Bankers to the Crown: The Riccardi of Lucca and Edward I

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Throughout the thirteenth century Western European monarchs were hampered by the failure of their traditional revenues to meet their new expenses. Edward I of England solved the primary problem of acquiring adequate funds with the imposition of a duty on wool and leather and by more frequent direct taxes. But collection was slow and irregular; there still remained the problem of liquidity. To ensure a steady flow of cash to meet his military, administrative, and diplomatic needs Edward developed a special relationship with ...

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