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Sources on the history of Dutch trade in the Baltic area during the seventeenth century

Edited by P.H. Winkelman

During the last decades of the 16th century and throughout the 17th century Dutch merchants and mariners dominated European trade in the Baltic area. In the Republic of the United Netherlands this trade was mainly concentrated in Amsterdam. The most frequently visited Baltic ports of call were Lübeck, Danzig, Koningsbergen and Riga, and grain, flax and wood were the primary goods traded. With the help of the Koningsbergen toll-registers – a customs duty that was levied locally, based on the value of the cargo carried by each ship as it passed through the Pillauer Tief near Koningsbergen – and notarial freight contracts from Amsterdam and from Holland’s Northern quarter, this six-volume documentary edition provides a wealth of quantitative information about this trade.

In addition, the edition offers a broad range of information, both quantitative and qualitative, on ships, shipping channels and trade routes, merchants and those who chartered the ships, trading practices, and how much the trade was worth in financial terms.

A large portion of the items collated in this series comes from the notarial archive of Jan Franssen Bruyning (1574-1624), a notary based in Amsterdam who managed to carve out a monopoly for himself as far as preparing deeds and contracts for merchants trading in the Baltic area was concerned. Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the edition contain detailed introductions to all the sources presented.