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State Cash Resources and State Building in Europe 13th-18th century

 | 
Katia Béguin
, 
Anne L. Murphy

Political Construction and the Management of Public Resources

Credit Finance in the Middle Ages: Loans to the English Crown 1272–1345

Adrian R. Bell, Chris Brooks et Tony K. Moore

Texte intégral

1The following is a summary of some of the key findings of an ESRC-funded project (Grant number RES-062-23-0733) based at the ICMA centre, Henley Business School, University of Reading. This study applied modern financial analysis and theories to the early history of sovereign debt, in this case the credit arrangements between the ‘Three Edwards’, kings of England 1272–1377, and a succession of Italian merchant societies. For the kings, regular access to credit was crucial for the smooth running of governmental administration as well as financing their ambitious foreign policies, while the merchants hoped to benefit from interest payments and also by securing favourable access to English markets, especially for wool. This short chapter will briefly sketch the chronological relationship between the English kings and successive merchant societies, and then explore some key questions in further detail, namely the returns expected by the merchants, how these loans were funded, and whether defaults by the English kings really ‘broke the bank’.

  • 1 For the most important documents, see A. R. Bell, C. Brooks and T. K. Moore (ed.), Accounts of the (...)

2Our reconstruction of the credit relationship between the English kings and their Italian bankers is based on primary sources surviving in the royal archives. These include formal accounts between the king and bankers, as well as wider records of royal revenues and expenditure.1 Unfortunately, there are no surviving accounts from the merchant societies themselves that shed light on their relationship with the English crown. In our dataset, we have translated all the transactions between the king and the merchants into a double entry format as either debits or credits to the king’s account with the merchants. This means that monies received by the merchants appear as credits to the king’s account, and payments by or allowances to the merchants appear as debits against the king’s account. Figure 1 shows the debits to the king’s account. Importantly, gifts or allowances granted to the merchants by the king, which were frequently used to disguise interest payments, are classed as debits. Thus the gross figures include interest charges as well as principal advances.

Figure 1. Debits to the English kings’ accounts, 1272–1345

Figure 1. Debits to the English kings’ accounts, 1272–1345

Source: Medieval credit dataset (see note 1).

I. The Ricciardi of Lucca, 1272–12942

  • 2 The most detailed account is still R. W. Kaeuper, Bankers to the crown. The Riccardi of Lucca and E (...)

3Merchants from Lucca first appear in the English sources from the mid-1240s, supplying silks and other fine cloths to the royal household. The Ricciardi merchant society first loaned money to the Lord Edward (the future Edward I) during the ninth crusade of 1270–1272 and, after his succession to the throne, Edward integrated them into the royal financial system. The Ricciardi advanced sums in cash to the king or made payments to third parties at the king’s command. Most of these advances and payments were arranged through the wardrobe, the chief spending department. In return, the Ricciardi collected the customs duty on wool exports, introduced in June 1275, and, as and when necessary, this was supplemented from other sources of royal revenue, such as the proceeds of taxation and payments from the Treasury. The usual description of this arrangement is that the Riccardi’s loans were secured against the granting of the customs revenue. By itself, this would have been an innovative financial technique, with undetermined loans backed by long-term grants of customs duties. However, a better analogy would be with a modern current account, complete with extensive overdraft facilities.

4Our reconstruction suggests that the Ricciardi advanced over £500,000 (including interest) to Edward I between 1272 and 1294, an average of around £23,000 per annum. This was equivalent to over half of the average wardrobe receipt each year. Of course, these advances were not distributed evenly throughout the reign. The chronology of Ricciardi advances, as shown in figure 1, exhibits a jagged saw-tooth pattern, with periods of heavy borrowing followed by periods of retrenchment. For instance, the Ricciardi provided over £40,000 to the wardrobe during the first Welsh war in 1277. The Ricciardi were even more heavily involved in funding the second Welsh war of 1282–1283, advancing nearly £100,000. Next, Edward had to turn to the Lucchese to finance his prolonged stay in Gascony between May 1286 and August 1289. The royal household in France was cut off from ordinary royal revenues in England and instead relied on the Ricciardi to pay the king’s bills, amounting to some £107,485. These three periods account for nearly half of all the Ricciardi advances to Edward I.

