The Hanseatic League




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One of the oldest grants of privilege for League cities in London, Henry II issued this directive to his officers protecting the merchants from Cologne.

SOURCE: “Cologne Merchants have a Gildhall in London.” In Thatcher, Oliver & Edgar McNeal, eds. A Source Book for Medieval History. New York & Chicago: Charles Schribner’s Sons, 1905. pp. 612.

Page 612 Page 613

      Henry [II], by the grace of God, etc.,... to his justiciars, sheriffs, and all his officials in England, greeting. I command you to guard, maintain, and protect all the men and citizens of Cologne as if they were my own subjects and friends, and all their goods, merchandise, and possessions. You shall not permit them to suffer any loss or damage in their house in London, which is called their gildhall, or in their goods, or merchandise, or anything else that belongs to them, because they are faithful to me, and they are in my ward and protection. They shall have complete protection, and they shall pay only their customary tolls, and you shall not exact new tolls from them....