Medieval Moneylending

Edward Longshankes (Edward I) got himself in debt to various moneylenders in order to fund his wars.  During his reign, he fought with his father in the Baron’s War against Simon de Montfort, against Llywelyn ap Gruffydd, the Prince of Wales, against the French, and against the Scots.  All of these wars cost money. A king had a couple of options when on a quest for funds.  One, he can tax his people.  Edward certainly did that.  Two, he can confiscate funds from those over whom he wields power.  I blogged earlier about what he did to Jewish coinsmiths in 1278 (http://www.sarahwoodbury.com/?p=179).  Henry VIII had the great plan of starting his own religion and confiscating the wealth of the Catholic Church.  That was a little more radical than Edward, who often relied on the third method, money lending. In the Read more…