5It is important to note that, although the aggregate sums that passed through the Ricciardi’s hands were huge, their net exposure was much smaller. The majority of the Ricciardi advances were promptly cleared against specific sources of royal revenue. For example, the £23,000 owing to the Ricciardi in November 1279 was set against the income collected from the wool custom over the next eighteen months, while the sums paid into the wardrobe by the Ricciardi between November 1281 and November 1285 were mostly allowed against the customs revenue that they had collected between Easter 1282 and Easter 1286. Even the huge debt of £54,180 recognized by the king c. 1290, as a result of his expenses in Gascony, had been paid down to £18,925 by 1294.

6Unfortunately, the ‘Ricciardi system’ proved fragile, as was demonstrated by its rapid collapse as a result of the ‘credit crunch’ of 1294. At the start of that year, the Ricciardi finances must have seemed robust. In June 1291, the entirety of the papal taxes in England had been entrusted to the Ricciardi – at least £66,667 – to hold on Edward’s behalf. This led to a complete reversal in the relative position of king and merchant with Edward having a sizeable surplus on his account. When war unexpectedly broke out between England and France in 1294, Edward naturally sought to withdraw this money to fund his armies. The Ricciardi were also caught by surprise, with their funds tied up in loans or trade, and they were unable to raise short-term funds on the ‘interbank’ market, as a result of the disruption and uncertainty caused by the war. This meant that they were unable to provide Edward with the financial support that he desperately needed, leading him to remove them from their position as collectors of the wool customs and to confiscate their English assets, mainly wool but also the debts owed to the society by private individuals.

II. The Frescobaldi of Florence, c. 1294–13123

  • 3 For the Frescobaldi, see R. W. Kaeuper, ‘The Frescobaldi of Florence and the English crown’, Studie (...)

7The Ricciardi’s position as ‘bankers to the crown’ was taken over by the Frescobaldi Bianchi of Florence. Although they started to advance loans to Edward I during the Anglo-French war of 1294–1298, it was not until the conflict was over, and the normal networks of trade and credit between England and Italy had been restored, that they began to lend to the English crown on a large scale. Although never as closely integrated into the royal administration as the Ricciardi had been, the Frescobaldi provided financial services (including loans, settlement of royal debts and international balance transfers) to both Edward I and Edward II, until the leading members of the society were forced out of England in 1311–1312 as the result of domestic political conflict between Edward II and his political opponents, a baronial alliance known as the Ordainers.

8In total, the Frescobaldi charged the English kings with advances of around £180,000 (including interest) between 1294 and 1312. This represents an average of £10,000 per annum, less than half of that advanced by the Ricciardi. At the time of their last formal account in 1310, Edward II recognized that he owed the Frescobaldi £21,675. This has often been taken as their final losses on their loans to the king but it excludes some sources of royal revenue for which the Frescobaldi never submitted accounts. For instance, they continued to collect the wool custom for a further year, receiving nearly £14,000. They also received significant sums from the wool custom in Ireland and Scotland, as well as the income from the royal mints between 1309 and 1311. As a result, the Frescobaldi had probably succeeded in recouping the bulk of their advances to the king and probably made at least £20,000 in direct interest on their dealings with Edward I and Edward II, less their expenses and funding costs.

9As noted above, the Frescobaldi were ousted from their position as ‘bankers to the crown’ by the king’s political opponents and, in fact, Edward II had fought hard to protect his bankers. The Ordinances had first targeted the Frescobaldi in 1310 but it was not until 1312 that the society finally left England. Unlike the Ricciardi in 1294, the Frescobaldi were not taken by surprise and had time to organize their affairs, including smuggling gold and jewels out of England hidden within sacks of wool, and even ordering their representative in Gascony to buy up wine in the king’s name, at twice the market price if necessary, and then to ship it to Italy for sale. There is also no evidence that the Frescobaldi collapsed into bankruptcy. The society was still active in 1313, two years after its expulsion from England, and only dissolved in 1315. Although it does seem that the Frescobaldi (especially the branch of the family active in England) did decline in importance, this is more likely to have been a result of the contemporary political disturbances within Florence itself. In particular, the Frescobaldi Bianchi fell on the wrong side of the political division between the ‘Blacks’ and the ‘Whites’.

