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Pre-Crusader times to 1095AD
This Merchants and Bankers Listings website is now years old and is now dedicated to climate-change issues arising from Anthropogenic Global Warming. Meanwhile, some of its timeline material on economic history (for 1560-1930) is being moved to a newer website managed by Ken Cozens and Dan Byrnes, The Merchant Networks Project. This website among other things has emphasised data on modern developments, mostly on modern/technical industry, computing, and for the future, but today's "climate change problems" - or rather, the apparently-dreaded spectre of Anthropogenic Global Warming, will be confined to this website. The editor's view is that in the context of climate change, the views of Merchants and Bankers (and Economists), the keepers of matters economic, are due for a considerable shake-up. If this website can encourage the shake-up, and help inform it reliably, well and good. This website was closed in May 2020 due to corona virus issues and was re-opened in October 2021 after a rethink. -Ed
You can find much greater detail for the timeframes 1550-1700 at another website... THE BUSINESS OF SLAVERY... a website book also designed to bring genealogical studies up-to-date from 1530 to the present-day... as well as questions of merchant lives and activities ... Click now to ... The Business of Slavery (in English history).
This website, produced by Australian writer/historian Dan Byrnes, is a no-frills, text-based website designed simply to list historical and genealogical information on many notable merchants and traders of what is termed, the Western World.
The information delivered here by website proposes a basis for a longitudinal study of related topics from the time of Crusaders, to the present.
However, the merchants, bankers and traders treated here are mostly from the English-speaking world, since I can read no other language besides English.
Merchants are often seen by historians as humdrum, mundane people, but certainly, the more conspicuous entrepreneurs amongst them can seem very entertaining.
After years of reading on merchants, commercial histories, and business styles as they change over the centuries, I would be moved (personally, in 2001) to say that Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, quite apart from questions surrounding his current wealth, or his abilities as a computer programmer, is one of the most remarkable merchants in human history - which is saying quite something.
Bankers in whatever era are a different matter, and in fact, the earlier, Western history of banking is much-annoyed by sets of views (theological disapproval) on the taking of interest, regarded as usury. Bankers however have varied, and still vary, in the "creativity" of their outlook, which is a factor which will be given attention in these webpages.
But here, with merchants and bankers, questions of injustice, greed, or charity, or clarity of commercial mind, will also be treated, as might be found entertaining. (Hyperlinks to relevant websites as given in the text will add to this aspect of this website.)
This website is not exactly a book project; it is more a set of listings of names, connections, notes, citations, with some family history and bibliographic material added where relevant. "Can this website help other researchers?" is perhaps, the question! This website for the netsarfer means, work-and-thinking.
But it is especially hoped that this set of listings will be of help to family historians.
Information in these files is organised in chronological order from Early Crusader times to the present (and please use the table above for navigation):
Much of the information presented in this website arose as part of research for The Blackheath Connection, a formal treatment of the history of convict transportation from England to North America and then to Australia, 1718-1810.
This however is not the only reason for the treatment of mariners. Sea captains often went on land to work and live as merchants. Much more is known about this sort of behaviour in the English and American cases, than the Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch or French cases.
European exercises in colonisation used the services of mariners, of course. How often sea traders operated as "minor bankers" for short-term deals remains unknown. Associated with mariners of course is the matter of marine insurance, a very important aspect of finance-handling.
Some of the information presented on this website is, as it were, "offcut material" from other related projects, and may sometimes seem unfocussed, but remaining of interest when seen in terms of long timelines, long perspectives. By 2020 the editor has decided that Anthropogenic Global Warming is actually happening, so the bias of this website will head this way.
- Dan Byrnes (otherwise indicated in these pages as -Editor)
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