Monarchy & Money

In monarchies, power, law, finances, and economy were and are intertwined aspects of the royal household. Analysing the economic and financial resources of a monarchy, a dynasty or a court therefore also has implications for assessing the development of a realm or a state. Although historical research has considered monarchical rule at courts in general, there is still a need to analyse the administration of money and resources at court, the decision making behind patterns of expenditure and resource utilisation, and the strategies of royal investments.

Economic and financial aspects of monarchical rule are still mostly lacunae in historical research, and also directly relevant for current affairs. We want to address this gap by bringing together senior and junior scholars interested in the topic in a research seminar series (online, associated with the University of Oxford). Furthermore, this website will in time offer resources for researchers, such as announcements for events, cfps, new publications, an ever-growing bibliography on the topic, and in future a glossary for possessions of royals, especially queens and royal women.

These resources are updated regularly, please get in touch with us if you want to contribute, e.g. if you can add to the bibliography (other languages than English are welcome), or to the glossary.

Economic History of Monarchy Seminar Series at the University of Oxford
Book here

Upcoming Events

We’re taking a break in Hilary 2024. More seminars to come in May/June (Trinity Term 2024).

Past Events

February/March 2021 – Hilary Term

1 February: Amalie Fößel (Duisburg-Essen): Marriage and Property. Some basic thoughts on the finances of medieval queens
15 February: Nico Dogaer (Leuven): Putting the king in his place: Reflections on the ‘royal monopolies’ in Hellenistic Egypt
1 March: Paul P.T. Bovend’ Eert (Radboud): The Royal Income: The Legalities of the Dutch Royal Finances in the 20th and 21st Centuries

May/June 2021 – Trinity Term

10 May: Ferdinand Eibl (London): Royal Inc. in Morocco
17 May: Christina Petterson (Australian National University): Colonies, companies, counts, and King. Money and nobility between the King and his colonies
7 June: Christa Birkel (Munich): Pledging and Politics. The Example of the Late Medieval Duchy of Luxembourg
14 June: Roundtable on Economic History of Monarchy with Luc Duerloo, George Tridimas, and Ellie Woodacre

October/November 2021 – Michaelmas Term

25 October: Sebastian Ottinger, Nico Voigtländer (UCLA): History’s Masters: The Effect of European Monarchs on State Performance
1 November: Lorenzo Bondioli (Columbia): The Fiscal-Commercial Complex: Taxation and Capital in Fatimid Egypt
29 November: Milinda Banerjee (St Andrews), Laura Clancy (Lancaster), Aaron Graham (Oxford), Ilya Afanasyev (Oxford): Roundtable on Political Economy and Monarchy

January/February 2022 – Hilary Term

24 January: Korinna Schönhärl (Paderborn): Financing a Newborn State under Precarious Conditions: King Otto I of Greece (1832-1862) and his Sources of Revenue and Credit
31 January: Andrew Hogan (Berkeley): Pharaohs and Finance: Considerations for the Introduction of a Monetized Sector to the Customary Economy in Ptolemaic Egypt
14 February: Jonathan Triffitt (St Andrews): Compensating the King: Royal Property and Finance after the German Revolution, 1918-1930
28 February: Alexander Jendorff (Gießen): Kings of Paradise or Splendid Loosers? The Case of Count Friedrich Casimir von Hanau-Münzenberg, the Colonial Project of “Hanauisch-Indien” in 1669, and its Contexts – cancelled

May/June 2022 – Trinity Term
Economic Resources of Royalty – in cooperation with Examining the Resources and Revenues of Royal Women in Premodern Europe

9 May: Inês Olaia (Lisbon): The Portuguese Crown’s Struggle to Provide for Early Sixteenth-Century Royal Women
Comment by Chloë McKenzie (London)
16 May: Katarzyna Kosior (Newcastle): Royal Inheritance and Dower Negotiations in a Parliamentary Monarchy: The Case of Anna Jagiellon, Queen of Poland-Lithuania
Comment by Charlotte Backerra (Göttingen)
30 May: Paula Del Val Vales (Lincoln): Reconstructing the Queen’s Personnel in the Thirteenth Century: Possibilities and Challenges
Comment by Cathleen Sarti (Oxford)
13 June: Roundtable on Economic Resources of Royal Men: The King’s Money: Contrasts, Comparisons, and Challenges of a Comparative Approach
José Eloy Hortal Muñoz (URJC Madrid), James Ross (Winchester), Jan Vojtíšek (Prague)

October 2022 – Michaelmas Term

17 October: Alexander Jendorff (Gießen): Kings of Paradise or Splendid Loosers? The Case of Count Friedrich Casimir von Hanau-Münzenberg, the Colonial Project of “Hanauisch-Indien” in 1669, and its Contexts
31 October: Lledó Ruiz Domingo (Valencia): The Treasury of the Queen: The Queen Consorts’ Management of Resources in the Crown of Aragón (14th-15th Century)

May/June 2022 – Trinity Term

Early Modern Britain
15 May: Dustin M. Neighbors (Aalto & Helsinki): Patronage or Kinship Networks? The Personnel, Financial Accounts and Logistics of Hunting for Elizabeth I of England
5 June: Amanda Westcott (Oxford): The Dignity of the Crown and Public Oeconomy: the Royal Household under George III and Burke’s Economical Reform of 1782

October 2023 – Michaelmas Term

16 October: Marc Jaffré (Durham): Court Business: Finance and Financiers at Louis XIII’s Court
30 October: Elizabeth Hines (Chicago): Dutch Gold and Charles I’s Turn from Spain, 1634-1637
13 November: Priya Atwal (Oxford): The Maharajah’s Money: Duleep Singh and the Royal Finances of the Sikh Empire, 1843-1893
27 November: Luisa Brunori (Paris): Louis XIV, Colbert and the Ordonnance du commerce of 1673

Recent Publications

Journal Article (German) Backerra, Charlotte, and Cathleen Sarti. “Mitgift, Widerlage, Wittum: Geld in dynastischen Heiraten (ca. 1450-1650).” Werkstatt Geschichte 88, no. 2 (2023): 15–28; Special Issue Reden über Geld in der internationalen Politik.

Book Series Studies in Monarchy & Money. Royal Economic, Business, and Financial Histories

Flyer Book Series

Cathleen Sarti (ed.), Women and Economic Power in Premodern Royal Courts (Gender and Power in the Premodern World), Leeds: ARC Humanities Press, 2020.