III. Antonio Pessagno of Genoa4

  • 4 For Pessagno, see N. M. Fryde, ‘Antonio Pessagno of Genoa, king’s merchant of Edward II of England’ (...)
  • 5 Ibid., pp. 161, 165.

10The Frescobaldi were initially replaced as chief financiers to the king by Antonio Pessagno of Genoa. This marked a significant change in two ways: first, Pessagno was not part of a formal merchant society, and second, he came from a long-established noble family in Genoa rather than Tuscany. Pessagno first appeared in England in 1310 and by 1312 he was described as the ‘king’s merchant’. The next year a letter from one of the remaining Frescobaldi in England to Florence reported that Pessagno ‘does what he wants and pleases everybody and is so generous in the court towards the great and the small that everybody likes him’.5 Between April 1312 and November 1314, Pessagno disbursed over £111,000 on the king’s behalf, including the funds to prosecute the disastrous Bannockburn campaign, although he was simultaneously collecting various sources of royal revenue, so that the net deficit owing to him at the end of this period was only £7,000. Thereafter he played a less prominent role, although he did subsequently advance a further £35,000 up to 1319. These were huge sums for an individual merchant to find and, like the Ricciardi, Pessagno seems rather to have acted as a front man for a wider consortium of lenders. For instance he was responsible for raising large loans from the pope and in France and transferring these to England.

IV. The Bardi of Florence, c. 1315–13366

  • 6 This period is relatively under-studied, but see E. B. Fryde, ‘Loans to the English crown, 1328–133 (...)

11The Bardi were one of the largest and longest-lived Florentine societies and had been active in England since the 1270s. They had contributed ‘interbank’ loans to the Ricciardi in 1277 and 1282–1283, as well as relatively small loans to Edward I and Edward II in 1294, 1297 and 1309. It was only from around 1315, however, that they came to the fore as chief financiers to the king. The Bardi were to retain this leading role for nearly thirty years, until the society failed in 1345 and was declared bankrupt in early 1346. Scholarly attention has generally focused on the final years of the Bardi in England, but they had enjoyed over twenty years of successful and profitable service as ‘bankers to the crown’ before the crisis of the 1340s. In total, the debits (including interest) to the king’s account with the Bardi before 1337 totalled £280,000 sterling. There were particularly heavy periods of borrowing between 1315–1319 and 1334–1336, linked to expenditure on the royal wars with Scotland, and 1329–1332, as Edward III tried to establish his personal rule. At other times, however, most notably during the last years of Edward II’s reign, the king actually held significant deposits with the Bardi and other merchant societies. This long-standing and mutually beneficial relationship helps to explain why the Bardi were ready and willing to support Edward III at the start of what became the ‘Hundred Years War’.

V. The Bardi and Peruzzi, 1336–13457

  • 7 For the Bardi and Peruzzi, see A. Sapori, La Crisi della Compagnie Mercantili dei Bardi e dei Peruz (...)

12The best-known episode in medieval credit financing is probably the relationship between Edward III and the two Florentine societies of the Bardi and Peruzzi, starting in late 1336 as Edward prepared for war with France and culminating in his supposed default on his debt, popularly believed to have caused the failure and bankruptcy of the societies. Although the Bardi had a long history of lending to the English crown, the financial demands of a full-scale war with France were beyond even their resources. As a result, the Bardi joined with the Peruzzi to fund Edward’s war. Unfortunately, the sources for this period are difficult to interpret, as the royal administrative machine struggled to keep pace with Edward’s expenditure. Furthermore, the collapse of the Peruzzi during the middle of a drawn-out accounting process with the Exchequer means that no final accounting was held. The Bardi present the opposite problem, in that a number of partial and overlapping accounts survive but are difficult to reconcile. The following is based on our own dataset and the work of other historians, most notably Edmund Fryde and Edwin Hunt.

