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As a way to understand changes in the middle ages, I want to know the development of market towns. Particularly, I am looking for the increase in their number, organised by country and period (e.g. century).

So far I haven't found much. For instance, Wikipedia states:

The Domesday Book of 1086 lists 50 markets in England. Some 2,000 new markets were established between 1200 and 1349.

The reference provided continues:

After this date, the Black Death caused many markets to be abandoned. It has been estimated that there were about 760 official markets during the Tudor and Stuart period.

Wikipedia also mentions a "systematic study of European market towns between the 13th and 15th century" made by Braudel and Reynold. It might refer to the book "Civilization and Capitalism, 15th–18th Century". I searched through it but has no statistical analysis of different countries and periods. There are some statistics, as the one reflected in the map below, but no spatial-temporal comparative analysis.

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Are you aware of a systematic, country-period analysis of the evolution of market towns?

  • This old article by Hilton has some relevant bits. De Vries' book on European urbanization also looks like it might be helpful, but doesn't use the concept of market towns per se. – Brian Z Jun 11 at 23:30
  • I think that this is too broad. Even the evolution of market towns within one region would have been affected by wildly differing reasons; Europe as a whole would have been far worse. I've seen numerics on German market towns myself, but you seem to be interested in England? Also, what exactly do you mean by "spatial-temporal analysis"? Once a market was established in Norwich, e.g., it would have stayed in Norwich, but no simple map-based spatial analysis will give a good reason for "why Norwich" unless it also includes physiogeographic settings which many would not (due to their age, etc..). – gktscrk Jun 12 at 5:17
  • sorry, by "spatial-temporal" I simply mean by region and period (e.g. country and decade). I'm interested in Europe in general. The ideal answer is a table or graph by country over time. – luchonacho Jun 12 at 14:10

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