An Earl’s Voyages in the Late Fourteenth Century

By Grace Stretton, published August 1925


Household and wardrobe accounts in what was the Public Record Office provide ample evidence of conditions of travel by water in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Those for Henry, Earl of Derby (later Henry IV), are of particular interest as an unbiased record of expenditure on two voyages to Prussia and one to Jerusalem between 1390 and 1393. The luxurious furnishings, baggage and provisions for Henry’s substantial retinue required internal reconstruction of their North Sea squadron and of their hired Baltic ‘prames’. Purchases of food, wine and beer for Henry’s ‘pilgrim voyage’ by Venetian galley suggest this was no less extravagant.

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Filed under: Baltic | High Middle Ages | Mediterranean
Subjects include: Manpower & Life at Sea

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