  • 8 Cronica di Giovanni Villani, Book XII, Chapter LV, translated in W. J. Ashley (ed.), Edward III and (...)

13On paper, the figures for Edward III’s debts to the Bardi and Peruzzi are staggering. The contemporary Italian chronicler Giovanni Villani estimated that the English king owed 900,000 florins (£135,000) to the Bardi and 600,000 florins (£90,000) to the Peruzzi.8 Our reconstruction has found that the Peruzzi claimed to have advanced just under £140,000 to the king while they had only received £71,000. Edward III’s debt to the Peruzzi thus appears to be as much as £70,000. This includes, however, nearly £65,000 in gifts, allowances and questionable payments. For the Bardi, we have identified debits to the king’s account of nearly £264,000 against credits of only £165,000, a deficit of nearly £100,000. Again, nearly two-thirds of this represented interest (gifts or allowances) rather than principal. In short, Edward’s massive debts mostly represented unpaid promises of interest rather than losses on principal advanced. On the other hand, this does not take into account the Bardi and Peruzzi’s costs in financing their long position in Edwardian sovereign debt, which must have been substantial.

  • 9 Calendar of Patent Rolls 1338–1340, London, HMSO, 1898, p. 255.
  • 10 A. Beardwood, Alien merchants in England, 1350–1377, Cambridge (Mass.), Mediaeval Academy of Americ (...)
  • 11 Calendar of Patent Rolls 1345–1348, London, 1902, p. 87. These protections were re-issued every yea (...)

14Edward III has been blamed for the failures of the Bardi and Peruzzi in the 1340s and, indeed, he did owe them huge sums of money. But the true picture is more nuanced. First, when Edward issued a ‘stop’ on assigned payments from the Exchequer in May 1339, he specifically excluded those to the Bardi and Peruzzi.9 Second, Edward never formally repudiated his debts and, even after the Bardi and Peruzzi had ceased to make significant advances to him, he continued to assign them sizeable repayments. Between 1345 and 1348, after the Bardi had been dissolved, Edward paid over £23,000 to their representatives and he and his grandson Richard II continued to make occasional payments until the remaining debt was forgiven in 1391.10 Third, the Bardi and Peruzzi had raised large sums of money from depositors in England and both Edward and Richard protected them from legal proceedings brought by their English creditors.11 The English kings seemed to have tried in good faith to repay the Florentine merchants, even at the expense of their own subjects.

VI. Research Findings

A. Profits

  • 12 A. R. Bell, C. Brooks and T. K. Moore, ‘Interest in medieval accounts: evidence from England, 1272– (...)

15A key question with any form of credit is the interest rate charged. Unfortunately, the treatment of historical interest rates in the literature is uneven. In part, this reflects the limitations of the evidence; the information necessary to calculate interest rates was often omitted from the documents, in part to avoid the church prohibition on usury by disguising interest payments. There is also a lack of consistency in the methods and terminology used by historians. We developed a standardized method of calculating annually compounded interest rates tailored to historical sources and created an online historical interest rate calculator.12

  • 13 See most recently D. Stasavage, States of credit: size, power and the development of European polit (...)

16Reputational models of sovereign debt assert that a government’s access to credit and the interest rates charged for that credit depend on the perception of the reliability of that government.13 It has been possible to calculate accurate interest rates for a number of transactions involving the English kings. Some of these are summarized in table 1. The most striking finding is the tremendous variety in the interest rates charged, ranging from 15% to nearly 150%. To generalize, the English kings were usually able to borrow at 15–20% during periods of peace and economic stability, but during periods of fiscal pressure, most obviously wartime, they could have to pay 30–40% or even more. The interest rate was not the only important variable; during periods of crisis the English kings found it more difficult to secure long-term credit and instead had to rely on short-term loans. One important benefit for the king from entering into a long-term relationship with a particular merchant society was that he had reasonably easy access to credit and at lower interest rates.

Table 1. Interest rates charged to the English kings, 1272–1340

Creditor

Date of loan

Loan value

Interest

Interest rate

Bonasius Bonante of Florence

1273–1276

£915 15s

£304 5s

14.1%

Merchants of Florence

1279–1280

2,250 marks

250 marks

14.4%

Albisso Fifanti of Asti

1297 (one month)

£265

£35

145.3%

Merchants of Asti (repaid by Frescobaldi)

Loan in Oct. 1297; repaid May 1298

4,000 livres tournois (l.t.)

