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Dispute over the Gascon wine trade

The image shows a bill of complaint initiating legal proceedings in the court of ChanceryGlossary term - opens in a pop-up window concerning the freighting of Gascon wine in about 1525. Litigation emanating from trade disputes became increasingly common during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Merchants used the law courts to enforce the terms of commercial contracts and make them legally binding. A typical example is the suit alleging breach of promise in the document illustrated here. Robert Daundy of Ipswich alleged that William Sabyen had broken an agreement whereby Sabyen would transport 30 tuns of wine from Gascony to Orwell. Since the wine was delivered later than agreed, Daundy had suffered damages valued at £12. Having refused to pay the full amount, Robert was summoned before the court of the bailiffs of Ipswich. Unfortunately for Daundy, he had failed to have the details of the agreement written down. Consequently, he lost the case. In the document shown here, he appeals to Thomas Wolsey, the Lord Chancellor, for legal redress.

Catalogue reference: C 1/500/26

Dispute over the Gascon wine trade. Cat ref: C 1/500
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