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Medieval Sourcebook:
Accounts of State Interference With Trade, 1242-1244

While Henry III was engaged in war with Louis IX in Aquitaine, trade between England and France was greatly hampered. The Cistercians refused contributions to the royal revenue, and therefore Henry prohibited their profitable woolen trade with the continent. The Florentine and Flemish merchants were at this time those most interested in buying wool from England.

1242. About the same time, as the laborious season of autumn drew on, the French king, in a very unbecoming manner, gave orders to seize the bodies of English merchants who were trafficking with their wares throughout his kingdom; thus inflicting an enormous injury on the ancient dignity of Gaul, which formerly afforfed a safe asylum and protection to all exiles and proscribed men, especially the peaceable ones; from which circumstance it originally obtained the name of France in its own language. This dishonourable and cruel proceeding soon reached the ears as well as the feelings of the king of England, on which he also gave orders that the French traders found in any part of England should undergo a just retaliation....

1244. In this same year the king of England prohibited the wool of the Cistercian monks from being conveyed to the continent to be sold for their benefit, endeavoring by these means to oppress and injure them, because they would not, indeed they were not able to, give him pecuniary assistance when he was in Gascony.


From: Matthew of Paris, English History, trans. J. A. Giles, (London, 1852), Vol. I, p. 410, 511, reprinted in Roy C. Cave & Herbert H. Coulson, A Source Book for Medieval Economic History, (Milwaukee: The Bruce Publishing Co., 1936; reprint ed., New York: Biblo & Tannen, 1965), pp. 107-108.

Scanned by Jerome S. Arkenberg, Cal. State Fullerton. The text has been modernized by Prof. Arkenberg.

This text is part of the Internet Medieval Source Book. The Sourcebook is a collection of public domain and copy-permitted texts related to medieval and Byzantine history.

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© Paul Halsall, September 1998