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Wuffing Education

Medieval Ipswich: Merchants and Craftsmen

Image of medieval seal of bailiffs of Ipswich: British Library Seal LXXI.117

with Dr Nick Amor

in The Old Court, Sutton Hoo (map)
on Saturday, 26th November, 2011

We shall explore the overseas and inland trade of the late medieval port, the industries of the town, and the fascinating characters of the time, focusing on wool, wine, woollen cloth, leather trades, metalwork and the first consumer boom.

Provisional Programme
  10.00 Coffee on arrival  
  10.15 A Portrait of Medieval Ipswich - Surviving buildings and images provide clues to the town’s medieval past, in particular, its urban landscape.  
  11.15 Coffee  
  11.45 Merchants and Overseas Trade - Despite great difficulties and dangers, Ipswich merchants continued to trade with European countries as far apart as Spain and Iceland, and to deal in a variety of goods, most notably wool, woollen cloth, dairy products and wine.  
  12.45 Lunch break (bring picnic or eat in NT restaurant)  
  14:00 Craftsmen and Industry - Ipswich remained an important centre of industry, in particular for the finishing of woollen cloth, the production of tanned leather goods, and the flourishing trade in pewter.  
  15:00 Tea break  
  15:15 A Consumer Boom - Relatively high wages and low costs allowed many ordinary people to enjoy a material standard of living much higher than their ancestors, or their descendants for centuries to come.  
  16:20 Close  

About Dr Nick Amor

Dr Nick Amor is a local historian living with his family in Suffolk, and practising as a solicitor in Bury St Edmunds. He has contributed several papers to the Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute on late medieval topics - on small towns, the cloth industry and field enclosure. His book Late Medieval Ipswich: Trade and Industry has recently been published by Boydell and Brewer. He is a member of the council of the Friends of Suffolk Record Office, the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History, and the Suffolk Records Society.

Some suggestions for further reading
(useful but not essential)

Allen, David (ed.), Ipswich Borough Archives 1255-1835 (Woodbridge, 2000)
Amor, Nicholas R., Late Medieval Ipswich: Trade and Industry (Woodbridge, 2011)
Bacon, Nathaniel, The Annals of Ipswiche … by Nathaniel Bacon serving as Recorder and Town Clerk … 1654 ed. by W.H. Richardson (Ipswich, 1884)
Bailey, Mark, Medieval Suffolk: An Economic and Social History (Woodbridge, 2007)
Britnell, Richard H., The Commercialisation of English Society (Cambridge, 1993)
Dyer, Alan, Decline and growth in English towns 1400-1640 (Basingstoke, 1991)
Dyer, Christopher, Standards of living in the later Middle Ages: Social change in England c. 1200-1520 (Cambridge, 1989)
Hatcher, John, Plague, Population and the English Economy, 1348-1530 (London, 1977)
James, Margery Kirkbride, Studies in the Medieval Wine Trade, ed. by Elspeth M. Elspeth (Oxford, 1971)
Lloyd, T.H., The English Wool Trade in the Middle Ages (Cambridge, 1977)
Lloyd, T.H., England and the German Hanse 1157-1611 (Cambridge, 1991)
Masschaele, James, Peasants, Merchants, and Markets (Basingstoke, 1997)
Redstone, Lilian J., Ipswich through the ages (Ipswich, 1948)
Palliser, D.M. (ed.), The Cambridge Urban History of Britain: 600-1540 (Cambridge, 2000)
Spufford, Peter, Power and Profit: The Merchant in Medieval Europe (London, 2002)
Webb, John, Great Tooley of Ipswich: Portrait of an Early Tudor Merchant (Ipswich, 1962)


Please phone or email to check the availability of places.  Study Days are £38 per person, which includes a full day of lectures, access to the NT site, parking, coffee and tea throughout the day, and access to the NT exhibition.  Once you have reserved your place please send a cheque to confirm the booking. For your first booking please complete the application form to ensure that we have recorded your contact details correctly.

Wuffing Education,
4 Hilly Fields,
Woodbridge, Suffolk IP12 4DX
(tel : 01394 386498)

Email cliff AT wuffingeducation.co.uk
(replace 'AT' by '@' in order to send email - we used 'AT' to avoid spam robots automatically sending us emails)
Website www.wuffingeducation.co.uk

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