This section provides brief surveys and annotated guides to important primary sources for understanding maritime Britain and Ireland in the medieval period. It currently has a relatively complete section on overseas and coastal customs accounts, but there are plans to add sections on maritime law codes, admiralty and other maritime court cases, shipbuilding accounts, impressments of men and ships for royal naval service, chronicle accounts of sea battles, wills of mariners and other sea-goers, parliamentary petitions and proceedings on maritime matters, and literary and personal accounts of travel by sea. It will also contain a survey of relevant medieval visual sources such as manuscript images, sculptural work, and ship graffitti (most of it found scribbled on church walls), as well as archaeological sources such as links to excavation reports on waterfront revetments and quays, shipwrecks, fishing settlements and processing sites, salterns, and coastal flooding and erosion.

Fig. 1: Fournel, Charles – Artist. Historiated initial U depicting the second miraculous catch of fish. 1525. Free Library of Philadelphia: Philadelphia, PA. (accessed Apr 28, 2020)

Fig. 2: Jehan de Mandeville, Le livre des merveilles (originally published c.1355-57). The 1403 manuscript is held by the Bibliotheque national de France in Paris, B MS fr 2810, fol.188v. .(accessed Apr 28, 2020).