Sources for the economic history of the lower Maas region 1104-1534

Compiled by J.F. Niermeyer and J.G. Smit

Of the three economic nerve centres in the Dutch river delta – Schelde, Maas-Rijn and Zuiderzee-Amsterdam – this project aims to map out the sources for the central region. The geographical core area included the Rijn, the Lek, the Waal, the Maas and the Merwede rivers from Keulen and Venlo to the point where they flowed into the sea. Apart from providing details on all the economic activities that took place along, upon and concerning these rivers, the sources collected for this project also disclose information on the economic activities of places that were closely linked to transportation routes and waterways.

The main city at the time was Dordrecht which, thanks to its staple rights and the rights it exercised over the Maas, dominated trade in the estuaries. In addition, the project also discloses sources on trade and industry in other locations such as The Hague, Brielle, Rotterdam, Zierikzee, Gouda, ‘s-Hertogenbosch and Nijmegen. Aside from examining local economic activities carried out in the immediate area, attention is also given to the economic ties that this core area had with other Dutch regions as well as foreign powers such as France, England and the Hanze.

Volume I contains the texts of roll-books, acts, letters and accounts for the period 1104-1399 which have been published either in full or in an abridged format. This volume also contains the few surviving invoices from the Dordrecht exchange and the toll-gates in Dordrecht, Heusden, Geervliet and Strienemonde. Volume II consists solely of the remaining accounts from the years 1422-1534 that belonged to the toll-gates of Holland (in Gorinchem, Schoonhoven and Geervliet and on the Gleede). These accounts are preceded by a detailed introduction to the toll system in Holland. Source material dated after 1400 that has not yet been published is kept at the Huygens Institute for Netherlands History (Huygens ING).