VISBY, or Wisby, the capital of the Swedish island and administrative district (lain) of Gotland, in the Baltic Sea.
Germans were early pushing as permanent settlers into the Scandinavian towns, and in Wisby, on the island of Gothland, the Scandinavian centre of Baltic trade, equal rights as citizens in the town government were possessed by the German settlers as early as the beginning of the 13th century.
There also came into existence at Wisby the first association of German traders abroad, which united the merchants of over thirty towns, from Cologne and Utrecht in the West to Reval in the East.
According to the "Skra," the by-laws of the Novgorod branch, the four aldermen of the community of Germans, who among other duties held the keys of the common chest, deposited in Wisby, were to be chosen from the merchants of the Gothland association and of the towns of Lubeck, Soest and Dortmund.
In 1293 the Saxon and Wendish merchants at Rostock decided that all appeals from Novgorod be taken to Lubeck instead of to Wisby, and six years later the Wendish and Westphalian towns, meeting at Lubeck, ordered that the Gothland association should no longer use a common seal.
In 1361 representatives from Lubeck and Wisby visited Novgorod to recodify the by-laws of the counter and to admonish it that new statutes required the consent of Lubeck, Wisby, Riga, Dorpat and Reval.
In the meanwhile, the conquest of Wisby by Waldemar IV.
The towns of the League, stretching from Thorn and Krakow on the East to the towns of the Zuider Zee on the West, and from Wisby and Reval in the North to GÃ¶ttingen in the South, were arranged in groups, following in the main the territorial divisions.
The details, as well as those of the German settlement at Wisby and on the east coast of the Baltic,.