“The Council of boons men” of Oporto
“The Council of boons men” of Oporto asks King Dom João I for help to restore make up the sums due to the Stock Exchange of Merchants.
“The municipality of Oporto had represented to King Dom João I who, in the past, had a grant in the city for the payment of expenses with the ship’s truss and accidents that occurred”. After that monarch’s ascension to the throne, the respective percentage was no longer charged. However, the municipality had been reintroduced a short time ago, meeting some resistance from merchants outside the city. They had come to ask the king to confirm the municipal position. King Dom João I ordered that the town council be convened and decided by majority.
It has been done. The majority confirmed the decision of the councilmen and soon elected a committee of four members, being two ship charterers, a treasurer, and a scribe, to reorganize the merchants’ exchange. Ten pounds would be charged for each freight ton loaded at the Oporto city and twenty pounds for each shipment of fabrics arriving in the city.
The history of maritime stock exchanges then entered a period of great obscurity. It is to be believed that the one in Oporto continued to function.
“Os Seguros em Portugal, da Fundação à Modernidade”, Exposição Documental da Actividade Seguradora dos Séculos XIII a XIX, Galeria do Instituto de Seguros de Portugal (set. 2010)-pág. 16
“O concelho de homens boons”, livros de vereação (1401-1411/Era de 1439/49) A-PUB/3
Image provided by Arquivo Geral da C. M. do Porto