Late Medieval Ipswich

October 2011
6 black and white, 6 line illustrations
312 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
ISBN: 9781843836735
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
Boydell Press
BISAC HIS037010, HIS015000, BUS023000

Late Medieval Ipswich

Trade and Industry

Nicholas R. Amor

A detailed study of Ipswich at a time of great growth and prosperity, highlighting the activities of its industries, merchants and craftsmen.
Ipswich in the late Middle Ages was a flourishing town. A wide range of commodities passed through its port, to and from far-flung markets, bought and sold by merchants from diverse backgrounds, and carried in ships whose design evolved during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Its trading partners, both domestic and overseas, changed in response to developments in the international, national and local economy, as did the occupations of its craftsmen, with textile, leather and metal industries were of particular importance. However, despite its importance, and the richness of its medieval archives, the story of Ipswich at the time has been sadly neglected. This is a gap which the author here aims to remedy. His careful study allows a detailed picture of urban life to emerge, shedding new light not only on the borough itself, but on towns more generally at a crucial point in their development, at a period of growing affluence when ordinary people enjoyed an unprecedented rise in standards of living, and the benefits of what might be termed our first consumer revolution.

Nicholas Amor gained his doctorate from the University of East Anglia.

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Table of Contents

Economic Context
The Produce of Many Lands
A Flourishing Town
Merchants of Cologne
The Town in Troubled Times
Calmer Waters
Recovery Begins
Inventiveness and Enterprise
Appendix 1: Timeline
Appendix 2: Fifteenth-century Ipswich Bailiffs
Appendix 3: Fifteenth-century Ipswich People
Appendix 4: Surviving Memorials to Ipswich Burgesses
Appendix 5: Merchants Shipping Wool from Ipswich, 1396-1413
Appendix 6: Exports and Imports by Ipswich Merchants, 1396-98
Appendix 7: Denizen Merchants Active in Ipswich Overseas Trade, 1459-66


Nicholas Amor has written an authoritative and interesting book. Its obvious function is as a standard reference, but it is very readable. BOOK TALK

[Reveals] much of significance about the late medieval economy. ENGLISH HISTORICAL REVIEW

[F]irst-class, pathbreaking study a meticulously researched and notably well-written examination of the 'trade and industry' [...] of late medieval [...] Ipswich. Amor's book will be of particular interest to maritime historians, especially to students of the history of England's fisheries [...] Amor's book is a welcome addition to the standard literature on the economic history of East Anglia in the later medieval and early modern eras. PROCEEDINGS OF THE SUFFOLK INSTITUTE OF ARCHAEOLOGY & HISTORY

The book is logically and clearly structured, readable, and admorably grounded in archival research in local and national repositories [...] Such a clear study will be welcome to economic and local historians alike. THE RICARDIAN

[A] valuable addition to local urban studies [...] the author has succeeded in marshalling an impressive array of evidence from what are often intractable and patchy sources, and deployed it in a persuasive account of one town's experience in the economic squalls of the fifteenth century. THE LOCAL HISTORIAN

Makes a substantive and useful contribution to a long and distinguished tradition of scholarship on the economic and social history of medieval English towns [...] a richly-textured account of the urban experience in a late-medieval port town on England's east coast. THE MEDIEVAL REVIEW

[A] treasure trove of material for historians of all types [...] Ipswich has been neglected as a medieval town, lying as it does in the shadow of others, this book will do much to draw attention back to a town full worthy of it. DEBEN RADIO