Страхи Томаса Грэшема и репутационные игры английских монархов с иностранными кредиторами в середине XVI века
This article investigates features of the subject position of the English monarchs in relation to the merchants of the Antwerp bourse where they borrowed money between 1544 and 1574 when they quitted the foreign borrowing having found it irksome. However, the thirty years that it borrowed the money internationally allow looking at the mechanisms of how the absolutist monarchs dealt with the consolidated merchant community that was formed in Antwerp in the 16th c. and what ideology lay behind the monarchs’ attitude towards this practice. The study is based on the correspondence of the English royal financial agent in the Netherlands, merchant Thomas Gresham (1519?–1579) with the English statesmen. He served Edward VI, Mary Tudor and Elizabeth Tudor. This correspondence helps investigate the understanding of the foreign borrowing on the part of a merchant, as well as on the part of the absolutist monarchs. The analysis shows that whereas the international merchant community functioned on the ground of the reputation concept, according to which a borrower could get credit only if they proved to be a trustworthy partner, be it even a monarch, the English crown tended to deal with foreign creditors in the same way as with its own subjects within the royal prerogative. Gresham tried to teach his masters that it was the reputation that mattered in acquiring access to unlimited credit resources on the foreign market. However, these resources did not seem so appealing to the English crown in the 16th century, so that it preferred to quit rather than play the reputation games.