in the previous century. The complexity of the tasks that had to be carried out. does not per se constitute evidence of “evolution” in the sense discussed above. Thereafter. and seed is almost always shared (tenants supplied all seed in 50 per cent of contracts from 1200-1347). By the fifteenth century livestock is almost always wholly supplied by landlords (fewer than one in forty or fifty supplied all livestock between 1200 and 1347).

it follows that modifications to the template were more likely to spread rapidly in the immediate geographic proximity of their inception. The notary sold information. and it seems logical to see such organizations as information-sharing machines. R. The selective pressures were at work in the mind of the notary. only later “colonizing” more distant populations. something of considerable value to both tenant and landlord who were thereby spared the trouble of analyzing to the end of their computational abilities each clause of the agreement.34 The template would then be adjusted as practice changed. in effect. 34 For examples see G. Catoni. In addition. 1985). If that is at least a reasonable approximation of the process. the notary worked on past practice and current concerns. also the reassurance to the contracting parties that in using the agreement he designed they could expect that on average they would be no worse off than their reference group. assessed. He can be modeled as storing a set of non-reducible rules for contracts of this sort. where individual non-reducible rules stored as part of the template were checked. with the necessary modifications. a kind of template in which the details of any given pair of landlords and tenants could be entered. Epstein. as new solutions to old problems were devised. or as existing approaches were discarded. that is. and possibly modified.33 The basic template learned during the notary’s studies and apprenticeship would be continuously checked against current practice in conversation and professional contacts with other guild members. and could sell them a reasonably standardized commodity easily adjustable to suit their particular circumstances. The 33 S. “Craft Guilds. The process was self reinforcing in the sense that a modification to the template which found favor with the contracting parties would be used again and therefore would have a greater-than-average probability of being discussed within the corporation and consequently of spreading to other notaries and other contracts. Apprenticeship and Technological Change in Pre-industrial Europe. he provided a reference point on current accepted practice. GALASSI sought. “Il collegio notarile di Siena.” Journal of Economic History 58 (1998): 684-713. like other trades. or to put it differently sold a reduction in uncertainty. The notary’s commodity was. For his part. Notaries were organized in guilds. .” in Il notariato nella civiltà toscana (Rome: Consiglio Nazionale del Notariato. 337-65.284 FRANCESCO L.

I will specify the form the model takes.s. so that for example Ls indicates the seed is supplied by the landlord. I can write: P cij = Lk xi = exp(ßixi) 1 + exp(ßixi) for k = {l. S. seed. and L. The framework is simple but useful . or by the tenant. shared. and therefore learning.t} where ß and x represent respectively vectors of coefficients and explanatory variables. S. V This section specifies and tests a multinomial logit model to detect directionality. Then. Likewise. t} to indicate under what arrangement complementary inputs are supplied. T represent whether each of the complementary input is supplied by the landlords. Let P(cij=k) be the probability of clause cj being recorded in contract i. which is set to zero. for shared inputs. and then discuss the variables used. s. t indicate livestock. and tools. s. Let l. P cij = Sk xi = 1 1 + exp(ßixi) and for tenant supplied inputs P cij = Tk xi = 0 The technique is sufficiently well known to require little discussion beyond pointing out that the ßs estimate the impact on P(cij) relative to the normalized probability of observing k supplied by the tenant. for the supply of inputs by the landlord. That is the task of the next section.ITALIAN SHARECROPPING CONTRACTS 285 advantage of putting the issue in these terms (chronological and geographic proximity) is that I can derive some reasonably strong predictions and can then use the sample contracts to test them. L. while Sl indicates that the livestock is shared. in the changes undergone by sample contracts. I will then use superscript letters { l. First.

and to do so accurately to the conditions of the time. Both objections are valid. the higher was P(ci=1). the lower is P(ci=1). the notaries. which should not significantly affect this sample. If evolutionary pressures were at work as discussed above. It may also be questioned whether today’s roads are sufficiently close to the roads of the time to allow a modern kilometer count to approximate historical conditions. I said earlier that for evolutionary pressures to have been at work on the contract there has to be evidence of directional modifications. and from where it is first recorded in the sample. This distance is fixed in some ways (Siena and Florence are no farther apart today than they were in 1300). The discussion in IV above allows me to put some flesh on these bones. having very few observations before 1200. as there appears to be no reason to believe diffusion should be linear. so it is opportune to relate P(ci=1) to the time elapsed since c was last encountered in the sample. travel conditions change. I can now turn to discussing the actual variables. Its role is to capture the geographic spread of a given clause. I would expect that the more recent was the use of c. Note that. However. in other words. waves of diffusion. ceteris paribus. GALASSI in the present context. Specifically. There should be. and fall with the distance from the location where the first instance of c is recorded in the sample.286 FRANCESCO L. and no real solution to them exists. It is unrealistic to suggest that notaries referred back several centuries when modifying the template. except to note that the results reported below suggest that the distance variables seem to mirror reasonably well the cost of spreading information. I am using both the kilometers from the location where c is last recorded. the extremely long time period covered by the sample makes it necessary to qualify these priors. both time (in years) and distance (in km) have been used in linear and quadratic form. and since demo- . As for distance. It follows that what matters is the distance that the carriers of the template modifications. The distance variable poses some conceptual problems. and that the farther away were its last and first use. the probability of encountering clause c in contract i should rise with time elapsed since c is first encountered in the sample. but the time taken traveling it is not. Ignoring improvements in transportation technology. had to travel between one place and the next. Since the sample is not evenly spread over the 700 years it covers.

the distance variables perform markedly better than the time elapsed variables (excluding. The linear time variable is significant in only two of four cases. first. about two dozen for the 1200-1350 period and none before or after) which leaves virtually no degrees of freedom. another dummy will attempt to capture the effects of political jurisdiction: Does it matter whether a contract was signed in Florentine territory. and even then only once at 5 per cent (in the other case. only the regressions using the supply of tools as the dependent variable failed all diagnostic tests. or in Sienese territory? Out of the three sets of clauses in Table 1. Overall. suggesting that as more time passed since the last use of the clause. the variables measuring distance from the . the time squared elapsed since any given clause was last recorded and. This was due to the very small number of contracts where tools are specifically mentioned (in all. This is in a way not surprising: in spite of centuries of conflict between Siena and Florence. one for the years of crisis (1348-1400). one for the period of demographic expansion when numerous contracts have survived (up to 1347). The former actually worsens the performance of the estimates. the lower was the probability of finding it again). second. Table 2 reports the estimates (t statistics in round brackets. the period dummies). On balance the results are almost surprisingly robust for a sample such as this. Information evidently flowed easily across their contested boundaries. that is. Finally. one for the period before 1200 when population was growing but few contracts remain.ITALIAN SHARECROPPING CONTRACTS 287 graphic trends obviously had a significant impact on the clauses used in these contracts (Table 1). On the other hand. and are therefore not reported. whether or not a contract was signed in the territory of Florence appears to have had no effect on the probability of particular clauses being included. it has the “wrong” sign. the political jurisdiction dummy. On balance. the distance variables all have the “correct” sign (negative) and often are significant at remarkably high levels (1 and 2 per cent). (). The only two variables that consistently fail to reach significance are. and was therefore omitted altogether from Table 2. and one for the slow recovery of the fifteenth century. each regression will include four chronological dummy variables. significance levels in square brackets []). the two city-states shared a language and a common cultural and legal heritage (Roman law). As for the latter.



the estimated coefficients for quadratic variables may indicate that beyond a certain point.290 FRANCESCO L. if all distance variables are omitted from the estimate. provided that traveling times and costs were linear in the distance traveled. tell an interesting story. In some ways. traveling costs rose so that diffusion was slowed down above a certain distance. In any event. once distance is taken out of the estimates. that is driving the parameters. This is powerful evidence in favor of evolutionary spreading. that tenants would supply it) the coefficients suggest linearity. in a process that must resemble what I discussed in Part IV above. In this sense. which try to capture changing demographic trends. The worsening of the tenants’ bargaining power during the centuries of demographic growth is quite visible in the negative coefficients relating the probability that complementary inputs would be supplied by landlords or shared to the period 1200 to 1347. this kind of result would suggest that mutations had arisen in several distinct locations independently. What do the estimates suggest about the nature of this diffusion? The evidence is ambiguous. linearity in diffusion is to be expected. notably the probability that landlords would supply livestock vs. it appears that the diffusion follows a quadratic rather than linear form. If the distance variables were insignificant. The mutation introduced in the population was passed on to geographically proximate carriers. even if strongly significant at times. This is not surprising: since the earliest contracts are from Siena. and the logit is recalculated with all the time variables and the political jurisdiction dummy. But it is the significance of . quadratic distance variables. The time dummies. not the political jurisdiction. the latter is weakly significant (10 per cent) and negative in all cases. In some cases. Interestingly. are rather “weak. GALASSI last recorded use of the clause (linear or squared) perform better than the distance from the location of first use. Equally evident on balance is the reversal of the trend after the Black Death: the probability that the supply of seed and livestock would be shared or taken on entirely by the landlord rises after 1347.” Their marginal effects tend to be in the order of fractions of percentage points. contracts signed in Florentine territory are less likely to include particular clauses. In other cases (the probability that seed would be shared vs. this latter is intuitively convincing: if modifications to the original template traveled with notaries. that tenants would. But it is the distance.

the carriers of the template. who in turn spoke to others farther away. and this must be stressed. The mezzadria contract fulfilled the function of giving labor self-monitoring incentives in conditions where it was costly to solve agency problems through direct supervision. But above all what the logit strongly suggests is that there was in fact an evolutionary process at work here. There is. must have communicated with one another (even across political boundaries) to find solutions. but was still better off than not having tenants at all. time) matters to relative probabilities estimated by the logit. which require that actors be interchangeable and rules continuous. no unique optimizing solution. they spread: distance (and. The contingent events of a given time period affected the outcomes of the bargaining processes. The downside of the sharing rule was that both parties had an incentive to economize on their complementary inputs (= supply inputs only up to the point where their marginal product equaled their opportunity cost times the reciprocal of the rental share). Institutions. who in turn repeated the process.e. Rather.ITALIAN SHARECROPPING CONTRACTS 291 the distance parameter estimates that underscores that learning was in fact taking place. to identify successful mutations that would spread in the population. There was. in some abstract sense. less clearly. bargaining between the contracting parties would determine their respective contributions. but so did access to information about how best to make use of changing circumstances. no well-defined point of tangency among Edgeworthian contract curves. i. If the technical coefficients of production were not fixed. . They communicated with the most proximate colleagues. reason to believe that the changing relative contributions embodied in these clauses were not arrived at independently at different places and different times. A landlord who had to supply tenants with seed in the early fifteenth century may have been. Any given solution spread 35 Knight. the notaries. in other words. worse off than his ancestor who had obtained it from his tenants 150 years earlier. and over this area Tuscan landlords and tenants bargained to and fro for centuries. In periods of stress.35 There was rather an area of possible outcomes.. The story probably goes something like this. that is in periods when one party was willing to give up some ground to gain access to an income stream.

And the process by which contingent events affected individuals was an evolutionary one: solutions worked out in one place spread. In reality. In the current instance this has been identified in the “template” of the notaries. an agenda that would seem to consist of three main items. A notary who could satisfy many clients by introducing a “good” adaptation in the template would have additional clients beating a path to his door. VI In the end. focusing on the clauses themselves makes the game in which landlords and tenants were engaged appear as zero-sum. more actors were interested in learning of new solutions. The approach taken here is that this is to be found in the simplest “non-reducible” rules. aggregates of which form institutions. All that was happening was that the price one or the other player had to pay to have access to this output rose or fell depending on contingent events. and it would seem likely that in general members of the legal profession are likely to perform this function for a large number of institutions. the exact process of diffusion of contractual clauses in late medieval Tuscan agriculture may in itself be of interest to agrarian historians. labor and capital. thereby ensuring that the successful clause would spread further. Diffusion means learning: under certain stimuli. The second is to identify the means by which these non-reducible rules are stored and transmitted. The first is that modeling institutional change requires the identification of the exact unit of selection. GALASSI because it reduced uncertainty for increasing number of people who found existing arrangements unsatisfactory. and would be copied by other notaries. But the issue here is whether the historical process is theoretically enlightening for researchers interested in institutional choice and change in general. In that sense the opportunity to follow change over 700 years is useful in that it may help define a research agenda for the analysis of institutional change. and it is on that criterion alone that the contribution of this article rests. Whether they do or not is an . this was a positive sum game. in that what players were ultimately bargaining for was the final output of land. In fact. It matters little to present purposes that one or the other party lost or gained something as a result of each mutation.292 FRANCESCO L. however.

ITALIAN SHARECROPPING CONTRACTS 293 empirical question which need not detain us here beyond stressing that transmission is not independent of the transmitter. . Finally. and as a consequence of the second point. understanding institutional choice and change involves understanding the incentives of the transmitters. and the distributional effects of passing the information on have to be modeled in any credible attempt to understand institutional choice and change as a general process. unless they were themselves landlords. If so. this aspect has been neglected in that the notaries had no obvious interest in siding with one or the other party when drawing up the contract. But those who store the information are not necessarily transmission neutral. In this case. however this does not seem to have affected the shift in contractual clauses against the interests of landowners after the demographic crisis of the fourteenth century.

x x .


x x .

lies nearby and is for the inhabitants as good as a granary.2 This approach emphasizes the role of trade in promoting a greater division of labor in town and countryside. as well as more efficient distribution of resources. The Commercialisation of English Society. Britnell. the extent and effect of these changes at a regional or local level is less clear. Aloisio “Malta is very fortunate for this one reason.A TEST CASE FOR REGIONAL MARKET INTEGRATION? THE GRAIN TRADE BETWEEN MALTA AND SICILY IN THE LATE MIDDLE AGES Mark A. The Earliest Description of Malta (Lyons 1536) (Malta: DeBono Enterprises. Martin’s Press. (Manchester: Manchester University Press. institutional or social barriers represented transaction costs that could significantly limit the flow of trade or access to markets. and the progressive integration and greater sophistication of regional market networks. 2nd. The History and Theory of England’s Economic Development (Oxford: Oxford University Press. Hatcher and M. J. the kingdom of Sicily—of which the Maltese Islands formed part—was a politically J. 2 For instance. H. Vella. Merchants and Markets: Inland Trade in Medieval England. Legal. 1997). 1980). Bailey. Insulae Melitae descriptio (Lyons 1536). R.”1 I The economy of medieval Europe is increasingly studied in the context of a “commercialist” or Smithian framework. 1150-1350 (New York: St. Quintin D’Autun. namely that Sicily. 1 . where otherwise they would die of hunger. ed. 121-73. in H. very fertile in all kinds of grain. Towns perform a crucial role in these models. Yet while few would dispute the increased commercialization and sophistication of the late medieval economy generally. ed. whereby urban demand for foodstuffs stimulates specialization and higher levels of productivity in agriculture. 1996). 2001). J. Peasants. In the fifteenth century. Masschaele. the expansion of commercial activity. 35. with trans. R. Modelling the Middle Ages. 10001500. For an exposition of the commercialist approach.

fully aware of the substantial revenues that its export brought into their coffers. Sicily and the Mediterranean 1100-1400 (London: Variorum. Since the reign of Frederick II. Cerdeña (Madrid: n.” VI Congreso de la Corona de Aragon. M. 1992).” in P. the grain trade was channeled through specially designated ports known as caricatori. Del Treppo. I. Sicilian wheat was exported to cities in northern Italy (particularly Florence and Genoa). An Island for Itself: Economic Development and Social Change in Late Medieval Sicily (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.” Annales d’Histoire Économique et Sociale 10 (1938): 483-501. essay VII. The Two Italies: Economic Relations between the Norman Kingdom of Sicily and the Northern Communes (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Paravicini. Epstein. Abulafia. I mercanti catalani e l’espansione della Corona d’Aragona nel secolo XV (Naples: L’Arte Tipografica Napoli. R. 1972).3 At one time or another. most of them located in the western half of the island where much of the 3 M. It has recently been argued that during the late Middle Ages Sicily’s internal markets became progressively more integrated. Aspetti dei commercio dei cereali nei Paesi della Corona d’Aragona. II The important role of Sicily in the grain trade of the medieval Mediterranean is well known. S. De Boüard. 147-74. Cancila. “Il commercio dei grani nella Sicilia del ‘500. “Un grand commerce médiéval: les céréales dans le bassin de la Méditerranée occidentale: Remarques et suggestions. D. 1994). 5-22. La Sardegna (Pisa-Cagliari: Pacini. In the course of this paper I wish to discuss the extent of this economic integration by highlighting some obstacles that disrupted the trade in grain between Sicily and Malta during much of the fifteenth century. (Rome-Palermo: Bibliothéques des Écoles françaises d’Athènes et de Rome. Toubert and A.4 Sicily’s Norman. 4 D. “Problèmes de subsistance dans un état médiéval: le marché et les prix des céréales au royaume angevin de Sicile (1266-1282).. “Lo stato e la vita economica. Bresc. 1983). 25-30 Aprile 1982.298 MARK A. Lettere e Arti. 165-187. ed. Angevin and Aragonese rulers took an active interest in the commercial exploitation of this vital commodity. Abulafia. Federico II e il mondo mediterraneo (Palermo: Sellerio. France and Spain and occasionally even to north Africa. Palermo-Trapani-Erice.” Archivio storico per la Sicilia orientale 72 (1975): 7-40. On the Mediterranean grain trade in the Middle Ages. Aymard. 1977). 2 vols. 2 (Palermo: Accademia di Scienze. ALOISIO unified state with a relatively commercialized economy. O. Wolff. Abulafia. M. P. Un monde méditerranéen: économie et societé en Sicile. Abulafia. 1981). “Sul commercio del grano siciliano nel tardo Duecento.. 1983). 1987).p. Baroni e popolo nella Sicilia del grano (Palermo: Palumbo.” in La società mediterranea all’epoca del Vespro: XI Congresso della Corona d’Aragona. . repr. 1300-1450. D. in D. Italy. 1986). M. vol. H. 1959). Tangheroni.

A system of land and (more importantly) sea transport linked the caricatori of Sciacca.000 salme in the 1490s. Sicilian cities.GRAIN TRADE BETWEEN MALTA AND SICILY 299 grain was grown. 275. 331-70. Mediterraneo e Sicilia all’inizio dell’epoca moderna. Baroni. Agrigento and Licata to the two main cities of Palermo. given their inability to rely on institutional privileges for economic and human resources. 8 Cancila. . in C. Un monde.10 It seems therefore that most of the grain produced in Sicily was consumed locally. 5 6 Abulafia. An Island for Itself. Trasselli.” Economic History Review 46 (3) (1993): 453-77.9 Nonetheless. 44.” Annali della Facoltà di Economia e Commercio dell’Università di Palermo 11 (1957): 217-52.” 165-87. 10 Epstein. 11 Epstein. in spite of these impressive figures.7 Some 122. Stephan Epstein believes that.000 to 30. 9 Epstein.5 Sicily produced at least three types of wheat by the sixteenth century but the hard variety (grano duro) was especially prized for its capacity to resist rot while remaining in storage for several years. “Sull’esportazione dei cereali dalla Sicilia negli anni 1402-1407.000-100. In the late thirteenth century annual export levels averaged 20.75 hl). 20 reaches similar conclusions. 274. however. “Lo stato. Trasselli.000 salme were shipped out of Sicilian ports in 1407-1409 but this may have been an exceptional year. as Epstein himself concedes. repr. An Island for Itself.000 salme was probably typical throughout the 1460s with a maximum of 90.6 The island’s reputation as a major grain producer was indeed well-founded. (Ricerche quattrocentesche) (Cosenza: Pellegrini Editore. Messina and to smaller centers such as Trapani. Baroni. “Town and Country: Economy and Institutions in Late Medieval Italy. estimates put grain exports at less than ten per cent of domestic output. Cancila. Cancila. 127-8.000 salme in the following century (1 salma = 2. S. Epstein. did not apply in the case of a strategic and relatively scarce commodity such as grain. this state of affairs.8 An average of 50. Sicily’s towns and cities were forced to obtain these resources on a competitive basis. 16. 1977). with the partial exception of Messina. where urban centers frequently obtained jurisdictional authority over the surrounding their contado and its resources. 133. R. C. 7 Bresc. An Island for Itself. Syracuse and Catania. had little direct control over their hinterland. occasionally reaching a maximum share of fifteen per cent.000 salme and perhaps around 40.11 However. Baroni. Unlike northern Italy.

Governare un Regno. and reducing tolls on internal trade. however. the monarchy appears to have been unable or reluctant to consistently enforce institutional reforms favoring more open markets. Petino. The grain reserves of many cities were frequently low and any interruption in the supply chain could provoke considerable hardships for the inhabitants. one of the principal outlets for the export of grain in Sicily. Manfredi.000 salme while production averaged some 18. 16 A. An Island for Itself.15 My own research based on the notarial archives of Sciacca. Corrao. Thomas. P. Giurati. Aspetti e momenti di politica granaria a Catania e in Sicilia nel Quattrocento (Catania: Università di Catania. that Sicily’s domestic grain market remained quite fragmented throughout much of the fifteenth century. 97-100. For instance. Catania’s annual grain requirements in the fifteenth century were in the region of 12. Indications are. 107-8.000 salme. suggests that the interests of the local authorities were often in conflict with those who had grain for sale because the latter found it more profitable to sell their stocks to Catalan.13 Among the latter measures was a decree passed in 1398 which stated that no tratte or trade permits were to be paid on grain exchanged intra regno and hence destined for internal consumption. In this case at least. Salvo. 1952). 14 D. Politica e società nella Sicilia aragonese (Palermo: U.12 The Aragonese monarchy also took steps to revive Sicily’s economy and promote inter-regional trade by establishing new fairs. Genoese and other foreign merchants. D’Alessandro. the grain trade was effectively controlled by local municipal officials who not only decided the price at which grain was to be sold in the city but frequently also owned the very estates from where that grain was bought. the state often needed to act against powerful and entrenched local or sectional interests including monopoly rights of feudal lords and protectionist measures by individual cities. North and R. 30. A New Economic History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Feudatari Mercanti. 12 . 15 C.000-15. 1963). Potere. This is hardly surprising given that. L’élite urbana a Messina tra Medio Evo e Età Moderna (Rome: Bibliopolis. The Rise of the Western World. standardizing weights and measurements. 13 Epstein. 1995). 1991). C. in order to do so. 96. ALOISIO In 1392 Martin I of Aragon invaded Sicily in order to restore royal authority and put an end to years of wars and internal political instability.300 MARK A.14 In fifteenth-century Messina. 1973).16 V. P. società e istituzioni in Sicilia fra Trecento e Quattrocento (Naples: Liguori Editore.

18 Del Treppo. 58-60.GRAIN TRADE BETWEEN MALTA AND SICILY 301 Moreover. That assurance notwithstanding. 744-7. Sicily’s towns. (Naples: Società editrice Storia di Napoli e della Sicilia. publ.19 Some of the larger cities managed to either assure themselves of preferential access to grain stocks through special arrangements or by closing ports or even by interdicting grain destined for export. Terra. III The Maltese islands. Un monde. By then Martin had been succeeded by Alfonso V who intervened directly in the Italian grain markets. Romano. Gozo and Comino. selling grain during periods of scarcity and high demand. 3: 411-47.. apparently with great zeal. 19 Bresc. Alfonso passed a series of measures promoting grain exports at the expense of domestic consumption requirements. Thus. were increasingly forced into a harsh struggle to gain control over food supplies for their citizens. regime della terra e società rurale (secoli XI-XV).17 In 1404. An example from Agrigento serves to emphasize this point. 10 vols. orig. Martin I declared to those officials the monarchy’s intention to act in the interests of the island’s cities first and the merchants second. the desire on the part of the state to act in the interests of the urban masses and to implement long-term economic reforms often conflicted with more immediate political and fiscal concerns. nobili e borghesi nella Sicilia medievale (Palermo: Sellerio. in the course of the fifteenth century. 357-9 and Chap. such as the Maltese Islands. faced with a growing population and rising grain prices. 1994). in R. “Paesaggio agrario. I mercanti. in 1433 the crown had given permission to two feudal lords to establish their own caricatori in the region thereby bypassing that of Agrigento. 1980). after the town’s giurati (municipal officials) had acted to prevent grain exports out of their port. while engaged in military campaigns against Naples. D’Alessandro. D’Alessandro.18 In the 1430s. The Aragonese king was at that moment desperately in need of funds and provisions. 3. consisting of Malta. The surface is rocky in most places. Smaller communities.” in V. 17 . have a combined area of only about 316 square kilometers. both of which could be obtained by manipulating sales of grain. Storia della Sicilia. the soil is shallow and water generally scarce V. often faced even greater difficulties. ed. as grain exports increased.

B. 218. 21 H. ed. ed. 132. it was natural for the Maltese to look to Sicily. “Agriculture in Malta in the Late Middle Ages. The Making of Christian Malta (Aldershot: Variorum. In the fifteenth century it was extensively utilized in Barcelona and also in Genoa and Montpellier. 1982). both raw and in spun form. Wettinger. Iz-Zmien Nofsani Malti (Malta: Pubblikazzjonijiet Indipendenza. and the fact that they both formed part of the same political order. Del Treppo provides several examples of Catalan merchants purchasing cotton in Malta.” in M. The only sizeable concentrations of people on Malta were the town of Mdina with its suburb of Rabat in the center and the royal castle at Birgu.” in A. with wheat. ed. “The ‘Secrezia’ and the Royal Patrimony in Malta: 1240-1450. 20 .21 Given their geographical proximity. was widely exported and provided a valuable source of income through which Malta was able to pay for the growing necessity to purchase wheat from nearby Sicily. a mere 60 km away. Bresc. remains the best introduction to the island’s medieval history. cumin and cotton being the principal crops. Maltese cotton is mentioned in Genoa in 1164: Abulafia. ALOISIO so that even today agriculture is heavily dependent on winter precipitation.302 MARK A. repr. probably hovering around 10.” in Luttrell. 22 G. C.20 In spite of the harsh physical environment. 2002). T. For more recent overviews. “Approaches to Medieval Malta. 2004). Medieval Malta.. Proceedings of History Week 1981 (Malta: The Malta Historical Society. rev. Nonetheless. 2002).. Most other inhabitants were dispersed in rural settlements where they cultivated their own fields or worked on the larger private fiefs or royal estates. Buhagiar. Luttrell. T. the need for Malta to import grain was probably not acute prior to the fifteenth century. which guarded the island’s main harbor located in the south-east. Cotton. The Story of Malta. 13. Malta (the largest of the three islands) managed to support a sizeable population throughout the late middle ages.22 A number of instances are known in the fourteenth century when Malta actually exported grain to Sicily but even then these were probably unusual occurrences. The Two Italies. (Malta: Progress Press. Sicilian wheat was of superior quality compared to that grown in Malta and was therefore always in demand. 1-70. in A. T. Medieval Malta. Dalli.000 by the early fifteenth century. Luttrell. Agriculture was the mainstay of the economy and the land was worked by a free peasantry. Studies on Malta before the Knights (London: The British School at Rome. A more accurate picture A. Luttrell. 1975). Blouet. to supply local needs. The archipelago was incorporated into the Norman kingdom of Sicily in the late eleventh century and after 1282 became a peripheral outpost of the Crown of Aragon.

. 1918)..23 In 1435 the Maltese claimed that grain shortages occurred every two to three years and were reducing the island to “great poverty. 1480. 1.25 In critical moments the estimated need for grain could be higher still. eds. § 286. T. or 5.” Mélanges de la Casa de . in G. possibly drawn up in response to the above-mentioned invasion scare. Giambruno and L. “Li Buki di Rabatu: The Population of Rabat c. 1993). Acta Iuratorum et Consilii Civitatis et Insulae Maltae (Palermo: Associazione di Studi Malta-Sicilia/Centro di Studi Filologici e Linguistici Siciliani. probably on the order of 1000-2000 salme each year. 2002). “Une croissance sélective: la population sicilienne aux XVIe-XVIIe siècles.”24 The Maltese historian Godfrey Wettinger argues that in this period it became increasingly necessary to supplement local production with regular imports. L. 28 G.” Melita Historica 5 (2) (1969): 80-106.000. Melitensium Amor. which admittedly may have been an unusually harsh year. 121-6. 409: “ki omni dui oy tri anni pati penuria di victuaglu per ki a quista chitati et insola fa misteri trahiri di Sichilia gran quantitati di frumenti. Festschrift in honour of Dun Gwann Azzopardi (Malta: Gutenberg Press.. ed. Comparable demographic growth patterns have been observed for Sicily in the later fifteenth century: M. as the island experienced a demographic upsurge that doubled the population to almost 20. Bugeja. while in 1480. 24 S. the authorities debated whether they should purchase 2.26 Given that one salma was equivalent to the yearly consumption for 1-1. Hospitaller Malta 1530-1798. Wettinger. 1993). Cortis. In 1468. 27 S.000 salme. 26 Wettinger. A population list from 1480 for the community of Rabat. 73-96. John of Jerusalem (Malta: Mireva. Fiorini.” 25 Wettinger.. Studies on Early Modern Malta and the Order of St.5 individuals. Wettinger.” in V. indicated that its population of 317 households necessitated an additional 896 salme of grain. “Agriculture in Malta.000 salme. Mallia-Milanes. “Malta in 1530. 3. Fiorini.000. S. § 772. Aymard. ed.” in T. Freller. Capitoli inediti delle città demaniali di Sicilia approvati sino al 1458. “The Militia List of 1419-20: A New Starting Point for the Study of Malta’s Population.GRAIN TRADE BETWEEN MALTA AND SICILY 303 of Malta’s grain requirements is possible for the fifteenth century for which more documentary material has survived. these figures represent significant amounts that must have imposed a considerable financial burden on the island’s limited resources. Genuardi.000 by 153028 (at the time of the arrival of the knights 23 The main sources utilized here are the records of the Maltese municipal administration. ed. Alcamo-Malta (Palermo: Boccone del povero.27 Certainly the need to import grain pressed ever more urgently upon the Maltese authorities between the fifteenth and the sixteenth centuries. Acta Iuratorum. faced with the threat of a Turkish invasion. the municipal council ordered the purchase of 4.” 14.

1968). the task of ensuring that the population were adequately supplied with wheat was the responsibility of the local municipal council or universitas. 30 P. Moreover.. who often viewed public office as an opportunity to promote sectional or private interests. who was appointed by the royal authorities. Salvo. 727. 32 Bresc. 1-18.000 salme of wheat annually. For similar patterns of behavior within the universitas of Messina. Studies on the Maltese universitas and other universitates in Sicily have demonstrated that they tended to be dominated by a small group of families. In addition to the procurement of grain.304 MARK A. Historical Essays Presented to Professor Godfrey Wettinger on his Seventieth Birthday (Malta: Malta University Press. “Assemblee municipali nella Sicilia tardomedievale: note sul caso maltese.30 The universitas of Malta was based at Mdina but its jurisdiction in fact extended beyond the limits of that town to include all the villages on the island. Roughly 16 per cent of debates and deliberations within the town council between 1450 and 1499 concerned matters relating to grain. ed.” 14. Proceedings of History Week 1992 (Malta: The Malta Historical Society. 37-46.32 The precise extent to which personal interests impinged on the public responsibility of the universitas to provision its citizens with grain is difficult to assess. 1994). “Malta in 1530. The principal officials of the universitas were the captain. who were chosen locally and served for one year. . “Capitoli: The Voice of an Elite. Fiorini.31 From 1402 to 1457.. of whom only 42 had members who became jurati. the universitas oversaw the defense of the island. Un monde.” in P. that office was in fact monopolized by fourteen families whose members received 101 of 145 municipal appointments. the proVelasquez (Paris: E. Karissime Gotifride.” 111-98. and the enforcement of price controls on foodstuffs. Dalli. Fiorini. 1999). 31 C. the universitas of Malta was effectively controlled by 68 families. de Boccard. ALOISIO of St John). “Agriculture in Malta. The language used in the debates that took place during council meetings was often vague and the necessary prosopographical research that can identify relations among different families or groups has not yet been done. 29 Wettinger. Malta and Gozo were importing about 9.29 As in other towns and cities in Sicily. the farming out of indirect taxes (gabelle) on imported and exported goods. However. Corrao. 95-120. ed. By then. Xuereb. and the jurati. Giurati. 4: 303-27.” in S. where a large section of the population lived.

communal officials often appointed a representative charged with its procurement. 1 grano = 6 denari). “liberam et generalem potestatem administracionem et procuram pro emendo frumentum per universitatem et illud mictendo cum navigiis et si invenerit aliquem qui offeret fornire insolam frumento pro toto anno eciam ad granos duos ultra quod veniret ad expensas universitates quod habeat licenciam concordandi hoc prestito per eum juramento sollempni dum modo quod alii ferentes possent vendere . gave permission for the deal to take place. § 562.. all on Sicily’s southern coast. grani and denari (1 uncia = 30 tarì. Licata and Syracuse. some jurati attempted to manipulate the selling price of imported grain to favor another merchant who was entrusted with its procurement (and who served periodically as a jurato). Acta Iuratorum. Most grain destined for Malta was apparently shipped from Terranova. As in Sicily. 34 Wettinger. like other Sicilian towns.33 In other instances. whereby Catalans supplied cloth and agricultural products to Malta in 33 Wettinger. This activity confirms a pattern. When it became necessary to import wheat to Malta. § 561. Acta Iuratorum. the jurati discussed the offer and.GRAIN TRADE BETWEEN MALTA AND SICILY 305 posals put forward by some council members frequently appear to have specifically favored certain individuals at the expense of others. the Maltese authorities were approached directly by individuals or firms willing to bring grain to the island. At other times. For instance. if found acceptable. and these officials most likely functioned as intermediaries between sellers and buyers. tarì. already delineated by Mario Del Treppo. a fellow jurat. If these examples represent a more widespread pattern of behavior among Maltese municipal authorities at the time they would have certainly represented a further disruption to the flow of trade in grain between the two islands. the money of account used in Malta and Gozo was the uncia. § 556. In that case. Contemporary records indicate the involvement of Maltese and Sicilians in this trade but Catalan merchants were especially prominent.” . had consuls in various parts of Sicily where its merchants traded. including Licata and Syracuse. and the price at which it would be sold in Malta. § 219 (1462): council granted Fredericus Calabachi.. 1 tarì = 20 grani. They also needed to decide how much grain to buy and at what price. The Maltese uncia was equivalent to around one-seventh of that of Sicily in the late fifteenth century. in March 1474 a number of merchants protested a decision by the universitas that prohibited the sale of grain for eight days with the exception of one merchant who a few days earlier had been allowed to sell a quantity of wheat at the high price of 21 tarì per salma.34 The Maltese universitas.

141. yet other requests to reconfirm this privilege recur in 1435 and 1450.39 Alfonso granted another exemption from payment of export licenses on grain and other victuals in 1432. 390. 166-7.37 It has been argued that Martin’s decree contributed to the formation of an integrated grain market in Sicily by opening the way for reduced incidences of shortages and more stable prices. In fact. the Maltese petitioned Ferdinand I to reconfirm that privilege. commercial relations between Malta and Sicily should have been categorized as internal trade. that were levied on exports of grain fuori regno. . ALOISIO exchange for Maltese raw and spun cotton. I mercanti. 40 Giambruno and Genuardi. 38 Epstein. however. among them that of Malta.306 MARK A. Capitoli.35 As a territory that formed part of the kingdom of Sicily. 172. In practice things worked rather differently. It is not known whether Ferdinand acceded to the Maltese request. following the reincorporation of the islands into the demesne. 174-5.36 In 1416 however.40 35 Del Treppo. 36 Epstein. “The Pawning of Malta to Monroy. known as tratte.38 As the example of Malta demonstrates.” Melita Historica 7 (3) (1978): 265-83. An Island for Itself. 376. 176. 141-50. one of the most pressing concerns for the Maltese universitas in the early fifteenth century was to obtain from the royal officials a permanent exemption from payment of the tratte and other taxes on trade. This aim appeared to have been realized in 1398. when Malta and Gozo were pawned to the Aragonese nobleman Gonsalvo Monroy and so were not part of the demesne. alleging that they were being taxed at one-half tratta for each salma. Wettinger. That privilege was hitherto enjoyed only by the city of Messina but was now extended throughout the demesne which included most universitates. I mercanti. 39 G. An Island for Itself. royal privileges could lose much of their effect if they fell into disuse (as the Maltese claimed) or were not reconfirmed or firmly enforced. Capitoli. and hence exempted from payment of licences. but any trade privileges granted would have been lost from 1421 to 1428. 37 Giambruno and Genuardi. when shortly after the restoration of Aragonese power in Sicily. The exchange of Catalan cloth and foodstuffs for Maltese grain by a Catalan merchant company in the 1450s and 1460s is difficult to explain: Del Treppo. Martin I exempted from export duties all commerce intra regno involving grain and foodstuffs traded by sea.

§ 73 (1456). § 927. and Wettinger. particularly during the summer months when the weather was favorable to longer voyages.47 to conduct searches to reveal hoarded supplies.48 or to institute forced loans upon all or some members of the community with which the universi- Wettinger. which perhaps explains why the capitoli (petitions) of the universitas of the island of Lipari contained complaints similar to those by the Maltese.. 1405-1524. 745. Acta Iuratorum. Fiorini. § 517. On the cherca. Wettinger. Archivum Cathedralis Melitae. § 84. Acta Iuratorum. Capitoli. either because of the intransigence or corruption of port officials who refused to honor toll exemptions or because towns in Sicily were unwilling to allow sales of grain for fear that they themselves might experience shortages. the Maltese continued to experience difficulties procuring grain. and Wettinger. In 1483 the port official of Licata asked the Maltese authorities not to buy all their grain from his city but to extend their search to other ports. Fiorini. 371. Bresc. 43 Wettinger. ed.GRAIN TRADE BETWEEN MALTA AND SICILY 307 Even when trading privileges were in force. Fiorini. and Wettinger.” 42 41 . Documents. § 216 (1462). and in 1507 Maltese who wished to buy grain from Terranova were allegedly being forced to pay bribes to customs officials or risk imprisonment. Some people made their own private arrangements to purchase grain in Sicily.46 In difficult circumstances the universitas sometimes adopted harsh measures such as requiring those who held stocks of grain to sell it immediately. Wettinger. Acta Iuratorum. § 125 (1461). § 314 (1468): “si faza la cherca di quilli ki hannu portatu frumentu et si l’annu portatu per usu so si pigla parti per vindiri a lu populu. Malta appears to have been buying grain from several caricatori including Agrigento. and Heraclea. Documents. § 96. Del Amo García. § 45. in spite of an order from the viceroy. 44 Del Amo García. Documents of the Maltese Universitas. 45 Del Amo García. Mazara. 48 Wettinger. Un monde. 47 Wettinger. Fiorini. Acta Iuratorum.44 Times of scarcity only compounded the usual difficulties. No.41 Small towns or isolated communities may have been especially vulnerable because they could not easily make their voice heard.42 In 1483. §215 (1462). the authorities in Licata refused to sell wheat to Malta. Giambruno and Genuardi. Miscellanea 33. 1. Documents. § 101. 46 Del Amo García. S. and G. Cathedral Museum. J. §279 (1468). Documentary Sources of Maltese History (Malta: Malta University Press. Licata. § 101. Sciacca. 2001).43 Similar protests were made in 1513 and 1515 against other port authorities. Acta Iuratorum.45 In fact by 1515. Mdina. 366-7.

