Scotland – Its Unique Story Part 6


Another key facet of Scotland’s successful economy in this period was its close economic and political ties with the Low countries then called the United Provinces. At first Scottish wool was exported to the port of Bruges however when the River Zwin silted up it then moved to Middleburg then finally to Veere in 1541. Veere on the island of Walcheren, known to the Scottish merchants as Campveere was given a monopoly on Scottish goods entering the Netherlands. In return Scottish merchants were given extensive privileges including their own legal and taxation system. In addition Scottish ships were given priority for berths at the port and on returning to Scotland the Dutch stones used for ballast in the ships were used for buildings for example in the East Neuk of Fife in Anstruther,  Crail . The staple was governed by their own official Scottish official known as the Lord Conservator whose court governed both civil and criminal cases in Campveere . There was also a Scottish church, houses and tax exemptions. Scottish merchants settled in Campveere where that built elaborate houses as in the image above. They were also required to be smartly dressed at all times. The houses were as illustrated above were of considerable size for the times being also offices and warehouses as well as places to live. The Campvere staple came to an end at the time of the Napoleonic Wars.