Excerpt from Calendar of Letters From the Mayor and Corporation of the City of London, Circa A. D. 1350-1370: Enrolled and Preserved Among the Archives of the Corporation at the Guildhall; Edited (With an Introduction)
Notwithstanding the fact that King Edward III. Had in the twenty-seventh year Of his reign removed the staple of wool from the Flemish town of Bruges to the English towns of Westminster, Canterbury, Chichester, Exeter, Winchester, Bristol, Lincoln, York, Norwich, Newcastle, and Hull for England; to Dublin, Cork, Waterford, and Drogheda for Ireland; and to Carmarthen for Wales still we find among these letters a larger proportion addressed to the municipal authorities of Bruges than of any other town either at home or abroad: a significant proof of the difficulty that always besets an attempt to turn the tide Of commerce into other channels by arbitrary means. As a matter of history we know that it was found necessary to repeal a part of this Act in I 360, and that Calais still remained a staple till finally suppressed in 1369. An Act of Parliamenfi’ passed in that year confined the staple of wool for the future to the following English ports, viz., Newcastle, Hull, Boston, Yarmouth, Queenborough, Westminster, Chichester, Winchester, Exeter, and bristoljr (the staples for Ireland and Wales being left as before), and whilst prohibiting all denizens to export any staple goods on pain of forfeiture of vessel and cargo, besides imprisonment for a term of three years, permitted alien merchants to carry their merchandise to any port whatever.
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