51 Hatcher and Bailey. unevenly distributed. I believe that the evidence presented above confirms the view that economic intervention by the medieval state generally came in spurts and its effect was. 50 Wettinger. the universitas authorized the seizure of ships carrying grain to other destinations and confiscated their cargo. 168. to assess the effect of commercialization on a local level.50 IV In conclusion. they may have indeed contributed to a reduction of institutional constraints on trade and promoted regional specialization and greater market integration. § 25 (undated). this did not occur. § 548.. but nonetheless important. and this inevitably restricted the scale of any reduction in the transaction costs of marketing for most producers. §197 (1462). As John Hatcher and Mark Bailey have recently noted: legal controls over trade in the Middle Ages were not intended to secure cheap and ready participation for as many as possible.49 If the situation was deemed to be especially critical. at best. §218 (1462) (forced loan of 1000 florins on “persuni facultusi”). However. . Malta’s alienation from the demesne between 1421 and 1428—by no means a unique event among demesnal cities in the 49 Wettinger. for the profit of a few beneficiaries. towns and urban elites were often more concerned with protecting their particular fiscal and commercial privileges than in reducing the cost of regional trade. it is admittedly notoriously difficult. I would like to remark on two implications which can be derived from this study. Even in a relatively commercialized society like late medieval Sicily.308 MARK A.. § 549. the Maltese evidence shows that there were also several instances where. Acta Iuratorum. ALOISIO tas could purchase grain (inpronti). Acta Iuratorum. First. Rather their object was to extend and protect the control of commercial activity . I suggest that the extent to which urban demand in the late Middle Ages was responsible for opening commodity markets and lowering the costs of trade was in part limited by conflicts of interests within and among individual towns. § 547. in practice. When stategranted economic privileges were reasonably respected or enforced.51 Second. Modelling the Middle Ages.

for the state. the benefits of short term gains might outweigh long-term expectations.GRAIN TRADE BETWEEN MALTA AND SICILY 309 kingdom of Sicily—stands as a reminder that. .

and the most involved in trade at the interregional fairs. 1937).505 debt recognitions. were destroyed in 1914.2 The extent to which the decline of the Champagne fairs was involved in the general decay of Ypres’ prosperity. 2 See particularly Hans Van Werveke. either as cause or effect. 3 John Munro has argued persuasively that the eclipse of the Champagne fairs was due to a decline in the production of light woollens that had been the most important element in their prosperity. Before the war the city archivist. Comptes de la ville d’Ypres de 1267 à 1329. Lille. the most industrial. because the archives of the city. including 5. Its cloth was the most highly taxed of any Flemish textiles at the fairs of Provins. Munro. 4 Guillaume Des Marez and E. Warfare. the most precocious in record-keeping.COMMERCIAL CREDIT AND CENTRAL PLACE FUNCTION IN THIRTEENTH-CENTURY YPRES David Nicholas Of the five great cities of Flanders (Ghent. 109.3 Indeed.1 The decline of the textile industry of Ypres in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries is well known. John H.und Wirtschaftsgeschichte 88 (2001): 1-47. and the city maintained its own houses for merchant lodging at Provins and Lagny. 96.. 118. published the city accounts from 1267 to 13294 and took extensive notes on the more than seven thousand chirographs. Guillaume Des Marez. (Brussels: Commission Royale d’Histoire. eds. Bruges. Douai) in the late thirteenth century Ypres was the last to develop urban characteristics. once the richest of Flanders.” Vierteljahrschrift für Sozial. most questions concerning Ypres must remain open. He links the change also to the rise in transaction costs with the onset of wars in the 1290s. 1909-1913). 2 vols. “The ‘New Institutional Economics’ and the Changing Fortunes of Fairs in Medieval and Early Modern Europe: the Textile Trades. at 14-9. Klasse der Letteren. when the 1 Elizabeth Chapin. Les villes de foires de Champagne des origins au début du XIVe siècle (Paris: Honoré Champion. De Sagher. . 1947). that were contracted before the échevins of the city from 1 October 1249 to 18 June 1291. Ypres. Letteren en Schone Kunsten van België. and Transaction Costs. De omvang van de Ieperse lakenproductie in de veertiende eeuw. 9 (Antwerp: Standaard. no. 115. must remain an open question. Mededelingen van de Koninklijke Vlaamse Academie voor Wetenschappen.













w egulated Textile Industries by 1382. Castellany of Ypres and Environs .






gros tournois .




















and Holland in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.. See also John H. Unger England. and Transaction Costs. His emphasis is on the fall in transaction costs in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries and the rise of fairs in the Low Countries. Infrastructure (Leuven: Garant. 14th to 16th Centuries. With the exception of Paris. in extending the scope of their trade. and Flanders were the most urbanized parts of northern Europe.und Wirtschaftsgeschichte 88 (1) (2001): 20-8.THRESHOLDS FOR MARKET INTEGRATION IN THE LOW COUNTRIES AND ENGLAND IN THE FIFTEENTH CENTURY Richard W. Some food production within town walls was to be a common feature of European cities into the nineteenth century. Towns were net consumers of people: Death rates were higher than birth rates. did not indicate a reliance on long distance trade or even intra-European trade that would be typical of the following two centuries. Southeastern England. and Anke Greve. and in integrating their markets with those of other towns changed little and perhaps even declined. which largely meant London. Munro. environmental and political circumstances. 1 . 2000). “The ‘New Institutional Economics’ and the Changing Fortunes of Fairs in Medieval and Early Modern Europe: The Textile Trades. Bruno Blondé. Warfare. Even more dramatically they were net consumers of food.” Vierteljahrschrift für Sozial. 105-67. while showing signs of economic growth and a remarkable ability to adjust to changing demographic. A. Organisation. virtually all sizeable fifteenth-century cities north of Italy could be found in the region. eds. Brabant. Urban dwellers kept animals and had gardens. “English ‘Backwardness’ and Financial Innovations in Commerce with the Low Countries. A. Munro.” in Peter Stabel. But for the principal source of nutrition of pre-modern See among other works by John H.1 But for much of the two centuries before 1500 it appears that the participation of the towns around the southern North Sea in exchange. Flanders. More stable political conditions allowing a revival in overland trade to Germany and Italy along with expansion of shipping were the foundation for subsequent growth in industrial production and in commerce. International Trade in the Low Countries (14th-16th Centuries) Merchants.

Cities were sumps for food grains. The towns of southeastern England and the Low Countries did not rely extensively on grain shipped to them from afar and. The principal urban markets in northern Europe in the later Middle Ages showed low degrees of market integration with those at any considerable distance away. trade in food grains was limited. barley and oats.350 RICHARD W. Within the Low Countries. bread. and especially the southern Low Countries. people in cities had to import the raw material. According to Van der Wee urban markets in Brabant were moving toward integration already well before 1500. Towns were a force for promoting and generating trade and exchange. . The towns could function and prosper on the basis of nearby supplies. Scholars examining the grain markets of the region through a variety of statistical tests—that is Marie-Jeanne Tits-Dieuaide2—and the growth of the largest city in sixteenth century Europe—that is Herman Van der Wee—among others. found evidence for the emergence in the fifteenth century of an integrated market or markets in Flanders and Brabant. consistent with theoretical expectations and with the constraints placed on them by the availability of land and by the prevailing technologies of agriculture. Few towns reached or surpassed a threshold which forced them to seek food grains from distant points. a force for creating conditions conducive to an economy based on shipping and commerce. 270-5. The process gained momentum in that most densely populated region of northern Europe in the following century giving something of an impression of the inevitability of the process. not even grain shipped from relatively nearby. however. It appears that. that was not the case in the fifteenth century. sucking wheat and rye. in the fifteenth century there was a high and increasing degree of market integration. from the countryside. The size of towns around the southern North Sea and their need for food grains would suggest a need for trade. especially in what was a clearly defined and relatively small region. a process he said which became 2 Marie-Jeanne Tits-Dieuaide. UNGER people in northern Europe. in fact. La formation des prix céréaliers en Brabant et en Flandre au XVe siècle (Brussels: Éditions de l'Université de Bruxelles. surprisingly. 1975). Despite the high degree of urbanization. That seeming anomaly is.

1963). the final economic result was not inevitable. and Economic Growth in Late Medieval Europe.3 Both he and Tits-Dieuaide were convinced that a closely related and connected regional market for. Brussels. eds.” in Piet Van Cruyningen and Erik Thoen. Richard W. wheat and rye. A standard test for market integration is whether prices tended to converge and to move together. 1: 23-4.. Unger. . and government regulations worked to prevent exchange. at the very least. “Feeding Low Countries Towns: The Grain Trade in the Fifteenth Century. may be common in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries but by no means was that the only possible outcome in the fifteenth. the charting of prices leaves a strong impression of the convergence of prices of the principal food grains. Town and Countryside from the late Middle Ages to the 19th Centuries: Supply and Demand of Food (Turnhout: Brepols Publishers.4 Though price movements in the various markets were not always of the same magnitude at exactly the same time. 31. Institutional Innovation. called globalization by later writers. Cumula3 Herman Van der Wee. and Louvain. “Regional Fairs.” Economic History Review 47 (3) (1994): 459-482.” Revue Belge de Philolgie et d'Histoire 77 (2) (1999): 32958.MARKET INTEGRATION 351 more pronounced over time. warfare. 6 Stephan R. Unger.5 In the sixteenth century the same regions became even more integrated among themselves but only then with markets elsewhere in northern Europe. Data from towns in the Netherlands outside of Flanders and Brabant suggest that the process of integration was advanced by then but less so in places like Douai and Utrecht than in Antwerp. The grander pattern. 5 For a summary of the discussion about Low Countries market integration and further statistical confirmation of a level of regional market integration see Richard W. This suggests slow movement toward integration and within limits. “Maritime Transport and the Integration of Low Countries Grain Markets in the Late Middle Ages. For the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries it appears that integration was local and at most regional. despite the eventual integration of markets throughout northwestern Europe. Despite the long term outcome. Then more common it appears was the development of integration in relatively small regions which were themselves in turn connected commercially through new periodic regional fairs that emerged in the period. the southern Low Countries had emerged by 1500. 4 See Appendix 1. The Growth of the Antwerp Market and the European Economy (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff. forthcoming).6 Levels of transactions costs. Epstein.

worked to make small parts of the region self-sufficient. including diversification and intensification. At the same time swings in production thanks to changing natural conditions and improvements in transportation had the opposite effect. Measures of market integration indicate the limited degree of reliance on distant markets and the limited scope of integration in the region. Where levels of correlation were high that indicates that when a food grain was in short supply consumers turned to sources of the good in other markets. then price series from the two markets for the same good should be highly correlated. To test the degree to which consumers moved not to distant sources for the same food grain but shifted to different grains in their own market prevailing prices were compared inside single markets. That indicates that when a good grain was in short supply consumers turned to other grains in the same market. Consumers preferred wheat almost invariably. that is either by weight or volume depending on the practice of the individual market. The wealthy bought wheaten bread and the not so wealthy bought it when they . UNGER tive improvements in agricultural production. Comparisons were made using the currency prevailing in that market.352 RICHARD W. Data on potential food grain production indicate why towns could and did get by in many if not most years on what local farmers grew in the fields around the towns. Corrections were made for differences in and changes in the units of measure. In the fifteenth century in England and the Low Countries correlations of prices of different food grains in the same market were even higher than correlations of prices between markets. If prices moved up and down together. The demand for wheat was more susceptible to changes in the income of consumers. thus avoiding problems created by the changing values of currencies. Wheat prices were higher per unit volume always. Many of the towns of the region only infrequently searched outside of the lands nearby for sources of food grains. however. the level of integration with other urban markets was scant. to be expected of two markets that are integrated. There was a hierarchy of food grains in late medieval markets. Because of the higher price wheat was better able to cover transport costs and so was more likely to be exchanged across markets. At many points in the fifteenth century and for many parts of the region. On balance and in the long term it is true that the forces for integration prevailed.

the only variation being small and “Oats. If wheat was. A History of Brewing in Holland 900-1900. If no grains were traded then prices would have been determined solely by local conditions. It was an inferior good in that presumably a fall in price would have led to no increase in consumption as people used the income released by the lower cost of oats to buy something else. such as wheat or more likely rye. Knapton etc. 116-20. That seems to have been especially true in England in the later Middle Ages. and illustrated in their different significations by examples from the best writers: to which are prefixed a history of the language and an English grammar (London: W. the next grain up the ladder of preference from oats. A grain which in England is generally given to horses. Unger.” (Samuel Johnson. and P. it was used extensively in brewing. A fall in the price of wheat drew more consumers into the market for the good. porridge and. relatively. Brill. The expectation is that the price of a traded grain would have had a high correlation with prices in other markets and much less of a correlation with prices of other grains in the same market. J. that is if prices changed consumption levels changed little. 1755). Barley was not in the same class as wheat which was alone at the top of the grain hierarchy but barley was probably ahead of rye because of its use in quality beer. Economy. a luxury good then oats was at the other end of the spectrum.7 In the Middle Ages the grain was used as animal feed but was also used for bread. Technology and the State (Leiden: E. A dictionary of the English language: in which the words are deduced from their originals. The market for wheat should have been larger. 8 See Richard W. Strahan for J. more integrated and integrated earlier than those for inferior grains like rye or oats. If neither wheat nor oats nor barley nor rye was exchanged under such conditions of autarky the price movement of all grains would have been much the same.. If farmers and merchants and shippers preferred to trade wheat over other grains then wheat prices should have been more highly correlated with prices in other markets. Those grains were so necessary to the diet of the poor that people simply had to buy them even when prices are up sharply. in the Low Countries especially. 2001). 7 . Samuel Johnson who thought oats were intended for horses.MARKET INTEGRATION 353 could afford it. Rye was like oats and for both consumption was price inelastic. but in Scotland supports the people.8 So people did eat oats but it came at the bottom of the list among choices. It was not just the lexicographer Dr. II).

For Utrecht there is only surviving data for three grains. but of course food grains were not complements. is among the highest and not the lowest. Gdansk. oats and wheat. the great export centre for Polish grain and in the sixteenth century and beyond a major supplier of food grains to the Low Countries. The Paris case. if there is one thing that leaps out from an examination of the correlation of grain prices within markets it is the consistently high—indeed staggeringly high—levels of correlation. no matter the sample size and no matter the location. showed little difference between the performance of rye and wheat prices. where the lowest level of correlation would be expected given the position of the two grains at either end of the hierarchy of food grains. that is well into the era of greater market integration in the sixteenth century. The relationship between oats and wheat shows the lowest level of correlation but the difference between it and other levels is small. The somewhat lower levels of correlation of barley and oats prices with rye prices in Leiden could easily be a result of the relatively smaller sample size. To put it another way if grains were traded there should have been high correlation among the prices for the same grains in different markets and if grains were not traded then there should be high correlations for different grains in each local market. but correlation of prices was still high. For sites with surviving lengthy price series for the four principal food grains.800 (Table 1). and southern England the coefficients of correlation are almost always above 0. The results still prove to be similar no matter the grains.354 RICHARD W.9 What is more the relationship between oats and wheat. Using price series starting in the late fourteenth century and running down to 1600. that is Antwerp. barley. like left and right shoes. It is almost as if any two grains were complementary goods. Going futher afield. 9 . Leiden. UNGER caused by differences in the characteristics of demand for the different food grains. also beyond the region around the southern North Sea. As well some extremely high wheat prices in the closing years of the Hundred Years War strongly affect reThe rye and oats prices from Antwerp are compared to wheat prices from nearby Lier. For some markets there are only two surviving price series (Table 3). offers few observations. much higher than the norm for prices for the same grain among different markets (Table 2).







such as Antwerp (Lier) and Leiden (0. The towns may already have .471) or south England with Antwerp (Lier) (0. Even with markets close to each other the correlations of the figures for barley and rye are strikingly low.600). Despite some deviations the statement would seem to be true of all grains in all places and at all times and not just in the Low Countries and southeast England but in northwestern Europe in general.004). The data would seem to indicate much more exchange of food grains within markets than among markets. kept the mechanism of prices from working to draw supplies from areas of surplus. The hand of the civic government can be seen in the complete consistency of price movement over the years up to 1600. For the same grain the correlations between markets are also low. admittedly for minute samples. If that is the case then government legislation worked against market integration. Even the sample size does not seem to affect the result.427) as were wheat prices between Bruges and Brussels (0. Correlations within Leiden and Antwerp between the two grains were high while comparisons between markets show lower levels of correlation. Price movements for different grains in the late Middle Ages and the sixteenth century were highly correlated within markets. especially when compared with levels of correlation among markets. Oats prices in Antwerp and Leiden were weakly correlated (0.MARKET INTEGRATION 361 one market are compared to levels in other markets. The correlations in prices for the four principal food grains in Strasbourg are simply too high to be explained by autarky.460) and Utrecht and Leiden (0. The levels of correlation within markets are staggering.498). There is the possibility that to some degree the common internal price movements were generated by government price fixing or at least price regulation.451). With the same grain price correlations between markets are still low compared to the price correlations between grains in a single market. for example between Antwerp and Louvain (0. another indication that markets were moderately independent and did not rely on common sources of supply. Between Brussels and Amsterdam the correlation of rye prices is actually negative (-. For a comparison of barley and rye prices the results are similar (Table 6). Though towns in the Low Countries and especially in the northern Low Countries were less dirigiste than their German counterparts in the sixteenth century the legislation which first appeared in the fifteenth century may have had some bite which would help explain internally consistent prices (Table 7).


2nd ed. the German geographer Walter Christaller and the professor who refused a post under National Socialism. With those assumptions then production would logically be distributed evenly and equally across the plain so then central places. von Thünen. however. even if somewhat flexible. and so the effectiveness set restrictions. or in other words minimizes the number of sites of any economic activity. Both transport and production costs.12 J. and to his followers. They began purely theoretically and then made attempts to adjust their theories to conform more closely to the reality they knew.MARKET INTEGRATION 363 of farmers in feeding towns had limits. London. H.000 souls by around 1300 but cities of that size and larger in northern Europe were more a product of the sixteenth century when political centres like Paris. Der isolierte Staat in Beziehung auf Landwirtschaft und Nationalökonomie. are uniform. Leopold. August Lösch. Ultimately it was food and fuel supplies that both theoretically and practically constrained the population of towns. To measure the restrictions created by the need to feed urban populations perhaps the simplest way is to return to the world of that early nineteenth-century Pomeranian rye farmer. demand is infinitely elastic at a given price. 12 . In dealing with questions of sources of food big cities have been the most popular sites for investigation and not just because the material is easier to muster. to return to that school of German scholars who dealt in what they called the economics of location. For medieval England the study of the maximum size of towns has meant the study of London. sites which provide services to the population. and Amsterdam went through dramatic expansion. (Rostock: G. The capital did reach an impressive 80. would appear at equal intervals. B. To make life simple they began by assuming a world that is a flat undifferentiated plain—and in this case two spellings of plane are correct which is the kind of thing that brings relief to students and anxiety to the writers of spell checkers for computer programs. and there is a single market centre. There are additional limiting assumptions. August Lösch. 1842-1850). such as that no firm makes abnormal profits and that society maximizes the degree to which firms agglomerate. Johan von Thünen. on the size of those settlements. It turns out that the distribution of those centres of population will be theoretically arranged regularly in a pattern of equilateral hexagons.

1954). . trans. starting with the same set of assumptions. By accepting variations in geography and so a lack of uniformity in production but. 123-5. 109-20.13 In general just as waterways lower transport costs hills increase them. Consumers paid for the cost of producing a crop and also for transport costs so at a certain distance away from a consumption centre it was no longer economic to grow one crop but became profitable to grow another. Von Thünen envisaged. 2000). thus creating a range of lower transport costs. Complex Spatial Systems: The Modelling Foundations of Urban and Regional Analysis (Harlow. There is no doubt that the circle was the most efficient choice but a series of circles around each centre of consumption would not fill up the entire plain. In a sense Christaller was trying to make more general the specific case that von Thünen had described. Essex: Pearson Education. examined the geometry asking what would be the optimum shape of the zones of production. Wilson. a series of circles around a point of consumption and within each zone described by those circles farmers producing one crop or type of crop. theoretically. 13 Alan G. Christaller. more important. Wolfgang F. in transport costs the neat The Economics of Location. Stolper (New Haven: Yale University Press. So if farmers were trying to maximize their incomes that led him to the question of why farmers picked the specific crops they chose to raise at different locations. He did consider what happened if for example a river ran through the plain. Von Thünen himself tried to relax the obviously inaccurate assumption that the world is a flat undifferentiated plain. Lösch went further in trying to loosen the rather strict assumptions of the essential theory. The critical factors for the choice of a crop were then production costs per unit of land and transport costs. 51-4. 81-2. intuitively and also mathematically it is the best choice to describe regions of production for maximizing efficiency of supply. 135-8. That would depend he realized on the profits that farmers could generate. UNGER Von Thünen wanted to know the maximum rent a landlord could get from farmland. The collection of polygons that would fulfill that necessary function of blanketing the plain are the triangle.364 RICHARD W. Since the hexagon is the closest to the circle in shape. The hexagon turns out to be four-fifths as efficient as a circle for the purpose. square and hexagon. The plain is finite in extent and at some point reaches what is a much more undifferentiated surface. that is the sea.

15 According to Wilson. The resulting spatial interaction modelling can with some ease consider the reciprocal relationships of multiple centres of consumption. They are highly flexible. though the geometrical form takes on more of an elliptical shape the further away from the centre (Figure 2). 93. Complex Spatial Systems. The resulting models are more complex with von Thünen’s world of rings reduced to a special highly restricted case. . still the shape... However. the flows between them. 14 .14 The smaller the area under consideration. is similar to the regular hexagon which satisfied Christaller. and allow for variations in geography.. theorists have added a dynamism to the static models of Lösch and his predecessors.” Journal of Interdisciplinary History 10 (1978): 719-23. In the second half of the twentieth century. however.MARKET INTEGRATION 365 pattern of hexagons becomes skewed. armed with more sophisticated mathematics and computers to do iterative calculations at high speed. 16 Wilson. 146. it should be emphasised that the theory is an outstanding creation. By accepting that geography could be different the theorists also accepted that production costs could vary because of soil type and weather conditions. and able to accommodate a wide variety of variables and so better able to deal with known circumstances. Complex Spatial Systems. 15 Wilson. The geometrical patterns around multiple centres are varied and show a great potential variety in land use (Figure 1). 81-4. Christaller’s system is too rigid to have any chance of representing reality .16 While the criticism of location theory as it emerged in the first half of the twentieth century is certainly well established and acknowlOn differences in agricultural output depending on differences in weather patterns see Christian Pfister. at least in the first zone closest to the centre. the more likely the pattern of supply would conform to the theoretically anticipated pattern of regular hexagons. Yet in dealing with a single centre and even incorporating an interaction-location paradigm.. offering great insights—rather in the manner of many economic concepts and theories which are accepted on such a basis without ever having a chance of representing reality in any detailed respect. “Climate and Economy in Eighteenth Century Switzerland.

. UNGER Figure 1 Von Thünen Rings with an Interaction Model (Alan G. Essex: Pearson Education Ltd. 2000). Wilson. 83) . Complex Spatial Systems: The Modelling Foundations of Urban and Regional Analysis (Harlow.366 RICHARD W.

MARKET INTEGRATION 367 Figure 2 A Von Thünen System with Multiple Market Centres (Alan G. 83) . 2000). Essex: Pearson Education Ltd.. Complex Spatial Systems: The Modelling Foundations of Urban and Regional Analysis (Harlow. Wilson.

000 litres per hectare for many food grains and after deductions for seed. food for the farmer’s family. an estimate which is not unreasonable and reflects neither a poor nor a prosperous standard of living. Galloway and Margaret Murphy. Each person who lives in the central place requires the labour of people producing food within the hexagon around the consumption centre.” Franco-British Studies 20 (1995): 27. to support a town dweller. and also as a basis for an understanding of the historical relationship between the agrarian countryside and the sites farmers supplied with food. The surplus created by the farmer will determine the land area required to support each resident of the central place. more or less. that is around the central place. the expectations which had their origins in the work of von Thünen can still serve as both a guide to patterns of production and land use. James A. the net figure for marketable grain was between 160 and 220 litres per hectare. For the late Middle Ages. UNGER edged as sound. then it took around two hectares of farmland. If for every farmer in the countryside there was one dependent person who consumed rather 17 Christopher Dyer. with gross yields of around 1. That assumes that the entire rural population was involved solely in production of food for market. “Feeding the City: Medieval London and its Agrarian Hinterland.” The London Journal 16 (1) (1991): 11. There was wide variation of course but something like 300 litres net per hectare for wheat and oats and 400 litres net for barley seem reasonable for late medieval England. and for tithes. feed for animals. James A. That was of course not true and became less true in the late fourteenth and fifteenth century with expansion in rural industry. That in turn means that the amount of land it took to feed a town depended on how much land it took to feed a person. 1113.368 RICHARD W. Standards of Living in the Later Middle Ages Social Change in England c. Galloway. . 1200-1520 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. “London’s Grain Supply: Changes in Production. using figures generated by Christopher Dyer from the end of the thirteenth century. Distribution and Consumption during the Fourteenth Century. 1989). Another estimate for the early fourteenth century by James Galloway and Margaret Murphy puts the average marketable surplus at 360 litres per hectare for wheat. and while the addition of dynamical locational analysis shows how exceptional were the cases described by earlier theorists.17 If per caput annual consumption of food grains was about 600 litres.

firewood was the logical source of home heat. though in some parts of England coal was known and used in the late Middle Ages. Attempts to estimate the land area needed to supply people in towns with fuel are even more plagued by problems than the attempts to estimate the land area needed to supply food grains. As to fuel. 1400-1800 (London and New York: Routledge. and Margaret Murphy. Around 1300 coal cost four times as much in London as it did in Durham so even though coal had higher calorific value—more than double that of wood—other than for industrial uses.5 tonnes per annum it would have taken from 0. “The Energy Basis for Early Modern Growth. Early Modern Capitalism Economic and Social change in Europe.” in Maarten Prak. 20 Paolo Malanima.” Economic History Review 49 (3) (1996): 447-72. including industrial uses.18 Von Thünen expected that forested areas near cities would be retained and managed to produce heating supplies and that certainly did happen in southeast England. 53. The History of the Countryside (London: Dent. They also esti18 James A.5 tonnes annually and assuming a level of the average productivity of forests of between 0. Keene.. but in northern France. Derek Keene.MARKET INTEGRATION 369 than produced food then the land area needed to feed one urban dweller was around four hectares. Galloway. Production figures reported by Galloway. an estimate that is generous. Germany. Firewood consumption varied with the climate. “Fuelling the City Production and Distribution of Firewood and Fuel in London’s Region.20 Presumably the demand for firewood per caput was on the rise in late medieval England because of the spread of the use of the chimney. in regions near London. ed.25 tonnes per hectare. Firewood production varied with the character of the land and the level of organization and management in exploiting the land.19 One authority offers a figure for Sweden and Finland of eight kilograms of firewood per person per day as the consumption norm. and Murphy from the woodlands supplying late medieval London suggest output of 2. 1290-1400.0 hectares of managed woodland to produce that much firewood and so meet the needs of the average inhabitant of a town. Four kilograms per day translates into about 1. for the overwhelming majority of the population heat came from firewood. 61.75 and 1. 2001). 1986). and that estimate probably is a high one. . the Netherlands.5 to 1. and England the estimate is about four kilograms per day. 19 On the management of English forests in general and over the long term see Oliver Rackham. at 448. 16501820.

An estimate of something on the order of eight hectares needed to supply enough wood for people in the countryside as well as a single person in town is probably not wide of the mark. Michael Osmann (Cambridge: The White Horse Press. trans. 66. Original German edition published as Der unterirdische Wald (Munich: C. 91-2.370 RICHARD W. and Murphy. At that level it took about 28.” 455-6.21 So despite the extensive and directed work of Galloway. and Murphy an estimate of 0.5 hectares. At that pace and at the high rate of production they use it took an area of at least 0. 55. H. 1982).8 tonnes. People in the countryside would have required firewood as well. Beck. 2001). The results may be wide of the mark. The Subterranean Forest Energy Systems and the Industrial Revolution. then to supply them would have taken eight hectares of woodland at 0. The estimate of 0.000 hectares in 1300 to meet the needs of the population of 80. UNGER mated per caput wood consumption for the fourteenth century at 0. Keene.5 hectares as a per caput land requirement for firewood supplies is preferred. still the errors in estimation do serve to some degree to counteract each other. Galloway. It would have taken an additional 0. 21 .5 hectares as the land requirement just to supply the 16. Assuming 16 rural people for each urbanite.000 hectares in 1400 when the population was considerably reduced. “Fuelling. The ratios employed for net grain production can and should be applied to estimating rates of firewood output by country dwellers for themselves and city dwellers. Keene. but that figure errs to the low side. Many factors make the figures suspect and the task of lending precision to the estimates for land requirements to sustain townspeople is far from complete.5 hectares then to meet the needs of a single town dweller. that is two farm families of four each producing grain for the town dweller and two farm families producing grain for dependents in the countryside. and presumably over time more research will sharpen accuracy. The goal is to produce a general rather than highly specific sense of land use and land requirements to supply town dwellers and so gain some sense of the threshold area required to sustain Rolf Peter Sieferle.35 hectares to supply each Londoner. and that in an era when coal already was making a considerable contribution to the thermal energy needs of the capital.000 and only 18.35 hectares per Londoner seems low in general but especially because a contemporary in 1700 put the land area required to supply each town dweller with firewood at 0.

If it took four hectares of land in total to produce the food needed for a town dweller and eight hectares in total to produce the firewood.000/ 3 = W2 or W = 138.000 or 120.000 square metres since 1 hectare = 10. The shortest distance to any of the six sides of the notional hexagon from the centre would have been under six kilometres.000 people—assuming that none of the people in the town did anything to produce any food or fuel for themselves—the total rural area required was 12.000. No matter the efforts at estimation it appears that England’s largest urban centre in the late Middle Ages.23 It was a distance a farmer could walk in an hour with little difficulty. and there was still a surplus for export. for a notional town of 1.796 metres If A= 120. For a town of 10. A. the length of the walk to the outer extremity of the idealized supply zone would have been just short of 43 kilometres. The shortest distance from the centre to any one of the sides would thus have been less than 6 kilometres. the length of a straight line from one side to the side directly opposite. For a city the size of Ghent or Bruges. The area.000.000.22 That along with other indications of regular and consistent access to adequate heating fuel in the Low Countries and England suggests that most of the time most towns did not have trouble with their energy requirements.000. For London at its maximum late medieval population around 1300 of 80.189.064 or W = 11. and the largest town in the region outside of Paris.” 457. If a distribution of production of food grains and firewood for the town of 1.000 conformed to a pattern of regular hexagons—a limiting assumption though as indicated theoretically a reasonable first approximation—then the distance from one side of the hexagon to the other would have been about 12 kilometres.376 so L= 6. “Fuelling. that is around 40. and Murphy. had its fuel needs easily met by producers in the region.771 metres or just under 12 kilometres as the width of the regular hexagon. The formula for the area of a regular hexagon is A = 3/2 × W2 where W is the smallest width of the hexagon. If A = 12. is also equal to 3 3/2 L2. 23 22 .000 square meters then 240.564. Keene. London.000 square metres then L = or almost 6.000 the distance along the any of the six sides of the regular hexagon would have been about 21.5 kilometres. Because of the geometry that distance was not eighty times the distance for a Galloway. an easy trip in a day on foot.MARKET INTEGRATION 371 a late medieval town. the theoretical distance was just short of 61 kilometres. 46.000 hectares.000.8 kilometres. where L is the length of a side of the regular hexagon.

farmers in the coastal Low Countries could supply something on the order of twice as much grain as was needed to feed the existing urban population.” 11.000 hectares. It may be that because of the nature of surviving documents research has missed some sources Londoners used for food.000 but only something more than five times the distance. . Unger. That being the case the maximum population of the town was 24 25 Galloway and Murphy. A careful examination of sources of food for London. There are many problems with the estimates. The hexagon did not have to be large—in terms of distance that could be travelled even with the limited equipment and methods available—to meet the needs of the town in either the idealized world of the German location theorists or in the practical world of late medieval townsfolk. that is except in unusual years. but whether that is true or not the fact remains that food for the largest city in England came almost entirely from the southeast of England. But even assuming that only half the land was productive for a town of 10. But there is no way to diminish the impression that the land area required to supply a late medieval English town was small by almost any measure.24 In around 1500. indicates that virtually all the food needed. “Feeding.372 RICHARD W. UNGER town of 1. Such calculations depend on all the land within the notional polygon being productive and able to supply either food or fuel. an area in total about twice the size of the small county of Middlesex. came from 100. for example nearby on the Continent. and so excluding fuel.000 that would have increased the length of the side of the hexagon only to a bit more than 30 kilometres or a distance of a little more than 26 kilometres from the centre to the outer edge of the hexagon.25 Even if the estimates to arrive at that conclusion are somewhat suspect and even if the final result is off by as much as 100% still the weight of the evidence strongly supports the impression that for most of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries most grain to feed towns came from close by and so did not have to brought from far afield. “Feeding Low Coutries Towns. There are many exceptions which can and should be raised to the calculations.” 329-58 at 330-2. There are certainly errors. the second largest and possibly at some times the largest city in the region. again something that could have easily been covered in half a day by a farmer on foot and with some time to spare.

Odd data appear with singular observations never offering more than a glimpse at what it cost to move goods. trans. Mendel Shapiro (London: George Allen and Unwin. It was not just the presence of food and fuel that mattered but the ability to deliver it to the town at a price which made it worthwhile for countryfolk to produce the goods and to transport them to a central place.MARKET INTEGRATION 373 determined by the limits on the size of the hexagon and the optimal population was suggested by the size of the hexagon. For example.26 To move grain from the Baltic to the Low Countries in the fifteenth century was said to double the price so moving wheat over the few kilometres from producers to urban consumers. by E. Mercantilism. the size of the town which would force reliance on distant supplies of food and fuel was very high because so much of what was needed by urban folk could be raised within a short distance from the town. ed. 1955 [revised ed. probably did not present an economic barrier to town size. Falling transport costs would have made it even easier to supply towns. Eli Heckscher. carrying firewood overland to London in the fourteenth century doubled prices over a distance of some sixteen kilometres but it still paid to bring firewood from as far away as twenty kilometres and even further if shipment was by water. First.]). If the costs of transport went down it certainly made it easier to reach further afield for sources of food and fuel but since the area required to supply towns was as small as it was circumstances rarely required exploiting any gains that might be reaped from falling shipping costs. Estimates of the land needed to produce food and fuel for towns are filled with problems but those pale in comparison to the difficulties with estimates of transport costs. even if overland. Söderlund. “Fuelling. F. Keene. it appears. and Murphy. If falling transport costs can make a valuable contribution to integrating markets and if in the fourteenth and fifteenth century the most obvious development in commerce was the emergence of regional grain markets 26 Galloway. The population threshold. that over short distance by water transport costs went down in the period.” 457-8. The area needed to supply a town depended on transport costs. and appears is the right word. Two factors seem to have been at work in the late Middle Ages which directly affected the ability of the countryside to get supplies to towns at prices that could sustain the settlements. for example 2: 80-9 .

374 RICHARD W. [1935]). Fears of forestalling and regrating. documented by Jim Masschaele and John Langdon. “Maritime Transport. 1150-1350 (New York: St. There is little that is grand about them and little reason to examine them when found or to preserve records of them. Italian towns. “Inland Water Transport in Medieval England. 28 27 . certainly hurt urbanization.27 River boats are rarely a topic worthy of the time of historians or archeologists. Second. that is of seeking monopolistic advantages. The amount of violence in late medieval northern Europe was limited. sporadic and so the long term effects on optimal town size were less than the new practice of public authorities: regulating commerce. Yet rivers. Peasants. even some rather small and insignificant ones. The failure to maintain order. the established practice of public authorities fighting wars or not stopping people from fighting each other. James Masschaele.28 only worked to make moving goods easier and so expand the potential area to supply towns. had generated legislation in English towns already in the thirteenth century. had a central role in inland transport in the late Middle Ages. Merchants and Markets: Inland Trade in Medieval England. The presence of many river boats and the widespread use of river transport. actions of governments had an effect on the area that might supply urban needs. set up rules and systems of taxation Unger. Getting grain or wood to urban markets very often depended on proximity to a creek or rivulet which ultimately gave access to a major stream. vessels used in coastal and river transport. Martin’s Press. UNGER then perhaps it was not design improvements in the largest long distance traders that had the greatest impact on the organization of markets and town size but rather changes in smaller ships. especially in Tuscany but to a lesser extent in Lombardy. The development of new and more efficient types of coastal and small sailing ships lowered costs. Mercantilism (London: Allen & Unwin.” John Langdon.” Journal of Historical Geography 19 (1) (1993): 1-11. or at the very least to assure their necessary supplies. There town populations used political power to gain economic advantage. The extent of controls over food supply and the marketing of food in towns expanded in the fifteenth century and became the model for monarchical governments in the sixteenth century. 1997).29 Those kings and queens in northern Europe followed patterns of legislation and regulation pioneered by urban governments in Italy. 29 Eli Heckscher.

Epstein. Certainly no final answer is produced by the calculations.” Economic History Review 44 (1) (1991): 24-30. London.30 In kingdoms with powerful monarchies. Their actions led to relatively large urban centres and inefficiencies that slowed recovery from the mid fourteenth century economic and demographic shock of the Black Death. even in the absence of powerful monarchs. was an anomaly in England.000 and only one was over 80. “The Towns. 31 Richard Britnell.000. At least there is every indication that the answer to the question is probably something like “not very big” and certainly well short of the maximum. The four were Norwich. nothing like the size of Italian towns was achieved.000 to 10. In the Low Countries towns found themselves less able than their Italian counterparts to control the flow of goods from the countryside thanks to the power of counts and dukes and to the consolidation of the authority of the Dukes of Burgundy through much of the fifteenth century.” Economic History Review 46 (3) (1993): 456-69. that is they had populations in the 2. It also had relatively easy access to foodstuffs and other goods from not-far-distant productive regions overseas.000 range. Richard Britnell has shown that in England nothing like the Italian pattern of legislative control existed and. It had access through a river network and through coastal trading to a highly productive agricultural region.” 22. despite the fact that population densities overall were much the same. 32 Britnell.000 and 80. Winchester.31 In the absence of powerful civic governments able to influence market forces and enjoying stable or falling transportation costs English towns in the late Middle Ages had greater flexibility in seeking their sources of food and fuel.32 The single giant. York. In England around 1300 most towns were of medium and smaller size. Only four towns had populations between 10. It had the kind of political power and pull that typified powerful Italian towns. . such urban legislation was virtually impossible. as a result.MARKET INTEGRATION 375 which worked against subject towns and rural areas. and Bristol. There is probably no exact answer to the question of what the optimal size was for a town in late medieval northern Europe. There is good reason to believe that improvements in transport technology did allow for the optimal size of towns to grow in the late 30 Stephan R. “Town and Country: Economy and Institutions in Late Medieval Italy. “The Towns of England and Northern Italy in the Early Fourteenth Century.

Even if grain and firewood came from further away that did not mean that lands nearby could not meet urban needs. The threshold. What is perhaps not intuitive is how high that threshold was and how infrequently. that threshold was breached. UNGER Middle Ages. The constraints on urban growth were most likely reduced but for the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries it does not appear that towns chose to or needed to look to distant sources for basic goods. The regular pattern of hexagons was more likely to be disrupted by flows of goods with a different and varied pattern of supply emerging (See the example in figure 2). if most markets got the overwhelming majority of their food almost all of the time from farmers within a very few kilometres of the towns then it does not appear that it was trade and market integration which yielded or pressed for specialization in agricultural production. all of which became more prevalent in the region in the sixteenth century. Towns relied on suppliers nearby. soil productivity and intensity of effort being the factors that led to some variation. that . The region that supplied the town might have an elongated shape with tentacles reaching some distance away but the total area remained more or less the same size. Price data deployed to examine market integration conforms to the expectations of location theory and data for production and consumption of essential goods in the late Middle Ages. There was a threshold of size for settlements that set limits to how large the village or town or city could grow before it needed to look beyond the local area for essential supplies to sustain the population. even in the densely populated Low Countries and southeastern England. That did mean that even though local suppliers could meet needs there might well have been distant suppliers who had the ability to supplant them because the competitors some distance away enjoyed lower production costs. the point at which towns had to look some distance away for supplies. By the same token. larger towns and greater concentration of economic activity. That would have to wait for larger populations.376 RICHARD W. The price data combined with the theoretical framework laid down by von Thünen and his disciples and data on grain production per hectare confirms that intuitive expectation. Towns could and did thrive in most years under most conditions without having to search far afield for essential supplies. was high. Over time the ability to draw on distant supplies might well have and probably did become easier.

MARKET INTEGRATION 377 is with a few exceptions. It seems that transportation costs did not act as a constraint on town size. It is another case it appears where people in the late Middle Ages did not. either the optimal or the maximum size. . test the technical and economic limits of the world in which they lived. contrary to the opinion of the last generation of economic historians.

“Prix du blé et de l’avoine de 1329 à 1793.” http://www. Unger. Principles of Economics (London: Macmillan and Company. thus lowering prices in the original market to a level consistent with that in all the others. Sources. in the end outweigh the difficulties. however.htm. The theory of the single price is the basis for measuring market integration. 270-3. The goal was to decrease fraud and so increase confidence in the market among both buyers and sellers. UNGER APPENDIX I Measuring Market Integration: On the Theory of the Single Price. 33 . 34 Robert Allen and Richard W.history. The drive for gain among merchants is the force for price equalization and so for the distribution of benefits and burdens from changes in supply to all people within the scope of the integrated markets. For measures for grain volume towns were generally very strict about regulating the unit of transactions. The extent of trade will depend on those traders being informed about prices in the different markets.35 In some instances the measure was not of Alfred Marshall.ubc. 35 For example. If two markets are integrated the same price should prevail in both with any difference attributable to differences in transport costs. European Commodity Prices 1260-1914. and the supply of goods available locally to each market. Gauging the integration of European markets from the thirteenth through the sixteenth and even into the eighteenth century depends on the theory of the single price. reports many series of grain price data for the period 1250-1914.33 As markets became more integrated the prices in different places tend more and more to move up and down together. 1928).34 In order to make comparisons among cities and to make comparisons over time all prices are standardized to the amount of silver needed to buy a litre of grain. “Allen-Unger Database. the cost of transporting goods between and among markets. Monique Mestayer.” Revue du Nord 45 (178) (1963): grain. As prices rise in one traders should move goods from others in order to reap profits. The advantages.378 RICHARD W. There are serious problems with any such conversions. Limited. By implication integrated markets should see increases and decreases in prices to the same degree. Correlations and Variations If markets are integrated the same price should prevail in them. The units remained the same over long periods of time. any difference being attributed to the cost of transporting the good between the two markets. The theory is simple enough and what is more a mass of published price data exists both from antiquarians and from the International Commission of Price History whose efforts began in the 1930s.



volume but of weight which makes conversion necessary. That is done assuming a specific gravity of late medieval grains of 0.8. The silver content of coins changed much more frequently than measures of weight or volume. Official changes at the mint typically do not reflect accurately the amount of silver in all the coins that exchanged in the market place. Old issues circulated frequently as did a variety of coins from other jurisdictions, new and old. There are other problems associated with the use of silver equivalents36 but the error introduced is more than tolerable in order to get the possibility of making comparisons. When dealing with the prices of grains in just one market tests for correlation often involve only the use of the prevailing currency, thus avoiding monetary problems, and correction is made only for differences in and changes in the units of measure To test for integration comparisons are made to see if price changes moved together, that is were the movements correlated, in two or more markets. Such tests can be made for long periods or the time period can be broken down to compare different segments of time. That was an approach taken by Wilhelm Abel, looking at price averages, and by his student, Walter Achilles, examining correlations.37 They did find differences over time and a long term trend toward integration. The gaps between prices in different markets should, in theory, have moved inexorably closer and closer together, the difference reduced by improving transport costs and the movement of goods among markets. Results, however, have not uniformly suggested that inexorable advance.38 Of course it could be that the serious data problems which plague the study of prices may be the cause for the mixed results, but inconsistent market integration remains a more plausible explanation. It may be that the internationalization of markets is what theory predicts and what historians presume existed but in fact the pattern of market development was more complex.

