IMC 2013: Sessions

Session 1029: How to Engage with Your Local Community: Trading Hinterlands, Monastic Debts, and the Business of Cathedral Priories

Wednesday 3 July 2013, 09.00-10.30

Moderator/Chair:Janet Burton, School of Archaeology, History & Anthropology, University of Wales Trinity Saint David
Paper 1029-aHinterlands and Forelands: Defining the Trade Boundaries of a Medieval Port
(Language: English)
Timothy Bowly, School of History, University of the West of England, Bristol
Index terms: Economics - Trade, Geography and Settlement Studies, Local History, Maritime and Naval Studies
Paper 1029-bMonks in Arrears: Monasteries and the 13th-Century Economy
(Language: English)
John D. Young, Department of Humanities, Flagler College, Florida
Index terms: Economics - General, Monasticism
Paper 1029-cThe Prior's Portion at Durham Cathedral Priory, 1200-1540
(Language: English)
Alisdair Dobie, Stirling Management School, University of Stirling
Index terms: Administration, Ecclesiastical History, Monasticism, Religious Life

Paper -a:
All medieval ports and centres of trade had hinterlands surrounding them. These areas represented how far the markets for imports extended around the port and the extent from which the port gathered the resources for its own use and also to trade overseas in what are termed its forelands. The term hinterland is often used very loosely by historians to mean anywhere which is in some way connected to the port by trade. This paper aims to correct this by examining the concepts of hinterland employed in related disciplines such as human geography. Methods will be proposed which will provide a more rigorous definition of the hinterland of a medieval port using the sometimes restricted amount of data available to historians. 15th century Bristol will be used as an example. The concepts of primary and secondary hinterlands as well as that of forelands will be examined.

Paper -b:
This paper explores the financial arrangements of monasteries in the 13th century, paying special attention to houses in the German Empire. It notes the increasing indebtedness of many religious houses in this period and suggests that such indebtedness may be indicative of a broader economic crisis. The paper also touches on relations between monasteries and Jews – the suppliers of many loans to monasteries and thus the creditors of many of their debts.

Paper -c:
This paper investigates the funding of the priors of Durham Cathedral Priory from the 13th to the 16th centuries. Over 4,500 accounting-related items survive from the medieval priory, and of these not one relates specifically and solely to the prior’s office. It has been assumed, in contrast to findings from other cathedral priories such as Norwich, Winchester, and Worcester, that no separate sources of finance were allocated to the prior and that his monetary and material needs were satisfied by expenditure incurred by the officers and obedientiaries of the house. This paper reviews this assumption in the light of evidence provided by a detailed examination of account-rolls and other documentary sources.