Ponten, Clare van der (fl. 14th c.)

views updated

Ponten, Clare van der (fl. 14th c.)

Flemish wool merchant. Flourished in the 14th century in Ghent, Flanders; married.

In the 14th century, Clare van der Ponten was a wool merchant of Ghent. She and husband spent most of their lives building up a solid business importing and selling wool; Clare's vital contribution to the family business is shown by that fact that her husband had Clare made his legal surrogate. This meant that Clare could transact any business and sign any contract in her husband's name and have it be legally binding; it also made her legally responsible for his debts. While he was away on business, Clare managed their affairs well on her own, helping them become a prosperous mercantile family.


Anderson, Bonnie S., and Judith P. Zinsser. A History of Their Own. Vol. I. NY: Harper & Row, 1988.

Laura York , Riverside, California