Mathew Payne

With the generous support of a Society of Renaissance Studies Museum and Galleries award, I was able to travel to Florence to work on four bank ledgers in the Archivio di Stato. Three of these ledgers belong to the archives of the firm of Bardi Migiotto and Bernardo & Co, covering 1515-1536 (Venturi Ginori Lisci, 448-450), and one of Bardi Pier Francesco and Cavalcanti Giovanni and Co, 1521-31 (Venturi Ginori Lisci, 472). All of them represent the activities of Florentine banks and subsidiaries established in London in the early sixteenth century, and therefore contain details of accounts maintained by individuals in England, largely moving funds onto the Continent. Although the ledgers have been used in connection with Torrigiano’s period in England, it does not seem that other entries have been noticed. My primary focus is on the early book trade, but I was also keen to examine the ledgers for other individuals of note. It was therefore extremely gratifying to find entries relating especially to Polydore Vergil, and his relations, as well as other prominent courtiers. But the results on which I am now focusing are those for booksellers and book traders, of which there are several. This will significantly add to our understanding of how the market in printed books developed during the reign of Henry VIII. I am extremely grateful to the SRS, whose award enabled this research to be carried out, and I look forward to publishing the results in due course. It was also helpful to make connections and contacts in the Florentine archive system.