1,140 l.t.

46.1%

Frescobaldi

1294–1302

23.1%

Frescobaldi

1309–1310

10,000 marks

£1,000

23.7%

Antonio Pessagno

? (six months)

£4,000

£350

17.5%

John le Bachiler of Antwerp

Nov. 1338–Feb. 1339

£540

£60

66.7%

Merchants of Malines

Nov. 1338–Sept. 1341

£6,000

£6,000

41.4%

  • 14 The gifts promised to the Bardi since 1309 were calculated in a memorandum drawn up by royal clerks (...)
  • 15 A. R. Bell, C. Brooks and P. Dryburgh, The English wool market c. 1230–1307, Cambridge, Cambridge U (...)

17It is clear that the Italian merchant societies expected a direct return on their investment, including interest. The Frescobaldi received at least £20,000 in direct interest charges and the Bardi were promised over £84,000 between 1329 and 1341, although they did not ultimately receive much of this.14 Lending to the crown was not purely a ‘loss leader’ to gain access to English markets or royal favour. That said, the ancillary benefits of a close relationship with the crown were not negligible. The role of ‘banker to the crown’ brought with it a certain social and political status. Orlandino da Poggio of the Ricciardi had his own accommodation in the royal wardrobe, Pessagno became royal seneschal of Gascony, while Bettino di Frescobaldi was appointed to the king’s council. The merchants also had access to inside information, particularly about the wool trade.15 The Ricciardi and Frescobaldi both dominated the lucrative wool forward market during the periods when they were acting as royal bankers, while the Bardi and Peruzzi enjoyed a monopoly on direct exports of wool to Italy.

B. Financing

18An equally important question is: where did the merchants obtain the large sums of money that they advanced to the English kings?

  • 16 E. S. Hunt, The medieval super-companies…, op. cit., p. 181 and p. 259.

19When a merchant society was formed, each of the partners would contribute a share of its initial capital. Periodically, usually every several years, the societas would be wound up and any profits distributed among the partners in line with their capital contribution. A new societas would then be formed with capital from the same or different partners. At its peak in 1310, the second Peruzzi societas had capital of 103,000 florins, equivalent to roughly £15,450 sterling. In 1335, after several unsuccessful years, the Peruzzi’s capital may have fallen as low as 26,000 florins (c. £3,900 sterling).16 This would clearly have been inadequate to fund their substantial loans to Edward III in the following year or, indeed, their other businesses. The bulk of the resources of the Italian merchant societies must therefore have come from external sources of funding. Our research emphasizes three sources in particular.

  • 17 TNA, C 47/13/1, no. 28. In a subsequent petition presented by the Frescobaldi in 1307, this had gro (...)
  • 18 E. B. Fryde, ‘The deposits of Hugh le Despenser the Younger with Italian bankers’, Economic History (...)

20The first external source of funding for the merchant societies was from deposits. In 1302, the Frescobaldi claimed that their depositors in Florence had sought to withdraw 200,000 florins (£30,000) deposited with them, after learning of their entanglement with Edward I’s finances. Hunt has argued that the Peruzzi in 1335 were largely funded by 220,000 florins (£33,000) in deposits and short-term advances from Florentine merchants, while Villani claimed the Bardi defaulted on 550,000 florins (£82,500) of liabilities in Florence and elsewhere.17 In addition, the foreign branches of these societies also accepted local deposits or ran up accounts payable. When the London branch of the Pulci-Rimbertini society absconded from England in 1306, they owed money to several magnates and royal officials. After the disgrace of the royal treasurer Walter de Langton in 1307, it was found that he had deposited £1,333 with the Frescobaldi and a further £2,121 with the Bellardi of Lucca. Edward II’s favourite, Hugh Despenser the younger, had an active account with the Peruzzi between 1322 and 1326.18 In the 1340s, the Bardi and especially the Peruzzi had numerous English creditors, who were probably the real victims of the bankruptcy of the two societies.

