Reputation, Trust and Credit

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter examines how medieval consumers selected the towns in which to
do their shopping, focusing on the situation in England in the period c. 1200–
1500. Their choices were embedded in ideas of reputation and trust, both in
terms of the institutional setting but also the activities and creditworthiness of
individual vendors. The Crown and nobility, foreign merchants, traders from
other English towns and local residents were key consumers, and their
purchasing decisions were influenced by the availability, quality and cost of
items. In that competitive environment, towns needed to maintain and enhance
their reputation to continue to attract and retain customers. The chapter will
review how towns, through the mechanisms of local government, sought to
obtain a competitive advantage through investing in infrastructure, specialization, monitoring taxes on commercial activities, regulating trade, utilizing abilities to
self-govern and promoting the trustworthiness of the town’s tradespeople.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication A Cultural History of Shopping in the Middle Ages
EditorsJames Davis
PublisherBloomsbury Publishing PLC
Number of pages36
ISBN (Print)9781350027060
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2022

Publication series

NameThe Cultural History Series
PublisherBloomsbury Publishing


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