Lokaty i renty klasztorne na kontach gdańskiej kamlarii w XVI–XVIII w.
MONASTIC DEPOSITS AND RENTS IN THE ACCOUNTS OF THE GDAŃSK KÄMMEREI IN THE SIXTEENTH-EIGHTEENTH CENTURY
Materiały z konferencji naukowej „Budżety i księgowość miejska w Polsce na tle Europy Środkowej od późnego średniowiecza do schyłku okresu nowożytnego (XIV – początek XIX w.)”
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The article discusses monastic capital investments and rents deposited in the accounts of the Gdańsk Kämmerei from the second half of the sixteenth century to the end of the eighteenth century. Records found in ten Kämmerei books make it possible to propose reflections about the finances of Gdańsk and to present another aspect of religious relations in this economic and cultural centre, exceptional in the Commonwealth. Particular importance is attached to the mechanisms of establishing, modifying and terminating the deposits in both town coffers associated with economic trends and the religious atmosphere during the period under examination. In the Middle Ages, local monasteries obtained from the town of Gdańsk assorted rents and funds stemming from pious foundations and privileges. The system of such support broke down together within the onset of the Reformation. At the end of the sixteenth century, new social and religious conditions gave rise to commercial investments of monetary and capital surpluses, which from the mid-seventeenth century no longer played a greater role in the town’s economy and Church institutions. Not until the second half of the seventeenth century, after the economic crisis of the Commonwealth became conspicuous, was Gdańsk perceived as an attractive and secure site for locating money and, while experiencing economic difficulties, the town too sought sources of credit for its trade and production. This process resulted in an increasingly frequent deposit of capital in the Gdańsk town hall. At the turn of the seventeenth century, the town in this fashion drew the capital of almost all the Gdańsk and suburban monasteries as well as more distant monastic institutions, especially those in Warsaw. The best in this respect proved to be the 1701–1710 decade. The town, embroiled in the economic problems of the period, was incapable of servicing the obligations, and in about 1717 it experienced a one- or even two-percentage point reduction of the interest rates. Nonetheless, servicing the obligations remained irregular and constant delays continued for many years. The last monastic deposit was opened in 1725, and the monasteries increasingly frequently withdrew their assets from the accounts of the Gdansk communal bank. Despite all odds, even upon the threshold of the liquidation of the monasteries in Gdańsk (the cassation of the orders in the Kingdom of Prussia took place at the beginning of the nineteenth century), monastic institutions existing at that time in the city on the Motława had at their disposal an imposing number of investments, of which many survived in the Kämmerei for more than a hundred, and in one case 200, years.
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