Dictionary of London Immigrants |||

1317-1321 - Lombard Street (City of London)

Merchant and author Francesco di Balducci Pegolotti was born around 1280 into a Florentine family. He worked for the Compagnia dei Bardi, one of the largest mercantile enterprises in Europe which was started by the Bardi family. He directed their London office in Lombard Street from 1317 onwards. He also participated in the negotiation of loans to the Crown. He left London in December 1321 to take up a new assignment in Cyprus. In 1347 he was involved liquidating the assets of the Bardi firm, but nothing is recorded of him thereafter. Pegolotti compiled a merchant’s manual which survives in a single 1472 manuscript in Florence. Its title La pratica della mercatura was invented for an edition of the work published in 1765/6. An important source for students of medieval international trade, the manual supplies extensive detail about the regions to which Bardi interests extended, from England eastwards to Persia and the Black Sea. His work provides information on monastic sources of wool in England and Scotland; it holds records of London prices (wool, metals, spices, and silk); and estimates of exchange rates.

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