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Encyclopedia > Steelyard

The Steelyard, from the German Stalhof, was in the Middle Ages the main trading base of the Hanseatic League in London. It lay on the north bank of the Thames by the outflow of the Walbrook, its site now covered by Cannon Street Station and commemorated in the name of Steelyard Passage. The Steelyard, like other Hansa stations, was a separate walled community with its own warehouses on the river, its own weighing house, church, counting houses and residential quarters. In 1988 remains of the former Hanseatic trading house, once the largest medieval trading complex in Britain, were uncovered by archaeologists during maintenance work on Cannon Street Station. The Middle Ages formed the middle period in a traditional schematic division of European history into three ages: the classical civilization of Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and modern times, beginning with the Renaissance. ... The Hanseatic League (German: die Hanse) was an alliance of trading cities that established and maintained a trade monopoly over most of Northern Europe and the Baltic for a time in the later Middle Ages and the Early Modern period (ie between the 13th and 17th century). ... The clock tower of the Palace of Westminster, which contains Big Ben London is the capital city of the United Kingdom and of England. ... Several places exist with the name Thames, and the word is also used as part of several brand and company names Most famous is the River Thames in England, on which the city of London stands Other Thames Rivers There is a Thames River in Canada There is a Thames... The Walbrook river played a key role in the Roman settlement of Londinium, the city now known as London. ... Cannon Street is a National Rail and London Underground station in the City of London financial district of London, England. ...


The first mention of a Hansa Almaniae (a "German Hansa") in English records is in 1282, concerning merely the community of the London trading post, only later to be made official as the Steelyard, confirmed in tax and customs concessions granted by Edward I in a Carta Mercatoria ("merchant charter") of 1303. But the true power of the Hanse in English trade came much later, in the 15th century, as the German merchants, led by those of Cologne expanded their premises and extended their reach into the cloth-making industry of England. This led to constant friction over the legal position of English merchants in the Hanseatic towns and Hanseatic privileges in England, which repeatedly ended in acts of violence. Not only English wool but finished cloth was exported through the Hansa, who controlled the trade in Colchester and other cloth-making centres [1]. When the Steelyard was finally destroyed in 1469, the Hanse cities went to war with England, and Cologne was expelled from the League. But England, in the throes of the Wars of the Roses, was in a weak bargaining position, so despite several heavy defeats suffered by the Hanseatic fleet, the Hansa achieved a very favourable peace from the English commissioners in Utrecht in 1474. In 1475 the Hanseatic League finally purchased the London site outright and it became universally known as the Steelyard, but in fact this was the last outstanding success of the Hansa [2]. King Edward I of England (June 17, 1239 – July 7, 1307), popularly known as Longshanks because of his 6 foot 2 inch frame and the Hammer of the Scots (his tombstone, in Latin, read, Hic est Edwardvs Primus Scottorum Malleus, Here lies Edward I, Hammer of the Scots), achieved fame... Cologne skyline at night with river Rhine in the foreground and famous Cologne Cathedral on the right. ... The Wars of the Roses (1455–1487) is the name generally given to the intermittent civil war fought over the throne of England between adherents of the House of Lancaster and the House of York. ...


Members of the Steelyard, normally stationed in London for only a few years, sat for a famous series of portraits by Hans Holbein the Younger in the 1530s, portraits which were so successful that the Steelyard Merchants commissioned from Holbein the allegorical paintings The Triumph of Riches and The Triumph of Poverty for their Hall. The prosperity of the Hanse merchants, who were in direct competition with those of the City of London, induced Queen Elizabeth to suppress the Steelyard and rescind its privileges in 1598. James I reopened the Steelyard, but it never again carried the weight it formerly had in London. The Hanseatic League was never officially dissolved however, and Lübeck, Bremen and Hamburg only sold their common property, the London Steelyard, in 1853 (EB 1911: Lübeck). Cannon Street Station was built on the site shortly thereafter (1866). Hans Holbein the Younger (c. ... The eastern side of the City of London viewed from St. ... Elizabeth I (7 September 1533 – 24 March 1603 ) was Queen of England and Queen of Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death. ... Events January 7 - Boris Godunov seizes the throne of Russia following the death of his brother-in-law, Tsar Feodor I April 13 - Edict of Nantes - Henry IV of France grants French Huguenots equal rights with Catholics. ... Statistics State: Schleswig-Holstein District: Independent city Area: 214. ... Bremen lies in North Germany 50km South of the North Sea. ... Hamburg is Germanys second largest city (after Berlin) and, with the Hamburg Harbour, its principal port. ...


The Steelyard gave its name to a type of portable balance, consisting of a graduated horizontal metal beam suspended on a chain. The whole balance would be hung from a roof beam. A heavy object to be weighed, for instance a sack of flour, would be hung on the shorter end of the beam, while lesser but known weights would be slid along the other, longer end, till the beam balanced. The weight of the sack could then be calculated by multiplying the sum of the known weights by the difference in the distances from the beam's fulcrum. A doctors scale A weighing scale (usually just scale in common usage) is a device using for measuring the weight of an object. ... Horizontal is an orientation relating to, or in parallel with the horizon, and thus perpendicular to the vertical. ... Hot metal work from a blacksmith In chemistry, a metal (Greek: Metallon) is an element that readily forms ions (cations) and has metallic bonds, and metals are sometimes described as a lattice of positive ions (cations) in a cloud of electrons. ... A statically determinate beam, bending under an evenly distributed load. ... Look up Chain on Wiktionary, the free dictionary A chain can be any of the following: a flexible connection through multiple rigid links; applications include: pulling (it cannot be used for pushing) power transmission, as in roller chains (e. ... Fulcrum is the NATO reporting name of the MiG-29, a Soviet fighter aircraft. ...


External links

  • Prof. Rainer Postel, "The Hanseatic League and its decline" 1996
  • Holbein portrait of Derich Born, 1533: one of the Steelyard portraits
  • German Embassy; Hanseatic London, 26 September 2005

 
 

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