Limitations of the Brokage Books

SC5/5/23 for 1477-78 showing handwriting

There are limitations to the Brokage Books. They record travel on road by cart, not by packhorse or other means. Quantities within a cart are normally revealed, but occasionally not. We do not know for certain the size of a cart or whether carts were standardised.

It is obvious moreover that some inland trade was conducted by water, up or across the Rivers Test and Itchen and the Solent, and this is unrecorded.

Southampton also had a healthy coastal trade that is recorded in the port books of Southampton and its trading partners.