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The Book of Privileges of the Merchant…

The Book of Privileges of the Merchant Adventurers of England, 1296-1483…

by Anne F. Sutton

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0197264409, Hardcover)

This is a full edition of the trading privileges that had been granted to the Merchant Adventurers' Company of England by the princes of the Low Countries from 1296, copied into one diplomatic reference book in 1484.

The sequence of grants reveals the steadily increasing value of the cross-Channel trade--at first dominated by wool, and then by woollen cloth and linen--which made it important that peace was maintained between the nations. The introduction explains why this copy of the grants was made for an embassy ordered by Richard III to solve a mercantile impasse and circumvent the conditions of civil war in the Low Countries so that trade might continue. Appendices describe the development of the office of the governor of the Merchant Adventurers up to 1484, and present the little known petitions from Antwerp merchants to the kings of England that their own position be put on a par with the advantages enjoyed by the English under their privileges.

The text of each privilege is included in its original language of French, Latin or Dutch, accompanied by the 15th-century English translation.

This unique addition to the corpus of English texts of this period forms a valuable sourcebook on trade and political events in medieval Europe, as well as a unique tool for students of medieval language and translation.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:51 -0400)

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