SammendragSome time between 1300 and 1320 a document formula was prepared for the Bishop of Bergen, intended for application when the Bishop sold large consignments to foreign merchants for transport out of the country. The author concludes that the formula used by the Bishop of Bergen should be categorized as an early version of the bill of exchange (in fact a promissory), because it filled the same three main functions: a short-term credit, cash free money transfer and an implicit currency exchange. Contextually the formula is also comparable to contemporary exchange contracts from Bruges. Assessed as an intact legal text from the early 1300s, the formula is probably unparalleled in both Scandinavian and Hanseatic trading history. The Bishop's formula shows that Norwegian and Hanseatic merchants tried to develop new methods for contracts and cooperation in order to adapt to the commercial practices they met on the Continent, especially in Bruges.
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