  • 19 W. E. Lunt, Financial relations of the papacy with England to 1327, Cambridge (Mass.), Mediaeval Ac (...)
  • 20 A. R. Bell et al., ‘Credit finance…’, op. cit., pp. 106–107.

21The second was the collection of papal revenues in England, including both income from English benefices held by absentee Italians and, most importantly, taxes imposed on the English church. In the 1250s the pope levied a tax on the English church to fund Henry III’s ‘Sicilian Business’, which raised around £50,000. Probably the most important was the sexennial crusading tenth imposed in 1274, worth about £130,000. Finally, the triennial crusading tenth of 1291 raised about £60,000.19 These taxes were generally paid to representatives of the Italian merchant societies in England for transfer back to Rome. This left the merchants holding substantial sums of capital in England available for investment in trade or loans. The tenth of 1274 was particularly significant because Edward I and the pope were unable to agree on terms for the proposed crusade and the tax remained on deposit with the merchants into the 1290s. It is therefore not surprising to find that the same societies that held substantial sums in papal deposits in 1283 also contributed to loans to the English crown and were prominent in the wool trade. For instance, the money from the papal tenth deposited with the Ricciardi would probably have covered much of Edward I’s ‘overdraft’ with them.20

  • 21 Ibid., pp. 111–113.
  • 22 TNA, C 47/1/13 no. 28.

22The third source was ‘interbank lending’. The Ricciardi seem to have acted as intermediaries, raising loans from a cartel of fellow merchant societies, which sums were then managed and repaid by the Ricciardi on the king’s behalf. In 1277, for example, they raised over £10,000 from eleven other merchant societies, and in 1282–1283 nearly £19,000 from twelve societies (including the Bardi and the Frescobaldi on both occasions).21 In effect, they were able to tap into the resources of the wider Italian community in England to expand the capital at their disposal. In 1302, the Frescobaldi claimed allowance in their account with the king for the costs that they had incurred when borrowing large sums of money at Florence and at the fairs of Champagne to fund their advances to the king.22 It is likely that the Bardi and Peruzzi raised some of the money that they advanced to Edward III on the international financial markets in the same way. This is similar to the way that modern banks function, since their deposit base will not support all their lending.

  • 23 E. S. Hunt, ‘A new look…’, op. cit., p. 155.

23This funding model meant that the Italian merchant societies were highly leveraged financial institutions. Hunt’s reconstruction of the Peruzzi balance sheet in 1335 shows that the society had total assets of 500,000 florins against partner capital (shareholder equity) of only 21,000 florins, a leverage ratio of nearly 24:1. Even if the soppracorpo or loans from the partners (shareholders) of 14,000 florins are included with their equity capital, the Peruzzi would still have been levered over 14 to 1.23 Such a high degree of leverage, combined with dependence on external sources of funding (whether deposits or borrowing on the money markets) made the merchant societies very vulnerable to shocks, especially in the absence of a central bank to act as a lender of last resort.

VII. The End of the Affair

24For most of the period under study, the financial relationship between the English kings and successive Italian merchant communities was mutually beneficial. The smooth operation of this system has, however, attracted less attention than the more spectacular occasions when this relationship broke down. The collapse of the Ricciardi in 1294, the expulsion of the Frescobaldi from England in 1311 and, above all, the bankruptcy of the Bardi and the Peruzzi in the 1340s, have generally been blamed on defaults by the English crown. We would argue that the failures of these societies were not the direct result of any default by the English crown. In 1294, Edward I had a surplus on his overall account with the Ricciardi, when the papal taxation that they held on his behalf is included. Rather, the society collapsed because of the ‘credit crunch’ caused by the Anglo-French war, which prevented the Ricciardi from accessing interbank markets. The expulsion of the Frescobaldi was forced on Edward II by his political opponents. Moreover, the Frescobaldi seem to have disentangled themselves from England quite successfully and the domestic political crisis in Florence, in which the Frescobaldi were on the losing side, was probably more damaging. Finally, although Edward III undoubtedly owed large sums to both the Bardi and the Peruzzi and this must have contributed to their travails, it is unlikely that he was primarily responsible for their bankruptcies. Again, the economic and political upheaval in Florence itself during the 1340s was probably a more significant factor.

