Trade, Money, and Power in Medieval England: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Trade, Money, and Power in Medieval England

1st Edition

By Pamela Nightingale


366 pages

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The sixteen articles in this collection analyse the contribution made by overseas trade, and the wealth in coin which it created, to the development of the English economy and locate this in an European-wide setting. In time, they range from the late Anglo-Saxon period up to the advent of the Tudors. The papers include general surveys of the importance of coinage and credit in the rise and decline of a market economy, and of the way that credit functioned in a society that lacked reliable supplies of bullion and which was also subject to the scourges of warfare and devastating disease. They illustrate, too, how from the tenth century the English crown used its control and exploitation of the coinage as part of a sophisticated fiscal system which helped create the precocious power of the English state. The author further shows how the wool trade altered the geographical pattern of wealth and enriched peasants, landowners and merchants, while the competing interests involved in the trade also cause political conflicts in Parliament and in the government of London during the period when London was establishing itself as the political capital and the financial centre of the kingdom.


’It is a great privilege to review a collection of Nightingale’s collected articles, for she is one of the most wide-ranging historians now working in Britain…. this is medieval economic history at its superb best.’ Economic History Review ’Pamela Nightingale has long made a reputation as one of the leading economic historians of medieval England, with an enviably long chronological range. It is therefore a great service to have gathered here in one volume seventeen of her articles … we have here a valuable and sparkling collection, one which no serious student of medieval England can aff ord to ignore.’ English Historical Review

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction; Communication through capital and trade: money and the rise of a market economy in medieval Europe; The ora, the mark, and the mancus: weight-standards and the coinage in 11th-century England (parts 1 & 2); The evolution of weight standards and the creation of new monetary and commercial links in Northern Europe from the 10th century to the 12th century; Some London moneyers, and reflections on the organisation of English Mints in the 11th and 12th centuries; The origin of the Court of Husting and Danish influence on London's development into a capital city; 'The king's profit': trends in English Mint and monetary policy in the 11th and 12th centuries; The London Pepperers' Guild and some 12th-century English trading links with Spain; The lay subsidies and the distribution of wealth in medieval England, 1275-1334; Norwich, London, and the regional integration of Norfolk's economy in the first half of the 14th century; The English parochial clergy as investors and creditors in the first half of the 14th century; Knights and merchants: trade, politics, and the gentry in late medieval England; The growth of London in the medieval English economy; Capitalists, crafts, and constitutional change in late 14th-century London; Money and credit in the economy of late medieval England; Monetary contraction and mercantile credit in later medieval England; England and the European depression of the mid-15th century; Index.

About the Author

Pamela Nightingale is a member of the History Faculty at the University of Oxford, UK.

About the Series

Variorum Collected Studies

The first title in the Variorum Collected Studies series was published in 1970. Since then well over 1000 titles have appeared in the series, and it has established a well-earned international reputation for the publication of key research across a whole range of subjects within the fields of history.

The history of the medieval world remains central to the series, with Byzantine studies a particular speciality, but the range of titles extends from Hellenistic philosophy and the history of the Roman empire and early Christianity, through the Renaissance and Reformation, up to the 20th century. Islamic Studies forms another major strand as do the histories of science, technology and medicine.

Each title in the Variorum Collected Studies series brings together for the first time a selection of articles by a leading authority on a particular subject. These studies are reprinted from a vast range of learned journals, Festschrifts and conference proceedings. They make available research that is scattered, even inaccessible in all but the largest and most specialized libraries. With a new introduction and index, and often with new notes and previously unpublished material, they constitute an essential resource. 

For further information about contributing to the series please contact Michael Greenwood at

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General