At the beginning of the 16th Century (the 1500s), between 50 and 100 ships entered the port of Hull from foreign countries each year. As a result of this, Hull was considered a major port during the reign of Henry VIII and therefore surrounding areas such as York, Leeds, Halifax and Wakefield also shipped most of their cloth from Hull. Hull was therefore at the core of the trading industry in Yorkshire at this time.
Towards the end of the 16th Century, business was booming and Hull had successfully developed trading links with the Baltic, Russia, Norway and Sweden. Throughout Tudor times, however, the key trading area was the Low Countries, for example France, Belgium and Germany, and one in three ships entering the port of Hull was from these countries. Trading was also with Spain and Portugal.
The main goods being exported, (or taken out) of Hull during Tudor times was wool. The amount of wool being sent to other countries began to decrease however, as the cloth industry grew. Other goods that were exported from Hull by the Merchants were lead, grain and corn. The merchants exported goods to other countries and this is how they made their money, although goods were also imported (brought in). Examples of goods that were imported through Hull were bricks, wine and food (such as figs and raisins).
Trade not only operated between different countries, but also within England, for example Hull received timber and wool from Newcastle. Coastal trade within England was easier than transporting goods any other way as the roads were often more like dirt tracks and people travelled by horse and cart which was very slow and uncomfortable.
Go to the Led Sessions page to find out more
The Tudors: Age of Discovery offered at Hull Martime Museum