Herman Van der Wee, The Growth, 115-122. Wilhelm Abel, Massenarmut und Hungerkrisen im vorinduustriellen Deutschland (Göttingen: Vendenhoeck und Ruprecht, 1972), 38-9, 47; Wilhelm Abel, Agricultural Fluctuations in Europe from the Thirteenth to the Twentieth Centuries, trans. Olive Ordish (London: Methuen and Company, Limited, 1980), 107-9; Walter Achilles, “Getreidepreise und Getreide- handelsbeziehungen europäischer Räume im 16. und 17. Jahrhundert,” PhD Dissertation, University of Göttingen (1957), 5-10, 33-4, 83-7, 114. 38 Richard W. Unger, “Maritime Transport and the Integration of Low Countries Grain Markets in the Late Middle Ages,” in Piet Van Cruyningen and Erik Thoen, eds., Town and Countryside from the late Middle Ages to the 19th Centuries: Supply and Demand of Food (Turnhout: Brepols Publishers, forthcoming).




APPENDIX 2 Sources for Price Data
Amsterdam, Leiden and Utrecht: N. W. Posthumus, Inquiry into the History of Prices in Holland, 2 vols. (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1946-1964). Antwerp and Lier: Herman Van der Wee, The Growth of the Antwerp Market and the European Economy (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1963). Brussels and Louvain: Marie-Jeanne Tits-Dieuaide, La Formation des Prix Céréaliers en Brabant et en Flandre au XVe siècle (Brussels: Éditions de l'Université de Bruxelles, 1975). Bruges: Charles Verlinden and E. Scholliers, et al., Dokumenten voor de Geschiedenis van Prijzen en Lonen in Vlaanderen en Brabant, 4 vols. (Bruges: De Tempel, 1959-1973), 2: 33-59. Douai: Monique Mestayer, “Prix du blé et de l'avoine de 1329 à 1793,” Revue du Nord 45, (178) (1963): 168-170. Southern England: James E. Thorold Rogers, A History of Agriculture and Prices in England From the Year after the Oxford Parliament (1259) to the Commencement of the Continental War (1793), Compiled Entirely from Original and Contemporaneous Records (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1882). Strasbourg: A. C. Hanauer, Études économiques sur l'Alsace ancienne et moderne, 2 vols. (Paris: A. Durand & Pedone-Lauriel, 1876-1878).








I The long-term stability in gold prices, which characterised European specie markets during the mid-fourteenth century (1325-1375), rested upon the existence of a delicately balanced bi-metallic equilibrium within and between a series of autonomous specie markets. Each maintained the level and composition of its precious metal stock from independent, indigenous supply sources of silver and gold. The first of these, north of the Alps, possessed plentiful supplies of gold emanating from Hungarian mines.3 When this was exchanged against silver initially produced in England (Bere Ferrers, Devon) and Bohemia (Kutná Hora) during the years 1290-1345 and subsequently in Saxony (Freiberg-in-Meissen),4 a stable metallic ratio of 1:10-11.4 was established.5 Further south, two similar autonomous markets existed on the basis of an efficient inter-continental exchange network, facilitating the exchange of African gold for silver from Europe and Asia Minor. Driving directly northward from the Niger Bend across the deserts of the central Sahara, caravans carried gold each year to the refining and minting centres of al-Maghrib al-Aqsa, providing the base for an abundant local circulation of .é “heavy” single and double dinars. Further east, caravans travelling via either Wargla or Ghadames brought similar supplies to Egypt, for minting into those miscellaneous gold pieces that found currency in the lands of the Circassian Sultanate, the regions of the Muslim East, the Hijaz and the Yemen (Map 1).6 Two distinct zones—in the Mahgrib and Egypt—thus emerged, each with cheap and plentiful supplies of gold, which were juxtapositioned against equivalent areas

Blanchard, Mining, Metallurgy and Minting, 3: Chap. 1, §2, 935. Blanchard, Mining, Metallurgy and Minting, 3: Chap. 1, §1, 927-34. 5 Blanchard, Mining, Metallurgy and Minting, 3: Chap. 1, §3b, 950-70. 6 Shihab al-Dín Abu ’l-Abbas Ahmad b. Yahya b. Fadl Allah al-‘Adawí é é é é é é . . é . é é al-‘Umarí, Masalik al-absar fí mamalik al-amsar, trans. and annot. Maurice é é .é .é Gaudefroy-Demombynes, 2 vols. (Paris: Bibliothèque des Géographes Arabes, é é 1927), 2, Bk. 10: 54; Shams al-Dín Abu ‘Abd Allah Muhammad al-Lawatí alé é é . Tanjí a.k.a Ibn Batttuta, Rihla or Tuhfat al-nuzzar fí ghara’ib al-amsar wa ‘aja’ib é é é é . .. é . . . ..é .é al-asfar, ed. and trans. C. Defrémery and B. R. Sanguinetti, 4 vols. (Paris: é Imprimerie Nationale, 1853-1858; reprinted Frankfurt am Main: Institute for the History of Arabic-Islamic Science at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe Unié é é versity, 1994), 4: 376-82; Zakaríya ibn Muhammad al-Qazwíní, ‘Aja’ib alé é é . makhluqat wa ghara’ib al-mawjudat, in Yusuf Kamal, ed., Monumenta cartographica é é é é é Africae et Aegypti, 5 vols. in 16 books (Cairo-Leiden, 1926-1951), 1046.



Cartography: Ian Blanchard



of abundant silver, thereby encouraging an active interchange of the two metals. In the west the profitability of this exchange was such that for half a century trade in goods was subordinated to trade in specie. From 1325-1375 gold doblas (double dinars) regularly passed north bring forth a countervailing supply of European silver southward. In response to these flows a distinctive market structure evolved in the western—Tyrrhenian—basin of the Mediterranean, characterised by a long-term stability in gold prices and an “anticyclonic” distribution of the two metals between the continental littorals. Although relatively scarcer as one moved northward, gold was abundant to customers within a unitary market in which the African product reigned supreme. Nor was the situation significantly different within the eastern zone. Gold arriving in Egypt from alBilad al-Sudan was distributed after minting in a similar market strucé é é ture receiving small amounts of European silver and larger quantities from the mines of the Isaurian Taurus.7 Within the area spanned by European commercial networks there were thus three distinct and autonomous specie markets. Each of these had a similarly balanced stock of precious metals conforming to a common bi-metallic standard (1:9.4-10.9), and thus, whilst retaining their autonomous character, the markets were united into a homogeneous and unitary system. Unlike in the period 1135-1175, however, in 1336-1375 African gold no longer enjoyed a complete hegemony in the supply of this metal to specie markets within the area spanned by European commercial activity. Yet the existence of an efficient inter-continental trade network, facilitating the exchange of African gold for European or Middle Eastern silver supplies, still ensured bi-metallic exchange stability within and between at least two of the three autonomous specie markets. The unitary “European” system existed, moreover, on terms of bi-metallic parity with another one of similar character, which encompassed the lands bordering the Indian Ocean (Map 2).8 This “Asiatic” specie distribution system was also divided into a series of autonomous elements which, existing in conditions of bi-metallic
7 Ibn Batttuta, Tuhfat al-nuzzar, trans. H. A. R. Gibb, Travels in Asia and .. é . . ..é Africa (London: Hakluyt Society, Second Series, CXVII, 1929), 61-2 436-7. C. Cahen, Pre-Ottoman Turkey. A General Survey of the Material and Spiritual Culture and History, c. 1071-1330 (London: Sidgwick and Jackson, 1968), 160-1. 8 Blanchard, Mining, Metallurgy and Minting, 3: Chap. 7, §3a-1, 1275-89.



equilibrium, were conjoined within a unitary system. Here Chinese gold held pride of place, being distributed by Muslim and Chinese merchants through a commercial system that extended from the source of supply to Ormuz on the Persian Gulf and drew a countervailing flow of silver through three distinct points of access. In the west it was Iranian silver, from the Elburz (Reshteh-ye Alborz) mountains (Rayy and Damghan), traded through Ormuz, which laid é é the foundations of a bi-metallic system. Further to the east silver, drawn from the once mighty workings of the Pamir and Hindu Kush, passing through Cambay and Chittagong, played a similar role in the markets of the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal. Autonomous yet united by a common bi-metallic standard these markets thus formed a single system, which co-existed with its “European” counterpart, bringing conditions of specie price stability and bi-metallic uniformity to a “world” trading network, divided by religion and politics, but united in its monetary mechanisms.

II From about 1375, however, the first signs of disintegration began to appear in this monolithic edifice. Gold prices began to rise on European markets but not universally (Figures 1-3). Some regions remained able to acquire adequate supplies whilst others suffered acute shortages as the once universal market split into atomistic elements. The primary cause of these changes, as far as northern “European” specie markets were concerned, was rooted in the vicissitudes of indigenous gold production. Until the introduction of Afro-Asiatic techniques of separating gold from auriferous quartz by mercury amalgamation in the 1440s, this was largely confined to small-scale placer workings of European gold bearing gravel. Such placers, during the balmy days of overpopulation and low wages in the early fourteenth century, were thronged with workmen who sustained an annual output of about four tonnes of the yellow metal.9 From about the 1380s, however, a combination of labour shortages and resource

9 M. Malowist, “Problems of the Growth of the National Economy of Central-Eastern Europe in the Late Middle Ages,” Journal of European Economic History 3 (1974): 345.

von Stromer.500 zentners) sent to Nürnberg. Deposits of the former were found in Hungary to the north of Banská Bystrica (Neusohl) but. because of their low metallic content. Jahrhunderts. 448-95. 143-8. 1412-1418 and 1435-1439— affecting that sector. as well as von Stromer. Hungarian production from auriferous silver thus played a not insignificant role W.” Kwartalnik Historii Kultury Materialnej 16 (4) (1968): 641-62.500 zentners of refined copper and some 8. posed difficulties from which the first German house emerged victorious.10 From 1412 therefore. causing producers to cast around for new sources of gold. became tied to the fortunes of the silver industry and was most pronounced in the boom conditions—in 1391-1399. thanks to its collaboration with the Venetian and Florentine agents of the Medici. The 900-1. Steiner. their exploitation was dependent on a new technology—the Saigerprozess—and a favourable conjuncture of primary metal (copper and silver) prices.” in Hermann Kellenbenz.392 IAN BLANCHARD depletion caused production to fall to below three tonnes a year. “Nürnberger Unternehmer im Karpatenraum. accordingly. the Italians and Nürnbergers now profited from the boom years 14121418. 1971). and until the end of the decade the pickings were rich.u. Bericht über die 3. Arbeitstagung der Gesellschaft für Sozial. Wirtschaftsgeschichte 16) (Stuttgart. Oberdeutsche Hochfinanz. “Das Zusammenspiel oberdeutscher und Florentiner Geldleute bei der Finanzierung von König Ruprechts Italienfeldzug. Slovak gold production. however. ed. 1350-1450 (Wiesbaden: F. Thus during the 1390s the deposits of argentiferous copper of the Kingdom of Hungary and the Polish lead fields attracted the attention of two Nürnberg corporations—the Kammerer-Seiler and Flextorfer-Zenner—and the Genoese house of Gallici. 119-25. 1401/2. Öffentliche Finanzen und privates Kapital im späten Mittelalter und in der ersten Hälfte des 19. secure in the purchase of Polish lead and with control over Hungarian copper supplies.. Nor was their contribution to specie markets unimportant. 1970). 50-86.000-10.000 zentners of unrefined “black” copper. Falling copper and silver prices from 1399-1412. Ein oberdeutsches Buntmetall-Oligopol 1396-1412. The Spleiss-Saigerhütten and Hammerwerke established at Neusohl produced some 2. 10 .000-2.u.000 tonnes of copper yielded some fifteen tonnes of silver and 140 kg of gold. which was exported to Venice together with an indeterminate amount (perhaps 2. In the event they lighted upon the exploitation of copper and lead ores containing auriferous silver. and von Stromer. Sozial. Wirtschaftsgeschichte in Mannheim (Forschungen z.

0 Totala (a) Total 4. geseigert und geschmit. As silver prices rose ever upwards.1 tonnes of silver and 108 kg of gold. š 23. a 17.06 Note: (a) Augmented until the late fourteenth century by African gold imports of about 2.94 3. . storocí (Bratislava: Vydavatemstvo Slovenskej Akadémie Vied. with the other major source of European auriferous silver—the argenta indorata found in the lead ores of Novo Brdo.5 tonnes annually. 1957).04 0. the primary object of exploitation. however. Dokumenty k baníckemu povstaniu na Slovensku. Table 1 European Gold Production. Slovenská med’ š v 16. Serbia. attaining at the beginning of the next boom in the early 1430s an annual output of about 400 kg.04 0. 1525-1526 (Bratislava: Vydavatemstvo Slovenskej Akadémie Vied. amounting to no more than sixty per cent of its former size in the early 1450s. Here the much higher gold content of the silver.5 3. With the fall in gold prices after 1435.54 6. however.EGYPTIAN SPECIE MARKETS 393 in European gold supply during the crisis years of the early fifteenth century. moreover.11 Yet whilst it made a contribution to the long-term stabilisation of European gold stocks it was an erratic one due to the primary role of silver and copper prices in determining production levels in plant using the new technology.0 2.” printed in Peter Ratkoš. sondern man hat den schwarzen Kupfer alsso aus den Land geführet und andersowo gespleissen. 1325-1450 (metric tonnes) Date Date 1325-1375 1375-1400 1400-1425 1425-1450 Placer-lode gold (Hungary) 4.00 2. made it.” quoted from the “Memorial of the Fugger’s Factor at Neusohl. at prevailing relative prices.0-2. 11 “Und anfänglich bey König Mattyás auch Vladislai Zeiten ist keine Spleyss-Saygerhütten noch Hammer in Neusohl gewesen. On the production of copper see Jozef Vlachovic. its contribution became ever greater. Such was not the case. Established during the crisis of 1280-1320 the workings were neglected until the gold boom of 1418-1435 when production rose to 6. production fell from even this diminutive level. 457.9 3. Production thus moved counter-cyclically to that of Slovakia. 1964).7 Auriferous silver (Slovakia & Serbia) — 0.36 Gold quartz (Rhineland) — — — 2. amounting to as much as a sixth.

k. the Slovak and Serbian producers exploiting copper and lead ores containing auriferous silver made a small but growing contribution to European gold supply. however. . During the next half. They turned instead to the aqueous gravel at the foot of the Ahaggar and the Adrar des Iforas (Map 2). Other factors were at work. was totally razed in the 1430s. table 3. 12 Blanchard. Caravans increasingly avoided the direct routes across the arid dune zones. so gold prices rose. 13 Which destroyed the trade entrepôts of Gao in 1454 and Sijilmassa in 1432. where nomadic attacks13 and increasing difficulties in securing adequate water supplies rendered the transients’ life precarious. A major restructuring of the transSaharan trade routes was underway. Muhammad al-Wazzan al-Zayyatí . . therefore. continued for centuries thereafter to be referred to by both contemporaries and subsequent historians. 1030. As early as the 1390s basic structural changes may already be discerned in the transport network used by merchants. Brown. however. whose inhabitants had been “very rich and had great traffic with the lands of the negroes” in the fourteenth century.3. (London: Hakluyt Society.a Leo Africanus. III Of primary importance amongst these non-indigenous influences was a fundamental restructuring in the patterns of trans-Saharan trade. R. 3: Chap. a. Commercial and minting activity. which were of far greater significance. Mining. 1896). Tabuhasin and Mamun—within its territory. all of which were frequented by Jewish and Arab merchants.century (1385-1435) this resulted in the emergence of a completely new commercial network within which merchants avoided the dangers of desert transport and sought the greater security of the circumlocuitous way of the Sahel and the central highlands. as “Sijilmassa. John Pory (1600). The town of Sijilmassa. 3.394 IAN BLANCHARD Together. who continued to grow rich “using great traffic into the lands of the negroes”. 3 vols.é on their writings. 3: 782-6. This practice has been adopted by the writer of this essay. was deflected to castles—Tenegent.” Al-Hasan b. §2b. These castles. trans. ed. During the critical years 1375-1425. within the territory of the erstwhile town. Metallurgy and Minting. The History and Description of Africa. their contribution was slight and as Hungarian placer production declined. XCII-XCIV. who drew é é .12 Yet the decline in indigenous supplies was sufficient only to explain some one third of the price increase during the years 1375-1425.

Price of Gold (1360=100): The Maghrib . 2. .200 180 1. Mean. Marinid 160 EGYPTIAN SPECIE MARKETS 140 120 100 2 1400 1 1360 1380 1420 1440 395 Figure 4. Marinid and Hafsid Mints .

however. If route reorientation thus ensured intra-regional price stability within the Mahgrib. from 1374. Each rise in gold prices. as during the years 1348-1366. lowering the bi-metallic ratio until gold imports ceased and the pattern was reversed. rising gold prices attracted gold eastward by enhancing the bi-metallic ratio (Figure 6) relative to those prevailing in Europe. With the change in route alignment during the years 1375-1435. however. such was not the case further east in Egypt. or when this was disrupted. Yet these movements in 1385-1390. The once active Marínid mints strung out é along the western routes of the mid-fourteenth century.396 IAN BLANCHARD The effect of these changes on the supply of gold to North African and Middle Eastern specie markets was dramatic. each gold boom led to a cessation of silver imports and as stocks diminished. strung out along the new routes which emerged . this was completely changed. via Quseir or Suakin. reflecting stock wastage without compensatory supply increase. or from the Niger Bend by the trans-Saharan . Given a lack of indigenous sources of silver. Egyptian markets experienced acute shortages. Ghadames route. 1399-1412 and 1418-1435 created a marked instability in the market. Henceforth. to fall to 1435 Yet this stability was achieved only by a basic restructuring of interMahgribi supply networks. after a brief period of debasement from 1373-1394 during which coins became more barbaric in design. Gold prices rose (Figure 5) and conditions prevailing in inter-continental exchanges were totally altered. prices rose. via the Mahgrib and the coastal route to Alexandria. In their place a new network of Hafsid mints arose. Again this had resulted in a steady fall in the price of the yellow metal. resulted in an enhanced bi-metallic ratio. ceased minting entirely during the opening decade of the fifteenth century. It passed from either East African sources. . Within the Mahgrib supplies continued unabated and the price of gold (Figure 4) continued. through natural wastage and a reversal of the specie flow. Silver flowed east and as gold stocks di- . Here gold had regularly arrived in the mid-fourteenth century. Gold became relatively scarce in relation to both the unit of account and silver. Cut off from trans-Saharan supplies. making it attractive to export gold from Europe. during the years 1395-1435. after a brief dislocation from 1370-1394. the Mahgrib and Asia Minor to Alexandria. and particularly during the years 1385-1390 and 1399-1412 with little compensation provided by transhipments from the Maghrib.

1600 Gold 1200 Silver EGYPTIAN SPECIE MARKETS 800 400 100 1360 1380 1400 1420 1440 397 Figure 5. Price of Gold and Silver (1360=100): Egypt .

Bi-Metallic Ratios .398 Venice 14 12 11 10 Genoa 9 Cairo IAN BLANCHARD 8 6 1360 1380 1400 1420 1440 Figure 6.

The reason lay in the emergence of an acute crisis in the Egyptian monetary system. 1392/3 marked the beginning of a phase of rising gold prices on the Egyptian markets. led to an abnormally rapid rise in prices. Section 1. Numismatic Notes. first in gold and then silver. stock wastage took its toll of the metal shuttling back and forth across the Mediterranean. . 14-27. resulting in a gradual enhancement in specie price levels. the general upward trend being most pronounced in the northern extensions of the supply network. cycle followed cycle and in the absence of compensatory supply inputs. a change centred on the years 1392-1412. 15 Appendix. Lütge. the value of which fluctuated with market conditions and in 1392 exchanged at 20 silver dirhams per dinar or mithqal. each upward movement. As both metals steadily increased in price. Jahrhunderts (München: Verlag der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften—C. 1413-1417 and 1431-1439—east to Alexandria.. As already noted. exchanged é 14 F. Strukturverwandlungen im ostdeutschen und osteuropäischen Fernhandel des 14. exacerbated by the emergence of a direct gold trade from Central Europe to the Middle East across the steppes of Tartary. a much more fundamental change was taking place.14 As precious metals shuttled back and forth across the Mediterranean in conditions of gradual stock depletion. which totally altered relations between the two trading blocks.. The years after 1375 thus saw the emergence of an extended market network. Each of the major ports of the northern Mediterranean formed a focus within which the impact of this specie trade was proportional to the size of its Levantine commerce. 1964).EGYPTIAN SPECIE MARKETS 399 minished its price increased . 1391-1399. Yet this rise brought forth no compensatory export of gold to Alexandria and European specie markets remained largely unaffected. which alternatively channelled gold—in 1385-1390. therefore. bis 16. each silver boom resulted in an abatement of gold price.15 Until that date the standard of the whole system was the silver dirham. 1399-1412 and 1418-1432—and silver—in 1374-1384. H. and copper. Beck. To the dirham was related gold. Here disproportionate decreases in stocks. From 1375. Each gold boom enhanced market prices. drew the precious metal east and the depleting stocks raised prices on European markets. however.

18 In the event.” Numismatic Chronicle. 17 Popper.16 In such circumstances the rise in gold prices to 26 1/2 dirhams in 1394 and 30 in 1399. versa et illustrata (Rostock.25+ ritl per dirham) it was initially more profitable to take . .400 IAN BLANCHARD by tale at 24 coins of 4. “Back to Gold—and Silver.-Élie (Cairo. as quoted in J. 2: 396. Takieddin Al-Makrizii historia monetae arabicae. 62. As Maqrízí later described the situation prevailing é é during the years 1392-1395: “The Franks carried away the silver dirhams because of the increase in Egypt of the use of copper which they themselves had imported there. “Circassian Monetary Policy. al-Maqrízíya. . 1382-1468 AD. Others were used in the manufacture of silver luxury articles 16 W. 19 Popper. 1955-1957). 52. trad.1797).4. 2nd ser.3-12. caused great hardship. al-Mawa‘iz wa ’l-i‘tibar bi dhikr al-khitat.8 per cent. which should have resulted in a reverse flow. ex codice Escorialensi cum variis duorum codicum Leidensium lectionibus et excerptis anecdotis nunc primum edita. Egypt and Syria.19 The result was obvious. Egypt and Syria. L. 68. and Olav Gerhard Tychsen (Tuka). shifted the bi-metallic ratio from 9. Anastase-Marie de é é é é é é é St. L. Watson.” Economic History Review. Bacharach. 7th ser. Popper. . 18 A. 67. and J. M. 11 (1971): 267-8. as quoted by Popper. that metal to the mint and receive silver (12. Anastase-Marie é é é é é é (Cairo. é é é . Dirhams were found being worn as ornaments. ed. however. therefore. 68. 47. Bacharach. (Berkeley: University of California Press.21 Accordingly. .8 and in 1399 22. Egypt and Syria under the Circassian Sultans.6. Egypt and Syria. From 1392 to mid-1395 silver was exported and its price rose rapidly to a level incompatible with the official exchange. highgrade dirhams disappeared into hoards or were sold in the bazaars like other precious wares. 1936).25 grams per silver dirham. 1939).17 With Genoese and Venetian ratios of 10 and 11.1. ‘Alí al-Qa é é é édir b. 68. Silvestre de Sacy (Paris: Imprimerie du Magasin Encyclopédique— Fuchs.. Shudhur al-‘uqud fí dhikr al-nuqud. University of California é é Publications in Semitic Philology 15-16. Taqí al-Dín Ahmad b. At the low prevailing price of copper (0. é é é Muhammad al-Maqrízí. 1797). 43-4.15.” 268. 131. 397. P. Kitab al-nuqud al-qadímah al-islamíya. it was not to be.. A. L.4 respectively. 20 (1) (1967): 23-4 (Table 1). physical punishment being threatened to those who disobeyed. ed. wa’l-athar known . quoted from the edition Traité des monnoies musulmanes. The forcing of the exchange to this latter rate. “Circassian Monetary Policy: Silver. 21 Al-Maqrízí. 20 Al-Maqrízí.3 to 14. Systematic Notes to Ibn Taghrí Birdí’s Chronicles of Egypt. 2 vols. éé as Khitat.5 per cent). Venetian exporters were offered potential profits of 7.”20 In these circumstances the canonical standard collapsed.

In 1397/8 coins of only one third silver content comprised the major element of the circulating media (i.22 The effect was to demonetize the classical dirham. which passed by the derogatory nomenclature dirham fulus é (copper dirham)—whose silver content reflected market prices. compensated only in 1398 by the first appearance of European gold from Genoa— florins which circulated at a discount in relation to the dinar in circulation (Appendix. however. é 1964).24 In such circumstances the import of copper ceased. 14. which had come to é é power under the new Sultan Faraj27 determined to defend gold and Al-Maqrízí/Sacy. Egypt and Syria.é . 1719. Parts é 1-7. half the standard of the canonical dirham) exchanging at a de facto rate of fifteen to one (or a bi-metallic ratio of 7:1). 26 Popper.3. wa ’l-Qahira. and between the Egyptian and Venetian currencies. ed. Subh al-a‘sha fí sina‘at al-insha. but only at the cost of a 20 per cent depletion of gold stocks. 1382-1469. exchanging at a bi-metallic ratio of 11. . prices rocketed upward. heavily worn coins displacing high-grade dinars in circulation. translation History 2: 2 (Arabic text Nujum. Numismatic Notes. allowing the restoration of the silver coinage at the price level of 1392. A. 25 Popper. 14 vols. That of silver resumed. Ibrahím. 27 Abu al-Maha é é é é é é é . 12.23 With metal stocks doubly depleted by export (1392-1395) and hoarding. 22 (Berkeley: University of California Press. é 22 23 . reprinted Cairo: al-Mu‘assasa al-Misríya. é . 6: 3). and trans.3:1. 1913-1920. 61.25 Yet this stabilisation of silver was only achieved at the expense of the gold coinage. Egypt and Syria. 45-7. thereby establishing a bi-metallic ratio of 9. ésin Yusuf Ibn Taghrí-Birdí. Copper imports from 1392-1395 had prevented the alleviation of the crisis whilst exports of gold 1395-1399 had aggravated the situation.2:1. some 30 coins of two-thirds canonical standard being declared equivalent to 20 canonical dirhams and being exchanged against one dinar. ed. History of Egypt. (Cairo. University of California Publications in Semitic Philology 5-7. 1915-1960). ‘Alí al-Qalqashandí. the administration of Yashbak al-Sha‘baní é é é with its financial ghuru Ibrahím ibn Ghurab. al-Nujum al-zahira fí muluk Misr .e. M. é é é é é é . 40. Traité des monnoies. The coinage accordingly deteriorated. Egypt and Syria. 56. Section 2). In its place debased coins came to dominate the circulating media. At this point. 3: 467. William Popper. 24 Ahmad b.26 By 1399 a new equilibrium had been achieved between the two metals.EGYPTIAN SPECIE MARKETS 401 such as saddles or vases. é é Popper.

the nor- Popper. 33 Ibn Taghrí-Birdí/Popper. With the raising of the bi-metallic ratio silver not only ceased to flow in but. Looking back in 1425 on this period Ibn Taghrí-Birdí recorded. Nujum/History of Egypt. “Back to Gold. which had been reduced to chaos. indeed. Nujum/History of Egypt. By 1403/4 the fractional curé rency of white metal was reduced to chaos. 32 Popper. 52.402 IAN BLANCHARD reform the monetary system.32 The effect was dramatic.28 establishing a bi-metallic ratio of 14:1. to the point of becoming the current money and the most sought after in commercial transactions. é 29 28 . 47. 6: 69. Fostat. reflected in a diminution of the intrinsic value of the dirham fulus.” 27 (Table 2). translation History 2: 51 é é é (Arabic text Nujum. the Yeman. Gold flooded in. where the impact of the gold inflow was acutely felt. was only achieved through the debilitation of silver. é 31 Popper. the regions of the Muslim East. Egypt and Syria. the principal lands of the Greeks. in exchange for the inflow of ducats it was exported. 30 Ibn Taghrí-Birdí/Popper.29 The debased gold and imported coins were set at intrinsic value: the dinar at 24-2530 and the ducat at 26 silver dirhams. Watson. Egypt and Syria. whilst at Alexandria. 6: 596. translation History 4: 30 é é é (Arabic text Nujum. The stability of gold. it must suffice to say that as long as the firm hands of Ibn Ghurab and his é protégé al-Bírí were at the helm gold was successfully defended and é é the canonical standard reaffirmed. Coins of only one fifth the canonical standard were circulating in Cairo. Without following in detail the vicissitudes of the reform. Egypt and Syria. which was more than sufficient to attract European gold and the actual coins in circulation were related to this standard. 53.5). Egypt and Syria. 1.31 the “copper dirhams” again at intrinsic value. Popper. As a result of this export and the process of natural wastage.e. prices rose. the regions of Syria.33 é é The use of the dinar ifrantí (ducat) became general in our commerce é in the 800s (i. however.11). For the population the remedy was more disastrous than the disease. A standard of 30 canonical dirhams to one canonical dinar was affirmed. 1398-1409) in the principal towns of the world such as Cairo.5 coins exchanging for one silver dirham. 52. the Hidjaz.

36 In response to these changes and the rising price of silver.20).35 Prices rose from 4 dirhams per ritl in 1392 to 41/4 in 1397. 3 vols.39 This populism.40 Within the year the old standard was Ibn Taghrí-Birdí/Popper. é 40 Ibn Taghrí-Birdí/Popper. 41/2 in . translation History 2: 95 é é é 34 . translation History 2: 81-2 é é é (Arabic text Nujum. 6 in 1404 and 12 in 1412.38 In the first month of the new administration the coinage was called down to 100 dirham fulus accepted at é their intrinsic value per dinar.15). Inba’ al-ghumr bi anba’ al-‘umr. the actual copper coinage. Egypt and Syria. Egypt and Syria.37 é The popular coinage was in chaos. 121. causing great resentment amongst the population. 2: 84 (6: 115. 1403. Section 3). Numismatic Notes. involving the merchant community in great losses and threatening the integrity of gold. From 1395. 69. which continued to pass by tale. 6: 111). 69. 4. al-‘Asqala é. Nujum/History of Egypt. (Cairo: Majlis al-A‘la li éní é é é ’l-Shu‘un al-Isla éyah.e. 69.e.20). representing at Cairo a bi-metallic ratio of 9.EGYPTIAN SPECIE MARKETS 403 mal coins in circulation contained only half that amount of silver (Appendix. Ibn Hajar é .” 271. as quoted in J. 0.25 grams) coins had disappeared. 1969-1972). because little arrived and merchants exported coin from the country”.5). The flood of coins entering circulation of the years 1392-1395 came to an end with the de facto rise in silver prices already noted. replaced by é quarter-dirham weight (i. Nujum/History of Egypt. In September 1405 Yashbak and Ibn Ghurab once more came to power and the é primacy of gold was restored.74 grams) pieces. which exchanged at 24 to the actual dirham fulus in circulation. Egypt and Syria. 38 Ibn Taghrí-Birdí/Popper. “Ciré émí cassian Monetary Policy. translation History 2: 84. Whether this contributed to the fall of Yashbak is uncertain. By 1403/4 the mithqal-weight (i. 6: 115. a new age began of “high” copper. é 39 Ibn Taghrí-Birdí/Popper. 2: 89 (6: 121.3:1. Bacharach. Nujum/History of Egypt. 2: 45. 37 Popper. however. with the cessation of imports. é é é 89 (Arabic text Nujum. 36 Popper.5.34 Nor was the other popular base of the monetary system—copper—immune. was continually lightened as small and worn coins displaced the heavier issues of an earlier age. translation History 2: 78 é é é (Arabic text Nujum. but the opposition party was clearly aware of the tensions in society and the period August 1404 to June 1405 saw a return to the populist policies. soon came to an end. L. 6: 106. Nujum/History of Egypt. 35 Popper. which had characterised the sultanate of Faraj’s father.

41 Thereafter. month after month. 59. Nujum/History of é é é Egypt. é there was an increasing reluctance to acknowledge these changes by the new populist administration. European goods became increasingly un-competitive in relation to Levantine rivals as their relative price increased by 40-70 per cent (Arabic text Nujum.44 The official rate.20. however. Egypt and Syria. as Maqrízí explained “by the alteration of é é é the nasirí and ifrantí by those who struck them. 46 Al-Maqrízí/Sacy. In recognition of the decline in the intrinsic value of the dirham fulus in circulation against the ducat é and newly introduced nasirí dinar. Popper. the de facto exchange rose to 264 in 1410 and 300 in 1412. Numismatic Notes. é 43 Popper. Egypt and Syria.404 IAN BLANCHARD re-established and the debilitation of silver continued apace as there was a gradual spread of the Alexandrine coins containing one-tenth silver (Appendix. reflecting the deplorable state of precious metal stocks. Section 4). lowering the bi-metallic exchange within a restructured system to 11. 63-4. which steadily dwindled from 1392 (Appendix. Section 3). 173. é é . 54.55 grams to 2. é exchange rate from 150 in October 1405 to 250 in March 1406. 125 (Arabic text Nujum.42 there was a shift in the é. The system was once more reduced to chaos. fundamentally altering the nature of trade (Appendix. é 44 Popper. Ibn Taghrí-Birdí/Popper. 6: 167. é 41 Popper. Traité des monnoies. they gained ground. translation History 2: 121. 57. was frozen at 25045 and the standard maintained. 6: 131. Egypt and Syria. The years 1392-1412 witnessed. the coins being lightened from their standard of 3. 49. Egypt and Syria. the Sultan on the é. however. a complete alteration in the purchasing power of specie in terms of commodities within the two trading area. This change. Reform following the death of Faraj once more established the primacy of silver. 42 At its introduction the nasirí dinar circulated at a discount of 10 dirhams é. as a result of the diminution of Egyptian monetary stock.94 grams.1). 45 Popper. é in relation to the ducat (ifrantí). when Ibn Ghurab died. 74. however. 49. was overshadowed in the new environment of the 1410s by problems arising from Egyptian monetary stock depletion.9: 1. As the ten-percent coins thus continued to spread.8). Egypt and Syria. é one part and the Venetians on the other.43 é From the death of Ibn Ghurab and the fall of Yashbak. Section V). Numismatic Notes.”46 Counterfeit and debased gold thus appeared in 1408.

Levant Trade in the Later Middle Ages (Princeton: Princeton University Press. Ashtor. however. maintaining domestic prices at about twenty per cent above the level of the 1390s. Their first venture in 1412 was overly hasty. Accordingly.47 Within two years. . fluctuations in bi-metallic ratios merely placing a premium on one metal and then the other in the specie outflow. who with the é é é é encouragement of the Sultan were capable of a positive response. one finds them buying up the country with alien gold and silver. the ability of the Karimí merchants to maintain the specie price of é é spices ensured that they gained no advantage from the new situation. the pattern of exchange of specie against specie. How far European merchants benefited from this situation. equivalent to 1. the trade could be highly profitable for.48 These changes both within the international situation and the Egyptian economy were to have profound effects on the European specie export trade and on those who participated in it. For Venice. Where the Europeans operated in a competitive environment. 313 (Table XXIX). oriental wares were correspondingly cheaper. heavily tied to the spice trade. their position was weaker. 47 E. Indeed as relative prices in Europe were enhanced by almost two-thirds the trade declined. like the Karimí merchants (tujjar al-karim) in the spice trade. On the other hand. They reacted by diversifying into unrestricted markets for commodities like cotton and potash (Table 3). Moreover. Faced with a decline in specie returns for their goods. however. Trade in specie displaced trade in goods eastwards. Levant Trade. their price increase from 60 to 220 dinars per sporta grotesquely overshot the mark and they were left with spices on their hands.EGYPTIAN SPECIE MARKETS 405 in the years after 1412. as in the market for consumables and raw materials. they had learnt to manage the monopoly effectively. the Karimí merchants simply restricted supplies of é é spices. now from 1412 was displaced by an exchange of specie against goods. 48 Ashtor. depended on the reaction of indigenous traders to the new market environment.5 tonnes of gold annually. Yet this could do little more than maintain a stable outflow of specie from the city. 313 (Table XXIX). which had characterised the years 1374-1412. Structurally there was a major displacement in the foci of the rapidly growing trade. 1983). where they faced an organised group. in free market conditions.


Only with the fall in gold prices. denuded European gold stocks.5 tonnes annually from 1425-1432. . which had lagged behind Venice in the boom of 1385-1390 and had been totally ousted from the final stages of the following boom by not having. Moreover. and the increase in silver prices as a result of the mining crisis. each gold boom registered significantly in the market place. did the specie outflow come to end. and with a bi-metallic ratio hovering constantly just above that of Egypt to 1433 gold played little role in what outflow there was. a marketable product in the florin. Its merchants. always more committed to the bulk commodity trade. the specie outflow became the principal cause of the gold crisis during the years 1400-1432. the volume of specie exports did not grow.89 tonnes from 1400-1425 and perhaps as much as 4. Genoa had become the motor of Europe. Tapping a constantly widening market in Egypt their commodity export trade from there grew rapidly. during the years 1405-1412. Tapping specie supplies from the European heartland as well as Spain and the Mahgrib. with a bi-metallic ratio that constantly remained below that of Egypt. now came to the fore. The Genoese market was transformed: the slow rise. took full advantage of the new market situation. gave way to a rapid increase as the metal outflow grew without any compensatory reciprocal flow.EGYPTIAN SPECIE MARKETS 407 Tied to the spice trade. Bi-metallic equilibration between the two trading blocs allowed a resumption of commodity trades. it channelled specie east in return for a burgeoning volume of bulk commodities. A burgeoning gold export trade. Eclipsing the effects of the mining crisis of 1375-1400. increasing from about a third of a tonne net annually during the last quarter of the fourteenth century to 1. In contrast Genoa. engendering a corresponding import trade in specie from Europe. concomitant upon the establishment in the 1440s of mercury-amalgamation gold production in the Rhineland. as a result of Egyptian monetary disorders. which had characterised gold prices in the period when metals had shuttled back and forth in conditions of gradual stock depletion.



” Israel Oriental Studies 6 (1976): 268-70 (Table 2). Ashtor. é (b) Related after mid-1416 to ducat-florin. Value of Gold. cont'd Gold Gold Canonical Nasirí é. 74-5. Sources: E. “Études sur le système monétaire des Mamlouks circassiens. .69 (a) Related in this year and until 1416 to the dinar-mithqal.00 30 7 6. Egypt and Syria.410 IAN BLANCHARD V. é Dinar Dinar M O March 1418 Sept 1418 Jan 1421 Jan 1422 Notes: Silver Silver Ducat M O Half-Mu’ayyadí é Dirham E V Bi-metallic Ratio 280 250230 230 240 260 220230 210 210 220 22 10 8. Popper.

2 Honein (Ar. 1320).65 W): port formerly located northeast of modern Nemours. lat. and in many others. carte nautiche e affini dal secolo XIV al XVIII (Vatican: Città del Vaticano. Tuat seems to have been the southernmost point in the Sahara with which Datini agents in Majorca were explicitly albeit indirectly familiar. My ongoing research on the Datini firm owes much to the impetus of his graduate seminars and his numerous works. Almagià.16 N. 1. L. See e. Bay (still known to World War II Mediterranean coastal pilots as Cala de Cazaza. at the mouth of Oued Honaïne. The port is shown more or less correctly in many late medieval portulan charts (very well visible in BM MS Egerton 2803. Archivio di Stato di Firenze (ASF). also al-Qudia al-baida’ = the White Hill) is not . Ghassassa. JOG NI30-02 (U.. particular.é. mentor and a lasting source of inspiration.S. Army Corps of Engineers. lon. Marsa de Sidi Lahsen. é to be confused with Alcudia in Majorca. in . Portolani (as Alcudia). Hunayn. known to the Europeans as . the well-known Tuscan merchant firm of Francesco di Marco Datini of Prato both watched and participated in the traffic of Venetian-supplied copper through the Balearic Islands to the Maghribi ports of Honein and Ghassassa. Pending further discoveries in the Datini archive.2 From Honein..g.. also in the Fra Mauro map (c. in Honein Bay (Marsa Honaïne.. Monumenta Cartographica Vaticana.é . 1944 –). The topic aims to honor John Munro’s place on the Scientific Committee of the Istituto Internazionale di Storia Economica “F. 1954 -).000.. Plate X of the Atlas of Portolan Charts. Datini” in Prato..FROM VENICE TO THE TUAT: TRANS-SAHARAN COPPER TRADE AND FRANCESCO DI MARCO DATINI OF PRATO1 Martin Malcolm Elbl From 1394 to 1410. mod. E.é . JOG NI30-03. all the way back to the Carignano planisphere (c. 1911)). Stevenson (New York. Plates XIII-XV. in R. 1. as Larcildia. Iguesasen. west shore of Cabo de Tres Forcas [Cap de Trois Fourches]. commonly gazetteered as Honaïne. en route to the Western Sudan. 1450). east of the prominent vertical cliffs of Punta Negri. between Cape Noé and Marsa Agla). North Africa. . Alcudia (Khassaça. 35. Edition 1-AMS. ed. Planisferi. the metal then moved south to the oasis of Tuat. The port was located in Ghassassa . 1:250.. ed. upon his retirement. Their indirect knowledge was mediated through contact with Majorcan Jewish merchants involved in the caravan 1 Offered to John Munro.

however. 1937). Undeterred. 2005). Ian Blanchard. H. 2001. Vol. For Malfante’s letter from the Tuat. 1320-1520: A Study of Environmental Change and Commercial Adaptation. R.412 MARTIN MALCOLM ELBL trade. c. Christian. “La prima iniziativa commerciale italiana nel Sahara: Antonio Malfante nel Tuat nel 1447. 64 (5) (1984): 556-69. the Majorca branch nonetheless maintained interest in exports of copper to Honein as late as August through September 1410. 86.” Universo (Florence). Part 3. Freedom and Unfreedom in the Middle Ages.” paper presented at the International Medieval Congress. Far from a mere oddity. 23 April 2005. the Majorca branch took its first serious plunge in the copper trade in 1398. “The Trans-Saharan Slave Trade. addressed to Giovanni Marione. 4 Ian Blanchard. The venture’s disastrous outcome. 383-410. “Egyptian Specie Markets and the International Gold Crisis of the Fifteenth Century. The substantive Datini evidence predates by some fifty years the notorious but far less richly contextualized voyage to the Tuat by the Genoese Antonio Malfante in 1447. Metallurgy and Minting in the Middle Ages. even though accidental.”3 Given the dates (c. the geography (a Venice-MajorcaHonein-Tuat artery). Leeds. “The Medieval World of Islam: An Economic and Environmental Analysis. some aspects of which remain as yet unpublished but circulate in digital manuscript. undertaken in 1407-1408 partly on behalf of the mother firm and its contacts and partly in conjunction with a diversified group of Balearic merchants. At first a mere observer. it is practically indispensable to set this trade flow in the context of Prof. and the commodity (copper). Ian Blanchard’s recent cyclical intercontinental models of medieval trade in metals and other commodities. Jewish. University of Nottingham. . given the exposure of the Datini branch in Majorca to copper trade vicissitudes traceable as far as the Tuat. and converso. The involvement gradually escalated to a complex set of transactions. The arguments are also reflected in the third volume of Blanchard’s Mining.4 The Majorcan 3 R. The Voyages of Cadamosto (London.” paper presented at the conference Slavery. 3. see G. his death on 16 August. Ian Blanchard.” in the present publication. this extension of the firm’s conceptual map possessed direct relevance. Crone. 1390-1410). upset the Majorcan copper market for many months and repercussions were felt from Valencia to Venice. and the firm’s legal dissolution. several of whom resided in or originated from Honein. Rainero. a period straddling Francesco Datini’s last illness. still commonly cited as “the first Italian commercial venture in the Sahara. Continuing Afro-European Supremacy (African Gold Production and the Second and Third European Silver Production Long Cycles) (Stuttgart: Steiner.

