A TRADE DATUM
Volume 5 Number
For years it
was the custom of departing ambassadors to submit a final report
to the King of France; these contained a section discussing trade.
The last ambassador so to report, Francois Guignard, Count Saint-Priest,
in his retirement reviewed the government archives and produced
an economic study based on these documents. There is therein a specific
trade reference c. 1570:
. in the dispatches of the bishop of Ax, ambassador of France
to the Porte in 1572, that this monarch [king of France] had obtained
from the Sultans the freedom to establish a consul at Alexandria
and one other at Tripoli in Syria for the commerce of the French
which brought out of the Levant, says this prelate, drugs, cotton,
leather, rugs, and porcelain, and [to] bring there cloth, canvas,
verdigris [copper acetate] and paper." (1)
The inclusion of rugs is interesting, for the preponderance of trade
between Europe and the Near East consisted of raw and finished bulk
materials -- loosely speaking, silk out and broadcloth in. Rugs
were, in essence, expensive piggybacked baubles; listed here, they
do not necessarily assume a major trade significance, but both their
presence and a European awareness is attested.Notes
L'Ambassade de France en Turquie, 1525--177O, ed. C. M.
Schefer, Paris, 1877, p. 272. Research Report translation.