London Customs Accounts

The London customs accounts (c. 1280-1550) are of incalculable importance for the study of European economic history and of the financial history of the English crown. Among other things, they allow us to trace the careers of individual merchants, and to follow the trade of groups of merchants, be they members of one London company like the mercers, citizens of one town like Bristol or foreign nationals like Hansards or Spaniards, Portuguese, Florentines, Genoese and Venetians. The complete edition of the London customs accounts will run to c. 45 volumes. The pilot volume (Series II (Lancaster), Part 9) contains an introduction to the English customs system and the Exchequer’s accounting procedures which is invaluable for understanding the customs accounts themselves. It is being published in hard copy and in open access. All further volumes will appear in open access on the website of the Hanseatic History Association (

For convenience, the c. 45 volumes comprising the edition of the London customs accounts are sub-divided into four series, one for each of the ruling dynasties: I: Plantagenet (c. 1280–1399), II: Lancaster (1399–1461), III: York (1461–85) and IV: Tudor (1485-c. 1550). Each series is divided into several parts (1, 2, 3 etc.). For technical reasons, all of these volumes are deemed to be sub-sections of the pilot volume, which being the only one to appear in hard copy has been exalted to sovereign status as volume 74 of the series Quellen und Darstellungen zur hansischen Geschichte (Sources and Monographs on Hanseatic History). Its notional place in the complete edition is Series II (Lancaster), Part 9. 

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