1325 had arguably witnessed an adequate flow of gold in the form of double dinars (doblas) from the Maghrib to Europe. particularly between the Tafilalt (Sijilmassa). “Medieval World of Islam. “Egyptian Specie Markets. Blanchard has generally posited 1375 as the starting point of troubles in the distinctive Western Mediterranean market structure that since c. from where Hafsid . and the emergence “Base Metal Production and Trade: Lead. while the Hafsid mints .COPPER TRADE AND FRANCESCO DATINI 413 copper trade is indeed of some relevance to supporting. and Walata. “Slave Trade. . Related mechanisms lying outside the scope of this paper contributed to a relative isolation of Egypt from African sources of gold. increasing aridity and the related upheavals among desert dwellers contributed to a major shift in trade routes.” 338. eliciting a countervailing southbound supply of European silver.” 12. Marínid mints in Morocco ceased operating in the first decade of the fifteenth century.” 5 Blanchard. of Ifriqíya in the east rose to prominence. . however. relative safety and stability along the desert margins.” 32-33. Tin and Copper. The latter swung to take advantage. and the use of trails crossing the West-Central Sahara through fairly difficult dune and sand sea (erg) regions. double dinars passed north “in exchange for European silver”. and endured throughout the arid phase stretching from about 1420 to 1470. The 1375-1435 shift was accompanied by a “basic restructuring of inter-Maghrebian [precious metal] supply networks” reflecting changes in the flow of gold and thus presumably also other articles of trans-Saharan trade. the latter’s lower temperatures and higher precipitation promoted prosperity among nomad populations. As Blanchard has argued. acute shortages of gold on the Egyptian market. Around the same time the trans-Saharan caravans ceased to enjoy a roughly simultaneous benign climatic cycle. . adjusting or correcting (as the case might be) those portions of the models that cover the Western Mediterranean and the West-Central Sahara desert around 1400. The trail realignment was largely completed by 1435. From the 1390s. European maritime trade in the Western Mediterranean followed suit. of “aqueous gravel at the foot of the Ahaggar and the Adrar des Iforas”5 (in this case the strip of Tanezruft routes from Tuat to the eastern Niger Bend). shifting away from the western Maghrib to focus more on Ifriqíya. among other. the Tuat.


however. and copper—were partly reflected in the pattern of Egyptian copper imports. Correspondingly. esh.” unpublished draft. This is reflected in some of Blanchard’s trail maps. The result is a great “X” shape whose legs cross at the Tuat both in “old” trail system of 1310-1370 and in the “new” system of 1445-1454.8 The middle band represented by the axis Balearics-Honein-Tuat is underplayed.pdf. Secondly.ed. as is the Tlemcenian/Algerian Blanchard. Morocco and Ifriqíya namely hold the limelight.COPPER TRADE AND FRANCESCO DATINI 415 of alternating money-pump flows channelling respectively gold and silver from Europe and Asia Minor to Egypt. 7 6 .ac. at http://www. Firstly. even as a mere lieu de passage the Maghrib becomes a somewhat schematic doughnut in this rendering. 1445-1454"). the West-Central Saharan caravan traffic. 8 Blanchard. while Tlemcen. The more direct Oued Guir-Oued Saoura trails are not featured. which seem to reduce West-Central Saharan trade dynamics to a see-saw between “Sijilmassa” in the west and Wargla in the east. specifically.6 Certain difficulties. 10-11. “Slave Trade. almost vanishes were it not for mentions of the port of Honein. Trade flows from Honein and Tlemcen are depicted as passing through Fez. beset Blanchard’s macro-models with respect to Western Mediterranean and Maghribi commerce and. the Maghrib is all too often treated as an unproblematic trade membrane between Europe on the one hand and the Sahara and subSaharan Africa on the other hand.” 338-43. The distinctiveness of the Maghribi regional economies and the intricacy of their role in Western Mediterranean commerce thus recede unduly into the background. gold. 1310-1370") and 2 (“Trans-Saharan Trade. in the middle. “Egyptian Specie Markets. abstracting from the destruction of the walled city of Sijilmassa and from attendant changes in the role of the surrounding oasis of Tafilalt in the 1390s. Blanchard. The corresponding vagaries of the Egyptian monetary system—silver.” Maps 1 (“Trans-Saharan Trade. Genoese and Provençal maritime trade is described as emulating in a somewhat mechanistic fashion the arid era rise of the easterly trails leading through the Tuat and other channels to Ifriqíya. “Egyptian Specie Market.7 Wargla and “Sijilmassa” anchor the northern tips of the “X” throughout. or rejoin the Fez branch in the Atlas Mountains and invariably appear to follow the Tafilalt route.

is rather more muted in this matter (Jehel. at http://www. He did not elaborate. avec certains minerais comme le cuivre. 10 The promotional summary for Georges Jehel’s L’Italie et le Maghreb: conflits et échanges du VIIe au XVe siècle (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France. Pierre Macaire. however. As early as 1955 Jacques Heers hinted at the relative importance of the Balearic copper trade. De la bataille de Las Navas de Tolosa (1212) à l'avènement du sultan mérinide Aboul-Hasan (1331) (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France. kermes (dyer’s grain). however. briefly alluded to Catalan imports of Flemish copper. but without tracing any Maghrib trade links or touching on the Venetian strand of the copper traffic. Majorque et le commerce international (1400-1450 environ) (Lille: Atelier de reproductions de thèses (Univ. 11 Ch.10 The works of Charles-Emmanuel Dufourcq or Pierre Macaire did not go beyond restating the commonplace. by way of Majorca. XIV e nei primi anni del XV. L'Espagne catalane et le Maghrib aux XIIIe et XIVe siècles. the first Catalan monograph to use the Datini material more extensively. of Lille III). heavily drawing on Majorcan data.clio. and grain were the money-making staples of Balearic and partly also Valencian light shipping.-E. Very much part of this “middle band” economy. l’essentiel des exportations du Maghreb vers l’Italie pour approvisionner une production artisanale et industrielle diversifiée en plein essor au XIVe siècle”). María Dolores López Pérez’s seminal study of exchanges between the Maghrib and the Crown of Aragon in the fourteenth century. Heers. suggesting that the sizeable quantities of copper on board the Venetian galleys westbound to Flanders in 1401 were perhaps partly routed to the Maghrib. L’Italie et le Maghreb. 1986). “Il commercio nel Mediterraneo alla fine del sec. qui constituent.” Archivio Storico Italiano 113 (2) (1955): 177. David Abulafia. and David Abulafia’s history of the Catalan kingdom of Majorca passed the Balearic copper trade under silence. The book wax or wool. 2001) (signed Georges Jehel. June 2002.. further complicated matters by including copper among late medieval Maghribi exports to Italy (“.9 Since then.416 MARTIN MALCOLM ELBL coast whose mundane but certainly not unimportant hides. 162). the route Venice-Balearic Islands-Maghrib seems to have faded out of sight as a factor in the trans-Saharan trade. 1966). Finally. Dufourcq. the vibrant Italian/ Majorcan trade in copper and other goods carried through the Tuat to the Western Sudan in the 1390s and early 1400s thus fills a virtual void in Blanchard’s phase of west-east route shift (1375-1435).. ignored copper among Balearic re-exports. A Mediterranean . Dolors Pifarré Torres’ analysis of trade between Barcelona and Flanders.11 9 J. or show that this metal indeed moved across the desert.

John H.. Vol. 1983). the West African spice malaguetta. Pasold Studies in Textile History No.. 220-1. M. Munro. Strayer et al. supposedly focussed mainly on wax and “to some degree” leather. 2 (London: The Pasold Research Fund and Heinemann Educational Books. 1994). 36-7 (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons/MacMillan. ostrich feathers. superabundant as it is. Vermont: Ashgate Publishing Ltd.v.” as evidenced by a negligible exchange of letters between “north African localities and Datini agents in the Balearics. or scarlet..COPPER TRADE AND FRANCESCO DATINI 417 The current gap in the literature is not.g. “Scarlet. while expressing “strong interest” in African wares offered in Majorca. It rather reflects a bottleneck in exploiting such massive sources as the Datini archive effectively. Textiles. however. Harte and Kenneth G. and Trade: Essays in the Economic History of Late-Medieval England and the Low Countries. Francesco Datini namely “showed rather little interest in North Africa. Dolors Pifarré Torres. Towns. 1994). From Maghribi wax. cannot be used with confidence to map out Mallorca’s trading links”—a sensible if over-cautious position— Abulafia also suggested that the archive was of limited use for the study of the Maghrib trade. 13-70. 1982-88 [1988]). Mediterranean Emporium. David Abulafia’s Mediterranena Emporium unintendedly but pertinently exemplified the issue. Carus-Wilson. 12 Abulafia. Moroccan gum sandarac. 2002). Ponting. A. 13 One of the substances used to dye fabrics in shades of deep red. a consequence of scanty data—enough is available to frame at least preliminary answers. and a wide array of Maghribi skins. reprinted in John Munro. s. purple. Variorum Collected Studies series CS 442 (Aldershot. in order to find pass-keys unlocking other archival leads and to build up a critical mass of cross-referenced evidence spanning the Western Mediterranean. Hampshire. . Munro. María Dolores López Pérez. 11: Scandinavian Languages to Textiles. 13 vols. Institución Milá y Fontanals. 1995). pelts. wool. Having argued that “the Datini evidence.” in Negley B. Also J. “The Medieval Scarlet and the Economics of Sartorial Splendour. this amounts to a severe misestimation of the Datini records. The Catalan Kingdom of Majorca (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. the Datini firm’s Compagnia di Catalogna was in fact extensively involved in Emporium. La Corona de Aragón y el Magreb en el siglo XIV (1331-1410) (Barcelona: CSIC. and kermes (dyer’s grain)13 to “feather” alum. See e. Cloth and Clothing in Medieval Europe: Essays in Memory of Professor E. 570-573.12 Unfortunately. Islamic. and Brookfield. El comerç internacional de Barcelona i el Mar del Nord (Bruges) a finals del segle XIV (Barcelona: Publicacions de l’Abadia de Montserrat. rawhide and leather of varying grades and regional provenances.” The firm. H. A. edited by Joseph R.” Dictionary of the Middle Ages.

both strands of the Datini material require careful matching with local sources—Balearic.15 The coverage. For the bulk of the latter’s most active and profitable years. it remains necessary to work with the original documents. The third volume containing an interpretive essay and the index was still “in press” as of November 2005. 2003). based on both correspodence and ledgers) of the Datini wax.418 MARTIN MALCOLM ELBL North African commerce. Mercanti in Maiorca. the extent of the Datini firm’s exposure to North African markets can prove difficult 14 Relevant elements can be traced back to the classic works of Federigo Melis. however. but new detailed studies (companion pieces to the present paper. beads and paternosters. Moreover. 1396-1410. Yet the firm’s lack of direct contact with Maghribi clients. The bulky unpublished branch ledgers and associated account books. Eastern spices and lac. In particular. from the point of view of timely publication. however. Finally. chemicals and medicinal substances—and copper. eyeglasses. conducted through Majorcan or Valencian intermediaries. 1962). Valencian or both—to tease out their full significance. kermes. malaguetta. Il carteggio datiniano dall’isola (13871396). from cloth to petty metalware. S. 3 vols. including his fundamental Aspetti della vita economica medievale: studi nell’archivio Datini di Prato (Florence: L. at least obliquely. The Datini archive should certainly not be underrated as a resource for the study of North African maritime commerce and. of discrete Maghribi economic sectors. are as crucial for interpreting the letters as the latter are for setting the bland transaction records in context. mirrors. and the Balearic merchants’ protectionist tactics. (Florence: Le Monnier. It is true that all the Datini transactions with North Africa were indirect. paper. The same Compagnia supplied Balearic exporters with an array of European goods either retailed in the Maghrib or carried in part across the Sahara. 15 Giampiero Nigro. stops in 1396. Olschki. the year when the Compagnia di Catalogna finally emerged as a business entity from the awkward formative stage that saw the first implantation of a branch in Majorca. Nigro focussed on the correspondence—quite wisely. . and for the intimately related evidence from sister branches in Valencia and Barcelona. but the circumstances in which the local branch was set up. and hide and skin trade through Majorca are only now on the verge of being published.14 The recent publication (2003) of Giampiero Nigro’s two volumes of Datini and related letters from Majorca may begin to change perceptions in this matter. did not reflect faint interest. regrettable as it might be for historians.

148. Archivi di Famiglie e di Persone: Archivio Datini) 998 (number of Datini filza). (Archivio di Stato di Prato. 31 Jul. In the north. 17 Torres. D. Datini Co. tole. copper was all too often cash business. Majorca-Barcelona. frequently with direct involvement by Venetian firms or agents. Majorca-Valencia. identifies here the so-called lettere di compagnia or “open” letters from one Datini branch to another. Tuscan merchants in particular tended to balk at shipping copper from the Low Countries to the Mediterranean because they could not acquire it in Bruges on easy payment terms or through barter for other goods. lastre di rame). 18 ASP.17 Venice supplied copper to the Western Mediterranean in three forms: loaf ingots (pani). plates (tavole. 1409. Datini Co. but according to contemporary testimony North African buyers distinctly preferred Venetian copper. as Torres has shown.. especially in the current absence of good indices to the Datini papers. 1v. 23 Jul. as we shall see.16 Moreover.18 No 16 ASP. (the notation Datini Co. as opposed to letters exchanged among individuals within the firm. Further p. fol. although not through Majorca. 1406. Scattered prices for verghe are found in the Datini material but copper was rarely if ever delivered to Majorca in this form even though the Saharan caravans might have preferred rods. Barcelona. . Before discussing the Datini role in the Balearic copper trade and the rather dramatic circumstances of the largest and so ill-starred copper deal orchestrated by the firm’s Majorca branch. The first two predominated in the Majorcan market. It remains difficult to determine whether the Flemish copper sold in Honein tended to be virgin or part scrap—the firm of Diamante and Altobianco degli Alberti certainly signalled the availability of both at Bruges. 1v. There is no evidence thus far that the Balearics functioned as a crossroads of Venetian and Flemish supply strands. or strictly private and confidential correspondence. fol. and rods (verghe). a quick sketch of Majorca’s copper market is in order. 437 below. Torres mistitled the Diamante and Altobianco degli Alberti partnership in Bruges as “els Diamante”. 892. the repetitious full business styles of originating and recipient branches will thus not be given). D. Copper from the Low Countries did reach the key transshipment nexus in the Maghribi port of Honein. Virtually all the copper arriving in Majorca in the Datini years was shipped from Venice.COPPER TRADE AND FRANCESCO DATINI 419 to assess without a close knowledge of the Balearic/Valencian merchant scene. The correct attribution is evident from the letters to which she refers.

Somewhat cheaper were the unmarked small loaves of red rame dell’ene. In Pegolotti’s time standard 19 Francesco Balducci Pegolotti. and tie other companion metals in slag. yielded Garkupfer (refined copper) in the form of Rosettenkupfer. was still not quite pure and remained poorly malleable. antimony and zinc.420 MARTIN MALCOLM ELBL provision seems to have been made for turning plates into rods in Majorca in the Datini years. This was refined red copper in breadsized loaves.19 The documents clearly show that the copper shipped to the Maghrib at the turn of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries came largely in plates. verging on brass in colour. but despite its nice red hue the product.e. with the “Lamb” hallmark) occasionally topped the price range. see pp. ed. Pratica. while marketable. volatilize arsenic. although in the case of tin Pegolotti clearly stated that in his time (1320-1347) rods for re-export were made from ingots of Cornwall tin both in Majorca and in Venice. For discussion of possible provenance. They fell into the category of rame di Papa or the rame della bolla di San Marco di Vinegia (whose general description is found in Pegolotti’s Pratica della Mercatura trade manual). The less frequent ingots quoted in Majorca as dell’angnolo (i. The product was yellowish. La pratica della mercatura. . These were the last two steps of copper refining. between this copper and brass properly speaking (“yellow copper”. but in fact distinct. although Pegolotti stressed the difference. The primary refining of raw copper (Schwarzkupfer) in an open oven (Garherd) to reduce impurities. MA: The Mediaeval Academy of America. 1936). sometimes conflated in the literature. Whether hallmarked (di bolla) or not. with the hallmarked Venetian ones fetching the higher price. The final Hammergarmachen involved one more smelting with charcoal. Allan Evans (Cambridge. it is likely that both types corresponded at the very least to Rosettenkupfer (using standard German smelting terminology) if not Hammergarkupfer (for the hallmarked ingots). and only then were the ingots stamped with a producer’s hallmark. The plates were rated good and “sweet” only if they “held up to the hammer” and bent without cracking or breaking. 20 Pegolotti. the rame in tavole refined and made up into plates in Venice was put on the market in part as malleable Hammergarkupfer. 381-2. ottone).20 Given the colour (molto vermiglio e rosso) and the price. 381. acknowledged and appreciated by merchants. 446-7 below.

93 kg/dm3 at 15 C. as already implied.22 Whether the plates traded through Majorca were mostly “sweet” is not entirely clear from the Datini and Majorcan records. C (Majorca). It provided a gateway to the so-called Tanezruft route and ultimately to the Niger Bend.21 The Datini ledgers suggest an average plate weight of c. Libro grande bianco segn. fol.9 and 8. 12. 381.968. Ibn Khaldún highlighted the micro-regions of Buda (in the north) and Reg- Pegolotti. It is tempting to interpret the “sour” plate as copper subjected to imperfect Hammergarmachen or none at all.é tified settlements). The Datini letters leave no doubt that Honein was at this juncture a prominent head of trail serving the large annual caravans bound for the northern Saharan oases—and from there across the desert (even though the correspondence does not say much regarding the latter). Describing the Tuat in the later fourteenth century.251 copper plates). above all Fez. The probable thickness has been calculated using the specific weight of 8. Ibn Khaldún spoke of some 200 qusur (for. the Tuat was a major source of food and water at the northern edge of the desolate reg (gravel desert) dominating the Tanezruft Basin.5 Majorcan pounds = 2.04 kg. and thus a thickness of c.34 m).é.73 kg/dm3 and the specific weight of beryllium copper can be as low as 8. 22 21 . Besides Tamentit. 0.43 Majorcan pounds or 5. and mixed in to “pad” bundled lots. and Pegolotti had explicitly urged testing batches for “sweetness”. The specific weight of pure modern copper is 8. Brittle “sour” plates were undeniably on the market. The oasis region of Tuat. Pratica. falling to 8.4 and 8. while Ghassassa (Alcudia) . Casting brass and rolled and drawn brass vary between 8.. served as a secondary outlet geared towards Moroccan markets.COPPER TRADE AND FRANCESCO DATINI 421 Venetian-made plates were sized 1 by 0.25 cm— if indeed the other two dimensions remained roughly the same since Pegolotti’s time. The port of Honein.68 m by 0.. D. ASP. repeatedly mentioned in the letters. 115r (27.1 kg/dm3. 1016.8 for laminated and cast copper respectively. was a key entrepôt hub of the Majorcan/Venetian copper trade.6 kg/dm3 as a reasonable compromise in lieu of the unknown specific weight of the medieval copper sold in Majorca. Wedged between the Tademaït Plateau and the Tidikelt in the east and the northern outliers of the long dunes of Erg Chech in the west.5 braccia (0. was a vital staging point south of the Grand Erg Occidental (Great Western Sand Sea) and the Gurara oasis group. the most notable among them the bustling caravan station of Tamentit (Tamantít).


A caravan partially on foot would see this fall to some 32 km. MacGuckin De Slane. Touat.” Cahiers de l’ORSTOM. Tidekelt. Sabatier. Villages désertés et structures agraires anciennes du Touat-Gourara (Sahara algérien) (Paris: A. Les oasis du Touat-Gourara-Tidikelt en Algérie. Zaglou (Tuat al-henna). The standard coordinates for Tamentit (often not shown on general maps). Tamest. Camille Sabatier. new ed. For recent studies see Y. 38-40 km/day). and then Tuat as such (Fenughil [Fenourhil]. Touat. 1925-1956) 1: 191. économique et militaire (Paris: Société d’éditions scientifiques. The region is a string of discrete oasis nodes straddling the Greenwich meridian (0 longitude) down the east side of the Oued Messaoud (Oued Tuat) valley. according to a broader topographic schema.” Erde 115 (1-2) (1984): 93-109 surveys some of the local medieval structures. the former head of trail for caravans travelling to Mauritania’s Walata. lon. 1891). the southernmost qusur of Reggane. Touat. 24 The standard definition of the Tuat refers to the stretch from Adrar and Reggane. Timmi/Adrar. 23 .g. as does J. P. 25 The “long day” is based on nineteenth-century estimates of the speed of a merchant caravan comprising only riders (c. 27. B.é structuring the oasis region geographically and politically from north to south. Série Sciences Humaines 29 (1) (1993): 121-38. Gourara). 261). 0. Inzegmir. Note that the Oued Messaoud “vanished” in roughly the same place still in the nineteenth century (the dunes cut across it just south of Timadanine and Taourirt. an extension of the Oued Saoura..28 W. 1972). . trans. 234-5. Guillermou. There was not much real difference between a caravan station at Buda (north-west of mod. Échallier. politique. and Reggane). Gabriel’s “Zur vorzeitlichen Besiedlung Südalgeriens (Tanesrouft. not east to west: Buda.23 Buda.75 N. “Survie et ordre social au Sahara. from latitude 26 5' N to latitude 27 5' N. had reputedly yielded its é rank to Tamentit by Ibn Khaldun’s time. 196. al-islamíya bi-’l-Maghrib min Kitab al-’ibar. é Confusingly enough. north of Fenughil). Kitab ta’ríkh al-duwal é é é é é é é .M.-C. Despite its title. Histoire des Berbères et des dynasties é é é musulmanes de l'Afrique septentrionale. some 50 km or a long day’s march away. See e.24 The qusur of the larger Tuat were clustered in micro-regional groups .G.é Etude géographique. Ibn Khaldun also referred to Buda as the é “westernmost” of Tuat’s micro-regions and to Tamentit as the “easternmost” one. Casanova (Paris: Geuthner. Sahara et Soudan.25 Buda was simply the first cross-roads of trails from the Dar’a and the Tafilalt in the north-west (through the Kahal de Walí al-Dín ‘Abd al-Rahman Abu Zayd ibn Khaldun.COPPER TRADE AND FRANCESCO DATINI 423 gane (the southern outpost where the Oued Messaoud (Ghir-Saoura) “vanished among the sands”). but this is true only in a rather tenuous sense— the Tuat in fact stretches along a steep NNW to SSE line (Maps 1 and 2). 3: 298. Adrar) and at Tamentit (south of Timmi. or. are lat.

X. without any hint of need for explanation. By 1394. 1413). Most routes from the east. Majorcan Jews and post-1391 conversos were forcefully 26 Buda was exposed to nomad raids from the north-west in the sense of being located at the vulnerable northern tip of the Tuat. and Tuat. Plates VIII. 495. Only upon reaching Reggane. Bernardo Bon) or leading copper suppliers such as the Contarini may have known at least as much as the Datini men. Tuat and Buda grande figure in a fifteenth-century Italian planisphere from the Vatican Galleries. XV. and west intersected. 2005). another 100 km to the south.and fifteenthcentury Italians and Catalans. 28 Ch. XIII. 124 (doc. . In the “Catalan Planisphere” of the Estense. (Cairo: La Société Royale de Géographie d’Égypte. 1330)). Buda in the Catalan Atlas of 1375 and in the “Catalan Planisphere” of the Biblioteca Nazionale in Naples (fifteenth century). One can thus only assume that Tuat was equally familiar to Venetians involved more often and more routinely in the copper traffic. 27 Also known as Dulcet (Eduard Pérez i Pons. de la Roncière. 2 vols. at Timmi and Tamentit. but in no way precluded striking out along south-westerly trails. Buda and a castrum de Tagenduhet (possibly Tamentit) appear in the Majorcan portolan of Angelino Dulcert27 (1339). Tamentit’s greater “safety” from Dar’a or Sus raiders was dubious.g. XI.28 The importance of the oasis region appears to have been fairly well understood by those working for the Datini firm: from the very first mention in the Datini letters the tone is matter-of-fact. as compared to the almost correct position in Dulcert and a fair approximation in Villadestes.424 MARTIN MALCOLM ELBL Tabelbala). Buda is considerably displaced. Mar. Catalonia Hebraica VI (Barcelona: PPU. Jewish merchants—Majorcan as well as Maghribi—played a significant role in the copper trade linking the Balearics. La découverte de l'Afrique au moyen âge: cartographes et explorateurs. however. Tamentit enjoyed at least a notional “defense in depth” advantage.26 The Tuat was by no means unknown to fourteenth. Venetians resident in the Balearics (e. given that a raiding party mounted on mehari camels could cover up to 100 km/day when pushing the mounts. The latter was a little more defensible. Honein. would a caravan essentially have to commit to the Tanezruft route. and in the atlas chart of the Genoese Battista Beccario (1426). and from Figuig in the north. north. Fonts per a l’estudi de la comunitat jueva de Mallorca. None the less. in the “Catalan Planisphere” of Modena’s Biblioteca Estense (fifteenth century). 19251925). and both Tamentit and Buda (ciutat de Buda) in the planisphere of Mecià de Villadestes (c. 1: Frontispice.

. who had first settled in the Tuat in 1477-1478 (see ‘Abd al-‘Aziz ‘Abd-Allah Batran. during episodes of repression fomené éé ted by the scholar Muhammad b. as are those of R. the Jewish community of Tamentit was decimated (probably in 1492. W. Yet this was by no means exceptional. The isolated fourteenth-century tombstones with Hebrew inscriptions found at Buda (in Ghormali) and at Tamentit between 1903 and the 1950s moreover suggest a certain opulence. from Bernat Tudela and Joan Toreyó to the notary and Maghrib trader Julià Fontcuberta and powerful players such the Pachs brothers and Antoni Quint. Sheshet concerning Tuati affairs (incidentally confirming the importance of the Honein-Tuat link) are far too sketchy. and the Datini material adds only tantalizing glimpses. in part. however.) Hirschberg. Honein Jews. The exact division of labour between Honein and Tuat Jews remains nonetheless unclear.29 Jewish and converso participation in the copper trade should by no means obscure. some of them from Majorcan lineages or from families with close ties to Majorca before 1391. The structures of the trade on which this prosperity rested are poorly known. and again in 1503). Palma).COPPER TRADE AND FRANCESCO DATINI 425 reasserting themselves in the Maghrib trade. conveniently referenced in H. but that does not say much about the situation around 1400. Subsequently. the substantial and aggressive involvement by Majorca’s “old Christian” merchants of diverse financial stature. however. . however. ‘Abd al-Karím b. were instrumental in warehousing the metal and arranging its transport to Tuat. Solomon b. Muhammad al-Maghílí. to 29 The responsa (takkanot) of Issac b. “The Problem of the Judaized Berbers. as well as the presence of reputable rabbis and halakha commentators. Malfante reported that in 1447 Tuat trade was in the hands of local Jews. The Datini firm. “A Contribution to the Biography of Shaikh Muhammad Ibn ‘Abd alKarim Ibn Muhammad (‘Umar) al-Maghili al-Tilimsani. Tamentit has long been associated in both oral tradition and in historiography with a vibrant Jewish presence. Z. It is true that they focussed largely on one segment of the metal traffic—within the triangle MajorcaHonein-Ghassassa—which they deemed they could control at least .. . Semah Duran (for instance concerning copper transported from Oran to the Tuat). even though they do not seem to have always travelled south with the caravans.ã.. despite the hardship and disruption inflicted on the Majorcan Jewish community by the violent socio-political crisis of 1391 and the attendant assault on the aljama in Ciutat de Mallorca (mod.” Journal of African History 14 (3) (1973): 381-94). that the article contains errors and should be used with caution). (J.” Journal of African History 4 (3) (1963): 323-4 (note. particularly between 1300 and 1492.

2v-3r. The Balearic and Maghribi Jews who competed in the maritime triangle with the Majorcan “old Christians” and Italians projected their influence further south. while the economically depressed 1380s represent a void. The reason is threefold. and Nofri was overtly paranoid about his fragile position of intermediary and local expert. Muslims and Jews. and ultimately to the Tuatis. with the most important shipment reaching the Balearics on board the cog of Giaconello de’ Falchi. correspondents such as Nofri di Bonaccorso or Antonio di Filippo Lorini and Co. for now. was doing the same. RP (Patrimoni Reial/Real Patrimonio) 1998. The Datini letters and other sources suggest that prominent operators such as Ayon Susen rarely if at all travelled south of Honein.426 MARTIN MALCOLM ELBL some extent on sufferance from the Majorcans. gladly leaving the next stage to better informed and more entrenched locals. The Datini firm was simply perceived as not being very much into raw metals. The customs register in question carries a misleading attribution to 1386-1390. ARM (Arxiu del Regne de Mallorca). Finally. while a detached folded sheet inserted at the back provides a summary financial statement by the clavari for the year 1387. deliveries of copper to Majorca were chanelled mainly through the Venetian merchants Bernardo Bon and Polo di Giovanni. fols. The first coherent glimpse of the Majorcan turn-of-the-century copper trade dates to 1390. 6v-7r (the identification of the Majorcan registers’ “Polo de Venecia” with Polo di Giovanni remains tentative). 30 . the flow of information was shaped by the contacts’ own business operations. The Datini letters—those received from business contacts and arms-length agents prior to the arrival of Datini staff in the Balearics—fail to fill the gap. owing to the paucity of Balearic trade records and to lack of research on Majorcan notarial registers predating the well-known fifteenth-century records of the notary Antoni Contestí. and in so far as it functioned as a supplier of copper it relied in turn on Venetian contacts and most often on Venetian ships. it is quite clear that outsiders had a certain mental image of the Datini firm’s “profile” and typical requirements and adjusted their reporting accordingly. Secondly. to the Maghribi-northern Saharan segment— but once again within limits.30 Information for 1391-1393 is meagre. In 1390. were not prone to dabble in copper. the letters amply show that even the best contacts were politely coy about “trade secrets” in terms of specific local knowledge. the contents cover in fact the year 1390. Firstly.

Mercanti. however.1 to 9. Ambrogio Lorenzi de’ Rocchi. such as Alberto degli Alberti of Bruges. 22 (29) Dec.). 255.M. . 30 Oct. Ambrogio Lorenzi to Datini Co. 1394). the young Datini factor who arrived in the Balearics from Valencia on 16 March 1394. 406.31 An identical schedule was followed in 1395. The Giustiniana carried 8 costals of copper (coure) worth 115 l. who had assumed management of the Majorca branch in March 1396. that the firm developed a sustained and growing interest in the MajorcanMaghribi copper traffic. when copper and brass shipped from Venice partly on behalf of Alvise Contarini and partly consigned to the Majorcan Bernat Tudela and the Venetian Benedetto di Michele was delivered by the Flanders galleys Capitana. In January 1399.. Antonio di Flippo Lorini Co.32 The Datini firm began to pay moderate attention to the transit of copper through the islands in 1394. Nigro. Ambrogio Lorenzi to Datini Co. however. Moceniga and Giustiniana on 16 April.. 930 (doc. not the subsequently stamped archival page numbers). To Datini Co. (Majorcan pounds of account). 6r-6v (the folio numbers for this register are the original manuscript numbers. 33 E. 439. The 31 bales of copper (aram) sheet on the Capitana.5 metric tons) for resale to Majorcan Maghrib traders (“per la 31 Nigro. 265. RP 2002. was routinely quoting local copper prices in his business corespondence within the next half-year. and the Venetians Messer Antonio Contarini and Paoluccio di Maestro Paolo. following its first awkward attempt to find a foothold in Majorca.33 It was not until two years after the Datini Compagnia di Catalogna branch structure had finally been set up in 1396.g. 2: 994 (doc. 607 (doc... 642 (doc.M. the 52 bales on the Lombarda were worth 840 l. the 20 costals on the Moceniga were worth 100 l. 1395). Lombarda.COPPER TRADE AND FRANCESCO DATINI 427 The year 1394 saw the island market resupplied in copper for the most part by the outbound galleys of the regular Venetian Flanders line. fols. The Tudela/Michele shipment on the latter galley amounted to 17 costals worth 115 l. he strongly urged the mother company to order from Venice. 32 ARM. 25-28 April 1304. Mercanti. Cristofano di Bartolo Carocci.M. 7 (12) Oct. through Zanobi di Tadeo Gaddi. up to 15 or 20 migliai grossi of copper plate (7.M. as reported by Antonio Lorini. 1394). Ambrogio Lorenzi to Datini Co. which docked at Ciutat de Mallorca on Good Friday (17 April) and unloaded virtually nothing but a large quantity of copper. for which duty was paid by Messer Giacomino Arnuzzi were consigned by the Contarini merchant house and declared to be worth 440 l.M. Majorca-Valencia. at first handled brass and copper only on behalf of others.

Datini Co. 134 (for the underlying Venetian pound). The trading season’s main profits went to Datini competitors. D. on deaf ears. Lane and Reinhold C. fol. Mueller. D. In October 1399 Cristofano still vainly advocated that the firm invest in some 200 to 300 centinai grossi of copper plate (9. 1981). 667. Coins and Moneys of Account (Baltimore. 996. but did not receive his copper until much later. Datini Co.. 22 Oct. Majorca-Valencia. preferred in the Iberian Peninsula. ASP. 1985). MajorcaFlorence. . and the 16 bales unloaded in May from the Verzona were snapped up at above market price. and nearly half the batch consequently remained in his 34 ASP. Italian Weights and Measures from the Middle Ages to the Nineteenth Century (Philadelphia. 2r. Copper plate for the Maghrib was also in strong demand. Bernardo Bon and the Contarini had saturated the Majorcan market with loaf ingot copper by May. was framed in Venetian units of measure and the corresponding conversion is used here (1 migliaio grosso = 477 kg).. 1. Majorca-Valencia. ASP.. The recommendation.3 metric tons). fol. Majorca-Florence. 35 ASP.428 MARTIN MALCOLM ELBL Barberia”). 667.5 to 14. Datini Co. however. 360 and Ronald Edward Zupko. 27 Jan.35 Stoldo di Lorenzo and Francesco Datini (the principals of the mother company in Prato/Florence) stubbornly held off into the spring of 1400. Money and Banking in Medieval and Renaissance Venice. 1r. ultimately intended for the firm’s main contact in Venice. fols. D. 1399. He thus partly missed a window of opportunity for getting cargo on board the ship scheduled to connect with the caravans in Honein. Majorca-Florence. The same applies to the centinai grossi mentioned next (1 centinaio grosso = 47. however. fol.. He waited anxiously for the galleys.. were not expected until later in September. D. Plate copper. the renewed outbreak of the Portuguese-Castilian conflict was imminently expected to raise the price of loaf ingot copper. was nonetheless in short supply and deliveries from Venice. Vol. Datini Co. 667. 1r. 4 Sep. 1399. 1399. 996. 1v. more suited for the latter market. 5 Jun. Datini Co. in mid-June. fol.34 His insistence on delivery by the first available ship or failing that by the Flanders galleys (obviously those of the spring muda) fell. 24 May 1399. It was not until the following year (1401) that Cristofano finally managed to have 20 bales of plate shipped out to Majorca. In the meantime. See Frederic C. delayed by a quarrel between Venice and the Crown of Aragon over navigation laws. and were trying to move much of it out to Valencia. 3r. 1399.7 kg). speculating on a rise in prices in case of war between Portugal and Castile rather than on sustained sales in the Maghrib. ASP. 2r. D. particularly Bastiano di Bartolo.

17 Apr. 1v (recommending a shipment of 20. 667. Datini Co. 1401. 1r. 31 Jan. 12 Sep. D. “blue and large as a middling nut. Tuccio di Gennaio consigned with Cristofano another 30 quintals of copper re-routed from Valencia and brought in by way of Ibiza. The pressure to come up with some strategy increased when.. D. 996. and Cristofano suggested an over-ambitious scheme for shipping cloth. Majorca-Valencia. 13 Jun. 11 Feb. D. 1400. Datini Co. 668. 1v. 1v. ASP. ASP. D. 1r. The Jewish traders who had initially been willing to buy up all that was left. Cristofano di Bartolo to Luca del Sera. fol. 2v (“. ASP. 1v. D. and other merchandise to the Maghrib with the help of the Valencian Muslim merchant Jucef Xipio. Datini Co. such as are customarily brought by the Venetian galleys. the expected departure of the nave of Jaume Tudela for Ghassassa in January 1402 brought Cristofano no . 667... 997. i . D. 1402. ASP. 17 Apr. ASP. fol. 996. Majorca-Valencia. Majorca-Florence.36 The advancing autumn spawned its usual share of pipe dreams. D. 6 Apr.. 1402. fol.... Majorca-Valencia. fol. copper. Majorca-Florence. demand in Honein was stronger than ever before. almost too late. Datini Co. 997.. comfort. D. To dispose of his remaining 36 bales of metal he then put his hopes in the Jewish merchants trading to Honein. 1402. 1401. Cristofano di Bartolo to Luca del Sera. 2r. 997.COPPER TRADE AND FRANCESCO DATINI 429 stockroom. ASP. and the Valencia branch was only partially successful in finding takers for copper as late as October.”37 36 ASP. 37 ASP.. D. September brought further complications both for him and for competitors. in the middle of the slack season. Majorca-Florence. fol. 997. fol. fol. and a digression on how to save on customs by shipping goods to the Maghrib in Xipio’s name and to Majorca under the Datini merchant mark). 1v. 997. Unfortunately.. D. 16 Jun. 1401. 1r1v. 1r-1v. 1402. ASP. and the Saharan trade buying pressure had spilled over even to such items as glass prayer beads. Majorca-Valencia. 26 May 1400. fol. D.000 pounds of copper plate).. 668. 1r. 12 Jan. Majorca-Valencia. MajorcaFlorence.ã. Datini Co. fols. plate and loaf ingots as well. Datini Co. for to his suprised irritation he found himself locked out through tacit collusion among Majorcan merchants. D. ASP. Majorca-Valencia. 1r. 2v contains the lengthy outline of the Jucef Xipio project.. Datini Co. Majorca-Florence. 1r-2v (fol. Cristofano di Bartolo to Luca del Sera. fol. 15 Nov. Cristofano di Bartolo to Luca del Sera. and geared up for the next trading bout only in July. 1401. ASP. Majorca-Florence. Datini Co.. ASP. had been advised from Honein to hold off. 997.. D. 28 Oct. Majorca-Valencia. D. ASP. fols. Datini Co.. fol. 668. 6 Oct. ASP. By then copper plate for the caravans was a hot item. fols. 1400. 668. 1401. 1401. 28 Aug. Ultimately the Balearic market went into hibernation until next March. Datini Co. 1400. Majorca-Valencia. fol.

