IMC 2017: Sessions

Session 312: English International Trade and the Sea

Monday 3 July 2017, 16.30-18.00

Sponsor:Centre for Medieval & Renaissance Culture, University of Southampton
Organiser:Peter Douglas Clarke, Centre for Medieval & Renaissance Culture, University of Southampton
Moderator/Chair:Andy King, Department of History, University of Southampton
Paper 312-aThe English Merchant Fleet, 1300-1600
(Language: English)
Craig Lambert, Department of History, University of Southampton
Index terms: Economics - Trade, Maritime and Naval Studies
Paper 312-b'For syche is my destine': English Officials in the Château de l'Ombrière and the Gascon Wine Trade as Colonialism in the Late Medieval Period
(Language: English)
Robert Blackmore, Department of History, University of Southampton
Index terms: Economics - Trade, Politics and Diplomacy
Abstract

This session reflects one of the major research themes of the sponsoring research centre (CMRC) to which all participants in the session belong, namely maritime history. In particular it relates to two major research projects involving members of the centre, one concerning English merchant shipping and the other on English coastal communities, both focussing on the later medieval period. The session is hence designed to promote CMRC and its research activities. The contents of the session are as follows: Paper -a: It is accepted that England’s global presence by the late 16th century rested firmly on her maritime strengths. Yet, the developments in shipping resources that aided England’s growth as a maritime power are poorly understood. Indeed, there is no modern study that analyses the size and geographical distribution of the merchant fleet over this time. Drawing on an AHRC-funded project (AH/L004062/1) which created a database that records approximately 40,000 ship-voyages the aim of this paper is reconstruct England’s merchant fleet during the transition from a medieval European polity to an early modern global maritime power, a period of epic change at home and abroad. Paper -b: The Château de l’Ombrière in Bordeaux was the hub of political power in the duchy of Aquitaine – the English crown’s farthest-flung continental possession (ruled from 1152-1453). This labyrinthine castle also served as the centre of the administration of the wine trade between the territories of Gascony-Guyenne and England; a commercial relationship that underpinned not only the duchy’s prosperity, but defined the bond between the two polities. The paper proposed, based on my current PhD research, will explain how, in the later 14th century, the trade was managed by English officials in Bordeaux, overseen by their superiors in the Exchequer in London; as well as the king and council. It will explain how increasingly the trade’s profits were directed using commercial privileges and its revenues dispersed through patronage for the support of English power. A brief overview of the copious source material will be presented: the duchy’s voluminous financial accounts shipped back to England for audit and now preserved at the National Archives in Kew. Finally the paper the possible consequences of this previously understudied political economic system to Anglo-Gascon fortunes in the Hundred Years War.