Maritime trade routes between la coruña and flanders
Maritime trade routes between La Coruña and Flanders
We cannot speak about The Maritime routes between La Coruña and Flanders as an isolated occurrence, it was closed linked to the rest of the Cantabrico sea and Vizcaya Gulf ports and the Galician Economy during the Ancien Regime Coruña Cantabrico sea – Vizcaya Gulf
Because of the orography that separates Galicia from the inner Spain, and the climate that prevent from growing basic foodstuffs like wheat and vine, Galician are forced to import these goods from Castilla and Leon, this is cheaper to transport by sea than by road, as the North territories were joined to the Castilla Crown, every port located between the rivers Miño and Bidasoa, were used to transport abroad goods, such as fish, wood, vine, wool and later, iron
The imports are higher than the exports and unbalance payments, the way to earn money to pay the domestic comsuption is to carry every kind of products from one place to another. This is realized with a marine tradition named “gascona”, its technical and legal structures are used and, also, the charter cards, the only thing different is the language.
The ships were the Roman Atlantic ones, these survive during all the Medieval Age till the XII Century, when the big cargo boats are develop. Among the Northen territories, there were three well distinguish: Basque-Galician, Astur-Galician-Cantabrian and Galician-Atlantic Portuguese Coruña port was located in the Astur-Galician-Cantabrian in 1295, together with Finisterre, Betanzos, Viveiro, Avilés, Colunga and Ribadesella ports
The most important for trade routes to the Gulf, Canal and Northen Sea, were Coruña, Viveiro y Ribadeo. In these ports wee founded both Ships and dealers ready to move quickly to get the best markets in short time, they went where transport any product were needed, since atlantic wine( because of the Bordeaux crisis) to fish from Catalonia when they noticed demand, they did not middle-men, change their wine for salt, marine tools and quality clothes.
The Black Pest converted Galicia in the export territory for products through markets formerly closed like Bordeaux or Flanders. The relationship between Galicia and Flanders was achieved thanks to common artistics and religious ideals. In the XII Century and middle XIV, Galician Fleet joined with the ships from Avilés, Laredo, San Sebastián and so on, took part in the commerce con Bruge-L’Ecluse port. In the middle XIV Century, ships from Bretagne arrived to Coruña that moreover pilgrims to Santiago de Compostela, carried in and out goods.
The first Jesuits from Flanders(1544) borded to Coruña rhumb to Coimbra. Later on, galician gave up the gascogne coast and preferred the straight voyage from the Gulf to England-Normandie-Flanders Galician were interested in the relation Castilian-Breton because they scarcely were in touch with the castilian from Nantes, except as transporters, but in The ports of Morbihan, Finistère and Leon found a complementary market of wine, salt and marine tools, with absolutely bilateral exchange.This was very important for Galicia helping to launch the salting and exportin fish and open business to other ports, providing gold and other goods.
Galician spent many money in the Flanders commerce in the colonies of Amberes and L’Ecluse-Bruge. These exchanges kept stable until XVI Century. In Parliament celebrated in Santiago de Compostela and Coruña in the early XVI Century was approved the economic support to named Carlos of Gent as Emperor and in 1522 was created in Corunna The Contract Spices House to sell from this town the spices from Orient to Flanders.
These activities stopped because of the Fleet breakdown, closing down the Contract Spices House in 1528, one of the common economic ideals between Spaniards and Flemish, had finished
Long after, Vasco Rodriguez de Gayoso, born in Corunna in the middle of XVI Century, became the owner of very big ships.
Ships related in the Ancien Kingdom of Galicia Record Office 1374.- Ship Saint Nicholas from Corunna to Northen Coast, transporting iron, honey, grease, leather, fur, pigs, salted fish and so on. 1402.- boat from Corunna to Bruge with oliveoil, red wine, fur….. 1402 Nao Saint Spiritu from Corunna to Harfleur-Flanders with smoked fish, roche-alum, verdure…. 1414.- Ship from Corunna to Valencia-Flanders with wine. 1446 Nao Santyona from Corunna to Bruge and return. 1484.- Nao from Flanders to Corunna with clothes and jewles. 1504.- Ship from Ambers to Corunna with weat. 1504.- Ship from Corunna to Ambers with 150 dozen of leather.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: La comarca brigantina en la relación España/Flandes durante la Edad Media. Ismael Velo Pensado. Galicia en la Marisma de Castilla. La Dinámica de los Intercambios Mercantiles. Elisa Ferreira Priegue. Galicia en el camino de Flandes: actividad militar, economía y sociedad en la España norantlántica. Mª del Carmen Saavedra Vázquez. Viajes a Flandes e Inglaterra.¿Cabotaje o recta vía ?Antonio Ortega Villoslada.