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This is a comparative analysis of maritime law and its administration in five northern European towns. It has often been assumed that there was a common maritime law in northern Europe, shared between skippers and merchants who conducted their business along the North Sea and Baltic littoral. This study examines this assumption by studying the dissemination of law compilations across this region, and by comparing the contents of these and the judgments passed by urban courts in cases of shipwreck, jettison and ship collision. Medieval maritime law has never before been the subject of a major study in the English language. The practice of maritime law has, up until now, largely been ignored. This book is the first to offer a comparison of maritime laws and court proceedings. It is also unique in that it provides a truly comparative history, covering a large geographical area stretching from Aberdeen on the North Sea coast to Reval (present-day Tallinn) in the innermost regions of the Baltic. Key features: overview of all medieval maritime law compilations; an insight into the workings of medieval urban courts; a unique study of maritime law and legal practice; and, comparative approach allows for impactful conclusions on medieval shipping.