Getting and Spending: The Welsh Economy

Glanmor Williams

in Renewal and Reformation

Published in print January 1993 | ISBN: 9780192852779
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191670558 | DOI:

Series: History of Wales

Getting and Spending: The Welsh Economy

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In the fifteenth century, life in Wales was for underdeveloped pre-industrial society. This chapter shows that that the Welsh economy then was an economy perched anxiously near the margin of subsistence, as it was always dependent on the quality of the harvest. Woodlands and fisheries also contributed to the economy. Over a hundred towns of every kind have been identified in medieval Wales. Towndwellers remained closely associated with the agricultural life of the community around them. Towns were also the main centres of crafts and services. Small-scale industrial activities such as cloth and leather goods making were economic contributors. Mining and quarrying, and pottery-making were practiced. Trade reflected the nature of economic production. The goods most in demand were those products by Welsh agriculture. Overland trade was difficult because of the poor conditions of roads and tracks. The fifteenth century and the early decades of the sixteenth century showed major changes in Wales’s economy.

Keywords: Wales; Welsh economy; fifteenth century; pre-industrial society; agriculture; towndwellers; industrial activities

Chapter.  15856 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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