The London Customs Accounts, ed. Stuart Jenks, Quellen und Darstellungen zür Hansischen Geschichte, neue folge, bd. 74 ( Lubeck: Hansischer Geschichtsverein [Hanseatic History Association], 2016-present). This remarkable and game-changing series aims to publish all the “particular” accounts for the port of London; it also compares particular accounts with their audited versions (called the “conrtrolment”) and prints the controlment account when the particular account does not survive. Each volume includes an introduction discussing the accounts edited there, notes on the diplomatic of the series, Latin transcripts of particular and controlment accounts for the years covered (done to a very high standard), and detailed indices of the merchants, cargoes, ships, and their home ports. Most of the volumes also contain maps, tables, and subsidiary documents illustrating any peculiarities of the customs in the years covered by the volume. The pilot volume (volume 74, Part II, Number 9, for 1445/46, the only volume in hard copy) contains an introduction to the English customs system and the accounting procedures of the Exchequer that is required reading for anyone seeking to understand the medieval English customs accounts. The series is divided into four parts, each correlating to a royal dynasty. I: Plantagenet (c. 1280–1399), II: Lancaster (1399–1461), III: York (1461–85) and IV: Tudor (1485-c. 1550); c. 132 accounts dating from 138-1540 are now available.
Account of the customs and subsidy on wool, woolfell, and hide exports in London, 29 Sept. 1462-15 July 1463, printed in N.S.B. Gras, The Early English Customs System (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1918), pp. 601-05. In Latin. From TNA E122/73/35.
The Overseas Trade of London Exchequer Customs Accounts 1480-1 The Overseas Trade of London Exchequer Customs Accounts 1480-1, ed. H. S. Cobb, London Record Society 27 (London, 1990). Prints an English translation of the controller’s petty customs account for 29 September 1480 to 28 September 1481. Petty customs was a national tax on the value of imports and exports (except for wine, wool, and hides) by alien merchants and cloth exports by alien and denizen merchants. The controller was a royal official appointed to check the accounts of the actual collectors (whose account does not survive for this year). His entries record every ship entering or exiting the port of London (which extended in this period along the Thames as far as Gravesend) with customable goods, which are also carefully recorded, along with the names of importers and exporters, their custom status, and the custom they paid. In this account, ships are mainly identified by their shipmaster and only occasionally by the ship name or home port. The volume also includes two other customs accounts for the same year: (1) the accounts of the Staplers’ Company of wool customed at London and shipped to Calais; (2) account of the royal butler of England of a 2s tax assessed on each tun of wine imported by alien merchants to London. On BHO.
The Enrolled Customs Accounts : (TNA: PRO E 356, E 372, E 364) 1279/80-1508/09 (1523/1524), ed. Stuart Jenks, List and Index Society, vols. 303, 306, 307, 313, 314, 319, 324, 334, 341, 344, 345, 348 (London, 2004-2017). These volumes record the summary figures for imports and exports from all English head ports, including London. They often contain additional information about individual merchants claiming exemptions or references to certain problems of collection. The figures here for wool and cloth exports should now replace those given in E. M. Carus-Wilson and Olive Coleman, England’s Export Trade 1275-1547 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1963).
Finance and Trade Under Edward III Finance and Trade Under Edward III and the London Lay Subsidy of 1332, ed. G. Unwin (Manchester, 1918). Includes essays on taxation, trade, and merchants by Unwin and other scholars. Documentary sources include: (1) the London lay subsidy of 1332 and (2) “’The Societies of the Bardi and the Peruzzi and their Dealings with Edward III,” by E. Russell, pp. 93-135, which lists the names and activities of wealthy Italian bankers in London who loaned money to King Edward III.
The Book of Privileges of the Merchant Adventurers of England 1296-1483, eds. A. F. Sutton and L. Visser-Fuchs, British Academy Records of Social and Economic History, n.s 42 (Oxford, 2009). The Merchant Adventurers was a regulated company founded in London in the early fifteenth century and dominated by the Mercers to promote its interests in exporting English cloth to the Low Countries in exchange for many different types of foreign imports. The Book was probably assembled for Hugh Clopton, an ambassador of the Merchant Adventurers in 1484 (also a mercer and future mayor of London). The Book Includes the most important grants and agreements from the rulers of various Low Countries states that concerned English trade. There are 36 texts, each given in the original and English translations with an introduction.
The Views of the Hosts of Alien Merchants 1440-1444, ed. Helen Bradley, London Record Society46 (Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, 2012). In response to anti-alien sentiment and parliamentary pressure in the early 1440s, foreign merchants were required to reside with English hosts, who were expected to report on alien business transactions in order to make sure the foreign merchants spent their profits in England. Translations of the extant Views of Hosts (52 for London, 9 for Southampton, and 12 for Hull) are published here, along with a helpful introduction, extensive biographical notes on both the foreign (mostly Italian) and English merchants, and a glossary of commodities. The Views offer much information on the imports, exports, prices, customers, and supply networks of foreign trade, particularly that involving the Venetians in London. See also the 1440-45 Access database containing the names and commodities from 2,300 business transactions between foreign and English merchants during the early 1440s
Memorials of London and London Life in the XIIIth, XIVth and XVth Centuries, ed. H. T. Riley (London, 1868). Translations of key texts from the Letter Books (often in a more complete form than in the printed volumes), organized chronologically with a detailed table of contents, in a massive volume of 706 pages. The Introduction notes early references to wards and streets, to trades, names and surnames, tavern signs, and miscellaneous issues, many relating to trade. The subjects chosen vary widely, but there is especially good coverage of craft regulations and charters and what could be called quality of life issues, such as maintaining safe streets, a clean environment, and fair trade. There are also records dealing with civic administration, including a list of the men elected from each ward to the first Common Council in 1347. On archive.org, BHO, and Haith Trust.
Londoners in Common Pleas cases. Jonathan Mackman and Matthew Stevens, Court of Common Pleas: the National Archives, CP40 1399-1500 (London, 2010), British History Online. This project provides summary translations in tabular form of c. 6,300 pleaded cases involving London litigants or events supposed to have taken place at London, heard before the Court of Common Pleas in the sample years 1399–1409, 1420–1429, 1445–1450, 1460–1468, 1480 and 1500. About 3,600 of the c. 30,000 individuals mentioned were explicitly described as citizens of London, although it is likely that there were also other non-citizen Londoners who appeared. The Court of Common Pleas was the chief central court for hearing civil pleas in England, including actions to assert title to land, complaints of trespass, and personal pleas of account, contract, and debts involving sums over 40s, among other actions. See the Introduction for further details on the project and court, and the TNA CP40 listing for more details on this document class. The London cases provide considerable data on financial and commercial issues.