Episode 114 – The London Steelyard

History of the Germans

If like many of you, you are listening to this podcast on your morning or evening commute and you happen to live in London, you may be one of the 20 million souls going through Cannon Street Station every year. Few of them will be aware that under their feet lay the vestiges of the great Hanseatic Kontor in London that goes back to 1176. If people know about the Steelyard, it is mainly through the portraits of merchants painted by Holbein between 1532 and 1536 at a time when the Kontor had only about 60 years left.

But there is a lot to tell about this now vanished building, its inhabitants and trade. It is a story of infighting between the various cities that were still to officially form the Hanseatic league, of trading privileges granted to fund first a crusade and then the hundred year’s war, andit is also a great opportunity to introduce the oldest, largest and richest member of the Hanseatic League, the city of Cologne. The music for the show is Flute Sonata in E-flat major, H.545 by Carl Phillip Emmanuel Bach (or some claim it as BWV 1031 Johann Sebastian Bach) performed and arranged by Michel Rondeau under Common Creative Licence 3.0.

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