- In 1337 Edward III, in an attempt to raise funds for his war with France, sought to create a monopoly for the export of all wool from England. To this end, he created a syndicate of merchants through which the demand for English wool on the continent might be satisfied, while gaining revenue for himself. One result was the reduction in exports, another the expansion of cloth making in England itself. The scheme disintegrated in failure in 1338. At Dordrecht, Edward took control of all the wool stored there, offering the merchants bonds as a means of temporary compensation, before settlement at a later date. However, the merchants sold their bonds at a discount and relations between king and wool merchants deteriorated. A combination of greed, need and bad faith sabotaged the scheme wrought in the king's desperation for amounts of money beyond the country's ability to expend on war.
Dictionary of Medieval Terms and Phrases. Christopher Coredon with Ann Williams.
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