The German Hanse was the most successful and most far-flung trade association that existed in medieval and early-modern Europe. Inevitably it appears prominently in every general study of trade, sometimes under the label of 'the Hanseatic League'. This, however, is the first study to be devoted to relations between the Hanse and England throughout the entire period of their contact, which lasted for some 500 years. The composition of trade is analysed, and the fluctuations in its volume and value are reconstructed from primary sources, chiefly customs accounts. But trade was often made possible only by intensive political and diplomatic bargaining between the two sides, sometimes at the level of merchant and merchant, at other times between the English government and the Hanse diet, the highest authority within the German organisation. This aspect of the relationship is explored in equal detail.
List of tables; List of abbreviations; Introduction; 1. The winning of the Hanse franchises, 1157–1361; 2. The English challenge, 1361–1399; 3. Jockeying for advantage, 1400–1437; 4. Trade, piracy, war, 1437–1474; 5. Rivalry at Antwerp, 1474–1551; 6. The loss of the Hanse franchises, 1551–1611; Conclusion; Appendices; Bibliography; Index.