Small Credit in a Small Town: Clerical Institutions and the Credit Market in Kaufbeuren in the Fifteenth Century
Abstract In 1438, on the occasion of construction works on the parish church of St Martin in Kaufbeuren, a register of redeemed small interest rates (“clain zins” ) was made. These 318 annuities amounting from 1 to 24 haller belonged to St Martin and various other clerical institutions in the town. The about 180 debtors made up a large part of the citizenship. The case study outlines the structure of this source and analyses some economic and social aspects of the function of clerical institutions, especially the parish church, within the credit market of a rather small town.
Keywords annuities, small towns, parish churches, foundations, fabrica ecclesiae