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Response to Review no. 15

A Supplementary Memorandum on Some Topics not Discussed in the Review

  1. I attempted to make somewhat more accessible to non- specialist readers the history of English serfdom, chiefly from the reign of Henry II onwards, as the existing literature (especially the admirable writings of Professor P. R. Hyams) is very technical.
  2. Using the Datini archive at Prato (near Florence) I tried to reconstruct the story of the Italian trading in the wool of the Cotswolds. This greatly in the last years of the fourteenth century. The new evidence supplies fresh information about the organization of this trade (chapter six). In chapter seven I discussed the wool trade of the region south of the Cotswolds, catering not for export to Italy, but supplying the English textile industries (partly using archive evidence from the southern estates of the Duchy of Lancaster).
  3. I tried to discuss some evidence on the effects of warfare on a few regions of the English country side. The examples chosen are of the Welsh border devastated by Owen Glyndwr’s raids and of an area of Somerset during the Wars of the Roses, using archive evidence from the National Library of Wales at Aberystwyth (chapter fourteen). I was trying to draw attention to a subject that deserves much more research.
  4. My account of the generalised economic depression of the mid-fifteenth century (chapters ten and eleven) reached conclusions about the evidence for it and its causes similar to the brilliant article of J. Hatcher The Great Slump of the Fifteenth Century in R. Britnell and J. Hatcher (eds.), Progress and Problems in Medieval England. Essays in Honour of Edward Miller (Cambridge, 1996). I did not know this article when I was writing my book. I placed the start of the crisis some years earlier than Professor Hatcher and, unlike him, did not discuss the possible monetary causes of this slump, as I was less impressed by their importance. His article is generally better than my account, but we use, in part, some different documentation.