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History Short to Bruges

24th May 2021 @ 6:06am – by Jeremy Nicholls
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Audlem and District History Society History Shorts 59 by Jeremy Nicholls

To Bruges (but don't tell mother)
Bruges has been a popular destination for the British for a very long time. Some went there when the going got too hot at home, such as Gunhilde, sister of King Harold, after the battle of Hastings and Charles II, when Oliver Cromwell put a large ransom on his head.

Others went there because, from the 13th century until the early 16th century, Bruges was the pre-eminent city and port in the Low Countries, the most dynamic trading and commercial zone in Europe. Merchants came from the Hanseatic cities of northern Europe and from Portugal and the Mediterranean in the south. Trade was lubricated by the development of sophisticated new financial markets and the opening of possibly the world's first stock exchange. Merchants from Bruges had fingers in commercial pies all over the known world, not least just over the North Sea in East Anglia, whose wool was important to the Flemish weaving industry.

Among those attracted to Bruges was William Caxton (c1422-c1491) who came to learn the art of printing, and it was there that he produced the first printed book in English.

For the full story select the Bruges file below the photo

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