Medieval banking had to overcome the dangers of the Usury Laws and the Italians did so by organising themselves into merchant banking societies, rather than acting as individual traders.

The Great Monetary Crisis of 13th C Europe

Introduction: Medieval history is often taught as a power struggle between nobles fighting for control of their inherited lands via a series of military campaigns, often ending in a decisive battle that has been portrayed within a 19th century ‘nationalist’ mindset. My own education, from what I can remember of primary school and the old…

Gold coins circulating in Ireland during the reign of Henry VI, c. 1460 (when he fixed exchange rates)

Monetary Crisis (1460), as Henry VI fixes exchange rates for foreign coins in Ireland

Introduction: The price of gold rose from the 1430s onward, so gold coins were worth more in Europe than in England, which resulted in a gold shortage in England as coins were exported for profit. This is known as an ‘arbitrage market’ and is also an early example of Gresham’s Law – it caused a…