1015. Cristofano di Bartolo to Luca del Sera. D. fol. Majorca-Florence. D. Haim and Balaix held off even after having been rescued by an inflow of gold coin from the Maghrib. Datini Co. 40 ASP. 1403. 668. 12 Jul.39 That autumn’s bright point.406 kg. Cristofano was desperately trying to get Aion Haim and others interested. were already overcommitted on account of taking off his hands metal belonging to the Dandolo firm of Venice. 71r). Datini Co. 1r. 1402. 23 Jul.430 MARTIN MALCOLM ELBL Cristofano now dared to think bigger. however. MajorcaFlorence.3 metric tons) of copper at one go. 668. D. Majorca-Florence. making Cristofano rue having received another 16 quintals of Contarini metal through Piero Mattei in Ibiza.. A massive flash flood of the Riera stream that wound down the centre of the late medieval Ciutat de Mallorca devastated the downtown business district. and the firm’s internal usage is obviously the one to follow when converting relevant figures.. however. 997. Haim Susen and Balaix Feraig. 23 Jul. ASP. Datini Co. which collapsed in mid-October 1403. fol.g.”).. ASP. ASP. 1403. 6 Nov. fol. Between January and August 1404 he and paternostri di vetro azurini.40 By December the market remained soft and then virtually collapsed. and specifies that copper is sold by the “Barbary quintal” (cantaro barberesco) of 121 Majorcan pounds. systematically reckon copper by a quintal of 100 pounds (see e. and drove a hard bargain when they finally agreed to buy 120 quintals. given that his usual Jewish contacts (“gli amici”). The Datini ledgers. 1r. besides being short of cash. The talks were not going quite well. 39 ASP. Datini Co. Pegolotti does set the size of the Majorcan quintal (cantaro dells terra) at 104 Majorcan pounds. Given the reference frame of the Datini letters and ledgers. 1403. as he stressed. fol. D. 38 ASP. B (Majorca). Libro grande bianco segn. 668. in the range of 500 quintals (20.. Majorca-Valencia. 668. 7 Jul. D.. His expectations that it would take a year to see an improvement turned out. the quintal is here reckoned as 100 Majorcan pounds of 0. 1r. 1v. and the stacked metal ingots were one of the few things not carried away or destroyed by the muddy waters. was the fact at least the leftovers of Contarini copper and the Dandolo tin remained unscathed and were successfully excavated from the ruins of the Datini house in Majorca. grossi chome una nuciola mezana.. Majorca-Florence. chome solglono portare le ghalee de’ Viniziani . 1403. to be unjustified. D. 2r. . fol.38 In the summer of 1403 Cristofano was hard at work negotiating the potential sale of a sizeable shipment of copper sent out by the Contarini on board the Chopa. fol.

9 Jan. Libro grande bianco segn. fol. D. the island’s Maghrib traders remained cautious. 9 Apr. The nave of Rafael Ferrer brought more plate and loaf ingots from Venice. Branch letters to Barcelona. six months after Niccolò replaced Cristofano as manager. and then Honein.. and Samuel (probably Samuel Fazuati) on the Jewish side. and there was little sign of the boom about to start during the winter of 1405-1406. and Ayon Susen. ASP. living on and off in Tenes (Algeria). Cristofano di Bartolo to Luca del Sera. fols. Majorca. Finally.414 pounds belonging to Francesco Datini and 227 pounds were consigned to Jaume Bonet in Valencia. and Joan Toreyó and the money-changer Pere Barrera among the Christians. through Pere Bassa. Solomon Sorell. Measures were also taken to secure offshore lighters for unloading in case the galleys failed to tie up at the main quay because of current tensions over potential new duties. Majorca-Florence.42 The subsequent magic-wand change. Over 22. 1405. 42 ASP. set at around 29 July. Even such mavericks as Ayon Susen were short of cash. 997. He had sold third-party copper forward and by March 1406 penalties for non-delivery threatened. Ayon took another 1.COPPER TRADE AND FRANCESCO DATINI 431 his chief factor Niccolò di Giovanni Mazzuoli successfully sold over 6. accompanied by exclamations of pious hope that the metal would arrive with the Flanders-bound galleys. D. 1405. 3r. had Niccolò soon in a panic. as well as to Joan Toreyó. Majorca-Valencia.93 metric tons) belonging to the Florentine firm of Bernabò degli Agli went to Abraham Arquet. 2v. packed.000 pounds of copper plate (8.44 metric tons) on behalf of Messer Antonio Contarini to a select group of dealers comprising Haim Susen. D. D. and Florence were peppered with reminders. however. and ready to go before the expected departure of the last ship to Honein. 14 Jun. 780 pounds of Bernabò 41 ASP. willing to buy only on merchant credit with payment due only after return from Honein. Valencia. Majorca-Valencia. 154v-155r.41 The volatile nature of the copper trade nonetheless re-asserted itself by April 1405. fol. Datini Co. Although there was no copper to be had in Majorca. 1014. Ultimately. 997. . Magalluf ben Allon. 1403. A (Majorca). June 1406 found Niccolò busy weighing copper with his large balance (romana) for his Jewish customers and for Joan Toreyó. 668.000 pounds of copper plate (2. ASP. Ayon Susen was a relative of Haim Susen. and the Valencia branch staked an interest in part of the shipment even though Niccolò favoured selling it in Majorca if the metal was weighed.

D. By mid-June he reported having disposed of around 500 quintals belonging to Francesco and to Ser Antonio di Lapaccio. Niccolò began to feel uneasy. The bustle died down by mid-September and payments were now beginning to flow back from the Maghrib. D. had several thousand florins at stake with them. 78v-79r. 1r.. Majorca-Barcelona. 23 Jul. 1r. MajorcaBarcelona.432 MARTIN MALCOLM ELBL degli Agli’s loaf ingots from the Ferrer shipment were sold to Abraham Arquet and to the converso Maghrib traders Pere Pardo and Francesc Bellviure. D. 998. and drove a hard bargain. D. 1406. His terms were for retied bundles. 1r-1v. 998. 1406. 998. 891. Datini Co. required time and put the onus on the payee. B (Majorca).. while another 200 quintals were earmarked for loading on board a galley armed by the prominent Majorcan merchant Nicholau de Pachs. and delivered FOB to the hold of the outbound vessel. the copper market stubbornly picked up once again. but not necessarily in cash—one of the return commodities tended to be the scarlet dyestuff kermes. The Majorca branch having been granted a “stay of execution” by the mother company. D. however. 998. Datini Co. however. 1v. Selling the kermes. D. ASP. D. This created a timing problem for Niccolò—the Datini firm was once again in the throes of serious reorganization and it appeared. 1406. fol. 981. ASP. ASP. 998. ASP. 1v... moreover pressed the Majorcan branch for a binding arrangement to deliver copper on demand. Datini Co. Magaluff ben Allon and Ayon Susen had virtually cornered the copper trade to Honein and the Datini firm. Datini Co. ASP. that the Majorca branch would after all be liquidated and Niccolò transferred to Valencia. fols. Majorca-Valencia. Majorca-Valencia. any time. fol. however. 3v. Majorca-Valencia. 1406. Datini Co. ASP. MajorcaValencia. fol. Joan Toreyó. fol. Libro grande bianco segn. including weak demand for cloth in the Maghrib. fols. 1r. 31 Aug. 26 Mar.. 44 ASP.44 Regardless of diverse economic troubles. 998.. 70v-71r. Datini Co. Datini Co. D. fols. as well as Bastiano di Bartolo. 19 Jul. 1406. who was attempting to carve out his own privileged niche. 4 May 1406. fol. Datini Co. Majorca-Valencia. D. Datini Co. 1406.. 23 Mar. Niccolò tried to make up for profits lost during the months of uncertainty and betted heavily on copper. ASP. ASP. not the debtor. 21 Jun. 43 . Majorca-Valencia. 1r. Some 150 ASP. Datini Co.. 27 Oct. D. fol. Majorca-Valencia.. until the spring of 1407.. 10 Jul. with Francesco Datini’s blessing. 1015. 1r. D. Abraham Arquet. Pere Bassa. 1406. 1406. 2v. 998. fol. ASP. Majorca-Valencia. 998. wrapped in fresh canvas.43 By the end of August.

Majorca-Florence.47 The metal ultimately put up by various participants. fol. 668. fol. 15 Nov. 1r. D. Majorca-Valencia. Libro grande bianco segn.006 l. Libro grande bianco segn. 16s. Datini Co.M. net of expenses (ASP. C (Majorca). were also spread among various Jewish. aimed at unseating Jews and conversos from their current position of leadership in the copper trade. fol. 16 (18) Dec. 668. D. 1406. 892. 1016.. This is reported in letters outlining subsequent developments: ASP. ASP. C (Majorca) fols. 1408. Datini Co. 1016. Majorca-Barcelona. 29 Sep. 892. with Antonio di Lapaccio contributing a minor share. and other traders. net of expenses (ASP. on condition of making buyers agree not to resell in Majorca. fol. fol. fol.. By the end of September. see e.794 l.45 To hedge bets. 279 quintals belonging mostly to Francesco Datini. before the scheduled departure of the Pachs galley for Honein (toward the end of June). D. ASP. 15s. ASP. 48 ASP.. D. 1s.471 l. 998. Majorca- .968 1/2 lb was posted as sold for 2. Majorca-Valencia. 25 Mar. D. not counting copper traded outside of the Datini circle and thus much more poorly documented.48 45 Tosinghi and Antoni de Quint were also shipping out between them another R 2.. Tosinghi’s copper was worth 2. D. Datini Co. 1v. 47 ASP. 2/7 of which represented Tosinghi’s investment and the rest that of de Quint. Datini Co. Niccolò sold just over 213 quintals of the 550 that Tosinghi had consigned with the branch on commission. 1408..M. 1r. 1r. For allusions to the other issues. 1d. D. 2d. or 1. 998. amounted to roughly 200. D. on credit terms stretching into December. 16 Jun. C (Majorca). Libro grande bianco segn. converso.46 On behalf of another countryman.. 668. Niccolò di Giovanni Mazzuoli to Francesco Datini. 1016. Majorca-Barcelona.622 l. however. 1407. Further see ASP. 1r. D. fol. D. for that would further spoil the already saturated market. D.. 1409. 1407.. Majorca-Valencia. ASP. The 200 quintals set aside were part of an untypical interlocking set of common ventures between Italian merchants and Majorca’s “old Christians” headed by the Pachs and by Antoni de Quint. The related losses are discussed for instance in ASP. fols. Giovanni Tosinghi. Datini Co. ASP. 29 Sep. the Venetian nave of Ser Marco de’ Benedetti had unloaded another 141 bales of copper plate and the local market showed signs of glut. D. 2d. 116v-117r). 31 Jul. fol. Datini Co. Majorca-Florence.. Niccolò begged the Valencia branch to explore all possibilities of selling copper there.M. 10s.COPPER TRADE AND FRANCESCO DATINI 433 quintals were expected to sell shortly. 25 Mar. 1407.000 worth of copper. 38v.000 Majorcan pounds or 82 metric tons of copper. 9d. 1408. 998. including 500 quintals ventured by Nicholau de Pachs.g. 46 The whole Datini/Lapaccio batch weighing 27. Majorca-Florence. 114v-115r. Datini Co. 998. 1v. or 2. 1r.

1r.50 Various merchants from Tlemcen. for Francesco Datini and Antonio di Lapaccio. 1408. “Arabs” were indeed involved. and Tuat.51 If. copper and other goods sent from Valencia. 1408 (“. Majorca-Florence. Secondly. 50 ASP. Initial estimates of potential loss tallied up to 2. and thus equivalent to the Florentine florin. 10 Apr 1408.. or in the vicinity of the oasis region.000 camels and represented the confluence of diverse strands of commerce. and other trade centers surely suffered losses as well.M.. fol. Majorca-Florence. fol.. may have supplied more metal to the affected Jewish and converso dealers. the lower Moulouya River. the considerable delay with which the news broke and the lack of available detail leave some doubt about the location: either somewhere between Honein and Tuat. Datini Co. Datini Co. 141. ASP. 1408. then two alternatives are perhaps worth considering. (reials) for Giovanni Tosinghi. or a disaffected splinter of the dominant group. Barcelonese. 668. Datini Co. to Francesco Datini. D. in saying that culprits were “una chonpagnia d’Arabi” Niccolò might have been unable to appreciate the difference between “Arab” and Tuareg. D. D. 1v. 1407. and some 600 R. the fact that reports of subsequent negoValencia. 51 ASP. D.49 Subsequent revised assessments dating to December 1408 showed that about half the copper was irretrievably lost. See Melis. however. in January and February 1408. 25 Mar. 16 (18) Dec. On the one hand. Majorca-Barcelona.000 R.622 l. 25 Mar. e una chonpagnia d’Ar(a)bi l’àno tutto rubato . Majorca-Barcelona. and at least one Genoese merchant active in Majorca. the attackers may have been either traditional rivals of the dominant Ma‘qil nomad group that benefited from the passage of the caravans by virtue of controlling the space between Honein. 668. 249 and Peter Spufford. 29 Sep. The full extent of the disaster is impossible to specify—Niccolò’s comments indeed suggest that the caravan also carried. Datini Co. 892. 892. Fez. The Majorcan reial (reale in the Datini ledgers) was worth on average 15 s. On the other hand.000 to 12. Handbook of Medieval Exchange (London: Royal Historical Society. 49 ASP. Datini Co.. Aspetti.. lo mandavano [the copper] a Tuet. to Francesco Datini. alarming news reached the Balearics that a raiding party had attacked and robbed the Tuat caravan. Battista Campanaro. with the posibility that Tosinghi’s joint loss with Antoni de Quint might run as high as 2. for instance. given that an annual caravan to the Western Sudan could easily marshal 8.434 MARTIN MALCOLM ELBL Then. What was the robbery’s Maghribi context? Firstly..”).. 1986). .

sultan of Tunis. The ’Ubayd Allah controlled é é é by the later fourteenth century northern (summer) grounds reaching from the region of Tlemcen to Taurirt. the Tessala.. é .52 As for the first alternative. together with his Marínid é é é support force. The eastern segment of the ’Ubayd Allah. the Kharaj. it is well known that Gurara and the Tuat formed part of the winter nomadization grounds of the Ma‘qil Arabs of the Dhu ’Ubayd Allah group. Certainly they and their shaykh Ahmad b. 200-201. raises the possibility that the caravan was held to ransom by Arab partisans of the force sent from Morocco by the Marínid sultan Abú Sa‘íd ’Uthmán III to support the emir Abú ‘Abd Alláh Muhammad b. . Their neighé é bours and standing rivals were the Banu ’Amr b. Zoghba. Des origines à la fin . to Oujda and the estuary of the Moulouya. who é claimed as summer grounds the approaches to Oran. and perhaps more so. given the specific timing. Abí Sanuna . . It is however equally plausible.53 The Honein-Tuat caravan may well have fallen victim to a breakdown of peace at the intersection of the cross-cutting allegiances and closely adjacent nomadization corridors. for instance. between Honein and Tlemcen. that the culprit was indeed the eastbound expedition é of Abu ‘Abd Allah Muhammad b. and from there southward to sources of the Za. 53 Ibn Khaldun. Chronique des Almohades et des Hafsides attribuée à Zerkechi (Constantine: Adolphe Braham. fraction who reportedly came to request Marínid help and who brought the emir back east with them. and the areas south of Tlemcen. Brunschvig. A former governor of é é . . La Berbérie orientale sous les Hafsides. Tlemcen. tended to recognize in the é é later fourteenth century the authority of Tlemcen.COPPER TRADE AND FRANCESCO DATINI 435 tiations for return of the cargo trickled in from varied points. While in their summer encampments in the tell. trans. It is a moot point whether or not the Hakím were the Arab . sultan of é é . whereas the western Haddaj gravitated under Marínid influence. Abu ‘Abd Allah had taken refuge at the court of é é é Fez. were in the forefront of the rebellion against Abu Faris and were é é 52 R. Abí Yahyá in his attempt to seize . none too stable during the fulsomely praised but conspicuously fragile reign of Abu ‘Abd Allah Muhammad I. 1: 101. Abí Yahya. 103-4. 1895). Fagnan. 214-5. du XVe siècle (Paris: Adrien-Maisonneuve. 120-2. 1940). E. as far east as Collo and Annaba. Berbères. . power in Ifriqíya in 1407-1408. é Annaba and a rebel cousin of ‘Abd al-‘Azíz Abu Faris the Hafsid é é é . they collected tolls from traffic.



responsible for his initial defeat in late summer to early fall 1407 between al-Hamma and Nefzaoua.54 The Honein caravan may have in fact delayed its departure in a bid to avoid the Abu ‘Abd Allah’s é é eastbound forces, only to run into them all the same, or into their flanking Arab outriders. It would have been quite natural for part of the captured copper to be then carried east, with the advancing army, while negotiators sought a ransom that would have nicely rounded out Abu ‘Abd Allah’s war chest. This would acount rather é é tidily for news of the robbery spreading as late as January 1408, as well as for the fact that word of the stiff ransom of 10 double dinars a camel load arrived by way of Collo and Annaba around mid-May 1408.55 By 15 June 1408, as the rebellion was collapsing under Abu Faris’ é é counterattack, there was still hope that the metal would be ransomed by Jewish negotiators. The Majorcan copper market had nonetheless stalled, and the Datini branch feared that its Valencian counterpart would find itself in the same position, given that “all of it [the copper] goes by the same route” (i.e. through Honein).56 Abraham Arquet had lost all the copper purchased from the Datini firm and was temporarily penniless, and Niccolò begged the Florence mother company to arrange the sale of a batch of Arquet’s kermes in lieu of cash payment. Magaluff ben Allon anxiously waited for a ship to return from Oran, Honein and Mostaganem so that he could pay the Datini firm for the copper that originally formed part of the batch put up for sale on Francesco Datini’s own account. Niccolò’s pocket, incidentally, was just as empty and he proposed to draw bills of exchange on Barcelona to raise much needed cash.57 Finally, in December the worst possible news arrived from the Maghrib— although some of the metal had indeed been recovered, over a half was lost for good. Some 315 quintals (12.8 metric tons) of the Datini/Lapaccio copper had fortunately remained in Honein under the safeguard
The exact dating of the rebellion’s last stages remain uncertain (14071409). Brunschvig, Berbérie, 214-5; Fagnan, Hafsides, 200-1; E. Fagnan, trans., Extraits inédits relatifs au Maghreb (Algiers, 1924), 297. 55 ASP, D. 998, Majorca-Valencia, Datini Co., 13 May 1408, fol. 1r. 56 ASP, D. 998, Majorca-Valencia, Datini Co., 15 Jun. 1408, fol. 1r; ASP, D. 998, Majorca-Valencia, Datini Co., 4 Sep. 1408, fol. 1r. 57 ASP, D. 892, Majorca-Barcelona, Datini Co., 20 Jun. 1408, fol. 1v; ASP, D. 892, Majorca-Barcelona, Datini Co., 12 Sep. 1408, fol. 1r.



of Ayon Susen. So did some of Giovanni Tosinghi’s lot (whether also stored with Susen or not remains unclear). Another 60 quintals were rescued, but the ransom was more “than it was worth,” as Niccolò put it. The Jewish merchant who made the arrangements took the copper to the Tuat in person, but was not expected to do better than break even. The Majorca branch was moreover billed 78 R. for its share of customs and expenses. Another 1,256 doblas’ worth of copper was entrusted to a Honein Jew who forwarded the entire lot to the Tuat together with other remnants of merchandise, but this cargo was in its turn stolen, probably in November 1408. The unfortunate merchant was finally allowed to discount the lost shipment at 700 doblas (as opposed to over 1,300 original worth), pawning a house in Honein to raise 400 doblas and promising to pay the remaining 300 in nine months’ time.58 In Majorca the Jewish copper dealers closed ranks and made themselves inconspicuous, sold only for cash, and insisted on generous merchant credit when buying.59 In April-May 1409 caravan suppliers began to make deals again, but the market remained soft. Niccolò hoped that “those of the caravan (chanfila, i.e. Ar. qafila)” might ultimately buy some of the é metal left with Ayon Susen, but in vain. There was no demand for copper plate. Buyers might eventually be found, as Niccolò was informed, if the plates were made up into rods, but the expense sounded like throwing good money after bad. By 1410, however, things seemed back to normal. The late summer brought news that Tosinghi’s leftover copper was finally about to find a buyer, and Niccolò wrote in an upbeat tone to the Barcelona sister branch that he was on the verge of bartering another 150 quintals for merchandise. He also sought to bring over to Majorca 100 quintals of copper obtained by the Valencia branch at an advantageous price. His key letter from this period is dated 16 August 1410, the very day Francesco Datini died.60
58 59

ASP, D. 892, Majorca-Barcelona, Datini Co., 16 (18) Dec 1408, fol. 1v. ASP, D. 998, Majorca-Valencia, Datini Co., 28 Jan. 1409, fol. 1r. 60 ASP, D. 892, Majorca-Barcelona, Datini Co., 16 Aug. 1410, fol. 3r. See also ASP, D. 875, Florence-Barcelona, Luca del Sera to Datini Co., 23 Aug. 1410; ASP, D. 892, Majorca-Barcelona, Datini Co., 23 Sep. 1410, fol. 2r; ASP, D. 1110, Florence-Barcelona, Ser Lapo Mazzei to Datini Co., 24 Aug. 1410, in Melis, Aspetti, 76. For well-known general accounts of Francesco Datini’s death, burial, and bequests, see Melis, Aspetti, 75-7, and Iris Origo, The Merchant of



To set the Majorca-Honein-Tuat metal trade into a broader context, it will be useful to review here the main European sources of copper at the turn of the century. A clear answer regarding the Datini copper provenance, however, must await the outcome of attempts to backtrace through Venice individual west-bound metal shipments. Given the nature of the firm’s correspondence with Zanobi di Taddeo Gaddi and then with the executors of his commercial estate,61 unravelling the archival leads does not hold much promise of a quick and unequivocal identification of specific mines or even intermediate markets associated with individual batches of copper demonstrably shipped to the Balearics. The present discussion remains therefore confined to outlining plausible alternatives and screening out unlikely ones in the light of current research. The Datini records offer a few interesting although not unproblematic hints. Firstly, as already mentioned, Venetian copper was clearly favoured by Honein dealers supplying the southbound transSaharan caravans. The difficulty is that while copper of varied provenances passed through both markets, Flemish and Venetian, some of the sources were identical. This was particularly true for the socalled Polish copper, which came from the mines of Slovakia and Hungary. Barring differences imparted by final refining and plate production (impossible to ascertain from the data thus far associated with the Majorca route), the intrinsic characteristics of such sharedsource metal should not in principle have diverged so widely as to affect buyer behaviour in a systematic fashion. As in the case of earlier fourteenth-century Levant tin-buyers’ reputed preference for Venetian-made rods,62 the pattern may thus reflect nothing more than the assurance of quality implied in the Venetian product’s hallmark, without saying much about preferences for copper from any given primary source. Secondly, and somewhat more usefully, the prevalence of rame in tavole in the shipments makes it likely that the metal resembled

Prato (Harmondsworth, G.B.: Peregrine Books, 1963; reprinted 1979), 341-6. 61 Zanobi died on 21 July 1400. The estate’s commissaria (with Antonio di Ser Bartolomeo and Lorenzo di Francesco di Vanni as executors and Domenico di Tommaso di Francesco della Vacca overseeing the Venetian office) carried on business on behalf of his minor male heirs (taken to Florence by their mother). For parallels between the business styles of commissaria and eredi di ... (“heirs of”), see Melis, Aspetti, 31 n.3. 62 Pegolotti, Pratica, 382.



the yellow-hue rame afinato e messo in tavole a Vinegia described by Pegolotti more than half a century earlier.63 The hue points to a natural copper-zinc alloy containing too little zinc to be rated by contemporaries as brass. This is not at all strange, for prior to c. 1740 pure metallic zinc was for the most part neither known nor available, and varieties of brass or bronze were commonly lumped together as “copper”.64 Thirdly, the risk of coming across shipments of “sour” plate may suggest relatively arsenic-rich batches. Arsenic, as is well known, imparts greater strength to copper at high temperatures (while also raising the annealing point from 190 C to around 550 C), but elevated arsenic (above 0.5 per cent) embrittles the metal. Relatively zinc-rich “copper” partly flawed through inclusion of appreciable traces of arsenic certainly readily evokes the copperarsenic-antimony fahlores exploited in various parts of Europe intermittenly ever since the Early Bronze Age. The literature relating to fahlores and their prehistoric and historic exploitation is substantial and growing and there is no need to review it here, but it might nonetheless be good to recall the ores’ basic typology. Fahlore (“pale ore” or gray copper ore, Agricola’s argentum rude album (1547)) represents one of the two key groups of gray copper sulphosalts, namely the tetrahedrite group. The second is the enargite group, much less relevant here. Fahlores range in composition between the tetrahedrite and tennantite types (darker steelgray tetrahedrite (Cu,Fe)3SbS3,25 or (Cu,Fe)3AsS3,25 and lighter grayblack metallic-lustre tennantite (Cu,Ag,Fe,Zn)12As4S13). Copper may be substituted in the ores, in widely varying proportions, by a range of metals, from Fe to Ag, Bi, Co, Hg, Ni, Pb, Zn, Ge, and Sn. Zinc, silver, arsenic and antimony, in particular, as well as bismuth, tend to carry over into any unrefined metal smelted from fahlore.

Pegolotti, Pratica, 381. For the question of metallic zinc, see P. T. Craddock, Early Metal Mining and Production (London: Edinburgh University Press, 1995). There have been hints, however, of an unusually advanced production of zinc and of small zinc liturgical items in Bohemia in the thirteenth century. See Karel Nováæek, “Nerostné suroviny stpedovbkých Fech jako archeologický problém (bilance a perspektivy výzkumu se zambpením na výrobu a zpracování kovù),” Archeologické rozhledy 53 (2001): 279-309, and K. Charvátová, J. Valentová, and P. Charvát, “Sídlištb 13. století mezi Malínem a Novými Dvory, o. Kutná Hora,” Památky archeologické 76 (1985): 101-67.




From the point of view of metal source attribution, unfortunately, the difficulty with fahlores is threefold. Firstly, fahlores are very common among almost all hydrothermal sulphide ores (e.g. mesoand epithermal deposits), in sedimentary exhalative deposits, in polymetallic veins and skarns, in veins associated with S-type granites, and often also in copper porphyry deposits, while occurring as accessory minerals in volcanogenic sulphides. Recent research has also shown that despite their reputation for poor smelting (related to modern, not pre-modern processes) fahlores were smelted in Europe far earlier than previously thought. Secondly, the chemical composition of fahlore metal is not very indicative of provenance, as it depends on the actual smelting sequence, at least with respect to arsenic and antimony content. Lead isotope ratios are a better guide, but as late as 2005 these were lacking for some areas of interest, particularly Slovakia.65 Thirdly, as R. A. Ixer pointed out in a Bronze Age context, too much work yielding geochemical and isotope data has tended to focus on notable specimens (the “magpie school of provenancing”), not on mundane orebodies smelted in the past.66 For medieval fahlore research, the greatest bottleneck lies in a certain lack of informed comprehension between archive and laboratory. The following brief survey of European copper sources is necessarily quite sweeping, given the relative prominence in all the likely extraction areas of both fahlore bodies and related secondary mineral assemblages within the upper oxidised zones (gossans). To the best of my knowledge, however, no such compact overview is readily available, or at least none bridging the recent historical and geological literature.67 Whatever its limitations, the exercise may

B. Höppner et al., “Prehistoric Copper Production in the Inn Valley (Austria), and the Earliest Copper in Central Europe,” Archaeometry 47 (2) (2005): 297, 306. For 2003 lead isotope data from the Erzgebirge and nearby areas, see E. Niederschlag et al., “Determination of Lead Isotope Ratios by Multiple Collector ICP–MS: A Case Study of Early Bronze Age Artefacts and their Possible Relation with Ore Deposits of the Erzgebirge,” Archaeometry 45 (2003): 61–100. 66 R. A. Ixer, “The Role of Ore Geology and Ores in the Archaeological Provenancing of Metals,” in S. M. M. Young et al., Metals in Antiquity. BAR International Series 792 (1999): 43-52; R. A. Ixer, “Copper-arsenic Ores and Bronze Age Mining and Metallurgy with Special Reference to the British Isles,” online study retrieved from 67 Blanchard’s valuable Mining, Metallurgy and Minting, 3, Afro-European




prove worthwhile, especially should it eventually help to spotlight otherwise inoccuous snippets of information in archival tracks concatenating from the Datini material, snippets that might permit the circle to be closed around the Venetian/Balearic trans-Saharan copper trade.68 Some of the relatively buyer-deprecated copper reaching Honein by way of Flanders in the Datini years clearly moved through Hanseatic channels (especially following the return of the Hanse Kontor to Bruges from Dordrecht in 1392, which ended the 13881392 Hanseatic boycott [Handelssperre] of Flanders). Two main supply streams merged here: Swedish and Slovak/Hungarian. The Swedish metal came, partly by way of Visby (on the island of Gotland), from Central Sweden’s massive copper sulphide deposits at Falun (Stora Kopparberget) between Lakes Runn, Varpan and St. Vällan.69 The Slovak/Hungarian metal came from areas and localities discussed further on, mainly via Kraków, the Wisla River valley (Thorn [Pol. Torux]), Lübeck and Danzig (Gdaxsk). The third source, if already worked around 1400, as tenuous indications of early smelting activity in nearby Allenbach may suggest, could have been the Hosenberg mines in the Hosenbachtal near Fischbach an der Nahe in the Hunsrück. Kupferkies and fahlore copper was easily shipped from here to the Low Countries through Cologne, Aachen, and Maastricht, at least after 1460.70
Supremacy, Part 3, “Base Metal Production,” unfortunately does not fill the gap as fully as might have been hoped for. 68 Recapitulating the orebodies in a joint historical and geological/mineralogical context may be also of some use for future metallographic and isotope work on African copper artefacts, apparently stalled as far as historical provenancing is concerned. See the “1994 Annual Report” of the Smithsonian Center for Materials Research and Education, Lead Isotope Program (at 69 See e.g. Göran Dahlbäck, “Eisen und Kupfer, Butter und Lachs. Schwedische Produkte im hansischen Handel,” in Rolf Hammel-Kiesow, ed., Vergleichende Ansätze in der hansischen Geschichtsforschung, Hansische Studien 13 (Trier: Porta Alba Verlag, 2002), 163-74. For site analyses, soil chemistry, and brief historical overviews of Falun mining, see Elin Carlsson et al., “Historical Atmospheric Deposition in a Swedish Mining Area Traced by S Isotope Ratios in Soils,” Water, Air, and Soil Pollution 110 (1999): 103-18, and Jemt Anna Eriksson and Ulf Qvarfort, “Age Determination of the Falun Copper Mine by 14 C-datings and Palynology,” Geologiska Föreningen i Stockholm Förhandlingar 118 (1996): 43-7. 70 Hosenberg is not not far from Idar-Oberstein. The later fifteenth-century works are discussed in Rosemarie Homann et al., “Territoriale und bergbau-



Some copper, however, may also have been brought to Flanders from the Harz Mountains, the Erzgebirge (Saxon and Bohemian Ore Ranges) or from the Saxon Erzgebirgsvorland. In the Harz (a modest 90 by 30 km northernmost outcropping of the Variscan orogen), Rammelsberg near Goslar had long been supplying northwestern Europe with copper from massive syn-sedimentary polymetallic sulfide ore formations in the local Wissenbacher slates.71 Harz mining nonetheless suffered crippling setbacks in the midfourteenth century. Both in Goslar and in the Oberharz ore extraction came to a virtual standstill after 1360, partly owing to the exhaustion of the deep veins, as well as of smaller mineral bodies in the upper oxidation layer that did not require work to a depth greater than c. 20 m and therefore not much up-front investment. This was coupled with deforestation, rising labour costs aggravated by plague mortality, shaft flooding partly compounded by climate change, and investment bottlenecks reflecting old legal and institutional patterns. Yet it is less than clear, at present, how prolonged the mining complications really were. In particular, the extent and impact of the deforestation “energy crisis” would seem to have varied notably from region to region.72
liche Grenzziehungen auf dem Hosenberg bei Fischbach/Nahe 1473-1712,” Zeitschrift für Berg- und Hüttenwesen 9 (2003), Beiheft 4. For regional context, see e.g. H. Pohl, “Die Montanunternehmer im Rheinland vom 13.-18. Jahrhundert,” in Simonetta Cavaciocchi, ed., Miniere e metallurgia. Secoli XIIIXVIII. Diciottesima Settimana di Studi, Istituto Internazionale di Storia Economica “F. Datini” di Prato, 11-15 aprile 1986. Atti in CD-Rom (Prato: Istituto Internazionale di Storia Economica, 1999). 71 A concise overview of the relevant geology is available in H. Kulke, “Der Harz (Norddeutschland): Geologisch-Lagerstättenkundlicher Überblick, Historische Baumaterialien (Natursteine, Gipsmörtel, Schlackensteine, Blei),” Mitteilungen der Österreischen Mineralogischen Gesellschaft 142 (1997): 43-84. K. Mohr, Geologie und Minerallagerstätten des Harzes, 2d ed. (Stuttgart: E. Schweizerbart, 1993), remains an essential reference work. The standard historical works include e.g. Gerhard Laub, “Zur Technologie der Kupfergewinnung aus Rammelsberger Erzen im Mittelalter,” Harz-Zeitschrift 32 (1980): 15-76; Franz Irsigler, “Über Harzmetalle, ihre Verarbeitung und Verbreitung im Mittelalter. Ein Überblick,” in C. Meckseper, ed., Stadt im Wandel. Kunst und Kultur des Bürgertums in Norddeutschland 1150-1650 (Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt: Edition Cantz, 1985), 3: 315-21; and C.-H. Hauptmeyer, “Bergbau und Hüttenwesen im Harz während des Mittelalters,” in K. H. Kaufbold, ed., Bergbau und Hüttenwesen im und am Harz (Hannover: Hahn, 1992), 11-20. 72 The established view of the mining crisis is outlined for instance in H. Steuer, “Bergbau auf Silber und Kupfer im Mittelalter,” in H. Steuer and U. Zimmermann, eds., Alter Bergbau in Deutschland. Sonderheft of Archäologie in



The evidence of flooding is more consistent, and there is little doubt that the Rathstiefster Stollen at Rammelsberg, for instance, could not handle peak waterflows by 1360. Moreover, known copper-rich reserves (mainly chalcopyrite, CuFeS2) in the 300 m deep Old Orebody seem to have been severely overexploited.73 In the Oberharz the Alte Mann silver/lead fields of the Clausthal-Zellerfeld area (former Celle), flourishing in the thirteenth century, were now abandoned. Those peripheral Oberharz smelting settlements that worked up Rammelsberg copper ore also declined, through a knock-on effect.74 Yet recent studies of metal traces from atmospheric deposition in the peats of the Sonnenberger Moor (Oberharz) suggest an intriguing cyclical spike of moderate importance in copper/silver processing, with a peak around 1400 (at peat layer depth c. -900 to -1,000 mm).75 A revival of activity at the turn of the century, promoted by the town of Goslar and the Welf overlords, thus appears likely. Small fahlore workings (albeit extracting mainly silver) were also active in the Mittel- and Unterharz, in the vicinity of Harzgerode
Deutschland (Stuttgart, 1993; Sonderausgabe, Hamburg: Nikol Verlagsgesellschaft, 2000), 75-91. See also Christoph Bartels, Das Erzbergwerk Rammelsberg. Die Betriebsgeschichte 1924-1988 mit einem Abriß der älteren Bergbaugeschichte (Goslar: Preussag AG Metall, 1988), 15. For further aspects of the midfourteenth-century problems in the Oberharz, see Götz Alper, “Mittelalterliche Blei-/Silberverhüttung beim Johanneser Kurhaus, Clausthal-Zellerfeld (Harz),” Nachrichten aus Niedersachsens Urgeschichte 67 (1998): 87-134, and Götz Alper et al., “Johanneser Kurhaus.” Ein mittelalterlicher Blei-/Silbergewinnungsplatz bei Clausthal-Zellerfeld im Oberharz (Rahden [Westfalen]: Verlag Marie Leidorf, 2004). Revisionist approaches appear in Christoph Bartels, “Der Historische Bergbau und das Hüttenwesen im niedersächsischen Harz,” unpublished lecture, Deutsches Bergbau-Museum Bochum, 7 April 2005. For deforestation effects and charcoal supply, see e.g. M.-L. Hillebrecht, Die Relikte der Holzkohlewirtschaft als Indikatoren für Waldnutzung und Waldentwicklung. Untersuchungen an Beispielen aus Südniedersachsen (Göttingen: Goltze Druck, 1982). 73 For Rammelsberg’s two main orebodies, with clear diagrams, see D. Large and E. Walcher, “The Rammelsberg Massive Sulphide Cu-Zn-Pb-BaDeposit, Germany: An Example of Sediment-hosted, Massive Sulphide Mineralisation,” Mineralium Deposita 34 (1999): 522-38. 74 Alper, “Johanneser Kurhaus,” 94-7. 75 The deposits were studied by Burkhard Frenzel und Dr. Heike Kempter (Universität Hohenheim). The c. 1400 C.E. spike is much more modest than the one characterizing the periods 1150-1250 C.E. and c. 1500 C.E.. For methodology and caveats see Kempter’s Work Group webpage at http://www. rzuser., “Peat Bog Archives of Atmospheric Deposition—Ombrotrophic Peat Bogs as Archives.”



(Hagenrode) and Neudorf, although the meagre evidence is inconclusive regarding conditions around 1400. To the east and south-east of the Harz, copper had been mined since the thirteenth century from the stillwater sediments containing the black bituminous polymetallic marl slates (shales) (Kupferschiefer) of the Mansfeld basin and the Sangerhausen Revier. Hydrothermal processes whose exact geology is still debated had left behind mainly bornite (Buntkupferkies), chalcopyrite, Kupferglanz (Cu2S), and tennantite fahlore, encased between the Zechstein conglomerate base and the overtopping Zechsteinkalk. The main early focal area lay in the north-western corner of the Mansfeld field, at the Kupferberg near Hettstedt.76 Erzgebirge copper may also have found its way into ingot batches reaching Flanders and from there the Western Mediterranean. Copper was here a companion product of silver and lead extraction from post-Variscan hydrothermal vein-type ores occurring for instance in the Freiberg gray gneiss and yielding among other copper sulphides and arsenides in association with chalcopyrite. The midfourteenth century troubles afflicting the mining sector clearly did not spare the Saxon Erzgebirge (Saxon Ore Range). Just like in the Oberharz, smaller mining operations proved relatively more vulnerable. The single archaeologically best documented settlement thus far, Bleiberg on the Treppenhauer (above the Zschopau Valley near Sachsenberg, NE of Chemnitz), was permanently abandoned at this juncture.77 How long production remained in decline in the Erz76 For an overview see Dieter Beeger, Das Sächsische Erzgebirge: Geologie, Bergbau und Kultur (Vienna: Naturhistorisches Museum, 1988), and the Ostharz chapter in Gerd Seidel, ed., Geologie von Thüringen, 2nd updated ed. (Stuttgart: Schweitzerbart, 2003); further also J. Rentzsch et al., “Die laterale Verbreitung der Erzmineral-assoziationen im deutschen Kupferschiefer,” Zeitschrift der geologischen Wissenschaften 25 (1997): 1-6. For general estimates of total copper extraction at Mansfeld from c. 1200 to 1990, see G. Knitzschke, “Metall- und Produktionsbilanz für die Kupferschieferlagerstätte im südlichen Harzvorland,” in G. Jankowski, ed., Zur Geschichte des Mansfelder Kupferschiefer-Bergbaus (Clausthal-Zellerfeld: Gesellschaft Deutscher Metallhütten- und Bergleute, 1995), 270-84. 77 W. Schwabenicky, “Hochmittelalterliche Bergstädte im sächsischen Erzgebirge und Erzgebirgsvorland,” in Siedlungsforschung: Archäologie—Geschichte —Geographie 10 (1992): 195, 206-7; W. Schwabenicky, “Der mittelalterliche Silber- Blei- und Kupferbergbau im mittleren und westlichen Erzgebirge sowie Erzgebirgsvorland unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der Grabungsergebnisse vom Treppenhauer bei Sachsenburg,” Doctoral Dissertation (Berlin, 1992), 20, 22-3, 95; H. Douffet,, “Erzgebirgische Bergstädte,” in Dieter Dolgner, ed., Stadtbaukunst im Mittelalter, (Berlin: Verlag für Bauwesen, 1990), 182-4.





