The Credit Relationship between Henry III and Merchants of Douai and Ypres, 1247–70

23 Pages Posted: 16 Jan 2014

See all articles by Adrian R. Bell

Adrian R. Bell

University of Reading - ICMA Centre

Chris Brooks

University of Reading - ICMA Centre

Tony K. Moore

University of Reading - ICMA Centre

Date Written: February 2014

Abstract

This article looks at an important but neglected aspect of medieval sovereign debt, namely ‘accounts payable’ owed by the Crown to merchants and employees. It focuses on the unusually well‐documented relationship between Henry III, King of England between 1216 and 1272, and Flemish merchants from the towns of Douai and Ypres, who provided cloth on credit to the royal wardrobe. From the surviving royal documents, we reconstruct the credit advanced to the royal wardrobe by the merchants of Ypres and Douai for each year between 1247 and 1270, together with the king's repayment history. The interactions between the king and the merchants are then analysed. The insights from this analysis are applied to the historical data to explain the trading decisions made by the merchants during this period, as well as why the strategies of the Yprois sometimes differed from those of the Douaissiens.

Suggested Citation

Bell, Adrian R. and Brooks, Chris and Moore, Tony K., The Credit Relationship between Henry III and Merchants of Douai and Ypres, 1247–70 (February 2014). The Economic History Review, Vol. 67, Issue 1, pp. 123-145, 2014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2379790 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1468-0289.12013

Adrian R. Bell (Contact Author)

University of Reading - ICMA Centre ( email )

Whiteknights Park
P.O. Box 242
Reading RG6 6BA
United Kingdom

Chris Brooks

University of Reading - ICMA Centre ( email )

Whiteknights Park
P.O. Box 242
Reading RG6 6BA
United Kingdom
+44 118 931 82 39 (Phone)
+44 118 931 47 41 (Fax)

Tony K. Moore

University of Reading - ICMA Centre ( email )

Whiteknights Park
P.O. Box 242
Reading RG6 6BA
United Kingdom

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