Seaborne trade and the commercialisation of fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Gaelic Ulster

Mark Gardiner, T.E. McNeill

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    This study considers the frequently stated claim that the economy of Gaelic- speaking lordships in Ulster during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries was predominately pastoral anduncommercialised, by drawing on a variety of sources not usually combined. It proposes that the increased European demand for fish and the growth of the fish industry across northern Europe played a crucial role in stimulating trade between the coastal areas of Ulster on the one hand, and Britain and continental Europe on the other. This led to the establishment of permanent markets and towns, which joined at least two new inland towns in the southern parts of the province, bringing about a commercial presence in most of the Ulster lordships before 1600. Gaelic Lords consolidated this development by building castles and friaries at these fixed trading places.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-34
    Number of pages34
    JournalRoyal Irish Academy. Proceedings. Section C: Archaeology, Celtic Studies, History, Linguistics and Literature
    Publication statusPublished - 29 Apr 2016

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