People, Places, and Commodities 1430-1540

The Overland Trade of Southampton with Southern and Midland England from the Southampton Brokage Books.

cover of brokage book SC5/5/8 for 1447-48

The Overland Trade Project is an exciting new resource for medieval, local and family historians among others. Using database and GIS technology, this project has made it possible for the first time to dynamically visualise medieval trade networks between Southampton and Southern and Midland England between 1430 and 1540.

Inland trade was just as important as trade overseas. Southampton traded with places close at hand, with Salisbury, Winchester, London, Romsey, and even Coventry and Kendal.

Tolls were levied at the Southampton Bargate on all carts leaving the town and were recorded in extraordinary detail in the brokage books, the best source for inland trade before 1700.

The data has been entered into the Overland Trade database which can be interrogated by searching by place, surname and commodity over a specified time period (for instance by individual week, year or across the whole century). The resulting information can be further interrogated and analysed, with data being presented in lists, bar-charts, pie-charts, graphs or in maps that enable Southampton's commerce to be visualised for all commodities or individual commodities for each year or across the whole century.

The Overland Trade Database is a resource of many topics yet undreamed of, for haulage and transport, and for the local history of every place. Thousands of named traders and carters, each precisely located in time and place, offer genealogical riches to historians of thousands of different families.