The Debt of England with Florence

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Emonetary debt with Florence. Or so it would be if everything had not been evened out for religious magnanimity.
How did it all start? It must be said that Florence used to be the most powerful city in the world. Florence managed a huge wealth and exerted a great political pressure all over Europe. By 1252 the city was already minting its famous Florins, a 24 carat gold coin with the flower of Florence on one side and Saint John on the other. The coin was recognized and exchanged all over the world, as its value stayed stable over time. It may seem a small thing, but minting pure gold coins that were exchanged all over was a sign of great opulence and power. Few states have been able to do so throughout history, and no other state had been able of such an act since the fall of the Byzantine empire centuries before. This coin started being the base against which all currency exchanges were made. Many created false Florins, but the forgery was easily discovered by biting the coin. Only the soft pure gold allowed the tooth to leave a mark. The Florentine saying “Saint John does not allow deceptions” is due to the attempted forgeries.
It occurred naturally that Florence became the strongest bank of the world. The capable Florentine merchants became bankers. Huge amounts of money were lent around the world, borrowed by other powers to proceed with their national necessities. Exactly the way it happens today.
When the Hundred Years War started in 1337 the king Eduard III asked an astronomical amount to the bankers Bardi and Peruzzi to finance his army. The bank had already been the official lender of the king, but never before such an amount had been requested. The bankers could not refuse the loan when the king solemnly swore to return the money. This used to be a sufficient and widely recognized guarantee. However, the war became a bottomless pit that did not foretell any good news for the bankers. Through the years England requested an amount of 1,365,000 Florins. The huge amount brought panic in Florence, the bank associates withdrew their money bringing the institution to bankruptcy. If the amount does not impress you, think about this: the current value of the debt, calculating all accrued interests, could be evened out only by the value of the entire United Kingdom!
The bankruptcy also constituted a huge blow to the entire Florentine economy, which since then started a steady decline that brought it to lose its supremacy forever.
But, British people, fear not! Your country will not be sold to the best offerer to finally give Florence its long due bag of Florins! In 1391 Gualtieri de’ Bardi, the heir of the Bardi and Peruzzi bank, acquitted all debts that Eduard III and England had with Florence. The letter from Gualtieri is still present in the London archives. Why did he do this? Back then it was believed that the soul of debtor and all their affiliates would burn in hell for eternity. Altogether with Eduard a long list of family members, Cardinals, and nobles of England would have burned in hell. Gualtieri de’ Bardi could not bare this thought, so the debt was canceled.