|People in line on 3rd April 2016 to view the copy |
of Magna Carta belonging to Salisbury Cathedral
We might occasionally be made aware of this when we are asked by Passport Control whether our visit to their country is for “business or pleasure?”.
|The 1297 version kept at the Guildhall Library London|
London was effectively the only large town in England. There were networks of craftsmen, tradesmen and shopkeepers supported a thriving urban culture, and the River Thames was busy with merchant traffic. Apparently vessels could reach up to * Lechlade Gloucestershire.
The city jealously guarded the extent of its self-governance and its financial freedoms. ( not much change then today !)
London is the only city mentioned by name in Magna Carta but the charter does refer to “ ..all other cities and boroughs and vills and ports” confirming them “ liberties and free customs”.
|English Wool has a long pedigree|
From 1275 we see in documents that duty is raised on exported sacks of wool to Flanders and the foundation of English customs. Cloth from Flanders to England did not balance the value of the wool it imported so it paid for much of the wool in cash ( silver coins) This had profound effects on England’s money supply.
Yet it intrigues me today when we insert our credit or debit card into those bank card readers, that after we have keyed in our PIN it displays the instruction “hand back” the machine “to merchant”.
For further reading