The University of Leicester Medieval Research Centre and the Visitor Centre will be hosting the second annual King Richard III Lecture on Tuesday 28th May.

This year’s lecture is “Richard III, merchants and money” and it will be delivered by Dr Richard Goddard (University of Nottingham).

Prof. Neil Christie Co-Director, Medieval Research Centre at the School of Archaeology & Ancient History, University of Leicester explains what the lecture will cover:

King Richard III’s reign came at a major turning point in English economic history: from the 1440s until the 1470s, England had been gripped by a severe economic depression, a function not of civil conflict or strife by rather the result of high epidemic mortality, a reduction in the amount of coinage in circulation, and a contraction in international trade. This had important consequences for what might be described as the ‘economic polices’ of the Yorkist kings.

First, desperate pleas by merchants to increase the number of coins in circulation resulted in, amongst other measures, the minting of new gold and silver coins. This public lecture will examine the coins minted in Richard’s reign and look at the impact of these issues.

Second, the blame for recessions is often laid at the door of ‘foreigners’. In Richard’s reign the situation was little different: English kings often enacted policies which sought to disadvantage foreign merchants who were seen as a threat to the livelihoods of English businesspeople. A series of statutes were passed during Richard’s reign against what was perceived as unfair foreign competition; many of these imposed financial restraints upon foreign merchants and their businesses.

Accordingly, this talk will examine what impact these policies had, particularly upon English merchants and their commercial activities. Furthermore, we will explore the extent to which these policies reflected an understanding of the shifting commercial circumstances of the period.

Richard Goddard is Associate Professor of Medieval History at the University of Nottingham. He has written extensively on the economic and social history of later medieval England in peer-reviewed journals. His books include Lordship and Medieval Urbanisation: Coventry, 1043-1355 (Woodbridge, 2004); with John Langdon and Miriam Müller (eds), Survival and Discord in Medieval Society: Essays in Honour of Christopher Dyer (Turnhout, 2010); and Credit and Trade in Later Medieval England (Basingstoke, 2016).

The lecture takes place on Tuesday 28th May from 5:30pm – 6:30pm at the King Richard III Visitor Centre. The event is free however places need to be booked in advance.