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Polish Ships In English Waters In The Later Middle Ages

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Chapter Summary

By the sixteenth century, vessels from Gdansk had penetrated the Mediterranean and were voyaging eastwards to Crete and Venice. In their increasingly expansive role in the carrying trade, Gdansk ships can be compared to the ships of Dartmouth in England and of Brittany in France, which served as the backbone of the carrying trade in the north Atlantic during the late Middle Ages. There is not much evidence on the types of ships coming out of Poland during this period since the customs accounts simply labeled most vessels navis, or ship, although it was common for cogs to be so termed in customs documents. Only fourteen ships from Polish ports and all before 1400 were specifically designated as cogs, supposedly the typical Hanseatic vessel.

Keywords: England; Gdansk ships; Hanseatic vessel; late middle ages; overseas customs accounts; Polish ships

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