Notes

1 For the most important documents, see A. R. Bell, C. Brooks and T. K. Moore (ed.), Accounts of the English Crown with Italian merchant societies, 1272–1345, Kew, The List and Index Society, 2009. The full dataset can be accessed online at: http://apps.icmacentre.ac.uk/medievalcredit/credit-finance-dataset.php. Note that while the dataset has collated all obvious duplicate entries from the various sources, there is still a substantial degree of subjectivity involved in analysing this material.

2 The most detailed account is still R. W. Kaeuper, Bankers to the crown. The Riccardi of Lucca and Edward I, Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1973; but note the revisions in A. R. Bell, C. Brooks and T. K. Moore, ‘Credit finance in the Middle Ages: Edward I and the Ricciardi of Lucca’, Thirteenth Century England XIII: England & France, c. 1180c. 1330, Woodbridge, Boydell Press, 2011, pp. 101–116.

3 For the Frescobaldi, see R. W. Kaeuper, ‘The Frescobaldi of Florence and the English crown’, Studies in Medieval and Renaissance History, 10, 1973, pp. 41–95.

4 For Pessagno, see N. M. Fryde, ‘Antonio Pessagno of Genoa, king’s merchant of Edward II of England’, in L. De Rosa (ed.), Studi in memoria di Federigo Melis, Naples, Giannini, 1978, 5 vols., II, pp. 159–178.

5 Ibid., pp. 161, 165.

6 This period is relatively under-studied, but see E. B. Fryde, ‘Loans to the English crown, 1328–1331’, English Historical Review, 70, 1955, pp. 198–211.

7 For the Bardi and Peruzzi, see A. Sapori, La Crisi della Compagnie Mercantili dei Bardi e dei Peruzzi, Florence, L. S. Olschki, 1926; E. B. Fryde, ‘Financial resources of Edward III in the Netherlands 1337–40’, Revue Belge de Philologie et d’Histoire, 40, 1967, pp. 1142–1216; E. S. Hunt, ‘A new look at the dealings of the Bardi and Peruzzi with Edward III’, Journal of Economic History, 50, 1990, pp. 149–162; idem, The medieval super-companies. A study of the Peruzzi Company of Florence, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1994.

8 Cronica di Giovanni Villani, Book XII, Chapter LV, translated in W. J. Ashley (ed.), Edward III and his wars, 1327–1360, London, D. Nutt, 1887, pp. 95–96.

9 Calendar of Patent Rolls 1338–1340, London, HMSO, 1898, p. 255.

10 A. Beardwood, Alien merchants in England, 1350–1377, Cambridge (Mass.), Mediaeval Academy of America, 1931, pp. 4–9 and appendix A, pp. 122–133.

11 Calendar of Patent Rolls 1345–1348, London, 1902, p. 87. These protections were re-issued every year until 1374.

12 A. R. Bell, C. Brooks and T. K. Moore, ‘Interest in medieval accounts: evidence from England, 1272–1340’, History, 94, 2009, pp. 411–33. The interest rate calculator can be accessed at: http://apps.icmacentre.ac.uk/medievalcredit/calcul.

13 See most recently D. Stasavage, States of credit: size, power and the development of European polities, Princeton, Princeton University Press, 2011.

14 The gifts promised to the Bardi since 1309 were calculated in a memorandum drawn up by royal clerks and described as ‘gifts in the name of usury’ (The National Archives [TNA], C 47/13/6, no.13).

15 A. R. Bell, C. Brooks and P. Dryburgh, The English wool market c. 1230–1307, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2007.

16 E. S. Hunt, The medieval super-companies…, op. cit., p. 181 and p. 259.

17 TNA, C 47/13/1, no. 28. In a subsequent petition presented by the Frescobaldi in 1307, this had grown to £50,000 or roughly 333,333 florins (TNA, SC 8/47/2343); E. S. Hunt, ‘A new look…’, op. cit., p. 155; Giovanni Villani, Nuova Cronica, op. cit., Book XII chapter LV.

