Introduction: German trade in the North Atlantic

  • Mark Gardiner
  • Natascha Mehler
Keywords: interdisciplinarity, North Atlantic, Hanse, trade, impact

Abstract

Trade from 1400 onwards had an impact upon the North Atlantic region quite out of proportion to its volume. The opening of a ready market for dried fish, in particular, but also cloth, train oil and sulphur encouraged the production for export on a much larger scale than before. In return, a greater range of finished goods and raw materials was supplied by German merchants. Initially, trade was channelled through Bergen, but this system broke down, largely because English merchants sailed to Iceland. From the 1470s onwards, the number of German ships travelling to Iceland and Shetland increased. The Danish government struggled to control the trade in their North Atlantic territories, but first in the Faroes and later in Iceland, they sought to impose greater restrictions on foreign merchants. The Danes licensed ships to trade at certain ports and from 1601 attempted to restrict the trade to their own merchants. The introduction summarizes the history of German trade in the North Atlantic, and outlines its economic and cultural impacts.

References

Calendar of the Manuscripts Preserved at Hatfield House, 13, 1917-1923. Historic Manuscripts Commission. London: HMSO.

Calendar of Patent Rolls 1476-85. London: HMSO.

Calendar of State Papers, Foreign Series, of the Reign of Elizabeth... Preserved in the Public Record Office. London: HMSO.

The First Boke of Introduction of Knowledge made by Andrew Borde (Early English Text Society, extra series, 10), 1870, ed. F. J. Furnivall. London: Early English Text Society.

Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, of the Reign of Henry VIII. London: HMSO.

The Overseas Trade of Bristol, 1937, ed. E. Carus-Wilson. Bristol : Bristol Record Society.

Statutes of the Realm, 2, 1816, ed. A. Luders et al. London: Record Commissioners.

Rymer, T. 1739. Foedera, ed. G. Homes. London.

Seelmann, W. 1883. Gories Peerse's Gedicht Van Island. Jahrbuch des Vereins für niederdeutsche Sprachforschung 9, 110-145.

Secondary literature

Aðils, J. 1926. Den Danske Monopolhandel på Island, 1602-1787. Copenhagen: Gyldendalske Boghandel.

Baasch, E. 1889. Forschungen zur Hamburgischen Handelsgeschichte: 1. Die Islandfahrt der Deutschen: namentlich der Hamburger, vom 15 bis 17 Jahrhundert. Hamburg: Herold Buchhandlung.

Boulhosa, P. P. 2010. Of fish and ships in medieval Iceland, in S. Imsen (ed.), The Norwegian Domination and the Norse World c. 1100-c. 1400, 175-197. Trondheim: Tapir Academic Press.

Brand, J. 1701. A Brief Description of Orkney: Zetland, Pightland-Firth and Caithness. Edinburgh: George Mosman.

Burkhardt, M. 2009. Der hansische Bergenhandel im Spätmittelalter: Handel - Kaufleute - Netzwerke. Quellen und Darstellungen zur hansischen Geschichte 60. Köln: Böhlau.

Carus-Wilson, E. 1954. Medieval Merchant Venturers: Collected Studies. London: Methuen.

Childs, W. R. 1995. England's Iceland trade in the fifteenth century: the role of the port of Hull. Northern Seas Yearbook, 1995, 11-31. Esbjerg: Fiskeri- og Søfartsmuseet.

Crawford, B. E. and Ballin Smith, B. 1999. The Biggings, Papa Stour. Shetland. The History and Excavation of a Royal Norwegian Farm. Edinburgh: Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.

Daae, L. 1882. Didrik Pining. [Norsk] Historisk Tidsskrift 3(2), 233-245.

Dollinger, P. 2012 (newly edited by V. Henn and N. Jörn). Die Hanse (sixth revised edition; first published 1963). Stuttgart: Alfred Kröner Verlag.

Donaldson, G. 1958. Shetland Life under Earl Patrick. Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd.

Ehrenberg, R. 1899. Aus der Hamburgischen Handelsgeschichte. Zeitschrift des Vereins für Hamburgische Geschichte 10, 1-40.

Ekroll, Ø., Stige, M., and Havran, J. 2000. Kirker i Norge: Middelalder i Stein. Oslo: Arfo.

Friedland, K. 1973. Der hansische Shetlandhandel, in K. Friedland, Stadt und Land in der Geschichte des Ostseeraums, 66-79. Lübeck: Schmidt-Römhild Verlag.

