the hub of an English river transport network, 1250–1550
This chapter examines the extent and importance of river transport in England as demonstrated by the extensive use of boats to convey goods and people to and from London.It studies the use of the Thames to connect London to the wider countryside and the evolution of passenger services.It also examines the development of boats and the cargo trades, how the industry operated and the price of services.There was extensive regulation, both by the crown and parliament as well as by the mayor and aldermen and this paper considers whether this was constructive or reactionary in nature.It questions whether this changed in the early sixteenth century when the increase in population brought about higher prices, an influx of inexperienced men into the industry and more frequent accidents.
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