It is unfortunately difficult to establish, at this point, which copper types—“Polish” (i.e. Slovak), Swedish, Harzer, Erzgebirger, or eventually Hunsrücker—were most heavily traded in Bruges at any given juncture and in what proportion. Even tentative answers would help shed more light on the late fourteenth- and early fifteenthcentury trans-Saharan caravan trade’s predilection for “Venetian” as opposed to “Flemish” copper, but the issue must be left open for now. The problem is further compounded by the fact that linkages between less known mines and the commercial “catchment areas” of specific trade centers such as Bruges or Venice remain vague. This is true for instance for Bavaria’s Kupferberg in Oberfranken, near Kulmbach. Mining was probably in progress here by the 1320s, and in 1340 the works already suffered from severe flooding. The outlook possibly improved as early as 1364, but it is difficult to say whether copper from the relatively high-yield local ore travelled rather south or north-west, if indeed it possessed greater than regional importance. The detailed structure of the Venetian copper trade “catchment area” around 1400 remains correspondingly blurred. The closest regional sources lay in the upper Veneto, among the Belluno dolomite rocks, and in the Valle del Fersina (Trento, Ger. Fersental), where families of immigrant miners from the Tirol and Carinthia had settled already in the thirteenth century.80 The first securely documented copper mining operations in the Valle Imperina near Agordo (Parco Nazionale Dolomiti Bellunesi), however, date at best to the early 1400s, and given current evidence they are not very likely to have contributed much of the metal refined in Venice for shipping to the Western Mediterranean between 1390 and 1410.81 The orebodies of Austria’s Salzach Valley also do not seem a likely provenance.82 Copper, mainly from Kupferkies and fahlore, may have
Salvatore Piatti, Palù-Palae: frammenti di storia (Palù del Fersina: Comune di Palù del Fersina, 1996), and Anthony R. Rowley, Fersental (Val Fersina bei Trient/Oberitalien): Untersuchung einer Sprachinselmundart (Tübingen: Niemeyer, 1986). 81 Raffaello Vergani, “Technology and Organization of Labour in the Venetian Copper Industry (16th-18th Centuries),” Journal of European Economic History 14 (1) (1985): 173-86. 82 The relevant localities are Mühlbach am Hochkönig, Hüttau-Larzenbach (yielding Kupferkies and antimony-rich fahlore by the fourteenth century), Brenntalwald (securely documented only from 1425), and Kupferplatte (documented from 1447).



come to Venice, however, from the Austrian Walchen and the Ober Enns Valley of north-western Styria (between Öblarn and Schladming). Inferential data suggest local mining activity from c. 1230, although clear evidence relates only to 1432-1434.83 It is unfortunately a moot poin whether the term rame dell’ene in the Frescobaldi redaction of Pegolotti’s Pratica della mercatura refers to the Enns Valley or not. If it does, the Enns would have constituted the second highest quality source of Venetian red copper, at least up to c. 1350.84 The next most prominent nearby provenance likewise raises dating issues. The dolomite and limestone fahlore mineralizations of the Schwaz-Brixlegg area and adjacent orebodies (e.g. Falkenstein, Klein- and Großkogel) in the Unterinntal (some 40 km north-east of Innsbruck) appear to fit the mixed characteristics of the Venetian copper in tavole quite well. The local ores do contain significant concentrations of zinc. The smelting of secondary copper minerals in the host rock would have given a copper rich in arsenic and antimony, while metal with relatively low arsenic, antimony and sulphur (“sweet” copper) could have come from a mixture of fahlores and secondary copper minerals containing nickel.85 Such variation would not be suprising during early mining stages, before shafts and galleries were driven deeper. But although fahlores were worked extensively here during the Bronze Age, tradition cites only 1409 for the rediscovery of outcroppings, a year later than the commonly accepted date of the Schladminger Brief that became the basis of Tyrol’s mining law. According to the Schwazer Bergchronik, the Falkenstein veins were opened in 1420, attracting the first large wave
Gerald Fuchs, “Montanarchäologische Untersuchungen in der Walchen bei Öblarn,” Report—ARGIS Archäologie Service ( See also Karl A. Redlich, “Die Walchen bei Öblarn. Ein Kiesbergbau im Ennsthal,” Berg- und Hüttenmännisches Jahrbuch 51 (1903): 1-62; Hans Jörg Köstler, “Neuzeitliches Montanwesen im Bezirk Liezen,” in Bergbau und Hüttenwesen im Bezirk Liezen (Steiermark). Kleine Schriften der Abteilung Schloß Trautenfels am Steiermärkischen Landesmuseum Joanneum (Trautenfels: Verein Schloß Trautenfels, 1993), 24, 69-75, 78; J. Wichner, “Kloster Admont und seine Beziehungen zum Bergbau und zum Hüttenbetrieb,” Berg- und Hüttenmännisches Jahrbuch 39 (1891): 111, 129-30, 135-6, 142-3, 146, 149, 153-4. For the mineralogy see Heinz J. Unger, “Der Schwefel- und Kupferkiesbergbau in der Walchen bei Öblarn im Ennstal,” Archiv für Lagerstättenforschung in den Ostalpen 7 (1968): 2-52. 84 Pegolotti, Pratica, 381. 85 Höppner, “Copper Production,” 301.

Inn Valley copper may well have traded in Venice at the end of the fourteenth century. or from other nearby rock formations contain- For background see Robert Krauß. in this case perhaps distorted by the fact that the eyecatching element was silver. Lothar Suhling. Saxony. the recorded Schwaz chronology fits all too closely a pattern of single-date eponymous “rediscovery” almost simultaneous with legislative ordering.e. but unfortunately many of the locations have been obliterated or made inaccessible in the giant rockslide of 1999.Sb)4S13. and the still viable old works in the Alte Zeche orebody were rediscovered in Schwaz only in 1426. of course poses challenges of its own.86 On the face of it. und in dem achtenden Jahr an Montag nach St. not the much more mundane copper. 209-24. The Schladminger Bergbrief of Lienhart der Egkzlhaim.” in Schwazer Silber. The 1409 “find” is quite likely to have been preceded by a good few decades of prospecting and small-scale smelting in which copper would have been the most obvious product suited to cover the costs of searching for silver.” in Schwazer Silber—vergeudeter Reichtum? 1.Ag. given that the 1764 edited text is dated “nach Christi Geburde dreyzehenhundert Jahr. “Rattenberger und Schwazer Schmelzen auf Silber und Kupfer vor und um 1500. Richter zu Slennig. 2003).” i. just a few years before the farm maid Gertrud Kandlerin drove out to pasture the legendary bull who by accident rooted up some silver ore. “Der Schladminger Bergbrief. Inn Valley copper thus enters into play too late to fit the Datini timeframe.” Res Montanarum 30 (2003): 5-10. from the Brixlegg area Triassic limestone tennantite (with a generic formula (Cu. and elsewhere. Secondly. Jahrhunderts. then some of the copper refined by the makers of Venetian tavole di rame in the 1390s and early 1400s could indeed have been extracted from either the Schwaz dolomite primary ores (arsenical argentiferous tetrahedrite with a generic formula (Cu. Such patterns typically serve to formalize in human memory more drawn-out processes.Fe. 1308 and not 1408 as commonly accepted. Margärethe Tag. Zu den Verhüttungsverfahren nach Quellen des späten 15. much older (prehistoric) mines are known to have existed at the top of the Schwaz deposits (Schwabboden and Eiblschrofen). Concerning the Brief. “Kupfer und Silber—ein verlorener Reichtum.Zn)12As4S13). Should this scenario prove correct. see Karl Stadlober.Ag)10Zn2(As.COPPER TRADE AND FRANCESCO DATINI 449 of miners from Bohemia. 86 . 139-42. und frühen 16. Internationales Bergbausymposium Schwaz 2002 (Schwaz: Berenkamp. On the other hand.

See also Martin Stefánik. Obchodná vojna krála Z Šigmunda proti Benátkam (Handelskrieg König Sigismunds gegen Venedig) (Bratislava: Historický Ústav SAV. 61-84.” in R. “Kupfer aus dem ungarischen Š Königreich im Spiegel der venezianischen Senatsprotokollen im 14. and from there by ship to the Venetian lagoon.” in A. ed. and Z. 60-91. eds. 1979). Istituto Internazionale di Storia Economica “F. Oldenbourg. Miroslav Danis (Bratislava: Katedra vseobecných dejin š š FF UC.” in Werner Mägdefrau. ed. 5 (Florence. V. Acta historica posoniensia I. Tasser and E. Der Tiroler Bergbau und die Depression der europäischen Montanwirtschaft im 14. 2001). 2004). Pál Pach. “Pramene o banskobystrickej medi v Benátkach z druhej Š polovice 14. ed.” in Štúdie z dejín baníctva a banského podnikania. For the VenetianHungarian historical and commercial context from 1409-1412 onward. as already noted.” Slovenská archivistika 39 (2004): 40-58. and (c) the road from Buda to Croatia’s Zagreb and then to the port of Senj (It. “Die Kontinentalsperre Kaiser Sigismunds gegen Venedig 1412-1413. Westermann. Kaiser Sigismund in Ungarn. Trasporti e sviluppo economico. Jahrhundert. and Martin Stefánik. in the Velebitski Kanal (Canale della Morlacca. see W. For the old toponymy around Senj. Marx. 48–63. 1966). The metal normally reached Venice along three alternative routes: (a) the so-called Pettauer Weg (through Ptuj on the Drava River) across the Karst to Trieste.450 MARTIN MALCOLM ELBL ing fahlore. Akten der internationalen bergbaugeschichtlichen Tagung Steinhaus. “Zengg”). und 15. Zborník š k zivotnému jubileu Mariána Skladaného (Studien zur Bergbau. 1418-1433 und die Verlagerung der Transkontinentalen Transportwege. Veröffentlichungen des Südtiroler Landesarchivs 16 (Innsbruck: Studien Verlag. Die niederungarischen Bergstädte. also known as della Montagna. just astride and beyond the present study’s time limits. “Die Verkehrsroute des Levantehandels nach Siebenbürgen und Ungarn zur Zeit der Könige Ludwig von Anjou und Sigismund von Luxemburg. with Vienna as transit hub.. Datini” di Prato. the IIId Military Mapping Survey of Austria-Hungary. This leaves as an acknowledged and much less problematic source of Venetian exports the “Hungarian” Slovak copper.000 (sheet 33-45. 260-1. The late fourteenth century Venetian link has been recently highlighted in depth by Martin Stefánik. which also flowed into Hanseatic trade channels through Poland. see e. von Stromer. Festschrift für Marián Skladaný zum 60.und Bergunterš nehmengeschichte. storocia. “Pramene k stredovekým dejinám Uhorska a Slovenska v Š benátskom archíve. no. Segna) (opposite the island of Krk.87 The three 87 Günther Frh. Ihre Entwicklung und wirtschaftliche Bedeutung bis zum Übergang an das Haus Habsburg (1546) (Munich: R. secoli XIII-XVIII. 210–26. on the landward side of the Kvarneric Embayá ment). Geburtstag).. Europäische Stadtgeschichte in Mittelalter und früher Neuzeit (Weimar: Böhlaus. v. 1986).. (b) the Semmeringstraße. . 2004). which usefully expands the relevant sections of the well-known Elemér Mályusz. Probszt. 1:200. Further research into possible pre-1409 copper mining in the Inn Valley is necessary. 1990). 1387-1437 (Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó. Jahrhundert.g. and Martin Štefánik.

between Podbrezová E. Nová Bana. Hung. 295-305.” Historický casopis 45 (1997): 173-4.4 to 10. Neusohl. 8 Aug. Besztercebánya]). 6 km broad Mubietová mineral zone lines the north-western edge of the Veporské Vrchy. Mubietová and. Venice-Pisa..90 Mubietová is located geologically in the north-eastern sector of the Central Slovakia Neogene Volcanic Field. Bergbaureviere als Verbrauchszentren im vorindustriellen Europa. 1393. a little later on. 1:200. Zanobi di Taddeo Gaddi to Datini Co. “The Carpatho-Balkanides and Adjacent Area: A Sector of á the Tethyan Eurasian Metallogenic Belt. 549. an extension of the Dumbierské Tatry portion of the Š Lower Tatra (Nízké Tatry) mountain chain (town of Banská Bystrica [Ger. Jankovic. Fallstudien zu Beschaffung und Verbrauch von Lebensmitteln sowie Roh. Central Slovakia. Libethen]). D. “Zur Versorgung mittelslowakischer Bergstädte mit Nahrungsmitteln und anderen Verbrauchsgütern vom 14.5 million years ago). 1997). bis 18. Pukanec. fol. The c. and (b) the Starohorské Vrchy.und Hilfsstoffen (13.” Mineralium Deposita 32 (1997): 42633.” in Ekkehard Westermann. Jahrhundert. “Baníctvo v stredoslovenskej banskej oblasti. 88 . Reflexionen über dauerhafte Elemente in der langen Frist.-18. 130) (Stuttgart: Franz Steiner. Useful regional overviews are found in Miroslav Kamenický. Ger. A handy tool for place name concordances are the 1900-1914 topographic maps of the IIId Military Mapping Survey of Austria-Hungary. 89 S. Banská š Belá). supplied copper mainly from two regions: (a) the Veporské Vrchy. 38-49 “Leutschau”. and the usual blanket mentions of “seven mining towns” are thus inaccurate.000 (sheets 37-49 “Neusohl”. ed. Banská Štiavnica. Jahrhundert) (Vierteljahrschrift für Sozial. 39-49 “Kassa (Kaschu)”). see also š Stefan Kazimir. ASP.g.und Wirtschaftsgeschichte. Beihefte. Both of these extraction and smelting centres ranked in the early fifteenth century among the key members of the so-called niederungarischen Bergstädte (the mining towns of Lower Hungary: Kremnica. 1r. and in particular 430. between Banská Bystrica and the cone and fluvial apron of the Pomana andesite stratovolcano and to the north-east of the giant Štiavnica stratovolcano of almost 50 km in diameter. Banská Bystrica.88 The Slovak orebodies were located in two discrete zones in the Western Carpathian (Západné Karpaty) geological sub-province of the extensive Carpatho-Balkan metallogenic area. with a 20 km caldera (16.89 The first one. 90 Originally the towns were only six: Banská Belá joined them in 1453.COPPER TRADE AND FRANCESCO DATINI 451 routes carried both raw copper (probably Schwarzkupfer) and refined metal (“afinato in Ungheria”).. forming part of the Veporské Pásmo geological belt (locality of Mubietová [Lybetha.

” Karpaten Jahrbuch 53 (2002) [2001]: 156-9. Die niederungarischen Bergstädte. arsenopyrite. 93 Too much economic significance should not be attributed to the secondary mineral libethenite (Cu2[(OH)PO4]) from the local oxidation zone. Sandberg]). in the S Špania Dolina. The degree of medieval exploitation of porphyry/skarn copper deposits remains unclear. Copper mining began to wane š gradually in the seventeenth century. Altgebirg. and Kolba. J.” Historický casopis 52 (2004): 3-30. sets Mubietová š and Banská Bystrica into a broader historical and administrative context. Mazúrek. “Tazobný prírodno-technický systém v banskej oblasti Spania š Š Dolina—Staré Hory. under the Pánský Diel peak (in the Vallis dominorum. with richer copper content in greater depth on base metal veins.93 The three key copper deposits.95 The polymetallic works at Poniky J. 252. Ger. Bolerázsky. Lexa. 1340. Recognized as a community c.91 The first Š š written records of local mining activity date to c. 1350 and endowed with the S Štiavnica Bergrecht (Schemnitzer recht) in 1379.452 MARTIN MALCOLM ELBL and Mubietová (partly in the Ciereaz mountain chain). first described in 1823 on the basis of samples from the abandoned works at Mubietová. “Príspevok k vzniku a najstarším dejinám slobodného královského banského mesta Mubietová.92 Trivial amounts of the fourteenth-century metal may have come from upper oxidation zones with inclusions of cuprite (Cu2O) and low impurity copper. Stohl and V.” Mineralium Deposita 34 (1999): 639-54.und Wallfahrtsort. Herrengrund valley). In Banská Bystrica. Pomana and Vtácnik volcanic Š š 91 .5 km of the settlement. within 1 to 6. Banská Bystrica] 8 (1989): 23-68. Mubietová produced fine copper (ranked so at least in the seventeenth century) rivalling that of neighbouring Banská Bystrica. See also V. 94 J. and siderite. but the primary ores consisted of base-metal sulphides (mainly chalcopyrite). were located at Podlipa. Javorie. “Altgebirg—Bergbau. mainly after 1405. localities of Richtárová and Piesky [Ger. with associated tetrahedrite.94 Intrusion-related and epithermal vein precious metal/base metal mineralizations associated with calcalkaline rocks are usually identified as the economically viable metal source here. Konecný. and in the the Staré Hory hills (Ger. and all work ceased in 1863. “Venné majetky uhorských královien v stredoslovenskej banskej oblasti do roku 1478. 92 Martina Kalabová. For useful local observations see Josef Marko.” Historický zborník kraja 4 (1968): 363–8. tennantite. Svätodusná. 95 The geology of the Stiavnica. “The Banská Stiavnica Ore District: Š š Š Relationship Between Metallogenetic Processes and the Geological Evolution of a Stratovolcano. the core zone of medieval copper and silver extraction lay north of the town. even though it alone was mentioned in the context of pre-modern local mining by Probszt.” in Stredné Slovensko—Prírodné vedy [Stredoslovenské muzeum.

‘Bei diesem Schein kehrt Segen ein’. “Banská Stiavnica Ore Š District. in the area of Ponická Lehôtka and Farbiste (in the direction of Mubietová) were at all š exploited in the middle ages. 648-9.. Silber und Kupfer aus dem Slowakischen Erzgebirge.g. A local shift from an earlier emphasis on precious metal extraction to the exploitation of copper and iron can be dated to the 1360s. 4). the most significant Eastern Slovak extraction centres coalesced in the league of Upper Hungarian mining towns (oberungarischen Bergstädte).. Predbane) (c.” in R. Slotta et al. ed.97 The oldest and most prestigious mining hub š was Gelnica (Hnilec.” 641 (Fig. tennantite and tetrahedrite ores east of Drienok. š Located in the Spissko-Gemerské Rudohorie and conjoined formaš tions (Slánske Hory—Hungarian Tokaj Mountains).. 12 km ESE of Banská Bystrica) were more important as a source of silver. Ger. lead and zinc than of copper. The local copper ores include mainly chalcopyrite and occasional small veins of tennantite. 71-96. 97 As general background see e. 1609. eds. Zips) area. Ger. Rainer Slotta... Hitherto documented mining and prospecting activity seems to date only from the later eighteenth century. Veröffentlichungen aus dem Deutschen Bergbau-Museum Bochum 69 (Bochum. . generally present in uneconomic concentrations.” in P. which included Gelnica. mineral-bearing zones is covered in Lexa et al. 239-50. Rudabánya.COPPER TRADE AND FRANCESCO DATINI 453 (Drienok. Gölniczbánya). Hung. Telkibánya. M.g. Szmolnokbánya. 1996). “A Review of Metallic ore Mineralization of the Nízké Tatry Mts. Mineralia Slovaca monograph (Bratislava: Geocomplex. “Das Slowakische Erzgebirge und seine Denkmäler. Jasov. Smolník (Hung. Ochsenberg). Smolník. Slavkay and M. located to the south-west of Gelnica. It is uncertain whether the chalcopyrite. Regarding skarn deposits see ibid. 1997). Schmöllnitz).. and by the end of the fourteenth century Spis (Zipser) copper had carved out a competitive niche in northern š European markets. in the area of the Volovské Vrchy (Volovec. Bana). Grecula. Exploitation largely stopped c.96 The Central Slovak mining zone was economically cross-connected by the 1380s with the second discrete source zone. Gold. Roz š ava. lay closest to the most significant copper deposits. Chovan. 96 For contextual area geology see e. šn and Spisská Nová Ves. often simply referred to as “The Mine” (Bánya. Variscan Metallogeny in the Alpine Orogenic Belt. Eastern Slovakia. in dolomite and in Triassic limestone. through verleger activities and the ownership of mining-shares in Banská Bystrica by eastern merchants from the Spis (Ger.

Schwedler) to the north and Mnísek š nad Hnilcom (Hung. š 101 W.101 This 98 Eugen Kladivík.” Historický casopis 43 (2) (1995): 215-29.” in Marsina. 210. Michal Popovic.99 According to some estimates. Tepny spolocenského š pokroku. it is necessary to put the Venetian/Majorcan copper trade into a broader quantitative perspective.” Kwartalnik Historii Kultury Materialnej 16 (4) (1968): 641-62. “Výsady banských miest na Slovensku v stredoveku. “Zur Geschichte des Edel.000-10. von Stromer.” in Marsina.16. Bei diesem Schein.100 Other tentative figures are available for the operations of Nürnberg merchants. storocí. sphalerite (ZnS) and galena. 8.” in Marsina. higher criminal justice rights in 1339. Smellenczer kopper and its regional complements from Gelnica and elsewhere loomed large among the Slovak and Hungarian metal exports and enjoyed a solid reputation. Aggregate figures for Slovak copper output prior to the period of the early Fugger-Thurzo partnership (1494-1525) are scarce. Mubomír Juck. and thus before the Datini period.454 MARTIN MALCOLM ELBL The copper came from massive beds of chalcopyrite and pyrite in metamorphic dark schists layered with alkaline volcanic rock. š 100 Vladimír Segeš. mainly based in Banská Bystrica.und Buntmetallbergbaus im slowakischen Erzgebirge. Meczenzéf) to the east. “Stredoveké mestá na Slovensku. 19-27. “Prvé turzovsko-fuggerovské zmluvy o spolocnom š mediarskom podniku. výrociu š š š baníctva v Rudnanoch. Ger. To conclude. Banské mestá. “Das Zusammenspiel oberdeutscher und Florentiner Geldleute bei der Finanzierung von König Ruprechts Italien- .500 zentners of refined copper and c.” História.500 zentners of copper sold directly to Nürnberg. Smolník produced c.. “Nürnberger Unternehmer im Karpatenraum. “Postavenie banského majstra vo východoslovenských banských mestách v 15. idem. š 99 Marián Skladaný. and by 1338 was already expanding its communal authority to the outlying communities of S Švedlár (Ger. Ivan Chalupecký. 141. shipped mostly to Venice. Ivan Hercko. Banské mestá. 182 tons of copper per annum during the first third of the fifteenth century. Ein oberdeutsches Buntmetall-Oligopol 1396-1412. plus perhaps around 2. Banské mestá. with some admixture of arsenopyrite. š š š 98 Kufurbach or Kupperbach). 95. WNW of Smolník). The local orebodies yielded c.000 zentners of Schwarzkupfer in the early fifteenth century. 2. The source of the socalled Stillbacher kopper. another nearby source of copper was exploited at Rudnany (on the Medený Potok stream. 13-19. Smolník received urban rights in 1327. Silber.und Kupfererzlagerstätten im Slowakischen Erzgebirge. Stillbach.” in Slotta et al. was administratively annexed by Smolník in 1344. Revue o dejinách spolocnosti 1 (4) (2001): 6-9. “Die Gold-. Tichá Voda (Ger.000-2.” Der Anschnitt 50 (1998). “K 655. tetrahedrite.. Until the 1360s. 98-9.

14701540. the yearly output may have reached c. see also Blanchard.5 tons (Antwerp) and 89 tons (Venice). But. and it was normal to see sales feldzug. 541 tons in 1496-1500. Arbeitstagung der Gesellschaft für Sozial. 8 (UT-ECIPA-MUNRO-99-02) (rev. in this volume.u. might in fact be on the low side as far as Slovakia is concerned. was able to absorb between 20 to 80 tons of copper in one trading season through the Datini network alone. be this as it may. As a working average. For the activities of the Kammerer-Seiler and Flextorfer-Zenner companies.23 pounds avoirdupois. for they seem to cover a broader range of sources than just the core Slovak orebody areas.” in Hermann Kellenbenz. and 608 tons in 1501-1505. “Egyptian Specie Markets. a comparison with the documented volumes of Datini era Venetian copper exports to the Western Mediterranean is useful. Öffentliche Finanzen und privates Kapital im späten Mittelalter und in der ersten Hälfte des 19.05 metric tons)—overall some 625 to 750 tons over what seems to have been a six-year extraction run. 50-86.. The readily accessible quinquennial aggregates for Central European copper production compiled by John Munro suggest that a century later. Sozial. and Smolník together with its dependencies to be a conservative 120 tons per annum each (no more than a guess based on the current data ranges). 400-500 and another 125 metric tons (taking a standard zentner of 110. The corresponding annual exports to Antwerp and Venice were 194 and 60 early fiftenth-century outputs given above. and Venetian Commerce. At the initial documented low point (1496-1500). output hovered in the range of 396 tons per annum in 1491-1495. The Venice-Majorca-Tuat circuit. ostensibly of an order of magnitude matching quite well the tentative late fourteenth. the 400 to 500 ton mark is not at all unreasonable. 1401/2.COPPER TRADE AND FRANCESCO DATINI 455 amounts respectively to 100-125. Wirtschaftsgeschichte 16) (Stuttgart. Assuming the capacity of Banská Bystrica.u. 480 tons around 1400. 1971). Merchant-Banking.” Department of Economics and Institute for Policy Analysis. 102 John Munro. ed. University of Toronto. these exports stood at 14. 44 (Table 4). Wirtschaftsgeschichte in Mannheim (Forschungen z. 21 March 2003). the early sixteenth-century aggregate figures resolve to c. Mubietová. . as we have seen. when the Thurzo-Fugger partnership was on the upswing. Gelnica.” 392. 1093 tons per annum (1511-1515). Working Paper No. Jahrhunderts. Bericht über die 3. “The Monetary Origins of the ‘Price Revolution’: South German Silver Mining. equivalent to 0.102 The Munro aggregates. At their peak.

D. one would have to take the c..” The Economic History Review.. “Money Supply and Grain Prices in Fifteenth-Century Egypt. however.000 quintals of . however. Boaz Shoshan.104 In the realm of pure conjecture. NS. fol.” Dumbarton Oaks Papers 55 (2001): 217-45. “Coin Usage and Exchange Rates in Badoer’s Libro dei Conti. 998. see e.. Cécile Morrisson. also travelled in sizeable quantities to Nürnberg. 23 Jul.é. the rest of Italy. Venice would have had to supply 100-130 tons of copper annually to satisfy these Mediterranean outlets.” Studia Islamica 56 (1982): 97-116. or about 40 metric tons. The conclusion that seems to impose itself. Poland. This is the realm of actual transactions. To reach an overall impression of the potential annual demand for copper re-exported from Venice in 1400-1410. The emerging pattern also seems to suggest that at least half the amount shipped to Honein was indeed carried south. Datini Co. had each of these been able to absorb a mere 20-30 tons (surely an underestimate). ignoring the Slovak mines. Slovak copper. 1: 560. and the Levant (mainly Egypt). in a good year.103 A realistic although somewhat conservative guess. Niccolò di Giovanni Mazzuoli argued in 1406 that as far as prospects for Datini sales were concerned the HoneinGhassassa market should be deemed worth about 1. and the Low Countries.5 to 9 metric ton batches per single Venetian supplier. When it comes to contemporary estimates. have been generally rated as very large or “astounding. 36 (1) (1983): 61-2 operated. and add the hitherto unknown aggregate demand of the Iberian market (Spain and Portugal). “From Silver to Copper: Monetary Change in Fifteenth Century Egypt. partly to feed the mints’ production of copper coinage. For aspects of the VenetianByzantine-Egyptian copper trade in the late 1430s. 1r. Niccolò’s estimate lies in a “sweet spot” between the documented low and high figures from the Datini letters and ledgers.g. This would have been just 30 to 60 tons shy of a full one third of the conjectural output of the Slovak copper mines around the year 1400. copper yearly. therefore. 40 ton capacity of the Honein-Ghassassa gateway as .” See Lane and Mueller. The quantities of copper imported to Egypt in the fifteenth century.456 MARTIN MALCOLM ELBL of 2. 104 103 . Boaz Shoshan. when the Datini correspondence documents a drastic temporary disruption ASP. 1406.. with a starkly simplified and no longer applicable outline of the Central European “mining crisis” (1350-1450).é. a starting point. Majorca-Valencia. is that in years such as 1409. Money and Banking. using an annual trans-Saharan caravan to the Tuat and the Niger Bend..

3 Aug. ASP. Lamberti to Datini Co. 930.COPPER TRADE AND FRANCESCO DATINI 457 in the flow of Slovak/Hungarian copper to Venice. Venice-Barcelona. Brixlegg. Fersina and Imperina. 105 . 1: 562.. Which alternates played this role at any given point remains an open question—and so does the issue of whether we might have to move back to the late fourteenth century the beginning of effective and sustained copper extraction at Schwaz. 1409.105 other sources would have had to fill the gap. D. Money and Banking. or other orebody locations typically associated only with fifteenth-century advances in mining technology. quoted in Lane and Mueller.

che se l’avesimo saputo l’aremo partito: ora c’era detto d’chostà a uno modo. For consistency. Delle 14 balle ch’abbiamo qui di vostro niente si truova da fare per anchora. a dì 25 d’marzo 1408 Scrittovi a dì passati il bisongno. e simile il Tosingho. né quanto quel’ d’Antonio d’Lapacc[i]o. 2108 s. Majorca-Florence. Faremo risposta al bisongno. D. che pens[i]amo alla g[i]ornata d’ogi sia rischattato. Siate avisati. E ora novellamente n’abiamo rimesso reali 250 a s.458 MARTIN MALCOLM ELBL APPENDIX The following is a transcription of what may be considered the quintessential “Tuat” letter from the Datini archive in Prato. Ongni dì ci s’atende una nave da Une. che per reali 2000 vi sono tra l’Tosingho e l’Quinto. 8 1/2 per reale. to Francesco Datini. anche ne gl’abiamo avisati. 4 e Lapacc[i]o lb. che dite dovete avere lb. but expanded abbreviations are marked here in italics and lacunae in square brackets. Quando que’ d’Valenza ci chonterano le spese arano fatte per voi e per Lapacc[i]o partiremo a caschuno la sua erata e ve n’aviseremo. 6. Voi dite vero che da reali 76 e s. Dipoi n’abiamo 2 vostre. e ora utimamente quando avemo il vostro conto ce’l disono innaltro modo. 14 d. Mai non potemo sapere a punto quanto si pesò in Vinega il vostro. Da lloro l’arete saputo. Siate avisati. che per reali 600 n’è stato rubato del suo chon quello d’Antonio d’Quinto. che l’Tosingho v’è per 2/7 e Anto[nio] d’Quinto per 5/7. Noi restamo avere d’Andrea Riera per 2 vostre . Abiamo avisato Lucha chome abiamo rimetuto per voi in più partite a Barzalona a nostri reali 500. 9 1/2 gl’abiamo contato il chintale. di fatto rimetteremo. Noi n’abiamo fidato 1 chostale a uno giudeo che ll’à mandato in certo luogho in Barberia per provare: se gl’verà ben fatto prenderà d’altro. Lb. che sapremo chome sarà rischattato. che ll’una chontiene quello che l’altra. Caschuno abbiamo fatto creditore chome dite. Tutti sono a vostro conto. 1408 Al nome di Dio. Non vi maravigl[i]ate perché si risquuoti [sic] chosí a stento. Datini Co. che ve n’a[b]ia[n] avisato. sum blank in text] restate avere del chonto da noi a voi. che questi che chonperarono il chovero lo mandavano a Tuet e una chonpagn[i]a d’Ar[a]bi l’àn[n]o tutto rubato e stavasi sopra rischato. ASP. 0 [s. 363 s. 25 Mar. 668. Dio ne li tragha cho’ meno dano si può. the transcription norms are those adopted for the Majorcan carteggio in Giampiero Nigro’s Mercanti in Maiorca. Chome verremo rischotendo. Quanto dite del vostro rame abiamo inteso. e da Barzalona c’era detto innaltro. or noi l’abbiamo achonco chome c’avete detto. Chome vedremo da darli fine lo faremo.

Per questa non vegiamo che più dirvi al presente. Nondimeno noi faremo il migl[i]ore che potremo per paura d’non perdere tutto. siché sarebe intorno alla somma del chonto. Mai vidi il più ardente. Christo vi ghuardi. che indug[i]o pigl[i]a vizio. Francescho e Christofano in Maiolicha . che miglore vale dal mal paghatore prenderne quello che l’uomo può che perdere tutto. e chosí ci trametiamo. che se l’avessi auto salvo n’aresti auto gran piacere. Dio abi miserichordia della sua anima. 0 [s. e ora n’abbiamo donato uno a Pagholo Biliotti e dettoli si richordi d’voi. 0 [s. sum blank in text].COPPER TRADE AND FRANCESCO DATINI 459 sanghuinee gli vendemo più tempo fa reali 61 s. e d’altra banda dovavamo avere per lo chonto tinto reali 18 e s. Della morte d’Giovanni Tosinghi ci pesa asai: non si può più che Dio voglia. Ne siamo pressoché paghati delle sanghuinee: siamo per torre vino biancho dal detto e rivenderlo. alle quagle fateglele richordante [sic] ch’è un bel dono. sum blank in text]. ma l’amicho c’è l’huole tropo sopramettere. Altra volta tocherà a noi. Dio il sa la faticha abiamo durato nello sparviere vi mandavamo.

1937). 63-64. by Queen Mary and Roundhouse Software. 2 Unfortunately no comprehensive study of the family exists for the period with which we are concerned. Mini- . 3 and 4 were written by Guidi Bruscoli and paragraph 2 by Bolton. located between Florence and Pisa. when Filippo di Lazzaro Borromei was hanged as one of the ringleaders. The main outcome of the project will be the publication of a study of the activity of the Borromei companies in the North of Europe in the first half of the fifteenth century. However. following a successful application to the Economic and Social Research Council made by Professor James L. 72-75). It will be marketed. This is possible because in November 2000 permission was granted to the Project by Principessa Bona Borromeo-Arese for the exclusive use of the ledgers and other allied material for research and publication. Dr Francesco Guidi Bruscoli joined on 1 January 2002. Bolton. one in Milan. for the navigation of the database and will be inbuilt in the CD-ROM. If not otherwise stated. In order to create the database. also by Roundhouse Software. This piece of software can be used for any ledger or account book kept in double entry and in money of account. 1960). a second in Venice and a third in Florence. there were three main branches of the family. After a failed rebellion against Florentine rule in 1370. specific software (Historic Accounts I®) was developed by Roundhouse Software of Winchester.THE BORROMEI BANK RESEARCH PROJECT1 Francesco Guidi Bruscoli James L. 53-55. James L. Piero Canetta. modern or contemporary. they fled the town and settled in other parts of Italy. Bolton (Award R000239125). 48-49. Another piece of software (Historic Accounts Enquiry®) was constructed. There were also major banking companies in all three places headed by a member or members of the family.2 1 The Borromei Bank Research Project came into existence on 1 July 2001. By the late fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries. La famiglia Borromeo (Milano: Tamburini. Pompeo Litta. information on members of the family for this period (with different degrees of detail and of reliability) has been drawn from Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani (Rome: Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana. medieval. under licence. paragraphs 1. from the town of San Miniato al Tedesco. Bolton The Borromei family The Borromei were Tuscan by origin. 45-46. accompanied by a CD-ROM containing a database with all the information contained in the two ledgers kept by Borromei companies in London (1436-1439) and Bruges (1438). This paper is the result of research and analysis undertaken jointly by Dr Francesco Guidi Bruscoli and Prof. 13: by name (in particular essays by Giorgio Chittolini and Florence Edler de Roover at pp. “Borromei di S.



Milan. Before 1393, Borromeo and Giovanni, sons of Filippo di Lazzaro, had established a very profitable business in Milan that was to last until at least 1450. They owed much of their initial success to service to the Visconti dukes. Giovanni was for some time Treasurer General of the city and his nephew and adopted son and heir Vitaliano was also ducal Treasurer at various times between 1418 and 1430.3 He and his uncle made loans to the Visconti in anticipation of taxation and in return obtained widespread privileges, fiefs and estates, most notably around Lake Maggiore, to the north-west of the city. Florence. Another branch of the family, the descendants of Bartolomeo di Francesco, settled in Pisa soon after the expulsion from San Miniato and by 1395 Ludovico, Francesco and Piero di Bartolomeo had their own company there. The partnership was dissolved when Francesco moved to Genoa in 1404, and around 1409 Ludovico and Piero were allowed to return to Florence. This important Florentine branch of the family has largely been ignored by genealogists and historians and it is hard to place it correctly in the family’s genealogical tree. In 1420 Piero Borromei was Treasurer
ato,” in Famiglie celebri italiane (Milan: Typ. del dottore G. Ferrario, 1819-1874), 4: by name. For manuscript sources, see: Archivio Borromeo, Isola Bella (ABIB), in particular Box file 661 and Box file 1051; and Archivio di Stato, Florence (ASF), Manoscritti 593, Carte Pucci, sc. III, folders 14, 25; ASF, Ceramelli Papiani 915; ASF, Catasto, 81, fols. 508r-513r; ASF, Catasto 405, fols. 78-84. For the Borromei companies until the beginning of the fifteenth century, see Federigo Melis, La banca pisana e le origini della banca moderna, ed. Marco Spallanzani (Florence: Le Monnier, 1987), in particular 224-32; for the 1420s, 1430s and 1440s see Girolamo Biscaro, “Il banco Filippo Borromei e compagni di Londra (1436-1439),” Archivio Storico Lombardo, ser. 4, 19, anno 40 (1913): 37-126, 283-386; Tommaso Zerbi, Le origini della partita doppia (Milano: Marzorati, 1952), 311-68, 413-46; Patrizia Mainoni, Mercanti lombardi tra Barcellona e Valenza nel basso medioevo (Bologna: Cappelli, 1982), 90-110; Philip Jacks and William Caferro, The Spinelli of Florence. Fortunes of a Renaissance Merchant Family (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2001), 39-51. In the family archive at Isola Bella there are eight surviving ledgers for Borromei companies across Europe: Mastri n. 4 and 5 for Giovanni Borromei & Co. of Milan (1427, 1428); n. 7 for Filippo Borromei & Co. of London (1436-1439), which will be here referred to as BLo; n. 8 for Filippo Borromei & Co. of Bruges (1438), which will be referred to as BBr; n. 9, 10, 11 and 12 for Filippo Borromei & Co. of Milan (1445, 1446, 1451-52, 1453-55). This is a brief account of the family’s history because the main focus of this paper lies elsewhere. A more detailed study of the family and its banking companies will appear in the forthcoming volume. 3 The transcription of one of the ledgers kept by Vitaliano Borromei as ducal Treasurer has been published: Pier Giacomo Pisoni, ed., Liber tabuli Vitaliani Bonromei: mastro contabile del tesoriere ducale Vitaliano Borromeo (1426-1430) (Intra, Verbania: Alberti, 1995).



of Bologna, following a loan of 15,000 florins to Pope Martin V, and in the same year he was dealing with iron mines in Elba.4 The Florentine Catasto of 1427 shows Giuliano di Piero with assets of about 21,000 florins and Tommaso di Matteo [?] with less than 2,400. Corporate activities in Florence continued in the names of Piero di Bartolomeo and Gabriello di Lodovico, then of Gabriello, followed by Gabriello and Benedetto di Lodovico and eventually, after 1425, of Antonio (? di Lodovico). During these years there may have been yet another Borromei company there, in association with Antonio Corbinelli. Piero di Bartolomeo also became a partner in Galeazzo di Borromeo Borromei & Co. of London, which had recently been established by the Venetian branch of the family. Venice. By 1395 Alessandro di Filippo Borromei had already created a company in Venice together with Domenico d’Andrea, a Venetian citizen of Sienese origin. By 1422 the partnership had changed and become Alessandro Borromei and Lazzaro di Giovanni & Co., the latter being originally from Volterra in Tuscany. During the 1420s, it was this branch which showed most signs of vitality. Around 1420 Galeazzo, nephew of Alessandro di Filippo, created two companies in the north of Europe, in Bruges and London, both in partnership with Antonio di Francesco. Unfortunately hardly anything is known about them, nor about Alessandro’s activity in Venice.5 However, they must have been very successful, because in the Florentine Catasto of 1427 Alessandro was the fourth richest man in the city, being assessed at 57,000 florins, 50,725 of them in luoghi of the Monte Comune (shares of the public debt) and the rest in houses, shops and pieces of land. At his death in 1431, his three nephews, Galeazzo, Antonio and Giovanni, inherited all this wealth, along with shares in the Venetian, Bruges and London companies. In the mid-1430s the Venetian branch of the family also established its own company in Florence, under the name of Galeazzo and Giovanni di Borromeo, and this was to last until the late 1470s. After Galeazzo’s death in 1438, both companies in northern Europe were re-formed in the name of his nephew
4 Peter Partner, The Papal State under Martin V: The Administration and Government of the Temporal Power in the Early Fifteenth Century (London: The British School at Rome, 1958), 67 (n. 4), 70 (n. 2), 177 (n. 4). 5 Scattered information drawn from Venetian Archives can be found in Reinhold C. Mueller, The Venetian Money Market: Banks, Panics, and the Public Debt, 1200-1500 (Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997), 272-3, 560-1.



Alessandro, with Antonio di Francesco still as a partner. Galeazzo had also established a company at the Papal Court in partnership with Tommaso Spinelli who in 1435 was in Basel, where the Great Council of the Church had just opened. On Galeazzo’s death the company passed to his nephew, Borromeo di Antonio. Profits of 7,937 cameral florins were made between 1437 and 1441, but compared to those to those enjoyed by the Medici they were relatively small. On the death of Alessandro di Filippo in 1431, two new partnerships were created in Venice, both with Lazzaro di Giovanni, one in the name of Alessandro’s nephew, Antonio di Borromeo, the other with Antonio’s son, Borromeo. Gabriello Borromei was still working in Florence in 1438, whereas other members of this branch of the family were active elsewhere, notably Gabriello’s cousins Giuliano and Alessandro di Piero who in 1433 were employees of Tommaso Spinelli in Venice. However, in the 1430s the most significant developments were in Milan. Vitaliano Borromei and his Milanese partners had undertaken their foreign operations before then through the companies of the Venetian branch of the family; but around 1434, they decided to expand. Vitaliano was no longer Treasurer of the Duchy, an activity which had undoubtedly brought him wealth and prestige but which also made it difficult to use his resources for other ventures. A single cash loan to the Visconti had cost him almost £20,000 imperial of Milan, for example.6 So the Milanese branch decided to open its own companies in the north of Europe in Bruges and London and then, just a year or two later, in Barcelona. The Borromei Bank Research Project focuses on the activities of the two companies in London and Bruges, from 1436 to 1439 and does so because of the survival in the Borromeo-Arese family archive of two ledgers, one for Bruges for the year 1438 and the other for London for the years 1436 to 1439.7

Zerbi, Le origini, 339. The London ledger was studied almost a century ago by Biscaro. His was a pioneering study which, despite its use as reference source by some leading scholars (de Roover, Mueller), has proved to be not always accurate and complete. Our work on the Borromei ledgers is still in progress: the Bruges ledger has been fully analyzed, whereas we are still in the process of inputting material for the London ledger. There are no surviving ledgers for Barcelona: a short account of this company is given below.