Gardiner, M. F. 2016. The character of commercial fishing in Icelandic waters in the fifteenth century, in J. H. Barrett and D. C. Orton (eds), Cod and Herring: The Archaeology and History of Medieval Sea Fishing, 80-90. Oxford: Oxbow Books.

https://doi.org/10.2307/j.ctvh1dw0d.12

Gunnarson, G. 1983. Monopoly Trade and Economic Stagnation: Studies in the Foreign Trade of Iceland 1602-1787. Lund: Ekonomisk-Historiska Föreningen.

Hastrup, K. 1990. Nature and Policy in Iceland 1400-1800: An Anthropological Analysis of History and Mentality. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Helle, K. 2003. Growing inter-Scandinavian entanglement, in K. Helle (ed.), The Cambridge History of Scandinavia: Volume I. Prehistory to 1520, 411-420. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521472999.022

Hill, T. 2004. Die Stadt und ihr Markt. Bremens Umlandsund Außenbeziehungen im Mittelalter (12.-15. Jahrhundert). Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag.

Hofmeister, A. E. 2000. Hansische Kaufleute im 15. und 16. Jahrhundert, in Kirche, Kaufmann, Kabeljau - 1000 Jahre Bremer Islandfahrt, 33-46. Bremen: Staatsarchiv.

Hofmeister, A. E. 2001. Das Schuldbuch eines Bremer Islandfahrers aus dem Jahr 1558. Bremisches Jahrbuch 80, 20-50.

Holterman, B. 2018. The Fish Lands: German Trade with Iceland , Shetland and the Faroes in the late 15th and 16th Centuries. Unpublished PhD thesis, University of Hamburg.

Holterman, B. in press. Size and composition of ship crews in German trade with the North Atlantic islands, in N. Mehler (ed.), German Voyages to the North Atlantic Islands (c. 1400-1700). Berlin: De Gruyter.

Imsen, S. 2010. Introduction, in S. Imsen (ed.), The Norwegian Domination and the Norse World c. 1100 -c. 1400. Tapir Academic Press: Trondheim.

Ísleifsdóttir-Bickel, V. A. 1996. Die Einführung der Reformation in Island 1537-1565. Die Revolution von oben. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.

Jones, E. 2000. England's Icelandic fishery in the Early Modern period, in D. J. Starkey, C. Reid and N. Ashcroft (eds), England's Sea Fisheries: The Commercial Sea Fisheries of England and Wales since 1300, 105-110. London: Chatham Publishing.

Koch, F. C. 1995. Isländer in Hamburg 1520-1662. Untersuchungen über den Aufenthalt von Isländern in Hamburg für den Zeitraum 1520-1662 (Beiträge zur Geschichte Hamburgs 49). Hamburg: Geschichtsverein.

Kowaleski, M. 2003. The commercialization of the sea fisheries in medieval England and Wales. International Journal of Maritime History 15(2), 177-231.

https://doi.org/10.1177/084387140301500212

Lambert, B. 2017. Scandinavian immigrants in late medieval England: sources, problems and patterns, in S. S. Hamre (ed.), Foreigners and Outside Influences in Medieval Norway, 111-123. Oxford: Archaeopress.

MacDonald, G. 1935. More Shetland tombstones, Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 69, 27-48.

Mehler, N. 2009. The perception and interpretation of Hanseatic material culture in the North Atlantic: problems and suggestions. Journal of the North Atlantic special volume 1, 89-108.

https://doi.org/10.3721/037.002.s109

Mehler, N. 2015. The sulphur trade of Iceland from the Viking Ages to the end of the Hanseatic period, in I. Baug, J. Larsen and S. Samset Mygland (eds), Nordic Middle Ages - Artefacts, Landscapes and Society. Essays in Honour of Ingvild Øye on her Seventieth Birthday, 193-212. Bergen: University of Bergen.

Mehler, N. and Gardiner, M. F. 2013. On the Verge of Colonialism: English and Hanseatic Trade in the North Atlantic Islands, in P. Pope and S. Lewis-Simpson (eds), Exploring Atlantic Transitions: Archaeologies of Permanence and Transience in New Found Lands, 1-15. Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer.

Munro, J. H. 1994. Patterns of trade, money, and credit, in T. A. Brady, H. O. Oberman, and J. D. Tracy (eds), Handbook of European History, 1400-1600: Late Middle Ages, Renaissance and Reformation, Vol. I: Structures and Assertions, 147-195. Leiden: Brill.

https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004391659_006

Nedkvitne, A. 2014. The German Hansa and Bergen 1100-1600. Cologne: Böhlau Verlag.

https://doi.org/10.7788/boehlau.9783412216825

Nedkvitne, A. 2016. The development of the Norwegian long-distance stockfish trade, in J. H. Barrett and D. C. Orton (eds), Cod and Herring: The Archaeology and History of Medieval Sea Fishing, 50-59. Oxford: Oxbow Books.

