The career of Stephen Vaughan , the King’s agent on the Bourse in Antwerp in the 1540s illustrates an overlooked area of Tudor policy and governance. On the outbreak of war with France the English crown was faced with an unprecedented financial crisis. As the Lord Treasurer wrote in despair there was no cash available in any of the usual places and the war effort depended on the employment of mercenaries who had no intention of accepting any method of payment other than cash on the nail. Vaughan’s task was to raise the necessary funds in loans contracted for on the Bourse.
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