The Medieval Marketplace
5è3 IDD

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> Goods from England and the Baltic

Transport & Storage


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© 2002 5è3 IDD
at the EABJM Paris

Goods from England & the Baltic

The Wool Trade


The pillar of England's export economy was wool. Initially, large quantities were exported to Flemish weaving towns such as Ghent and Ypres and English cities like Norwich grew rich on the trade. The rural population also benefitted on the wool export through the cottage industry. However, as the English only knew how to make coarse cloth from their wool, they had to buy back the finer cloths and this was a handicap to trade profits.

In the end, King Edward III (1312 - 77) made a law against wool exportation and invited textile makers from Flanders to come and teach their art to the English. Merchants organised themselves in   guilds

Once they had learnt the complicated art of weaving and dyeing, the English exported their fine cloth to the South (Italy). There, their boats picked up and brought back precious metals, silks and other luxuries from the eastern Mediterranean to England and Flanders. This trade activity finally made England the most powerful nation in the world.

Baltic Trade


Merchants from countries in the Baltics, Belgians, Germans, and Dutch also took their iron/copper (for money used for exchange), wood (used for timber), furs, dried fish and honey to the south and came back with luxury items such as wine and olive oil. Luebeck was the most properous  city in this part of the world. It began the Hanseatic League in the twelth century by forming an alliance together with Hamburg.

Luebeck had easy access  to  fish     (especially herring) which was an important part of European Christian diet and Hamburg to the salt produced in the salt mines of Kiel which could be used to preserve fish. By joining together and building a canal they were able to gain greatly through the herring trade. Luebeck's geographical position in the Baltics also allowed it to control and gain from the Baltic trade.

Travel was dangerous in the Middle Ages and therefore it was mainly round the Baltic sea that the first German merchants made their voyages. As it was also one of the few 'free cities' which meant that its inhabitants were not tied down to feudal lords Luebeck was able to keep its dominance in the Hanseatic League even when it had spread to over sixty cities.



www.pro.gov.uk/pathways/utk/ france
www.pro.gov.uk/pathways/utk/ england

Various sites found in www.geocities.com/Medieval World/Linktrade.html

The Middle Ages   (Book leant to us by Mr Hughes)

'The Vikings'       by Susan M. Margeson        Dorling Kindersley    1994

'Les états et civilisation médievale'
Collection : Grande encyclopédie de l'histoire
Edition Bordas

Meet the IDD team

What  was the most interesting part of the project?

What we found most interesting in IDD was working in a group. Meeting at Jumoye's house was helpful because we were not in a school environment and could relax. We had a lot of fun there too. Also, we greatly enjoyed building the model stall.

What  was the most difficult part of the project?

The organisation and deciding what each of us had to do was one of the most difficult things. Another difficult thing was getting information as we didn't always know the key words to use. On a few subjects, we had to much information and we found that using only the most important bits was very hard!