The Flanders Galleys: Some Notes on Seaborne Trade between Venice and England

By H G Rawlinson, published May 1926


Venice wanted wool and cloth to exchange for the Oriental wares she could procure. The Flanders Galleys were a state-organised venture whose return journeys to English and other ports, at irregular intervals reflecting commercial conditions, could take 18-24 months. Examples are quoted of crews’ size and nature, cargoes, captains’ contracts, English safe conducts, the piracy threat in northern waters, and the (sometimes violent) resentment the Venetians’ legal privileges aroused. The fleet’s impact on the English carrying-trade, deteriorating Anglo-Venetian relations in the late 15th century, the lack of voyages in 1509-17 and the loss of the Galleys’ trading monopoly thereafter are also described.

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Filed under: Tudors | English Channel | Mediterranean
Subjects include: Merchant Marines | Pirates, Corsairs & Privateers

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