The Wealth of Anglo-Saxon England by Peter Sawyer

By Peter Sawyer

How did the Anglo-Saxons receive the treasure that tempted Vikings to raid England usually within the 9th century and back among 980 and 1018? As Britain then had no gold mine and its lead mines yielded little or no silver, this treasure should have been imported. a few could have been given, yet such a lot used to be acquired via exchange. till the 9th century the most resource used to be Francia the place there has been a full of life call for for English produce. move Channel alternate flourished, a lot of it passing during the significant ports, or wics, that built within the 7th century. The fast decline of this alternate within the 9th century used to be brought on, now not by means of the Vikings, yet by means of a normal scarcity of recent silver in western Europe after c. 850, mirrored within the debasement of the Frankish and Anglo-Saxon coinages. Silver was once, besides the fact that, imported to England by way of the Danes who settled there within the past due 9th century. a vital resource of latest silver was once came upon within the 960s in Germany. This ended in a speedy growth of the German economic climate that created a requirement for uncooked fabrics and meals from England. Very quickly England's cities elevated and its exchange, inner and exterior, grew. Its new wealth attracted Vikings, yet exchange persisted and, even if they extracted loads of silver, new offers from Germany enabled the English to take care of their foreign money. contemporary reports have proven that it grew to a top below Edward the Confessor. This confirms the proof of Domesday publication that at the eve of the Norman Conquest England was once a really wealthy, hugely urbanized, state with a wide, well-controlled coinage of top of the range. This coinage, and Domesday booklet itself, are certainly solid proof that English executive was once then remarkably potent.

Peter Sawyer deals an account of the methods wealth was once gathered and the types it took in Anglo-Saxon England, with emphasis on contemporary advancements within the learn of Anglo-Saxon cash and Domesday publication, and a few in their amazing effects.

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Matthew, The Norman Monasteries, 26–65. ’48 The invasion was never launched, and when the foreign warriors returned home they must have been well paid in cash. Treasure was also removed by raiders, and by English lords who went into exile. 49 The post-Conquest buoyancy of the economy was not due to the Normans; it was built on foundations laid before 1066. 50 They were surveyed in 1086 mainly in order to discover what dues the king ought to have from them. Over 100 are described but the amount of detail varies greatly.

96–7. 62 25 the w e a lth of a nglo -sa xon e ngl a nd distribution ranging from pedlars to contractors, who supplied large quantities of goods, but the markets that were an essential feature of all towns were the most important. 69 A few are described as new, but most were long established and there were many more that were probably omitted because their dues were included in manorial values. It is, however, likely that many rendered nothing TRE. 71 The evidence of the coinage shows that in the eleventh century English exports were on a much larger scale than has generally been recognized.

Guest, ‘Hoards from the end of Roman Britain’. 34 MEC, 158, Webster and Backhouse, Making of England, 105–6. 35 Bland and Johns, The Hoxne Treasure; Guest, The Late Roman Gold and Silver Coins from the Hoxne Treasure. 39 the w e a lth of a nglo -sa xon e ngl a nd cannot have been caused simply by the disruption following the end of Roman rule. 36 He suggests that the population in certain areas of Britain buried hoards fully intending to leave them in the ground. 37 It is, however, more likely that many more hoards have been found in Britain than elsewhere in the empire because many wealthy Romans who left Britain expected to return.

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