18 E. B. Fryde, ‘The deposits of Hugh le Despenser the Younger with Italian bankers’, Economic History Review, new ser., 3, 1951, pp. 344–362.

19 W. E. Lunt, Financial relations of the papacy with England to 1327, Cambridge (Mass.), Mediaeval Academy of America, 1939.

20 A. R. Bell et al., ‘Credit finance…’, op. cit., pp. 106–107.

21 Ibid., pp. 111–113.

22 TNA, C 47/1/13 no. 28.

23 E. S. Hunt, ‘A new look…’, op. cit., p. 155.

Table des illustrations

Titre Figure 1. Debits to the English kings’ accounts, 1272–1345
Légende Source: Medieval credit dataset (see note 1).
URL http://books.openedition.org/igpde/docannexe/image/3885/img-1.jpg
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Auteurs

Adrian R. Bell is Professor of the History of Finance and Head of School at the ICMA Centre, Henley Business School, University of Reading. His research focuses on medieval finance, the life of the medieval soldier and the economics of professional football. He has co-directed several funded projects involving the construction and use of large databases; his most recent book is The English Wool Market, c.1230–1327 (with Chris Brooks and Paul Dryburgh). He is currently co-investigator on a Leverhulme Trust-funded project on medieval foreign exchange. He has recently published: (with C. Brooks and T. Moore) ‘The credit relationship between Henry III and merchants of Douai and Ypres, 1247–1270’, Economic History Review, 67 (1), 2014, pp. 123–145; (with C. Sutcliffe) ‘Valuing medieval annuities: were corrodies underpriced?‘, Explorations in Economic History, 47 (2), 2010, pp. 142–157; (with C. Brooks and T. Moore) Accounts of the English crown with Italian merchant societies, 1272–1345, List and Index Society, 2009; (with C. Brooks and P. Dryburgh) The English wool market c. 1230–1307, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2007.

Chris Brooks is Professor of Finance and Director of Research at the ICMA Centre, Henley Business School. He holds a PhD and a BA in Economics and Econometrics, both from the University of Reading. His areas of research interest include asset pricing, fund management, behavioural finance, financial history, and econometric analysis and modelling in finance and real estate. Chris is author of the first introductory econometrics textbook targeted at finance students, Introductory econometrics for finance (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2014), which is now in its third edition. He has recently published: (with A. Bell and T. Moore) ‘The credit relationship between Henry III and merchants of Douai and Ypres, 1247–1270’, Economic History Review, 67 (1), 2014, pp. 123–145; (with I. Oikonomou and S. Pavelin) ‘The effects of corporate social performance on the cost of corporate debt and credit ratings’, Financial Review, 49 (1), 2014, pp. 49–75; (with A. Bell and T. Moore) ‘Medieval foreign exchange: a time series analysis, M. Casson and N. Hashimzade (eds.), Large databases in economic history: research methods and case studies. Routledge Explorations in Economic History, Abingdon, Routledge, 2013, pp. 97–123; (with A. Bell and T. Moore) ‘Credit finance in 13th-century England: the Ricciardi of Lucia and Edward I 1272–1294’, in J. Burton, F. Lachaud, P. Schofield, K. Stöber and B. Weiler (eds.), Thirteenth-century England XIII (proceedings of the Paris conference, 2009), Woodbridge, Boydell Press, 2011, pp. 101–116.

Tony Moore is Research Associate at the ICMA Centre, Henley Business School, University of Reading. His research interests focus on the relationship between the centre and locality in medieval England and the history of finance. He previously worked on projects investigating medieval English sovereign debt and the aftermath of the loss of Normandy in 1204. He is currently research associate on a Leverhulme Trust-funded project on medieval foreign exchange. He has recently published: (with A. R. Bell and C. Brooks) ‘The credit relationship between Henry III and the merchants of Douai and Ypres, 1247–1270’, Economic History Review, 67 (2014), pp. 123–145; ‘“Score it upon my taille”. The use (and abuse) of tallies by the medieval exchequer’, Reading Medieval Studies, 39 (2013), pp. 1–24.

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