From some eighty legajos at Simancas relating to Seville in the years 1599-1620 which Pierre Chaunu did not use in his Séville et l’Atlantique, this pupil of his has produced a valuable complement to the magnum opus. The data assembled by Mlle. Moret are drawn largely from correspondence of local royal officials with Madrid. They are concerned especially with the numbers, activities, and governmental supervision of the French, English, Scottish, Dutch, and Flemish merchants trading at Seville and with the Crown’s efforts to regulate and protect the city’s large-scale trade with northern Europe.
Since Seville was the great entrepôt for products and treasure of the Indies moving to the North, the study is especially illuminating on numerous metropolitan features of the commerce with the American colonies. Among these are the foreign mercantile communities in Seville, the royal fiscal and military organization of the whole Lower Guadalquivir region, and the annual fluctuations of ship arrivals and departures in the transfer of New World commodities to the big northern European centers. Other foci are the conjunctural effects of war and foreign policy upon Sevillian trade and the city’s continuing commercial vitality in the years under Philip III before the outbreak of the Thirty Years War. All these subjects receive skillful attention in this informative, lucidly presented monograph.