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Venetian trade and commercial relations with England in the early Tudor period, 1485-1550

Scaife, J (1979) Venetian trade and commercial relations with England in the early Tudor period, 1485-1550. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.86371) (KAR id:86371)


The half century between 1480-1530 remains very much a no-man's-land between the main interests of medievalists and early modernists, and it has consequently failed to receive the attention that it merits. Whilst both schools of historians agree that this was a period of transition for Italian merchants trading with England, there has been little work into the commercial activities of particular alien groups or individual merchants. It was time, therefore, for an analysis of one of these alien trading communities. The reign of Edward IV saw not only the zenith of Venetian preponderance in the Anglo-Mediterranean trade, it also witnessed the beginning of Venetian difficulties in their continued trade with England. Edward IV's commercial policy had an immediate effect upon the Venetian monopoly. Richard III placed further harsh restrictions upon Italians trading in England in order to gain the support of the influential merchant class of London. The Venetian Signoria hoped that, by speedily recognising the new Tudor regime, Henry VII - out of gratitude - would repeal the Yorkist legislation hampering Venetian trade with England and thereby enable the Venetian merchants to resume their former monopoly. However, the Tudors were even more determined than their Yorkist predecessors to support English merchants against alien monopoly. By 1511 English voyages to the Mediterranean had assumed the character of a regular and profitable trade. In assessing the continued importance of the commercial role played by Venetian merchants in early Tudor England, it is seen that Venetian merchants retained a large share of English trade with the Mediterranean, notably with regard to exports. It is also clear that despite early setbacks the import of certain luxury commodities remained firmly in Venetian hands. That the Venetians remained important in many branches of English trade may be attributed to the sophisticated organisation, business techniques, and the vast network of mercantile and financial connections which the Venetians maintained in the major markets of Europe and the Levant. The importance of the Venetians to the English crown was paramount in the maintenance of their position. This was not confined to purely trading functions. Important services were rendered to the English crown. Many of these services were merely an extension of normal mercantile activities and are reflective of continued Venetian dominance in those areas. However, there are distinct indications that by 1550 the end of a long period of Venetian dominance in English economic history was already in sight.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.86371
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Uncontrolled keywords: History
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D203 Modern History, 1453-
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of History
SWORD Depositor: SWORD Copy
Depositing User: SWORD Copy
Date Deposited: 29 Oct 2019 16:54 UTC
Last Modified: 14 Feb 2022 10:37 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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