The Economic History Review

The allocation of merchant capital in early Tudor London

Volume 63 Issue 4
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Pages: 1058-1080Authors: JOHN OLDLAND
Published online: February 11, 2010DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-0289.2009.00516.x

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This article is a discussion of the allocation of merchants’ capital in early Tudor London among household furnishings, business inventories, debts, orphans’ estates, landed property, and other forms of income. Previously, historians had to rely on either goods or income summary assessments in the enrolled subsidy returns to estimate wealth. These newly discovered valuations for 1535 provide quantitative evidence for the enormous importance of credit in trade, and show that merchants, as soon as they could, invested much of their wealth in property.