Filippo Borromei & Co. of Bruges and London The first company was established at Bruges, under the name of Vitaliano’s teenage son, Filippo, hence its name, Filippo Borromei & Co. It was opened for business on 1 January 1435 and, according to the contract establishing it, was to last for five years. The initial capital was £3,000 flemish which was entirely provided by count Vitaliano Borromei. But the profits were to be divided between Vitaliano (75 per cent), Paolo di Antonio da Castagnolo of Florence and Giovanni di Michele Micheli of Lucca (12.5 per cent each), and it was they who had to go to Bruges.8 Towards the end of 1435 Giovanni Bindotti moved from Milan to London, and began organizing the imminent opening of a branch there. During the first months of his stay he seems to have kept all the accounts in a small ledger, his quadernetto, until 8 March 1436 when Giovanni Micheli moved to London from Bruges and took over the management of the company. It was clearly a branch of the company at Bruges and again in the name of Filippo Borromei: both ledgers record the transfer of £1,600 flemish (or 16,000 flemish écus), equivalent to £1,431.17.1 sterling at an exchange rate of sterlings 21 5/12 per écu, from Bruges to London. As the money came from Bruges, the initial capital of £3,000 flemish must have been used to establish both banks, and cannot be taken as the capital for Bruges only. From the ledgers it is also clear that at the end of each year all the profits from the London branch had to be transferred to Bruges, where they were then credited to the Profit and Loss account of the main bank.9 Around 1436-1437 a third
8 For the contract, written on July 1434, see ABIB, Box file 1051 (b) and Box file 661 (a). A substantial contribution to the capital of the company was also given by the heirs of Giovanni Del Barza of Milan. On 1 January 1438 they had a credit from the previous year of £915.19.7 flemish. On 31 December they were credited with the interest on that sum (the dischrezione). They were holding what is known as a deposito a discrezione, but this time the total sum was not carried forward to the libro azzurro 1439, but to the libro segreto which, unfortunately, has not survived. 9 “I quali denari abiamo chonsignati al detto Giovanni Micheli che in Londra li debi trafighare a nome di Filippo Boromei e compagni. E di tutto il guadagno si farà di netto de la detta compagnia in chapo de l’anno, il detto Giovanni ne de’ fare creditore la compagnia di Brugia e Paulo da Castagnolo ghovernatore di detta compagnia di Bruggia de’ ridure tutti li avanzi di Brugia insieme con queli di Londra e quie partire il guadagno secondo sono d’achordo per la charta à domino Vitaliano Boromei del detto Giovanni e del detto Paulo da Castagnolo” (ABIB, BBr fol. 153.1, BLo fol. 47.7). For Bindotti’s arrival in London, BLo fol. 17.1dare (payment for the rent of the house for one year until 29 September 1436); for his



bank called Filippo Borromei & Co. was founded at Barcelona, but as there no surviving ledgers it is not known whether it had complete autonomy from the Bruges-London banks or from the main company at Milan.10 The same strategy of founding a main company in Bruges with a branch in London was also adopted by other Italian families: for example the Bardi, the Salviati and the Medici. Before opening their bank in London in 1446, with a capital of £2,500 sterling, the Medici had been operating through an office in London financed and staffed by the Bruges branch.11 In what follows we will try to demonstrate why this was probably a common strategy, in the wider context of a discussion of the evidence from the Borromei ledgers on the balance of trade between northern and southern Europe. In Chapter VI “Banking and the Money Market” of his book on the Medici Bank, de Roover focuses on the difficulties in making settlements between the north and the south of Europe, because the balance of trade was consistently unfavorable to Flanders. Then, in Chapter XIII, “Bruges and London,” he quite rightly says that “in the fifteenth century London was [...] only a satellite that moved in the orbit of Bruges,” as far as banking was concerned, but that the Low Countries depended on England to settle their unfavorable balance of trade with all the Italian city states, because English
wool was the only commodity which the Italian were eager to buy and which could be used to restore the balance. [...] The economies of the Low Countries and England were thus linked by a common interest in the wool trade and were interrelated in still other respects, because Bruges needed credits in England in order to buy wool with which to pay Italian claims. The task of adjusting international balances fell upon the Italian banking houses, and it is no wonder that there were active relations between the bourse in Bruges and Lombard Street in London.12

quadernetto, BLo fol. 5.1. 10 See Mainoni, Mercanti, 90-3 on the first years of activity of the Borromei in Barcelona. An isolated reference to a Borromei company in Barcelona at the end of the XIV century is given in Jacks and Caferro, The Spinelli, 47, but no source is provided. 11 Raymond de Roover, The Rise and Decline of the Medici bank, 1397-1494 (New York: W. W. Norton, 1966), 62-3, 321. 12 de Roover, The Rise and Decline, 317.



De Roover concentrated his attention on the wool trade, in which the Borromei also participated. Between 1436 and 1439 they bought 379 sacks of English wool for export for themselves and in partnership with a third party or parties, at a cost of £4,514.6.3 sterling, from a variety of suppliers in Burford (Oxfordshire) and from a Mr. Thomas of the March of Wales. Probably as a favor, the Borromei bought him an expensive bed and feather mattress in Bruges and had it shipped over to the Marches. They also purchased wool from London and Southampton merchants. Much of it was consigned directly to Southampton, to be loaded on the galleys by the Borromei agent there, Cristofano Cattano, but some was sent to Middleburg for forwarding by sea to Italy. The Borromei Bruges also bought wool directly from the Staple at Calais, but lesser grades from Lindsey (Lincs.), Nottingham, and elsewhere in the Midlands and Eastern England, not for export overland to Italy but for sale to local clothiers in Flanders and Brabant. The two branches of the trade were kept separate, however, with the fine wool going to Italy, to be sold on to lanaiuoli of Milan and Florence, as is clear from the ledger of the Borromei bank in Milan for 1445-1446. As usual, the wool was bought on credit, one third down and the other two thirds at specified dates, so that total payment could be spread over two or three years.13 By the time the wool reached the galleys or other ships and customs duties, inland transport costs and other expenses had been paid, then the total cost of the wool had risen to £6,377.5.8 sterling, from the initial £4,514.6.3 sterling. It is very unlikely that the Borromei could have covered these costs from the sale of their imports, as the Hosting Statute of 1439-40 required.14 Between 1436 and 1439 they sold fustian and cotton to the Londoners for about £2,000 sterling and silk cloth, velvets, satins, damask, and baldechins to the value of £1,859.12.1 sterling. These were their two main imports: the remainder followed the usual pattern of trade to London, some raw materials (madder), spices,

13 For exports of English wool by sea from Middleburg and Arnemuiden see: ABIB, BBr fols. 353.3, 356.2, 358.3, 378.1, 378.3, 381.2, 382.1. For purchases of wool in England and export via Southampton see: ABIB, BLo fols. 68.1 (1436), 101.1 (1437). For purchases at the Staples and subsequent sales in Antwerp and Malines see: BBr fols. 238.1, 248.1, 377.2, 379.1, 383.2, 386.1. For the export to Florence and to Milan see: ABIB, Mastri n. 9-10, passim. 14 18 Henry VI c. 4.



needles from Milan, other cheap cloth from Holland and some mercery ware, but they did not amount to that much. Moreover, to the value of the wool exports has to be added that of cloth exports which, as E. B. Fryde has already argued, de Roover almost entirely ignored in his analysis of the balance of payments.15 Between 1436 and 1439 the Borromei bought for export English cloth worth £1,415.6.10 sterling, which with expenses came to £1,847.15.9 sterling.16 Purchases of wool and cloth combined far outweighed the money received from the sale of imports in London, and that is true of the Italian trade with England generally for much of the fifteenth century, up to perhaps the 1460s. What the surviving royal customs accounts for 1422-1461 show is that it was the Florentine and Milanese merchants who were interested primarily in wool although, as has been seen, they also bought cloth, to about a third or more of the value of wool. A complete record exists for the loading of the Venetian galleys in London in the autumn of 1438. In all, Italian merchants exported some 8,462 broadcloths or their equivalents in cheaper cloths, worth some £14,809 sterling by customs valuations, with the Venetians themselves being the main exporters with no less than 7,479 cloths. By contrast, in the same year, Michaelmas to Michaelmas (29 September 1438 to 29 September 1439), all Italian imports through London were valued at about £10,075 sterling, for customs’ purposes. These import and export figures are taken from the Petty Custom accounts and so do not include those for wool exports. In 1438-1439 the Italians exported a total of 342 sacks from London, worth perhaps in all another £5,000 sterling, based on Borromei ledger valuations. These are the figures for London only. The Italians exported a further 4,307 cloths and 631 sacks of
15 Edmund B. Fryde, “Anglo-Italian Commerce in the Fifteenth Century: Some Evidence about Profits and the Balance of Trade,” Revue belge de philologie et d’histoire 50 (1972): 350-3. 16 Biscaro, “Il banco Filippo Borromei,” 92-5. Most of this was not the traditional English broadcloth, fulled, dyed and finished, and in bolts 24 yards long by 1-1 1/2 yards wide between the lists (the classic definition of a broadcloth), but lighter, half width, cheaper streits, narrow cloths from Essex and Suffolk and from the west country which were probably intended for a mass market in Italy and the Mediterranean world. It is clear both from the London ledger and from the royal customs accounts that many of the Italian exporters were doing the same, buying cheaper, lighter cloths which were then equated to the unit of a broadcloth, with two pieces of streits equaling one broadcloth, for the purposes of collecting the royal customs duties.



wool worth together about £20,000 through Southampton in 1438-1439 against imports valued at £14,540 sterling.17 Arriving at a figure for the Italian balance of trade in this year is difficult, involving as it does valuations from different sources, along with some estimates, but it was possibly about £15,000 sterling in England’s favor. The Borromei ledgers and the royal customs accounts are at one here, and they show that the much-maligned Italians were a source of considerable profit to the English crown and to English wool suppliers and cloth producers. How were these debits in London to be met? One way was through the transfer of papal revenues from England to Rome, a task traditionally carried out by Italian merchant-bankers. The Borromei ledgers show no operations of this type. Nor could they be covered by profits from the sale of imports in Bruges. The ledger for 1438 shows that their trade in that city was minimal. Most of the imported silk cloth went on to London, as did much of the madder and fustians bought mainly at Middleburg and Antwerp.18 Bruges may have been the international money market for the north, but London and its outports Southampton and Sandwich were the centers for both imports and exports. De Roover argued that the only way the apparently permanent imbalance in trade could be settled was by the eventual shipment of bullion from north to south. But was this really the case? The Borromei ledgers contain no records of the transfer of coin to Italy from Flanders or from England, where the export of bullion in any form was strictly forbidden. Écus were sent from Geneva to Milan, presumably to settle balances between these centers, but that was all.19 There is no reason to suppose that the Borromei would have disguised such transfers. They recorded all other payments and expenses in meticulous detail, especially transport costs, and the only secrecy was in reporting profits to the libro segreto.

James L. Bolton, “Alien Merchants in England in the Reign of Henry VI, 1422-61,” unpublished Oxford B.Litt. thesis (1971), 140-1; Appendix 1, Tables 3, 8; National Archives, London, E 122/73/10, 11, 12, E 122/141/23; Eleanora M. Carus Wilson and Olive Coleman, England’s Export Trade 1275-1547 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1963), 60, 95. 18 On the trade of Bruges and Antwerp in the 1430s see our article “When Did Antwerp Replace Bruges as the Commercial and Financial Centre of North-Western Europe? The Evidence of the Borromei Ledger for 1438,” forthcoming in The Economic History Review. 19 ABIB, BBr fols. 305.1dare, 331.1avere.



Bruges, London and the Mediterranean World Bullion transfers were not at all necessary. What the Bruges and London ledgers also show is that this imbalance was met by moving money as distinct from coin or bullion across Europe by means of letters of advice (lettere d’avixo) or bills of exchange.20 Thanks to the use of technology, we are now able to make some quantitative evaluations. The letter of advice was a financial instrument whereby a merchant-banker asked his foreign correspondent to make someone creditor and someone else debtor at a certain date and at a specific exchange rate. The writers were often one of the parties involved, but that was not always the case. It was a way of transferring credits and debits across Europe without actually transferring bullion and there are, in the Bruges ledger for 1438, 204 letters of advice, for a total value of £22,754.15.8 flemish. A more widely used and better known financial instrument, however, was the bill of exchange.21 The Bruges ledger records 1,233 bills of exchange in 1438 where either the Borromei acted in one of the four main roles, deliverer, taker, payor or payee, or where a third party acted for them, to a combined value of £95,563 flemish and at an average of £77.10.0 flemish per bill. The dominating role of Venice is perhaps not surprising, and fits well with the recent account given by Mueller in his book on The Venetian Money Market.22 Bills to and from Venice, 387 in all, were 31.39 per cent of the total by number but 41.57 per cent by value, at £39,732 flemish. The average value of a bill sent to or from Venice was therefore almost £103 flemish. London came next in the ranking of bills sent and received, 239 to a total value of £16,634 flemish, respectively 19.38
Money is taken to mean here book money, ledger credits and debits or paper money. Coin and bullion were used indiscriminately by contemporaries but the first refers to gold and silver coins, the second to ingots of precious metal. 21 No detailed account of the origins and workings of the bill of exchange is given here, because it is a subject on which much has been written. Good introductions will be found in Raymond de Roover’s Business, Banking, and Economic Thought in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe, ed. Julius Kirshner (Chicago and London: Chicago University Press, 1974) and the bibliography quoted there; and in Giulio Mandich’s “Per una ricostruzione delle operazioni mercantili e bancarie della compagnia dei Covoni,” in Armando Sapori, ed., Libro giallo della compagnia dei Covoni (Milan: Istituto Editoriale Cisalpino, 1970), CLXXVIII-CXCIII. 22 On the Rialto market and its patterns see Mueller, The Venetian Money Market, in particular 303-37.



per cent of the total number of bills and 17.4 per cent of their value, with the average bill worth almost £70 flemish. Barcelona was only just behind in number with 238 bills, 19.30 per cent of the total, but their value, at £18,261 flemish and 19.11 per cent of the whole, was higher and the average bill worth almost £77 flemish. By contrast, only a few of the transactions involved Geneva, which is slightly surprising, given the importance of the four fairs which every year were held in the Swiss town. One of the functions of the bill of exchange was that of extending credit locally. This could be done in a variety of slightly different ways, but usually involved a re-exchange operation, with or without actual bills being written and sent. A bill, for example, would be sent from Bruges to Venice and then, when it matured or became payable, another would be sent back from Venice to Bruges. The same parties were involved in both bills and in practice this was a loan extended by the deliverer in Bruges to the taker in Bruges, for a four-month period, since the usance between Bruges and Venice is two months each way. The profitability of delivering or drawing bills of exchange obviously depended on the exchange rate. Merchants-bankers were aware of the daily fluctuations in exchange rates, and tried to make the most of the information they received from their correspondents. The wider the difference between the two exchange rates Venice-Bruges and Bruges-Venice, the more profitable it was to lend money and accept repayment by way of re-exchange, and the more costly it was to borrow. Mueller has shown that the first half of July saw exchange rates peak in Venice, when
merchants were scrambling for credit with which to pay their obligations as well as for the merchandise and bullion they wished to load onto the departing galleys [to the Levant] as exchange commodities [...] another maturity date that was commonly fixed was the Christmas fair, which it was hoped would coincide with the return of the galleys.23

What really mattered, however, was not knowing the exchange rates between Bruges and Venice on the day but predicting what they


Mueller, The Venetian Money Market, 306.


July and October. for example.023 flemish écus at st.2 per cent of this sum.945 flemish and the Borromei bank acted as payors. it was quite common for a correspondent to draw or remit bills for the Borromei Bruges between banking centers outside Flanders. A comparison with Graph 1 shows that the Borromei in Bruges were well aware of the costs of borrowing in August and September and took up most of their loans in June. 21 1/3 per écu (= £102. they wrote to London. that is. or lent. Italian merchant-bankers in Barcelona were creditors in Bruges and debtors in Venice. On 9 January 1438 Ventura & Co. or Geneva and Venice.500 flemish. they borrowed about £6. BBr fols. in Bruges.25 A more detailed examination of their exchange operations with Venice shows that during 1438 the Borromei Bruges were takers of bills of exchange drawn on Venice to a value of almost £13. by ordering one of their correspondents to draw or remit bills of exchange from another place.1 flemish). On 24 December. In the same month. They could conduct these operations from Bruges itself. to their branch there. In general. 49 1/4 per ducat (= £102. on 15 December the Borromei Bruges credited the account of Cecco di Tommaso and brothers of Venice upon receipt of a bill of exchange for 500 ducats at gr. he was drawing other bills on London for the Borromei Bruges. and in February. 217. whereas they were deliverers for less than £6. but only delivered.12.430 flemish in the same period. of Barcelona drew 400 venetian ducats for the Borromei Bruges on Arrighino Panigarola of Venice. The value of exchange between Bruges and Barcelona was £15. about £1. So. for as much as £7. In all. .1dare-avere.BORROMEI BANK RESEARCH PROJECT 475 In the great majority of cases the Borromei were remitting to or drawing on various banking centers across western Europe in order to make their profits on the movement of funds. as shown in Graph 3. at the same time as the Borromei Bruges was delivering money to him from Bruges. In other words. for example.367 flemish or 46.300 flemish. 285.1 flemish).130 flemish by way of exchange with Venice in June-October 1438. instructing them to credit the account of Cecco di Tommaso for 1. or by way of arbitrage. whereas the substantial Catalan co25 ABIB.6. For this “service” they received three écus or six flemish shillings in commission. between Venice and Barcelona.1dare.


194-196. by being takers of bills of exchange sold to the Mercers. often acting through their factors or attorneys in the Low Countries. 1272-1663: A Study in Monetary Management and Popular Prejudice. A. but the Borromei ledgers show clearly how the arrangement worked in practice. once their products were sold. Munro shows how the Staplers and Merchant Adventurers were lending to the Mercers (who were takers of bills). This occurs in 60 of the 96 bills delivered by the Borromei Bruges to the Borromei London but in none of the 47 bills delivered by the Borromei London to the Borromei Bruges. One man could often be all three. Bills of exchange met all these needs.. where they needed it to make their purchases. They functioned almost as one unit. Staplers and Merchant Adventurers could have their money transferred directly back to England by bill or letter of advice.27 The distinction between Mercers. The Borromei Bruges did not draw on the Borromei London bills payable to London 27 John H. merchandise could be consigned to them for sale locally. both the Staplers (those exporting wool to Calais) and the Merchant Adventurers (who exported woollen cloth to the Low Countries) needed to remit money back to England. ed. who bought luxury cloths and other goods in the Low Countries and exported them to England. As Munro and others have shown. “Bullionism and the Bill of Exchange in England.BORROMEI BANK RESEARCH PROJECT 477 The advantages of dealing directly with a sister company based in another major commercial city are obvious. needed funds there in order to buy their imports. The Mercers. The Mercers would then have their money back in the Low Countries.” in Fredi Chiappelli. For their part. from the proceeds of their sales. were takers and payors of bills of exchange where the Borromei banks of Bruges and London were respectively deliverers and payees. or the Staplers could finance their own trade in England. with the main purpose of exchange operations through Bruges being to realize the funds the London branch needed to buy English wool and cloth for export. London merchants. Information could be exchanged easily. in the Low Countries. The Dawn of Modern Banking (New Haven: Yale University Press. But the relationship between the Borromei banks in Bruges and London was exceptionally close. Staplers and Merchant Adventurers is perhaps drawn too sharply here. and money transferred by simple book entries. . Munro. with the Mercers then repaying the loan in England. 1979). in the trade between the Low Countries and England.




0. . 299. 17. apart from two short spell between 30 August and 22 September and 6 and 28 November.1 = c. 177. 89. 406.800 flemish on both 25 January and 8 May. 257. £fl 240 £st 386.BORROMEI BANK RESEARCH PROJECT 481 whole year. as he mainly based his research upon letters and made only limited reference to account books. and to the extent of more than £1.13. 146. because it is much easier to determine the reasoning behind decisions and longer-term strategies from commercial correspondence than from a company’s libro mastro. Epilogue The work of de Roover has to be a starting point for any analysis of Italian banking activities in northern Europe. thanks to computer technology. for the Republic was at its center.6 for 1436-37) £st 210. BLo fols.12. On the other hand. But there are many questions that still need answers. for the Borromei. ledgers provide the details of the practical operations which are simply not obtainable from other sources and.0 = c.28 1436 1437 1438 1439 28 profit profit profit profit £st 24. was the enterprise in north-western Europe profitable? What follow are the figures taken from the Borromei’s own records of profits and losses. Bruges was highly indebted to both Barcelona and above all to Venice. 185.17. By drawing on Venice so extensively the Borromei in Bruges were in fact drawing on the whole Italian money market.7 = c. In terms of payments. taking London first. The ledgers also demonstrate that. £fl 364 (£fl 392. The first must be. This was an advantage in one sense. Bruges and London must be treated as a single company in the years 14361439 and not as separate entities.8 = c. £fl 28 £st 318. 305. His sources were different from ours. £fl 442 ABIB. But to messer Antonio and Lazzaro di Giovanni they were in debit for the entire year.12. we are now able to make quantitative evaluations from them and analyze thoroughly the sources available to us. but only because it was transferring large credits to London to pay for exports of wool and cloth.

2 c.2.2 flemish. 162. faced severe monetary and political problems in his northern territories as well as with their main trading partner. BBr fols. it is not surprising that most of the losses were incurred in that area. Operations with London also show losses where the percentage of the total value is greater than the percentage of bills. No losses were recorded on exchange operations with other places.12. as shown below in Table 1. duke of Burgundy.2 634 350 560 Despite making healthy profits in London.482 GUIDI BRUSCOLI AND BOLTON The main sources of profit were exchange operations and trade. The imposition of the bullion ordinances at the Calais Staple 29 ABIB. This shows the following: 1435 1436 1437 1438 profit profit loss loss c.2 flemish to £685.6 per cent of the total but the losses incurred in those operations amounted to 61. In striking contrast.29 1435 1436 1437 1438 profit profit loss loss £fl 298.7. c. whereas for Barcelona the reverse is true. Exchange with Venice amounted to 41.4. 254. From 1429 onwards Philip the Good. but the Borromei of London also enjoyed a steady income from brokerage and commission on trade undertaken on behalf of others. since it has been argued that they were part a single unit.5 per cent by value. Given that most of the exchange was with Venice. the Bruges company enjoyed two years of good profits.1 However. England. It is possible that external factors were partially responsible for these losses.4. c. 162.1avere. the Borromei were not doing well in northern Europe overall. it is more meaningful to consider the profits and losses of the two banks together. £fl 714 £fl 799. 39. but then incurred heavy losses. c. £fl £fl £fl £fl 298. .2avere. £fl 606 c. The reason for this is clear: the heavy losses suffered by Bruges on exchange dealings which more than doubled between 1437 and 1438 from £322. They were also worse than they first appear.


2. Blom and Emiel Lamberts. eds.30 Yet..4dare. and probably by 1437. BBr fols. flemish in 1442 and £538. A History of the Low Countries (New York and London: Berghahn. ABIB. especially the exchange dealers.6 flemish in 1443. 133. 320. John H.1 and 7. and Gold. with references to “old. and to find out the strength and the credit standing of the principal foreign merchants residing in Bruges.5dare. Bad management may explain the losses in 1437 and it is quite possible that in 1438 a desperate and unsuccessful attempt was being made to recoup them by gambling on the exchange market. if the Borromei’s profits were severely affected by these circumstances. The evidence from the ledger. 59-60. David Nicholas. Medieval Flanders (London and New York: Lamberts. Chapter IV. Wool.31 Political upheaval. 249. 32. if failures they were. £498. these are the aggregated figures for the profits enjoyed jointly in Bruges and London.4. BBr fols. .7. Eventually.3.” “bad” and “good” money.1avere.484 GUIDI BRUSCOLI AND BOLTON common currency throughout his northern territories and Philip had to agree to maintain monetary stability for the next 20 years. C. the re-coinage proved a success but there are signs in the Borromei ledger of continuing uncertainties. Cloth. ABIB.5avere. 1992). with new gold and silver coins 6. 54. because he returned to Bruges to act as an agent for the Medici and then became an active partner in the bank they founded there in 1439. Bernardo Portinari was sent to Bruges by the Medici in 1436 to settle outstanding debits and “to inquire about local customs with respect to trade as well as to bills of exchange. A. 322 (Table 67). as London was in these years only a “suboffice” (as de Roover defines it) of Bruges. The value of the coinage was severely deflated. £302. Blockmans. 48. famines and monetary revaluation did not mean heavy losses for the Medici and other reasons must be sought to explain the Borromei’s failures.” in J. 133. H. To attract money to his mints the duke imposed strict bans on the export of bullion from his lands and cut his seignorage to a minimum. passim. 1340-1478 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press. suggests that there was sound commercial reasoning behind the heavy losses on exchange 30 Wim P.0. For Portinari’s account with the Borromei in Bruges. 95.0 per cent stronger than those of 1428. then so should those of other companies.” He must have made a favorable report. Presumably.5avere.16. 82. 1972). however. The Struggle for Bullion in the Anglo-Burgundian Trade. The Rise and Decline.4 flemish in 1441. Munro. 1999). “The Formation of a Political Union. 359-61. and they were not. 82.5 flemish in 1439-1440. 31 de Roover. It was soon making good profits: £670.

London and Barcelona. in his “Anglo-Italian Commerce. of Bruges and Antwerp were one of the best clients of Filippo Borromei & Co. what exactly was the relationship between the Borromei of Milan and the Borromei of Venice? In exchange to Venice in 1438. it must also be remembered that losses on foreign exchange in Bruges in 1438 meant profits for London and Barcelona. European view of the banking and trading operations can also be taken a little further.” Were messer Antonio and Lazzaro di Giovanni in competition with or were they prepared to lend heavily to their Milanese cousins not only because they made a profit on the business but also because they were the fifth element in a successful “family” enterprise that ran from Milan through Venice to Barcelona. The Borromei were willing to borrow heavily from their correspondents to finance trade through London. The three companies outside Italy. but it seems unlikely. During the 1420s the Borromei of Milan had used the two banks founded in Bruges and London by the Borromei of Venice as their correspondents. As none of the other Bruges ledgers has survived. Further investigation of both the London ledger and those for their main bank may be able to determine whether or not the Borromei of Milan did coordinate their operations so that any losses in the north were more than covered by profits from the sale of English imports in the south. if somewhat speculatively. There is also a further and probably unanswerable question. 75 per cent of the losses were incurred on dealings with one company only. The argument already advanced that the Borromei of Milan took a wide. Bruges and London? This may be wishful thinking. all belonged to Count Vitaliano of Milan. in Bruges.32 In this context. He had provided their initial capital and it was he who took the major share of such profits as there were. where profits in 1439 were 84 per cent up on the previous year. it is not possible to determine whether the bank there returned to profit. of Bruges. albeit from limited evidence. messer Antonio Borromei and Lazzaro di Giovanni. . and usually referred to in the ledger as “i Borromei. but the heavy losses in Bruges can perhaps be 32 This is Fryde’s argument. Both these banks continued their operations after Count Vitaliano established his own banks in the north and Alessandro Borromei and Antonio di Francesco & Co.BORROMEI BANK RESEARCH PROJECT 485 sustained in that year.” 353-355.

Count Vitaliano’s brother-in. The substantial losses in the Profit and Loss account.12. 374 (London). Giovanni and Niccolò Micheli.1. Biscaro argued that it was the losses on exchange to Venice that caused the closure.1. may have been planning a final year’s trading without the added burden of huge debits from 1437 and 1438.19. This suggests that they may have still been working for the Borromei. but maybe it was simply not renewed after the end of the first contract. Whatever the explanation. were not carried forward to the libro azzurro for 1439. a completely new contract with different partners was then drawn up at Bruges. 223. 168. E 101/128/30. of Bruges. 195 (Bruges). 116.33 Why this was done is a mystery and is likely to remain so. London and Milan. the managers of the bank at Bruges knew that 1438 was a difficult year. but to the libro bianco for 1440. 35 Views of Hosts. London. at the Papal court contains accounts for Filippo Borromei & Co. That is one explanation but another less charitable view is that he was trying to hide the truth from Count Vitaliano in the hope that 1439 would be a better year. the Bruges bank ceased trading at some time in 1440 and the London bank closed with it.3 flemish in all. 221. on an informal basis. as was the custom. National Archives. 314. Felice da Fagnano and Alessandro da Palastrello appear in the English Views of Hosts trading in the city in the early 1440s and the ledger of Antonio Della Casa & Co. London and Barcelona in 1441 and 1442. 215. 236. Archivio dell’Ospedale degli Innocenti. together with the profits from London for the years 1436 to 1438 which amounted to £632. as both the libro azzurro and the libro bianco have been destroyed. 221.6. £881. 34 33 . The contract for the Bruges bank was due to end on 31 December 1439 and the manager. Biscaro. BBr fols. 172. In any case.34 The staff of the London branch.” 313. with Vitaliano’s illegitimate son Giovanni alias Prevosto Borromei as the representative of the company in Bruges.35 Vitaliano may himself have been ABIB. 270. 150. fols. was the representative of the company in London.486 GUIDI BRUSCOLI AND BOLTON better explained in terms of a co-ordinated and ultimately profitable banking and trading enterprise between five major European centers rather than in the simpler context of Bruges. 254. 488. 246. 31. Biscaro states that at the beginning of 1441 Felice da Fagnano. 185. Florence. fols. with profits at last wiping out losses. London and Barcelona. Paolo da Castagnolo. 80. “Il banco Filippo Borromei. 171. 247.

Count Vitaliano again provided the capital and was entitled to 66.39 252 (Barcelona). 39 ABIB. note 11). and Box file 661 (unnumbered) for the dissolution. e) for the contract. was the manager.. had a capital of £19. London and Barcelona.16. is not known. and Box file 661(a) for the dissolution. Mercanti. who was to have two thirds. By contracts dated 12 March 1443 Vitaliano established two new and separate companies. Prevosto e Alessandro Borromei & Co. one in Bruges and the other in London. Palastrello had also worked for the previous company in London. but was probably renewed. 36 Mainoni. but they do seem to have worked separately.200 milanese. but in 1446 thought it worthwhile to have two separate companies (see above.6 per cent of the profits.37 The company at Bruges. in the name of Prevosto only.38 The London company had a very similar capital: £19. as the company lasted until 1457. to be open for business on the 1 January 1444.4 milanese. Why Giovanni was known as “il prevosto. . whilst the remaining third was to be divided between Prevosto and Alessandro di Piero Borromei. Profits had to be divided between Vitaliano. he still thought it worthwhile to re-found and re-structure the banks in Bruges. possibly to avoid the situation that had occurred in 1440 when the closure of Bruges led to the simultaneous closure of London.BORROMEI BANK RESEARCH PROJECT 487 in financial difficulties in Italy in these years. 94. “Il banco Filippo Borromei. who were sent to Bruges where Alessandro had already worked for the previous company.” 312-3. The bank was known as Felice da Fagnano & Co. Biscaro. Box file 1051 (c) for the contract.36 However.” the parish priest. 37 As we have seen. since he had to sell large parts of his estates in 1444.076. 38 ABIB. and Felice and Alessandro da Palastrello of Piacenza one third between them. This contract was again for five years (14441448). Felice. whose sister had married Vitaliano and who had been previously involved in the management of the Bruges company. the same strategy seems to have been adopted by the Medici who in 1439 opened the Bruges company and a “suboffice” in London. All that can so far be said about new company is that in 1448 Vitaliano was thinking of closing it due to bad management but that it was not dissolved until 14 March 1452. Box file 1051(a. Apart from the initial contracts there is very little surviving information for either of the companies.

488 GUIDI BRUSCOLI AND BOLTON There was a similar restructuring at Barcelona and on 1 January 1445 a new company was established there with a capital of 6. Paolo da Castagnolo. .41 Winding up the affairs of Filippo Borromei & Co. the agreement was reshaped. For the Borromei companies of Barcelona see also Mainoni. Mercanti. and Vitaliano had become increasingly distrustful of Vismara. 500 years later. who was to have two thirds of the profits. Other members of staff survived and were promoted but by 1445-1446 he was no longer a shareholder in the main company at Milan nor was he employed by the Borromei in any other capacity. on 20 June 1446. Initially the company was an accomandita in the name of the two factors but well before the end of the contract. Filippo. is probably why they have survived and why we are able to discuss them here. Box file 1051 (a-d). of Bruges and of London was presumably a complex business and the ledgers would have been scrutinized with great care. with Arrighino di Ambrogio Pozzobonello taking the other third. respectively Taddeo di Ardizio Vismara and Francesco di Arrighino Pozzobonello. 41 Apparently in these years he started managing the ducal treasury. That.000 milanese florins provided by Vitaliano. They each had a representative in Barcelona.40 The person who seems to have taken the blame for the inadequate performance of the Bruges bank between 1435 and 1440 was its manager. Mercanti. Vitaliano’s son. 40 ABIB. in particular 90-110. but went bankrupt in 1447 (Mainoni. 93). There had been disputes and litigation between the original partners. as Biscaro noted. was now to play a much more important role in the management of the bank.


x x .

such as the language manuals used for teaching Latin. such as trading regulations. been examined by John Munro for its description of weaving on a horizontal loom. perhaps teaching the children of noble families (probably between 1232 and 1241).SHOPS AND SHOPPING IN THE EARLY THIRTEENTH CENTURY: THREE TEXTS1 Martha Carlin Markets. and of the American Philosophical Society for a Sabbatical Fellowship in that year. On John of Garland’s life and works. 474-84. The first is a Latin manual written by John of Garland.. where he became a teacher of grammar. 2 Alexander Nequam’s (or Neckam’s) De nominibus utensilium has. and financial and legal records. However. 3 Aside from three years of teaching at the newly-founded University of Toulouse (1229-31) and a brief period in England.: Catholic University of America Press. shops and shopping have always been hallmarks of urban life. perhaps after 1272. Garland seems to have lived in Paris until his death sometime after 1258.C.2 In this paper I will focus on three such texts. in Memoirs of the University of 1 . institutions. and the dictaminal texts that provided models of legal forms and standard letters. studied at Oxford around 12101213. 1996). and then went to Paris.3 About 1218 he wrote a Latin manual for the use of his stuI am very grateful to acknowledge the generous support of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee for granting me a sabbatical in 2003-4. One type of source that has not received much attention by historians of urban commerce in the thirteenth century are didactic texts. records of this kind are often scarce for the early thirteenth century. tax lists. All three texts were written in the early thirteenth century by English authors. Historians who have attempted to investigate the urban context of medieval commerce have traditionally relied for sources on the archival records. Morale scolarium of John of Garland (Johannes de Garlandia). however. ed. and wealthy households. Frank A. ed.” in Medieval Latin: An Introduction and Bibliographical Guide. “Textiles. He was born about 1195. all of which were published in the nineteenth century. but none of which has drawn the attention of historians of urban trade. D. produced by towns. see Louis John Paetow. See Munro. Mantello and George Rigg (Washington. which enabled me to undertake much of the research and writing for this paper.

untitled. available online at http://www.6 In fact. fols. and anonymous dictaminal and legal collection that seems to have been compiled at Oxford between 1220 and 1240. Our treatise forms part of a section of this volume (Article 5. untitled. vol.7 According to H. a German scholar. Garland revised his Dictionarius around 1230. and was acquired by a monk of Westminster Abbey around 1250. 1857). but until now the only translation of this very valuable work has been a useful but imperfect one that was privately printed and is not generally accessible. s. 1927). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.” 5 For a discussion of the editions of the Dictionarius by Hercule Géraud (1837). Vol. 1 of A Library of National Antiquities (Liverpool: Joseph Mayer. 6 G[eorg] Waitz. 88r-133r) that contains a large. ed. d. The “Dictionarius” of John of Garlande and the Author’s Commentary (Lawrence. see Tony Hunt. into which Garland crammed as much Latin vocabulary as possible. 1: 191-2 and n. John of. 2005]. 7 For a discussion of this manuscript and its date.oxforddnb. but it was not a dictionary in the modern sense. 129. For Hunt’s own edition of the Dictionarius and its vernacular glosses.5 The second text is a brief. 2 (Berkeley: University of California [seen 30 Jan. which appeared a decade before Tony Hunt’s edition of the text and its vernacular glosses. Rubin’s translation. it was a rambling discourse on daily life. It was transcribed and printed in 1879 by Georg Waitz. which forms part of a manuscript in the British Library.492 MARTHA CARLIN dents and called it Dictionarius. however. Garland’s revision of the Dictionarius around 1230 is noted by Lawler. and 2: 125-56 (glosses). G. California.” Neues Archiv der Gesellschaft für altere Deutsche Geschichtskunde 4 (1879): 339-43. The sole translation of the Dictionarius is Barbara Blatt Rubin. 4 For a list of more than twenty manuscripts. see Hunt. Teaching and Learning Latin. trans. Thomas Wright (1857).n. the entire volume was written in the first half of the thirteenth century. was based on the edition published by Thomas Wright in A Volume of Vocabularies Illustrating the Condition and Manners of our Forefathers. 1981). John of (b. 3 vols. 88r-90v. 1: 191-203 (text). especially 82-96 and 127-31.. see the introduction to . “Handschriften in englischen Bibliotheken.4 There is a recent scholarly edition of it. and it survives in numerous manuscripts. in or after 1258). 77-153.1. Kansas: Coronado Press. and London: Cambridge University Press. Additional MS 8167. who dated it to the fourteenth century. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. and Traugott Lawler. Garland’s work was the first to use that word. no. and anonymous dictaminal treatise (a treatise on the art of writing letters). Baron [Joseph] Kervyn de Lettenhove (1850). and August Scheler (1865). see Morale scolarium. fols.” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press. c. 4. “Garland. 2004). 1991). Rather. 1195. Teaching and Learning Latin in Thirteenth Century England. Paetow. “Garland.

