The Hanseatic League which displeased the merchants of London, because of the advantagebus terms granted to the foreigner.
The Hanseatic and Flemish merchants largely increased its prosperity, but on the withdrawal of the Hanseatic League about 1470 and the break-up of the gild system Boston's prosperity began to wane, and for some centuries it remained almost without trade.
While the political element in the development of the Hanseatic League must not be underestimated, it was not so formative as the economic. The foundation was laid for the growth of German towns along the southern shore of the Baltic by the great movement of German colonization of Slavic territory east of the Elbe.
It is impossible to assign any precise date for the beginning of the Hanseatic League or to name any single factor which explains the origin of that loose but effective federation of North German towns.
It joined the Hanseatic league in 1270, and about the same time began to engage in the linen manufacture, which was greatly extended during the 16th and 17th centuries by a number of refugees from the Netherlands.
The town joined the Hanseatic League in 1407.
The Hanseatic museum is housed in a carefully-preserved gaard, or store-house and offices of the Hanseatic League of German merchants, who inhabited the German quarter (Tydskenbryggen) and were established here in great strength from 1445 to 1558 (when the Norwegians began to find their presence irksome), and brought much prosperity to the city in that period.