The History of Leith

February 1, 2011

Leith and France

Mutual hostility towards England—the legacy of the aggressive policy of Edward I. and Edward III. in both countries—brought France more or less into close alliance with Scotland from the days of Wallace and Bruce down to the time of Louis XIV., when British foreign policy made such an alliance no longer possible. This alliance conferred many trading advantages on the merchants of both countries in days when the privileges of traders in foreign lands were few and hedged about with many restrictions. Besides, Scotland and France were mutual markets for each other’s products, each supplying what the other required. From her earliest years, therefore, as a port Leith carried on an active trade with France, especially with the towns of Bordeaux and Rochelle, Rouen and Dieppe. To these porls Leith sent cured fish (for which the many fast days imposed by the Church on the faithful in pre-Reformation times created a constant demand), wool, horses and hides, receiving in return cloth, silks, dried fruits ,and wines, for Leith, next to London, has always been the greatest wine port in the kingdom.
source-The Story of Leith

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