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Early Trading Rights

Source: McDonald and Small, Northern Studies, 30, 1-18
Dundee burgesses were given the right to trade free of toll and custom in all English ports, except London, in 1199. In addition to export from its immediate hinterland, Dundee's importance as a port increased due to the religious houses of the area. A charter of King John of England in 1207, giving Arbroath Abbey similar trading rights to Dundee, grants the King's protection to merchants and ships of Dundee and Perth as the main carriers of the Abbey's goods. This may have been as a result of the difficulties in finding a safe anchorage in Arbroath where boats had to cross a rocky platform into the mouth of the Brothock burn. Trade from the Cistercian abbey in Coupar Angus, by the 13th century one of the richest in Scotland, also went through Dundee. Trade from the two religious houses south of the Tay, the Tironensian house at Lindores and the Cistercian at Balmerino may also have come through Dundee. The burgh was known internationally as it featured, correctly located, on Mathew of Paris's mid thirteenth century map.

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