IV ENGLAND IN 1760
Manufactures and Trade

AMONG the manufactures of the time the woollen business was by far the most important. 'All our measures,' wrote Bishop Berkeley in 1737, 'should tend towards the immediate encouragement of our woollen manufactures, which must be looked upon as the basis of our wealth.' In 1701 our woollen exports were worth £2,000,000, or 'above a fourth part of the whole export trade.'1 In 1770 they were worth £4,000,000, or between a third and a fourth of the whole.2 The territorial distribution of the manufacture was much the same as now. This industry had probably existed in England from an early date. It is mentioned in a law of 1224.3 In 1331 John Kennedy brought the art of weaving woollen cloth from Flanders into England, and received the protection of the king, who at the same time invited over fullers and dyers. There is extant a petition of the worstedweavers and merchants of Norwich to Edward III. in 1348. The coarse cloths of Kendal and the fine cloths of Somerset, Dorset, Bristol, and Gloucester are mentioned in the statutes of the same century. In 1391 we hear of Guildford cloths, and in 1467 of the woollen manufacture in Devonshire -- at Lifton, Tavistock, and Rowburgh. In 1402 the manufacture was settled to a great extent in and near London, but it gradually shifted, owing to the high price of labour and provisions, to Surrey, Kent, Essex, Berkshire, and Oxfordshire, and afterwards still further, into the counties of Dorset, Wilts, Somerset, Gloucester, and Worcester, and even as far as Yorkshire.

There were three chief districts in which the woollen trade was carried on about 1760. One of these owed its manufacture to the wars in the Netherlands. In consequence of Alva's persecutions ( 1567-8) many Flemings settled in Norwich (which had been desolate since Ket's rebellion 20 in 1549), Colchester, 20 Sand-

-19-

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