Italy Merchants and Bankers Part 3

According to LAWSCHOOLSINUSA.COM, Poland had been known to our merchants since the thirteenth century, that is, when the papal receivers of the tithes, almost all Italians, had entrusted the sums collected to Tuscan companies with branches in Bruges. When real immigration with a commercial character began to develop, the Genoese who came from the Black Sea colonies naturally took the lead; and then Lucchesi, Bolognesi, Florentines and Venetians followed. The most fortunate years of this activity were those from 1333 to 1434, which saw the reigns of Casimir the Great, Louis of Hungary and Ladislao II: after which it began to decline. In the best period, both the salt pans in the Krakow area, ie those of Bochnia and Wieliczka, as well as those of Leopoli, ie Drohobycz, Dolina and Przemyśl, were ruled by Italian “supparii”, who were usually also mayors of the place and had a notable part in the mining legislation of 1368. Among the main ones we remember: some of the Genoese belonging to the Cavallo family; Goffredo Fattinanti supparius generalis ”; Francesco di Cantello, aggregated to the nobility of Leopoli in 1409; Giulio de Valentariis, who died very rich in 1468. Of the Venetians the main one was Pietro Bicarani, who also minted coins at the royal mint. Among the Florentines, Leonardo Bartoli, himself a coin maker, the last Italian supparium in the western salt pans, Pierozzo di Talento Tedaldi, who died in 1495; Ottaviano Gucci “supparius Russie et magnus benefactor fratrum”. In Northern Europe the main centralizations were in Brabant and Flanders where the Medici bank of Florence, which had branches in Avignon, Basel, Constance, Geneva, London and Lyon, it held a large branch in Bruges, damaged by the Lombard bankruptcy of 1457, but not irreparably like the merchant and banking companies of the Venetians Querini and Morosini, and of the Genoese Adorno, Lomellino and Spinola. Tommaso Portinari was a diplomat and banker of Charles the Bold and then of Maximilian, from whom he had the right to collect the tonlieu  of Gravelines. In the 16th century in the Netherlands, our merchants alternated between trading and the cult of letters in Antwerp. In France the most important nuclei were first in Paris and then, from the second half of the century. XV, in Lyon where the Italians – among whom we remember, in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, the Arnolfini, the Balbani, the Buonvisi, the Buondelmonti, the Burlamacchi, the Capponi, the Cenami, the Del Bene, the Frescobaldi, the Sardini and the Earnings – made large loans to French sovereigns at war with the Spaniards. In the other camp, Charles V received 100,000 ducats at once from the Cremonese Carlo Affaitati, apart from the higher sums obtained by Cosimo de ‘Medici.

With the 1500s, the Italians also moved to Spain and Portugal. In Spain the Lombards were still remembered, immigrants since the thirteenth century despite the expulsion decrees of James I, and the name of Francesco di Marco Datini from Prato was not yet forgotten, which Tommaso Marini of Genoa gave you, in 1525, the signal of second invasion of the Italian capital, particularly Genoese and Florentine. At the end of the century and the beginning of the seventeenth century, Catholic kings owed millions of ducats to Genoese bankers. Between 1608 and 1611 Filippo III made extensive use of the citizens of Genoa, the Centuriones, the Invrea, the Pallavicino, the Spinola; and Charles II received financial aid from Paolo Spinola-Doria at the end of the seventeenth century. Florentine bankers were also generous with loans, especially during the struggle between Spain and Portugal.

From the 15th century onwards the Italians therefore retained a very great importance in the traffic of money, but not all the activity of the Italian merchants was exhausted in the financing of the princes. In the second half of the sixteenth century Baroncelli was responsible for the design of the Dutch state lottery, while the Strozzi family distinguished themselves, precisely in those years and in that region, in private lotteries, whose stakes consisted of works of art; Leonardo Massone of Benevento suggested to Philip II to establish the monopoly of salt, which was entrusted to the Genoese Negron del Negro, treasurer of Emanuele Filiberto; Silvestro Scarini, in 1585, planned the financing of a sort of pawnshop by means of lotteries and bets on the sex of the unborn, on the outcome of the trials, and so on, fighting with local corporate organizations, and preparing, under the protection of sovereigns manifesting in the well-known form of privileges, the foundations of national industries. In a truly capitalist way they organized the glass industry, which they had set up for some time, because since the end of the century. XIII Venetian glassmakers had passed through France and Belgium. In Antwerp, where at the beginning of the century In the sixteenth century there were Italian crystal and glass factories, Michele Cornacchini also introduced the manufacture of mirrors in 1541 by exporting the jealous secret from Venice, and in 1552 he sold it to Giacomo Pasoletti from Brescia.

Italy Merchants and Bankers 3