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The slave trading accounts of Manoel Batista Peres, 1613-1619: double-entry bookkeeping in cloth money

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Original languageEnglish
Article numberN/A
Pages (from-to)343-365
Number of pages22
JournalAccounting History
Issue number3
Early online date30 May 2013
E-pub ahead of print30 May 2013
PublishedAug 2013

King's Authors


This study examines the accounts of the Portuguese New Christian trader, Manoel Batista Peres. These private accounts, found in the Archivo General de la Nación in Lima, Peru, were associated with the trading of slaves on Upper Guinea Coast in the early seventeenth century. The accounts take the double-entry format but, in the absence of a metallic currency, were kept in cloth money. Combining evidence from the accounts themselves with the context in which Peres conducted his business, the study explores the reasons why he kept his accounts in this format. It shows how this system of accounting could be adapted to a non-monetised economy and contributes to the debate over the relationship between double-entry bookkeeping and the rise of capitalism.

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