Six of the letters. other than to state that it dated from the reign of Henry III. and orders from an earl to his officer (probably his household steward). Turner. “Original Documents. “An Oxford Teacher of the Fifteenth Century. someone connected with him at Oxford was its author. these texts provide a rich array of information on trades. 88r-133r. Additional MS 8167). Additional MS 8167. and it turns out to be the same volume of dictaminal and legal materials that contains our second text (British Library. and to his knights.8 There are some striking similarities between it and Garland’s Dictionarius. 8 H. My third text is a set of notes on letter-writing.” He provided no other identification of the manuscript whatsoever. consist of exchanges between an earl and his vintner. I have provided a translation of Garland’s text. . fols. shops. and thus also belong to that section of the manuscript that appears to have been compiled at Oxford between 1220 and 1240. and included transcripts of three of the form letters that it contained. and shopping to instruct students in Latin vocabulary and the art of writing business letters. crafts. shops and shopping in Paris and England in the early thirteenth century. draper. including the four described by Turner. to a member of his affinity. our text is the earliest known English dictaminal treatise. Folios 97-98 contain notes on how to write and respond to orders and requests. The letters are on folios 97r-98v. H.SHOPS AND SHOPPING 493 Richardson. Fortunately. and transcriptions Appendix II. below. and I wonder if Garland or. illustrated by ten model letters between five fictitious earls and various merchants and others.10 The authors of the three texts used discussions of urban occupations. perhaps. Richardson. and skinner concerning the order of goods. and a brief reference to a fourth. 9 T. G. The English antiquary Thomas Hudson Turner published a short and sadly incomplete description of this text in 1847. 10 David Crouch and I are preparing an edition and translation of a large selection of the documents in BL.” Archaeological Journal 4 (1847): 142-4. Together. illustrated by a small collection of model letters.9 Turner began his description of the text by noting airily that it came “from a manuscript which has recently fallen under my notice.” Bulletin of the John Rylands Library 23 (1939): 447-50. The remaining four letters consist of a refusal from one unidentified man to another. I have been able to identify Turner’s mystery manuscript.

buckled shoes. leather. 1268. canvas. John’s neighbor William sells all sorts of small domestic commodities: needles and needle-cases. 1: 191-203. and 72 of the text edited by Tony Hunt in Teaching and Learning Latin. with painted decorations. The following discussion is based on paragraphs 9-46. boots and leggings. John of Garland’s Dictionarius. and goods for sale that were to be seen in his own neighborhood in the newly-developing Latin Quarter. and fire-irons. curry combs. and leather mittens. as well as saddle pads. and pigskin. Les Métiers et corporations de la ville de Paris. bits. and scabbards. soap. Buckle-makers sell buckles. takes us on a walking tour of Paris. see Étienne Boileau. from which he took his name. and stirrups. and purses made of deerskin. mirrors. “one of my neighbors carried a pole of shoes for sale: laced shoes with pointed toes. Le livre des métiers d’Étienne Boileau. razors. Histoire générale de Paris (Paris: Imprimerie Nationale.” Girdlers sell leather belts with iron or copper studs and girdles of woven silk ornamented with silver bars. and bridles and breast-straps for horses.12 Garland’s text is. 1879). sword-belts. breech-girdles. and brass. files. 12 For the ordinances of the various craft and trade guilds of Paris c. hatters make both hats and caps of various materials. and the boots worn by women and monks. My first text. and styluses. however. . whetstones. and bridles. which are arranged topically and are designed to teach the Latin vocabulary for things seen and used in everyday life. sheaths. He begins by looking at some of the leather and metal trades. since his aim is to provide his students with topical vocabulary rather than a practical guidebook to Paris. retail traders. René de Lespinasse and François Bonnardot. while lorimers sell silvered and gilded spurs. ed. in Appendices I-III below. Furbishers sell polished swords. 11 It is a rambling narrative in some 84 brief paragraphs. 50-54. and much of his text consists of descriptions of the various artisans.494 MARTHA CARLIN and translations of the two dictaminal texts. pillions. and elsewhere in the city. A peddler hawks knives. XIIIe siècle. Merchants dwelling on the upscale Grand-Pont (which connected the Île-de-laCité with the Right Bank) sell halters.” he says. 66-70. Shield-makers sell shields covered with cloth. straps. straps. in the clos de Garlande (near the present rue Galande). “Today. organized by trade and not by topographical logic. sheepskin. Glovers sell unlined and fur-lined gloves.11 Garland lived on the Left Bank. Saddlers sell both plain and painted saddles.

the bronze bells of the bell-founders toll the hours.23: 292-5).SHOPS AND SHOPPING 495 The bowyers. plane.. Brooch-makers sell brooches. pendants.14 while other men go about the streets of Paris crying that they will repair them. “He ran the two bristles through the hole.v. 16 According to Étienne Boileau. birch. till the bristles were waxed fast to the thread. 246. which reproduces many of the cries of the street-cries of Paris. and In Farmer Boy (rev. till the thread was shiny-black and stiff with wax. Paris..15 Next Garland looks at low-level traders in food and drink. Then he laid a stiff hog-bristle against each end of it. who dwell at the Porte St-Lazare. New York. “Pilch(e). 1968). Cup-menders cry that they will repair cups with bronze and silver wire. and he waxed and he rolled . etc. one from each side.” Elspeth M. “Pane” and “Pellicium. linen thread. Lowly cobblers repair old shoes.. Then he pulled it and rolled it again. They sew the leather into footwear using an awl. and little bells made of base metals. rpt. 38 (2003). s. ran the two bristles through it. make bows and crossbows of maple.. Laura Ingalls Wilder described the same manner of making shoes in New York state in the 1860s: The cobbler.. who clearly cater to the student market for which he himself is writing. They mend mazers and cups made of maple. 1953). wafers. and a furrura or furratura was the same. New York: Burt Franklin. Wine-criers cry wine at various prices and offer samples to taste. furraturas). Veale. He bored another hole.” 14 See Middle English Dictionary (MED). “Furrure. London Record Society. and he rolled the thread under his right palm.. and yew. s. 837.v. s. Chap.16 Street-sellers with baskets of light pastries. 219. 15 Cf. Dictionnaire des arts. edn. and pulled till the waxed thread sank into the leather.13 Skinners sell new pilches (pellicia. 2nd edn. 748-51. That was one stitch. down the front of his leather apron. fol. and pig bristles. The English Fur Trade in the Later Middle Ages. with the fur outwards) and fur linings (penulas. and arrows and bolts of ash. including those of the repairers of mantles and pilches (“Il autres crie a grant friçon:/Qui a mantel ne peliçon.vv. in England in the late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries a penula was often larger than a furrura. in churches. the criers of wine in Paris c. et professions exercés dans Paris depuis le treizième siècle (Paris. and aspen.: Harper and Row. using his right hand. pelisses: fur cloaks or coats. Les Crieries de Paris (mid thirteenth-century) by Guillaume de la Villeneuve.” The cobbler then clamped the upper pieces of one boot together in a vise and punched a hole through the edges with his awl. 1268 could go into any tavern that sold wine by retail and demand to be the tavern’s 13 . viburnum. MS fonds français. but in the texts discussed in this paper that distinction does not appear. while cordwainers make new ones of tawed leather. 1906. printed in Alfred Franklin. and . métiers.” A penula was a “panel” or “pane” of furs sewn together to make a lining.” 221. no./Si le m'aport a rafetier”). Bibliothèque nationale. pulled the thread tight. According to Elspeth Veale. “pulled a length of linen thread across the wad of black cobbler’s wax in his left palm.

for a fee of 4d. chicken. shirts. and lethal andouilles.18 and the goldsmiths sit before their furnaces and tables making hanaps (goblets). or eel. and other ornaments. and tarts and flans—often dirty—stuffed with soft cheeses and eggs. quiches. 1: 221. Fast-food cooks roast poultry on hazelwood spits. sterlings. on Sundays and Fridays. See Jane Welch Williams. and pork. wax. apples. of bran.496 MARTHA CARLIN rissoles (fried. Chap. 21-4. 1993). Hanapers decorate vessels with gold and silver fittings. and black-and-white plates 117. cress. and also candles. where the money-changers count out Parisian money. Regrators. Lubinus at Chartres. color plate 3. See Williams. and on certain holidays). and chervil at premium prices. towels. 4. sell them coarse cuts of beef. carrying a pot of the wine and a cup to allow potential customers to taste a sample. The butchers. Garland’s Commentarius. who hate the scholars. where Garland notes that sausages. and kerchiefs. and other coins on their boards. wimples. 96. pears. brooches. Bread. spiced balls of fruit or minced meat or marrow) cry their wares at night. Métiers. sausages. lettuce. haggis. mutton. Pastelers (pie-bakers) make a killing selling to clerks pasties filled with pork. and tripes. butter cakes. Boileau. in Hunt. Spicers stock spices. plums. He was to cry the wine and its price in the streets twice daily (once daily during Lent. Teaching and Learning Latin. wax candles for churches. 17 Cf. Greedy drapers sell a range of false woolen cloths. sheets. 127-31. .17 The scene now shifts back to the much grander Grand-Pont. soft and hard cheeses. color plate 2. A wine-crier is represented in the bottom panel of the early thirteenth-century window of St. and also defraud their customers by measuring the cloths incorrectly. underclothing.. crier for that day or the following day. sometimes measled. who buy goods for re-sale. and medicinal preparations. Wine. Some men usurp the office of women by selling linen goods of all kinds: table linens. send their servants out into the streets to sell cherries. black puddings. 5. In their windows they display convenience foods: fine white rolls. ed. black-and-white plates 86. 18 There are a number of scenes of money-changers in the early thirteenthcentury windows of Chartres Cathedral. The bakers bake bread made of various grains and. and Money: The Windows of the Trades at Chartres Cathedral (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press. The crier was responsible for seeing the wine drawn and for ensuring that the measures used were correct. Wine. Bread. Chap. black puddings. and Money. but they often sell meat that is raw and badly seasoned to the scholars’ servants. and put feet and rims on hanaps. 120. frequently. and large pasties were food for sturdy rustics. bezants. which have large sulphured wicks to make them burn better.

Munro. blue. Tanners work hard tanning horsehides and oxhides in hollowed logs. who are not described either as seated or as using treadles. Smiths forge horseshoes and tools for garden and farm. who make wheels for carts and wagons. naked and panting. pulling the weftthread from the spool and spindle. Teaching and Learning Latin. include coopers. “Textile Technology in the Middle Ages. Although the horizontal loom had appeared in Europe in the eleventh century. Pretty girls turn up their noses at them unless they pay. Andrew Woodger has argued that the warp-weighted loom also survived in commercial use as the burel (broadcloth) loom until the end of the thirteenth century. The nature of the loom here is unclear. warp-weighted. 1991). Dyers dye woolen cloths with woad and madder. 1952). and the description of weaving is translated and discussed by Urban Tigner Holmes. In the latter. vertical looms).. reprinted in Munro.19 Female silkSee p. On weaving technologies and terminology. On the possible continued use of the vertical loom. Nequam’s text is edited in Hunt. Ohio: Hambledon Press. ed. and resume weaving. Garland ends his tour with a look at mostly textile crafts. ed. 1988). John Blair and Nigel Ramsay (London and Rio Grande. “The Eclipse of the Burel Weaver: Some Technological Developments in the Thirteenth Century. Women weavers (possibly working at old-fashioned. which leave their nails dyed black. in Daily Living in the Twelfth Century.” Textile History 12 (1981): 59-76. 327-9. who make various things out of wood. 184-5). Andrew Woodger. Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press.” in English Medieval Industries. and red. see John H.” in The Dictionary of the Middle Ages. a seated male weaver works at a horizontal loom with treadles for raising the alternate warp threads. Textiles. and wheelwrights. 146-50. Nequam likens him to a rider with his feet in stirrups. turn the spool on the windlass. They scrape the hides with a knife and turn them frequently in their tanbark solution to disperse the raw stench. which had been invented in Flanders in the mid thirteenth century. Compare Garland’s description of the women weavers. Town. it is possible that the warp-weighted loom continued in use into the thirteenth century. who make wooden barrels and other vessels. They then beat up the weft. draw their bobbins or shuttles through the warp-threads. 515 and n54 below. especially pp. see also Penelope Walton. Joseph R. vol.. 1: 177-89 (the passage on weaving is on pp. when it was decisively superseded by the horizontal broadcloth loom. perhaps especially for domestic weaving by women. Based on the Observations of Alexander Neckam in London and Paris (Madison. then dry them in the sun and pluck up the nap with teasels. with the description provided in the late twelfth century by Alexander Nequam (or Neckam) in De nominibus utensilium. Strayer et al. Fullers. 318-54. 11 (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons. Jr. “Textiles.SHOPS AND SHOPPING 497 The carpenters. Cooks scrub pots and pans and dishes in hot water before their ovens and hearths. full shaggy woolen cloths in troughs of white clay and hot water. and Trade: Essays in the Econo19 .

The vintner. 1. 1: 221) notes national preferences in drink: France prefers white wine. After this raunchy warning. grape juice. 1: 191-7. near the privy and the bum-wipers. At Paris. cider. ed. perry. New York: Harper and Row. 474-84. mead. 1994). perhaps they were too expensive for tavern use. David Jenkins (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Our second text (British Library. and Munro. and mead. Textile Technology and Industrial Organisation. From their woven silks they make the girdles and head-bands of wealthy women and the stoles of priests. fols. see John Munro. Mantello and Rigg. Francis. The women who wind silk thread into skeins are promiscuous sluts who sometimes clip the students’ purses. Gascony. red wine. in old pilches and filthy veils.” He then lists some nineteen urban occupations and proceeds to describe them in turn. He should serve wine to his customers in gold cups.498 MARTHA CARLIN weavers stretch out gold threads on pegs or pins and beat up the weft. “Textiles. sit combing their wool by the fire. 21 Selds emerged at the end of the twelfth century in cities where property values in prime commercial streets were so high that many retail traders could not afford their own shop.” the author remarks. Garland’s Commentarius (ed. he begins. rosé wine. D. Additional MS 8167. Hampshire: Variorum. Burgundy. 20 The German Rhenish and Moselle wines. 88r90v) begins by discussing forms of address in writing a letter.20 Drapers sell their wares both at fairs and in selds (covered bazaars). 2003). ale. mazers. and wine flavored with mulberry juice are sold there at Christmas.21 A draper should stock a variety of cloths. spiced wines are expensive. 800-1500. in Teaching and Learning Latin. Female wool-combers. cider. spiced wines. 1972. he adds.” in The Cambridge History of Western Textiles. “are urban. and lidded cups. and England. c. and the various kinds of fish sold by the fishermen. Hunt. The Wine Trade (London: Adam and Charles Black.” in Medieval Latin. A. and Auvergne. “Some creditors. 7-9. “Medieval Woollens: Textiles. Garland concludes his tour of Paris by describing the poultry and game birds that are sold in the new street before the square of Notre-Dame. ed. The sweet wines of the eastern Mediterranean were not imported to England in quantity until the fourteenth century. both cheap and mic History of Late-Medieval England and the Low Countries (Aldershot. perry. then shifts to a discussion of how to write letters to creditors. are not mentioned here. 15. 221-2. The selds were typically located behind . the Île-de-France. should have wine of Anjou. On the gender shift in commercial weaving from female to male weavers (perhaps related to the introduction of the horizontal loom). 1973). Instead. vinegar. Chap. 217-18. much enjoyed by King John and by Henry III. they rented space in a seld and sold their goods from stalls or benches there. and some are rural. Germany.

25 (1988). c. In 1231 Henry III’s tailor was sent to the fair of Bury St.” in The Cambridge Urban History of Britain. burnets. Blyth with blanket. O. and finer. Architecture and Archaeology in London. and Derek Keene. 58 (1939). available in a range of colors. “Some Thirteenth-Century English Places and Their Associations. ed. 1320-30. respectively. Vol.SHOPS AND SHOPPING 499 expensive. 23 Imperial was an imported silk. “The English Cloth Industry in the Late Twelfth and Early Thirteenth Centuries. Patricia Dennison. heavy cloths for making hoods.. Camden Society. nos. Clark. According to the Oxford English Dictionary . at Whitsun and Christmas. 71 (1949). Paul. D. 327. and enabled traders to enjoy a prime location at an affordable rent. The Bodleian catalogue of Douce manuscripts dates Douce 98 to c. Early Charters of the Cathedral Church of St. 211-38. Beverley with burnet. 1990). n. For some early references to London selds. 33-4). 184-5. See E. Russets were among the cheaper woolens. follows Eleanora Carus-Wilson in dating this text to the mid thirteenth century. 2000). Cartulary of St. 3rd ser. Westminster Abbey Charters. ed.” Architectural History 43 (2000).” In 1244 four “burnettos bene tinctos” and four black burnetas were listed among the expensive cloths and furs ordered for the king and queen to wear.. 800-1500. and russets were well-known types of woolen cloth in the thirteenth century. “Shops and Shopping in Medieval London. nos. 32-50 (see especially pp. Burnet evidently was a very fine-quality woolen cloth. Camden Society.” Textile History 22 (1991).” in Medieval Art. A list in Anglo-Norman of more than a hundred English towns and their attributes identifies Lincoln with scarlet. lighter cloths for making robes for the betterdressed. ed. 381. 1954). 195-6. London. Rothwell. 243. His range of goods should also include scarlets. see W. Emma Mason et al.22 imperials. burels24 made in London or the street frontages in upscale commercial streets. however. russets. Palliser (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. M. Slater. See Derek Keene.” in The Cambridge Urban History of Britain. no. English Historical Documents. 336.” English Historical Review 16 (63) (1901): 501-3. 248. Palliser. Hassall. Edmunds to buy ready-made clothing that included a “complete robe of black burnetta furred with squirrel. 38-43. Kay Staniland. 1214. See Munro. Mary Clerkenwell. M. MS Douce 98.” 212-5. eds. R. 224-5. 1: 201. 3rd ser. Medieval Merchant Venturers: Collected Studies (London: Methuen. Gibbs. 273. 6. 1066-c. fols. ed. T.” Economic History Review 14 (1944). ed. 83-4. and E. Lindy Grant (British Archaeological Association Conference Transactions for the Year 1984. London Record Society. Stamford with haberget. “London from the Post-Roman Period to 1300. Bodleian Library.23 and habergets.. “Medieval Woollens: Textiles. 256. Volume 1. and translated in Harry Rothwell. 22 Scarlets. David M. 3. 1189-1327 (London: Eyre and Spottiswoode. 600-1540. including English broadcloths. Carus-Wilson.” 881-4. Textile Technology and Industrial Organisation. “The Shop Within?: An Analysis of the Architectural Evidence for Medieval Shops. For a discussion of selds in other English towns. burnets. printed by C. “Clothing Provision and the Great Wardrobe in the Mid-Thirteenth Century. and Colchester with russet.. reprinted in Eleanora M. see D. Bonnier in “List of English Towns in the Fourteenth Century. Scarlet was the very finest and most costly woolen. 1975). 302-5. M. Carus-Wilson.. “The Topography of Towns 600-1300. 282..

Martin’s Press. Lisa Monnas and Hero Granger-Taylor. a sort of precious silk. “Carde.” 243. s. See Bonnier.v. “Clothing Provision and the Great Wardrobe in the Mid-Thirteenth Century. or string. fols. s.” 33-4. “Carde” n. Hammond (Gloucester: Alan Sutton. Andrew Woodger identified burel as a broadcloth woven on a warp-weighted loom (“The Eclipse of the Burel-Weaver.v. W. Butchers sell carcases and joints. “Imperial. There was a cloth called “card.” MED.(3). although lampas silks. 3. 290.v. often purchased by the king for almsgiving or for servants’ clothing. . See also Dictionary of Medieval Latin from British Sources. See Carus-Wilson. MS Douce 98.25 and grisetum (evidently a gray woolen cloth) from Totnes and Cornwall.. “Silk Cloths Purchased for the Great Wardrobe of the Kings of England. cordium and cordicium. including imperial. ed. In England. 1189-1327. 1983). S. 285.” in Ancient and Medieval Textiles: Studies in Honour of Donald King. 195-6) mentions “Corde de Warwik” (line 55) and “Corde de Bredeport” (line 90) as the signature products of Warwick and Bridport.” It evidently was so called because it was originally made in Constantinople.” 501-3. “Imperialis” (5). cord. A silk called imperial was listed in an inventory of St.” B.v.” but it seems to have been a type of muslin. Paul’s Cathedral in London in 1245. s. citing Daniel Rock’s Textile Fabrics (1876): “At the end of the twelfth century there was brought to England from Greece. and Rothwell. “English Cloth Industry in the Late Twelfth and Early Thirteenth Centuries. ed.” 59-76). 881-4. However. Anne F. 297-9. Sutton and P. and resembling the texture of a chain-mail hauberk. Staniland. Vol. the MED defines “corde” simply as “a rope. and evidently ranged in quality from very fine to very coarse because it was worn by both rich and poor. Maney & Son.v. 1325-1462. Lisa Monnas. 112. “List of English Towns. Eleanora Carus-Wilson.” OED.” and I have been unable to find any reference to cloths with a corded or ribbed weave. See Dictionary of Medieval Latin from British Sources. while cordicium was striped.500 MARTHA CARLIN Beauvais. Lucca was producing a heavy cloth of gold called imperial by 1376. In 1483. 25 I have been unable to identify cordium and cordicium. Publications of the Pasold Research Fund (Leeds: W. and Florence was still producing it in 1458. English Historical Documents. 1990). evidently had declined in popularity by then. 24 Eleanora Carus-Wilson tentatively identified haberget as a woolen cloth with a distinctive diamond-patterned twill weave. Haberget was popular between the mid twelfth and mid thirteenth centuries. 3. line. “Carda. The Coronation of Richard III: The Extant Documents. and New York: St. ed. The mid thirteenth-century list of English towns and their attributes (Bodleian Library. Cordium came in white and black. unshorn and shorn (grossum vel minuetum). both (OED). 420. Our author lists more than two dozen types of fresh sea fish and freshwater fish that fishermen and fishmongers should sell. named Imperial. woven on a warp-weighted loom. s. Burel was a cheap woolen cloth. “Haberget: A Medieval Textile Conundrum. four pieces of “imperiall with Lukes golde” were bought for the coronation of Richard III.” Medieval Archaeology 13 (1969): 148-66 and Plates XV-XXV. Next come sellers of foodstuffs. during the period 1325-1462 the Great Wardrobe purchased imperials only between the years 1379-1381 and 1422-1425. s.

Glovers offer a variety of lined and unlined gloves. from which they make a wide range of fine footwear. linen. but hosiers make leggings only and not shoes. Harte and K. the earl writes to his vintner to order two tuns of Gascon wine and three of wine of Anjou. candelabra. Pasold Studies in Textile History. bolting cloth. lined gloves for falconers. See Irena Turnau. crosses. from those of cats. razors.SHOPS AND SHOPPING 501 salted and fresh. Carus-Wilson. A goldsmith’s stock should include altar plate. and waferers sell wafers and little cakes cooked in irons or ovens. and mutton. for a total of £5. dogs. Their equipment includes not only an oven. cowhides and sheepskins. Both the hosier and the cobbler. and cheese. 368-89. which was a mechanical device for kneading large quantities of dough. poultry. but also a dough-brake. 26 . or game. Saddlers sell both saddles and shields in various styles. “The Diffusion of Knitting in Medieval Europe. Our third text consists of instructions for writing and responding to orders and requests. bread. Lastly. N. Bakers offer a variety of fine and coarse breads. and jewelry. while flan-makers sell flans made of eggs. illustrated by ten model letters. thin gloves for those who do no manual work. tableware. 1983). and molding-board. In the first of these (Letter 2). Poulterers sell all kinds of wild birds as well as domestic ones. including heavy work gloves. ed. and seamless knitted gloves. especially 375-82. lard. Pastelers sell pasties. G. Cobblers make both leggings and shoes. 2 (London: Heinemann Educational Books. Cutlers make various kinds of knives. or leather. squirrels. and sables.26 Cordwainers work in tawed leather made of goatskin or sheepskin. for The Pasold Research Fund. and skinner. They sell horse tack and spurs. tallow.” in Cloth and Clothing in Medieval Europe: Essays in Memory of Professor E. Skinners sell leather garments and fur linings and trimmings made of a wide range of skins and furs. to those of dormice. some of the girdles are plain. and also offal. well-spiced and filled with meat. draper. at a price of 20s per tun. in a variety of styles. Ponting. scissors. pork. and sheep. goat. however. Six of the letters represent exchanges between a fictitious earl and his vintner. large. fish. This treatise then ends abruptly with a description of the wares of the lorimers. work in cowhides. sieve. and some are decorated with round or square studs. M. our author looks at the metal and leather crafts. He wishes to Knitted liturgical gloves were used in Europe from the sixth or seventh century. crowns. Girdlers sell belts of silk. of beef. and shears. B.

The earl addresses this letter to “his beloved skinner H. which is in arrears. the tradesman is advised to end his letter instead by saying. as is your custom. equally with this new debt. and concludes: “I agree to your present request and shall accommodate you with the five tuns that you have sought. trusting you that on the day named. but if a pledge is required. promising to pay him on the appointed day. He implores the skinner to accommodate him with twenty linings of gris and the same of vair (costly squirrel skins) and of fine-quality lambskins. If the skinner does not have these in stock. and no one will lend him the money to make new purchases since he no longer has any collateral. by trusting that the draper will act in such a way as to deserve his friendship. on the said day. He ends.” and sends “greetings and the fullest of love. The skinner explains that his own stock has been destroyed in a fire. The author then suggests a gracious reply for the vintner to send. reminding the vintner of his excellent credit history and promising to pay in full on Palm Sunday. by hoping that the vintner will behave in such a manner as to deserve his gratitude. on credit. with variant endings (Letters 3-4). as in his previous letter. again on credit. The earl hopes that he may have the cloth on these terms without a pledge..” saying that.” The skinner responds with a very polite letter (Letter 8). “I shall accommodate you with the five tuns of wine that you requested. beseeching you anxiously that you will pay me in full your old debt. the earl writes to his woolen-draper in London (Letter 5) to order sixty ells of scarlet cloth. the vintner recites the earl’s request. you will pay your debt to me in full. when he will pay in full. the earl asks him to obtain them elsewhere. The earl then writes a rather obsequious letter to his skinner (Letter 6).502 MARTHA CARLIN buy these wines on credit. depending on whether or not the customer has a good credit record. if the customer’s account is in arrears.” Next. and the fact that he has always paid his bills. He concludes . at the best possible price. he cannot accommodate the earl. but hopes that the draper will accommodate him and give him the cloth. he has sent ten gold rings and ten silver cups. addressed to his “beloved friend. He concludes. somewhat haughtily. to whom he owes money. unfortunately. In the former case. until the Sunday after Easter. He acknowledges this time that his merits are somewhat equivocal.” However. saying that he needs furs for Easter but does not have the money to pay for them.

And so.”27 The archival records of urban commerce traditionally consulted by economic historians provide crucial quantitative information on such topics as the production and distribution of goods.” The final business letter in this collection is another letter of refusal (Letter 9). will be discussed at length by Martha Carlin and David Crouch in their forthcoming volume on this manuscript. and a variety of fast foods were offered by a similar variety of specialist cooks. if you want to have a friend. wages and prices. henceforward. after having previously refused a similar request by the writer of the present letter. stalls. for example. and other equipment used in the various crafts. and the demography and topography of urban trade. not tanned hide. vintners sold wine but not ale.SHOPS AND SHOPPING 503 by begging “that you do not take it amiss that I have not sent you what you requested. In a period for which commercial inventories are virtually non-existent. transaction costs. and street-furniture used by vendors. tools. you will have to be found [to be] a friend. Farewell. our first two texts provide detailed descriptions of the range of goods made. cordwainers made shoes of tawed leather. and make it clear that by the early 1200s many were already highly specialized. and cup-menders all occupied separate economic niches within the metal trades. and he angrily reminds the petitioner that one ill turn deserves another: “you disdained to come to my aid. and 11. 7. this time written by an unidentified man to another man of similar status. of the raw materials. the goldsmiths. and commercial hazards. mended. but their greatest value is in the considerable information that they provide on many complementary subjects. In the leather trades. These include valuable descriptions of manufacturing techniques and working conditions. bakers baked bread but not wafers. The three texts discussed here touch on some of these topics. of credit practices. In Paris. hosiers made leather leggings but not shoes. brooch-makers. The writer’s tone this time is quite cutting. hanapers. as well as Letters 1. The petitioner has evidently asked for some kind of favor or financial assistance. of the shops. Urban trades and crafts were a new topic for writers and artists in the thirteenth century. In the food and drink trades. . and sold by urban artisans and retail traders. since you know the cause of the impediment. and the range of occupations in our texts 27 These letters. 10. debt and credit. and lorimers made bridles but not belts.




“Fast Food and Urban Living Standards in Medieval England. While they might linger lovingly over the gold and silver plate of the goldsmiths. The presence of fast-food cooks in towns is thus a gauge of urban poverty. Together. and even for writing an angry rejection letter. Rosenthal (London and Rio Grande. Such foods were avoided by the wealthy but were a staple of poor urban households. written by and for those who lived on a student’s meager stipend or a scholar’s inadequate pay. . and others like them. Ohio: Hambledon Press. they also speak knowingly of down-market vendors and second-hand goods. the elegant woolens of the drapers or the fine furs of the skinners. of retailers who cheat their customers with false measures or adulterated products. 30 See Martha Carlin. and it lays out standard procedures for buying and selling by correspondence.” in Food and Eating in Medieval Europe.SHOPS AND SHOPPING 507 we get a somewhat more jaundiced view. 27-51. in Latin. which often lacked the means to make a hot meal. (The hot pies and flans described here were among the principal fast-foods of medieval towns.)30 Our third text also reminds us that even aristocratic shoppers needed to ask for credit. and of the exorbitant cost and dubious quality of unhealthy but irresistible convenience foods. 1998). not plenty. can clearly add much to our understanding of shops and shopping in the thirteenth century. Martha Carlin and Joel T. ed. these three texts.

(Cambridge: D. and 72 of the text edited by Tony Hunt in Teaching and Learning Latin. For John of Garland’s Dictionarius I have also consulted the only previous translation: Barbara Blatt Rubin’s The Dictionarius of John de Garlande and the Author’s Commentary (Lawrence. I would be grateful to receive any corrections or suggestions for amending them. for the British Academy. E. (London: Oxford University Press. A. Collection de documents inédits sur l’histoire de France (Paris: Imprimerie de Crapelet. 1-83. “Dictionnaire de Jean de Garlande. reprint 1973). and various other medieval word-lists (cited in the notes).508 MARTHA CARLIN APPENDICES A Note on the Translations in Appendices I-III In translating these texts I have drawn heavily on the texts and glosses in Tony Hunt’s Teaching and Learning Latin in Thirteenth-Century England. 121-38. Appendice II. in Joseph Mayer (ed.). I owe deep thanks to Richard Monti and Susan Reynolds for general assistance with the Latin. Kansas: Coronado Press. Brockhaus. and August Scheler. the online versions of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) and the Middle English Dictionary (MED). vol. . Latham’s Revised Medieval Latin Word-List from British and Irish Sources (London: Oxford University Press. in progress). 1991).) I have also checked the editions of the Dictionarius in Hercule Géraud. 3 vols. 1: 191-203. and to David Crouch for assistance with the vocabulary of heraldry and aristocratic correspondence. E. 1837). for the British Academy. 1 ([Liverpool]: privately printed. from the Tenth Century to the Fifteenth. Latham et al. ed. In addition to dictionaries of Classical Latin I have also used the Dictionary of Medieval Latin from British Sources. which she based on Thomas Wright’s edition in A Volume of Vocabularies . Paris sous Philippe-le -Bel. R. S. 1975-. Thomas Wright (described above). Trois traités de Jean de Garlande. 1857). 1867).” 580-612. Brewer. To facilitate comparison with Hunt’s edition I have included his paragraph numbers below.. Lexicographie latine du XIIe et du XIIIe siècle. ed. R. 1981). publiés avec les gloses françaises (Leipzig: F. 66-70. A number of the readings given below are very tentative. to Richard Hoffman for kindly supplying me with information on fish terminology.. 50-4. 1965. Alexandre Neckam et Adam du Petit Pont.. APPENDIX I Translation of the Description of Shops and Shopping in Paris in John of Garland’s Dictionarius The following translation is based on paragraphs 9-46. A Library of National Antiquities. Any errors that remain are mine alone.

black. “Pyr. Today one of our neighbors carried a pole of shoes for sale: laced shoes with pointed toes and buckled shoes. William. 20-1. 176v) translates membratas here as ystodyd. “Fir” 4(c). and the boots (crepitas) worn by women and monks. boots (tibialia). See Latham. Hunt’s index of glosses includes barre as a gloss for clavis. Shield-makers benefit the citizens of all France (or. whetstones. Medieval Finds from Excavations in London. see Geoff Egan and Frances Pritchard. A fifteenth-century copy of Garland’s Dictionarius with English interlinear glosses (British Library.v. well-barred (bene stipata) with silver. 10. painted with lions and with fleurs de lis (leonibus et foliis liliorum depicta).31 Saddlers sell saddles. Daily Living in the Twelfth Century. 15. they sell to knights shields covered with cloth. their resonant poitrels (pectoralia resonancia). “Barre” (6). Cf. s. both bare and painted. and brass. wellstudded (bene membratas) with iron and copper. which presumably is why Garland calls them “resonant. Girdlers have before them white.34 and their well-made bridles.] 9.v. 3: 37. mirrors.33 Lorimers are highly esteemed by noble knights for their silvered and gilded spurs. and leggings (cruralia). 1150-c. 202). s. razors. pillions (pulvillos). Revised Medieval Latin Word-List. 156. and stipata as ybarryd (ornamented with metal strips). soap. fig.” See the description of the lorimers in Appendix II. England).SHOPS AND SHOPPING 509 1-8.v. 31 . For a fourteenth-century silk girdle ornamented with metal bars and excavated in London. cf. 34 The poitrels (or peytrels) here were breast-straps for horses. our neighbor. and fire-irons. and MED. 1991).v. has in the market before him the following goods for sale: needles and needle-cases. MED. by their files. and barré as a gloss for stipata (Hunt. “Membrare” (2).v. “Piln. and bits.” and MED. MED. 32 Cf.v. leather. s. but here it seems to be used as a synonym for pyricudia (fire-irons). 1450 (London: HMSO. 13. and red [leather] belts. c.32 canvas (carentivillas). below. and pack-saddles (trusulas).” They were often hung with jingling bells or pendants. in some MSS. s. See Dictionary of Medieval Latin from British Sources. Teaching and Learning Latin. Buckle-makers are enriched by their buckles. straps. [After a preliminary discussion of parts of the body. s. Garland abruptly shifts to a description of the goods for sale in Paris. 3: Dress Accessories. MS Harley 1002. and their bridles (loralia). 14. fol. since there were as yet no breastplates. barrés as a gloss for membratas. “Poitrel. 101. and girdles of woven silk. and also saddle pads (panellos).” 33 Piricudia vel fusillos: fusillos could also mean spindles. s. 30. 11. Holmes. and stirrups (strepas). 48. 12.

” 37 The meaning of spatulas is unclear. monilia in this context would normally have meant necklaces or collars. gloves lined with lambskin. 21. but Hunt’s glosses translate it as fermals. 19. Hatters make hats of felt and peacock feathers. 24. The brooch-makers have before them large and small brooches (firmacula) made of lead and tin. 18. Glovers bilk the scholars of Paris by selling them unlined gloves.510 16. in churches. a flat-bladed utensil used for stirring. and little caps of wool and fur (pilleola de lana et pilis). iron and copper. 23. the welts. mixing.v. renewing the patches. see MED. or applying compounds or cleaning wounds). either “shoehorns” or “foot-measures” would perhaps best fit the context. Furbishers of swords pile up pence by selling well-polished swords that have gleaming pommels and hilts and new scabbards. 20. 35 . sheaths great and small. s. s. 25. The MED also gives a secondary meaning as a surgical tool for cutting or lancing. the hours of the day are announced by the movement of the clappers and of the pulled ropes. and grafting knives.v. At the Porte St-Lazare dwell the bowyers. and yew.37 They cut the leather. They also have beautiful pendants (monilia)35 and little ringing bells. with a cobbler’s knife. sheepskin. nuches. There are subtle artificers who make bells of sonorous bronze by which. and the uppers. Cordwainers are those who make footwear of tawed leather.” cf. and caps of cotton (pillea de bombace). straps. rabbit fur. anglice broche. “Formipedia. and pigskin. mensaculas et artavos). Merchants dwelling on the Grand-Pont sell halters. 22. the soles. MARTHA CARLIN Today I saw a peddler who had before him table knives and small knives (cultellos ad mensam. but both Garland’s glosses and modern dictionaries of Latin or Middle English translate spatula simply as “slice” (a spatula. There are lowly cobblers who stitch together old shoes. viburnum. and mittens made of leather. 17. “Lest(e). They benefit the city of Paris by saving lasts for shoes and boots36 and spatulas (shoehorns or foot-measures?). 36 For formipedia (lasts) and equitibialia (lasts for boots). In Classical Latin. who make crossbows and bows of maple. styluses. breech-girdles (drawstring belts for men’s drawers). Dictionary of Medieval Latin from British Sources. and purses made of deerskin. which has been dyed black. and sew the footwear with an awl and linen thread and a pig bristle. and fox fur. and bolts and arrows of ash.

displaying the reversed edge). and spices. and they repair the fur linings (furraturas) of surcotes and mantles. selling them from baskets covered 28. “Brochen” 3(a). 2: 130.153.. 40 Vinum attaminatum.vv. furraturas). English Fur Trade. Skinners sell delightful pelts of coneys and [?eastern] squirrels (cyrogrillorum). Cisinum meant both vair and gris.v. Wine-criers cry. Constance B. eds. probably in the modern sense of “revers” (the turned-back edge of a garment. such as a lapel. which are smaller than [?eastern] squirrels.v.. sixpence. “Attaminare. Veale. see Veale.” 38 . or marrow)41 at night. some of catskin. especially from Scandinavia and Russia. 218-29. But they sell more dearly vair and gris (cisinum).v. cf. “hem”). and trimmings (urlas) of sable and dormouse (laerone). which were the choicest squirrel skins. modern French ourler. Glosses for urlas occur in one MS.38 27. with gaping throat. at fourpence. s.39 Menders of cups cry that they will repair cups with bronze and silver wire. 30. They mend mazers and cups of plane and birch.” and ourlet. and of [?western] squirrels (esperiolorum). Skinners grow rich by their pilches (pellicia) and skins sewn together to make fur linings (penulas.v. eightpence. See MED. when it had a gray back and white belly. Curye On Inglysch: English Culinary Manuscripts of the Fourteenth Century (Including The Forme of Cury).v. minced meat. “Attamino” (2): to bolt (flour). of the Dictionarius as hourles (cf. 212. some of the skins of hares. while Hunt’s version reads et eorum partem furando.” 39 Garland’s play on words here is meant to remind his students not to confuse furs with furtiveness. s. and of otters and weasels. Revised Medieval Word-List. ed. 221. carrying wine poured from a gallon jug into a hanap for sampling. “Risheu.” and MED. Early English Text Society. s. Vair was the whole skin of the red squirrel in wintertime.” fried balls of minced fruit. modern French entamer. according to Isidore [of Seville]. Street-sellers of light pastries (nebularum) and wafers cry out their light pastries and wafers and rissoles (artocreas: fried balls of spiced fruit. 8 (1985). “Tamisium” (sieve).SHOPS AND SHOPPING 511 26. English Fur Trade. SS. or of minced meat or marrow mixed with egg and spices. which commonly means meat pies or pasties. On the terminology of the medieval fur trade. maple and aspen. “to hem. wine that was broached40 in the taverns. and twelvepence. partly by stealing (furando). cf. s. They came from the coldest parts of Northern and Central Europe. some made of lambskin. For reading it instead as “filtered. Hieatt and Sharon Butler. but also from Poland and Bulgaria. some of fox skins. here is glossed with variants of rossole or russole. sugar.” see Latham. 41 Artocreas. 29. The text used by Wright and Rubin gives this final clause as partim furando. See Dictionary of Medieval Latin from British Sources. There are some criers of pilches to mend who go about the streets of Paris. Hunt. “Attamen” 2. and gris was the gray winter back alone. and in another as rewers. Cf. “Ruscheues. “Revers. s. cf. Teaching and Learning Latin. s.

to the foolish servants of the scholars. and tripes that they assemble (conveniunt) for the poor rabble. “Rib(be)” n. maslin (a mixture of wheat and rye). Dictionnaire des arts. The butchers in their shambles hate them (i. 42 Placente is glossed as symeneus. see MED. and pork.43 Pastelers make a huge profit by selling to clerks pasties of pork.v. 31.. brandishing their cleavers and great knives at the scholars. s. with a single or double crust. black puddings. barley. and. A simnel was a fine white bread or roll. seasoned with pepper. chicken.(3). evidently boiled like a bagel before being baked.e. rye.. anglice þerife kakez. sometimes measled. but often dirty.e. along with soft and hard cheeses. 33. Sometimes they also scrape out the bins with a dough-scraper. The Middle English adjective therf or tharf meant unleavened. 32. who sell take-away food) turn and roast geese. according to Alfred Franklin. oats. pigeons. The bakers of Paris knead dough and form loaves. métiers. white and black plums. But these slaughterers are slain (mactantur) by the angry scholars because of the filthy andouilles. which they bake in an oven that has been wiped clean with a cloth. and butter cakes42 lie in the windows of the regrators. Flamic[i]e. “Therf. 396. 1968). 1906.v. hoping to make a big profit while evading the crime of usury. The bakers have male and female servants who sift the coarse flour with a fine sieve and mix the yeast into the dough to make the bread rise in the trough. sterlings. reprint New York: Burt Franklin. Ignacie is glossed as fouaches. is glossed here as flamiches. In modern French cookery. See MED. and putting out for sale tarts and flans stuffed with soft cheeses and eggs. et professions exercés dans Paris depuis le treizième siècle (Paris. a flamiche is a quiche or tart. quiches. but often they sell raw meat. and capons on hazelwood spits.” 43 Archas etiam radunt aliquando cum costa pastali. and the baskets are often hung at the windows of clerks as gaming forfeits. and other gleaming coins on their boards on the Grand-Pont. 35. badly seasoned with sauces and garlic. For dough-scraper (literally. cress. fast-food cooks. the scholars). sausages. . unripe apples and pears. They sell bread made of wheat. The money-changers count out money of Paris. Cooks (i. frequently. s. 34. and chervil. and lettuce. of bran. which the Dictionary of Medieval Latin from British Sources defines as flawns or custard tarts. Regrators send out their male and female servants into the streets to deceive the clerks. mutton. bezants. dough-rib). 36. selling them coarse flesh of beef. and sulphured candles. healthful. which have large wicks to make them burn better.512 MARTHA CARLIN with a white towel. Fouaces were cakes made of butter and eggs. to whom they sell—very dearly—cherries. and eels. Simnels.

v. imitation scarlets. 1000-1500. The glosses in Hunt’s edition (3: 22.” 341.” Hunt (Teaching and Learning Latin. et blodios et burneticos.44 but are sent to the Exchange to be exchanged by the money-changers (a cambitoribus vel a campsoribus) hoping to make a profit. “Medieval Woollens: The Western European Woollen Industries and Their Struggles for International Markets. 38. The artificers who are called hanapers decorate vessels with gold and silver fittings and put feet on hanaps and crown them with rims to make them stronger. 37). XXXVI). 37) in reading “sui” in place of “sed. glossed as fosses and fosces. coupled with Garland’s emphasis on the drapers’ dishonesty. instead of Hunt’s “Licet denarios monetant. 44 . more precious.” 45 anchas. The skill (industria) of the goldsmiths pounds gold and silver leaf on an iron anvil with delicate little hammers. ed. and emerald gemstones for rings. striped cloths. and encloses precious gems within the cavities45 of the rings that are worn by barons and gentlewomen. driven by greed. cap. 41. scarleticos. 40. The goldsmiths sit before their furnaces and tables on the Grand-Pont. “Camelin. virides. s. light cloths with a strong. nimia cupiditate ducti.46 They defraud buyers by measuring the cloths badly with a short ell and a false thumb (or inch: police fallaci). However. sapphire. “Textiles. cap. Textile Technology and Industrial Organisation. and stamforts (or stanforts). and Munro. radiatos et stanford[i]os. 128).SHOPS AND SHOPPING 513 37. and make hanaps of gold and silver. See MED. camelins and blues and imitation burnets. “Medieval Woollens: Textiles. ungreased worsted warp and a greased woolen weft). 46 “Pannarii. 229-30. suggests that these “burnet-ish” and “scarlet-ish” cloths were ersatz. 3: 25) includes glosses for camelinos as camelin and camelot (camlet). pendants (monilia). more salable. Wright (p. fallaces vendunt pannos albos et nigros. and Scheler (p. greens. Drapers. 27. sed non sunt denarii” (cap. Coronation of Richard III. pins.” in Cambridge History of Western Textiles. 419. Camlet evidently was a similar cloth.” Sutton and Hammond. camelinos. I follow Géraud (p. and they select jasper. On striped cloths. the high value of burnets and scarlets. sell false white and black woolen cloths. in the late fifteenth century it was a “fine fabric. c. Although they coin pennies. see Munro.” According to the Dictionary of Medieval Latin from British Sources it could also be cloth made of (or imitatng) camel’s hair. Here. 145) translate burneticos simply as burnet and scarleticos as escarlez or scarlet. The moneyers who mint money appear to be rich and yet are not. and buttons. On stamforts or stanforts (coarse. brooches.” 183. see