A major aspect of Anglo-German history and relations is the Hanse. Several English east coast ports were trading partners of the towns belonging to that loose alliance called the German Hanse 1300-1600. London, King’s Lynn, Boston, Ipswich and Hull were in England’s urban premier league. Bremen, Hamburg, Lübeck, Stralsund and Danzig were in the heartland of the Hanse.
In this Anglo-Hanseatic world of commerce and politics the focus is on Bishop’s Lynn (only King’s Lynn from 1537) whose merchants were sailing to the Baltic by 1370. The interaction of this English port town with the German Hanse is the subject of my forthcoming book (April 2022).
The talk will conclude with some reflections on the Modern Hanse founded in the Dutch town of Zwolle in 1980. Its membership comprises 196 towns spread across 16 North European nations. King’s Lynn was the first English town to join today’s Hanse in 2005 following the visit of the replica 14th century vessel the Kieler Hansekogge. What does the Modern Hanse have in common with the German Hanse of the Middle Ages?
Local Historian, Author, Town Guide
Paul Richards FSA, DL was born and bred in King's Lynn and studied for both BA and PhD degrees in History at Birmingham University followed by teacher training at Nottingham. Paul taught in further and higher education at the College of West Anglia. He has been a part-time tutor for the WEA, Open University and university extra departments. He was a borough councillor (King's Lynn and West Norfolk) and Mayor (1998-2000) before becoming an Honorary Alderman. His History of King's Lynn was published in 1990, and he has written articles on local and regional history for various publications. Amongst several other interests, he is a trustee of True's Yard Fisherfolk Museum, a member of the King's Lynn Festival board and a town guide.
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