John Heritage's Wool Business

Christopher Dyer

in A Country Merchant, 1495-1520

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199214242
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191740954 | DOI:
John Heritage's Wool Business

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The account book tells us much about his business methods, including his rudimentary accounting technique, and his use of credit. The transactions allows us to follow the process through the year by which he bought wool before shearing, took it into his woolhouse, and then carried it to London for sale. He paid in instalments, using a variety of silver and gold coins, in a series of transactions conducted throughout the year. His business lacked capital and cash, and he lived from hand to mouth. The importance of the account book is to reveal a network of credit, and the bonds of trust which brought borrowers and lenders together. Heritage's wool business diminished in the 1510s, but his grazing persisted.

Keywords: accounting; credit; coins; capital; trust; wool

Chapter.  21968 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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