Jan Brueghel the Elder: The Village Street, 1603

Travelling in the Service of the Monarch


Going on a journey in early modern times was an arduous undertaking as there were very few routes fit for travelling. While more privileged members of society went on educational trips across Europe and Jesuit missionaries travelled the world, most of the common people travelled on foot and rarely left their local regions. Mobility was an important aspect of many professions: market vendors and travelling traders bought and sold their wares in regional markets, and couriers carried messages from one town to another. However, not every journey was undertaken voluntarily: people from crisis-ridden areas such as the east of the Habsburg Empire left their homeland in order to establish a life elsewhere.

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