The Yorkist Age: Daily Life during the Wars of the Roses

By Paul Murray Kendall | Go to book overview

8
Merchants, Pirates, Aliens and Lawyers

SETTING aside the capital of the realm, Bristol was the town for trade. And even London, though it had almost everything else, could not claim the Atlantic Ocean. The emblem of Bristol was a ship--embroidered on the banners of the city troop that fought for Edward IV at Towton, engraved in the city seal, stamped upon the bells from its foundries. Bristol was cradled between wharves that stretched along the Avon and the Frome. On the other side of the Avon the suburb of Redcliffe was a hive of weavers. The lowland between the rivers swarmed with sailors. In Marsh Street a fraternity for mariners, maintained by a levy of 4d a ton on cargo arriving 'in the port, supported a priest and twelve poor sailors who prayed for merchants and seamen 'labouring' on the seas. Shanties echoed through the streets. One day the bemused town clerk found himself scribbling in his records:

Hail and howe! Rumbylowe!
Steer well the good ship and let the wind blow!
Here cometh the Prior of Prikkingham and his Convent.
But ye keep the order well, ye shall be shent [ruined],
With hail and howe! etc.

Wharves and warehouses and vaulted cellars were piled with cloth to be exported and hogsheads of wine come from the South; and many a ship sailed up the Avon, deck heaped with fish, for Bristol was the Yarmouth of the West. Trade flowed in and out of the town by land and sea: men of Bristol collected and distributed goods in Wales, up the Severn to Coventry and

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The Yorkist Age: Daily Life during the Wars of the Roses
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Preface 7
  • Contents 11
  • Principal Persons 15
  • Prologue - The Times 21
  • 1 - The Mayor 51
  • 1 - The Mayor: at Home 53
  • 2 - The Mayor: Abroad 88
  • 3 - Rebel Against the Mayor 117
  • 4 - The Lord Mayor of London 134
  • II - Other Important People 159
  • 5 - The King and the Royal Household 161
  • 6 - Lords and Gentry 194
  • 7 - Churchmen and the Church 244
  • 8 - Merchants, Pirates, Aliens and Lawyers 281
  • III - The Household 329
  • 9 - The Fabric of Life 331
  • 10 - The Marriage Hunt 364
  • II - Wives 401
  • 12 - Children 434
  • Epilogue 463
  • Bibliography 505
  • Index 515
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