Het lichaam van het dorp: Publieke schuld op het Hollandse platteland rond 1500

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Public debt soared in the late-medieval Low Countries: towns borrowed considerable sums from creditors and often ended up defaulting on their financial obligations. The author uses a tax inquiry from 1514 to demonstrate that villages also managed to create funded debt, which they secured on the public body of the village. As a result, around 1500 the majority of the villages in Holland owed annuities to local and foreign creditors. This public debt was particularly contracted to be able to pay taxes to the sovereign, but it also allowed villages to invest in water management and mills and to protect themselves against encroachments by noblemen and towns. Thus they could use their access to capital markets to defend the interests of the public body and its members. Furthermore, the possibilities villages had to borrow and the conditions against which these loans were contracted, tell us a lot about the level of sophistication of capital markets in late-medieval Holland.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Economic History
Translated title of the contributionTo the credit of the village. Public debt in the countryside of Holland around 1500
Original languageOther
Pages (from-to)107-132
Number of pages26
JournalTijdschrift voor Sociale en Economische Geschiedenis
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Publication categoryResearch