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…

Viking Gold Trade Ingots

Irish Coin Daily: Viking Gold Trade Ingot

Date: c. AD 900 – 1050 Description: Viking Gold Trade Ingot, 10th-11th century AD – a rectangular-section ingot of gold with irregular ends. Weight: 23.47 grams Length: 30mm (approx. 1 inch) Metal content Gold ~ approx. 67-69% Silver ~ approx. 29-31% Copper ~ approx. 2% Country: Ireland + Hiberno-Norse Northumbria Category: Viking Proto-Currency Gold Trading Ingot…

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…

Mining in the 14th C - scenes from a medieval silver mine

Monetary Crisis (1369), as Richard II orders his colonists to search for silver and gold mines in Ireland

Following the death in 1376 of his father, Edward of Woodstock (the Black Prince), Richard became heir to his grandfather, King Edward III of England, whom he succeeded in 1377 at the age of ten. His reign of twenty-two years saw a number of domestic crises, from the Peasants’ Revolt (1381) to later conflicts with…