https://doi.org/10.2307/j.ctvh1dw0d.9

Oka, R. and Kusimba, C. 2008. The archaeology of trading systems, part 1: towards a new trade synthesis. Journal of Archaeological Research 16, 339-395.

https://doi.org/10.1007/s10814-008-9023-5

Piebenga, G. A. 1993. Gozewijn Comhaer - Carthusian and modern devout, in F. Akkerman, G. C. Huisman and A. J. Vanderjagt (eds), Wessel Gansford (1419-1489) and Northern Humanism (Brill's Studies in Intellectual History 40), 180-192. Leiden: Brill.

https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004246898_012

Piper, K. 1966. Die Kirche der hamburgischen Islandfahrer in Hafnarfjördur. Hamburger Geschichts- und Heimatblätter 62, 227-232.

Renfrew, C. 1975. Trade as action at a distance: questions of integration and communication, in J. A. Sabloff and C. C. Lamberg-Karlovsky (eds), Ancient Civilization and Trade, 3-59. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press.

Sigurdson, E. 2016. The Church in Fourteenth-Century Iceland: The Formation of an Elite Clerical Identity. Leiden: Brill.

https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004301566

Skre, D. 2014. Norðvegr - Norway: from sailing route to kingdom. European Review 22, 34-44.

https://doi.org/10.1017/S1062798713000604

Skre, D. 2017. Avaldsnes - A Sea-Kings' Manor in First- Millennium Western Scandinavia. Berlin: De Gruyter.

https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110421088

Smith, B. 1989. In the tracks of bishop Andrew Pictoris of Orkney, and Henry Phankouth, archdeacon of Shetland. The Innes Review 40(2), 91-105.

https://doi.org/10.3366/inr.1989.40.2.91

Smith, H. D. 1984. Shetland Life and Trade 1550-1914. Edinburgh: John Donald.

Spufford, P. 1988. Money and its Use in Medieval Europe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Stern, P. J. and Wennerlind, C. 2015. Introduction, in P. J. Stern, and C. Wennerlind, (eds), Mercantilism Reimagined: Political Economy in Early Modern Britain and its Empire, 3-22. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199988532.003.0000

Þór, J. Þ. 2009. Icelandic fisheries, c. 900-1900, in D. J. Starkey, J. Þ. Þór and I. Heinbrink (eds), A History of the North Atlantic Fisheries. Volume 1: From Early Times to the Mid-Nineteenth Century, 323-349. Bremen: H. M. Hauschild.

Þorláksson, H. 1999. Sjórán og siglingar: ensk-Íslensk samskipti 1580-1630. Reykjavík: Mál og Menning.

Þorláksson, H. 2010. King and commerce: the foreign trade of Iceland in medieval times and the impact of royal authority, in S. Imsen (ed.), The Norwegian Domination and the Norse World c. 1100 - c. 1400, 149-174. Trondheim: Tapir Academic Press.

Þorsteinsson, B. 1957-61. Henry VIII and Iceland. Saga-Book of the Viking Society 15, 67-101.

Þorsteinsson, B. 1972. Island, in G. A. Blom, A. E. Christensen, E. Lönnroth, V. Niitemaa, and B. Þorsteinsson (eds), Hansestæderne og Norden (Det Nordiske Historikermøde i Århus, 7-9 August 1957), 165-195. Aarhus: Universitetsforlaget i Aarhus.

Webb, J. 1962. Great Tooley of Ipswich: Portrait of an Early Tudor Merchant. Ipswich: Suffolk Record Society.

Wubs-Mrozewicz, J. 2008. Traders, Ties and Tensions: The Interactions of Lübeckers, Overijsslers and Hollanders in Late Medieval Bergen. Hilversum: Verloren Publishers.

Wubs-Mrozewicz, J. 2012. The medieval Hanse: groups and networks of traders. The case of the Bergen Kontor (Norway), in J. Á. Solórzano Telechea, M. Bochaca and A. Aguiar Andrade (eds), Gentes de Mar en la Ciudad Atlántica Medieval, 213-233. Logroño: Instituto de Estudios Riojanos.

Wylie, J. 1987. The Faroe Islands. Interpretations of History. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky.

Young, G. V. C. 1979. From the Vikings to the Reformation: A Chronicle of the Faroe Islands up to 1538. Isle of Man:Shearwater Press.

Zachariasen, L. 1961. Føroyar sum rættarsamfelag 1535-1655. Tórshavn: Føroya Fróðskaparfelag.

Published
2020-01-06
How to Cite
Gardiner, M., & Mehler, N. (2020). Introduction: German trade in the North Atlantic. AmS-Skrifter, (27), 9-24. https://doi.org/10.31265/ams-skrifter.v0i27.282
Views
  • Abstract 431
  • pdf 287