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jealousy of the stranger within the gates', which undoubtedly militated against the expansion of industry. Its monopoly indeed has met on every hand with severe condemnation, and the subsequent efforts of the gilds to confine membership to a narrow and selfish clique merit the censure they have received. But in the earlier stages of craft development the gilds, as we have already contended, can hardly be blamed for excluding from their privileges those who were reluctant to share their charges. The responsibility, if any, must lie with the Crown or the municipality, which employed the gilds as the instruments of their exactions. Moreover, we have to remember that the town authorities enjoyed the right to control the privileges of the craft gilds in the interests of the community, and could take steps to avoid the dangers of a monopoly. At Coventry country bakers and butchers were allowed to sell bread and meat in the market on certain days in the week 1, and the town traders were forbidden to molest them in any way. At Chester foreign' butchers and bakers could normally sell their commodities twice a week, so as to "reduce the sale of victuals to a lesser price "2. At London and York the victualling crafts were not permitted an unrestricted monopoly, and country dealers were allowed to sell in the market 3. A more significant example of the exercise of municipal discretion was displayed when the mayor of Chester, in order to set up a new branch of the cloth trade, introduced weavers from Shrewsbury skilled in the manufacture of "cottons, friezes, russets, bays", and protected the strangers from the native weavers who tried to drive them from the town 4.

But whatever opinion we may form as to the merits and defects of the gild system, we can at any rate do justice to its most admirable feature, the institution of apprenticeship. Whatever its drawbacks, the gild has bequeathed to us the ideal of technical training and sound craftsmanship, an ideal binding on all alike who work with hand or brain.

1 Coventry Leet Book, i. 24 (bakers, 1421); iii. 780 (butchers, 1547). 2 Morris, Chester, 421, 441.

3 For London, cf. supra, p. 338 (n. 7) (fishmongers). For York: Memorandum Book, i. 57. 4 Morris, Chester, 408 (1576).



the woollen

THE first great impulse towards a native manufacture Early of cloth, "the worthiest and richest commodity of this history of kingdom"1, came in the reign of Edward III., but the industry. history of the English woollen industry can be traced far beyond the fourteenth century. We have already seen how the weavers under Henry I. and Henry II. established gilds in London, Oxford, Lincoln, Huntingdon, Nottingham, Winchester and York 2. Of these the most considerable was the gild of London, whose weavers paid a farm of twelve pounds into the Exchequer, while the rest contributed sums varying from ten pounds in the case of York to forty shillings in the case of Huntingdon and Nottingham. Another important centre of the cloth trade was Stamford, whose dyers and weavers are mentioned in an agreement drawn up in 1182 between the lord of Stamford and the convent of Peterborough 3. At one time Stamford bid fair to become the seat of a University, and to rival the supremacy of Oxford and Cambridge. In every part of the country an organized weaving industry was carried on during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, and as its early history still remains obscure it is worth while to notice the places where it flourished. In Yorkshire the chief centre of the cloth trade was the city of York itself, but York did not enjoy, as is sometimes thought, the sole monopoly of cloth1 Coke, Second Part of the Institutes, 41. Supra, p. 322.

Vict. County Hist. Lincolnshire, ii. 305. Collectanea I. (Oxford Hist. Soc.), for an account of the Stamford


Gross, Gild Merchant, i. 108 (n. 3); Ashley, Economic History, ii. 251.


making in the county, for other Yorkshire towns including Beverley and Scarborough could also manufacture cloth'. The woollen industry began to spread through the West Riding, and at an early period Wakefield, Halifax and Bradford were already connected with it. This shows that the textile manufactures were growing up in country places as well as in towns. Indeed the regulations of the gild merchant of Leicester in 1264, forbidding craftsmen to weave the cloth of neighbouring villages unless they were short of work, would suggest that the industrial rivalry of the towns and country districts is older than historians of the cloth trade seem to have recognized. Incidentally, it is an additional proof of the size and importance of the textile manufacture. There are signs that the woollen industry was spreading also in the villages of Gloucestershire, Somersetshire and Hampshire; thus there were fullers at Clively and Hawkesbury, weavers at Cheltenham and Dunster, and fulling mills at Waltham, Sutton and Alresford 4. In Norfolk the worsted trade was established at Worstead and Aylsham. Norwich itself had not yet become the seat of a weaving industry but traded in leather and leather goods, although the French chronicler, Jordan Fantosme, explains the easy capture of the city by rebels in 1174 on the ground that the men of Norwich "for the most part were weavers ; they knew not how to bear arms in knightly wise". However this may be, a number of inhabitants were engaged in the finishing processes of the woollen industry, fulling and dyeing 5. In Suffolk we find mention of fullers at Bury St. Edmunds, cloth-dealers, dyers and weavers at Ipswich,

1 Patent Rolls, 1345-1348, p. 199. See Farrer, Early Yorkshire Charters, i. 263, for Henry II.'s charter to the weavers of York.

2 Vict. County Hist. Yorkshire, ii. 407-408. Bradford had a fulling mill in 1311 worth 20s. a year: James, History of Bradford, 61.

3 Records of Leicester, i. 105.

For Clively, Hawkesbury and Cheltenham : Vict. County Hist. Gloucestershire, ii. 157. For Dunster: Vict. County Hist. Somersetshire, ii. 407. For Waltham, etc. : Vict. County Hist. Hampshire, v. 478.

For the worsted trade, see infra, p. 430; and for Norwich, Records, ii. pp. xii, xxii-xxiii. A weaver at Norwich is mentioned in the leet rolls in 1289 Hudson, Leet Jurisdiction, 30.

For Bury: Chronica Jocelini, 76. For Blackbourne: Powell, A Suffolk Hundred in 1283, p. xxi. For Ipswich: Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archæology, xii. part ii. 137-157.

and textile workers at Blackbourne. The existence of a cloth manufacture in Lancashire is shown by the erection of fulling mills on the Irk at Manchester 1, and at Colne and Burnley 2, while the Boldon Book of Durham refers to the dyers of Darlington3. Cloth-makers from Bruges are said to have settled in Essex early in the fourteenth century; and at Colchester the cloth industry already absorbed the chief energies of its inhabitants, another centre being Coggeshall. Oxford held the leading position in its own county, but Woodstock 5 also could boast a weaver, dyer and tailor, while weavers figure early in the list of burgesses at Wallingford in Berkshire. Even in the west of England the cloth trade had gained a footing and was rapidly developed. At Bridgnorth in Shropshire the jury complained, as early as 1203, that the assize of cloth was not held in the borough. At Bristol, according to the tallage roll for 1312, nearly one-fifth of the townspeople were connected with the woollen industry, and part of the High Street was termed the Drapery 9. At Cirencester, where there were weavers and dyers in the time of Henry III., Cheaping Street became known as Dyers' Street 1o, and there was a Fullers' Street at Tewkesbury 11. Finally, there were weavers and dyers at Worcester and Evesham 12, and some indications also of a cloth trade at Cardiff 13.



Altogether our evidence tends to show that a woollen Twelfthmanufacture was carried on in most parts of the realm at an early period, and we shall also see that many local varieties had gained reputation. At the same time we are not without some knowledge of the different fabrics manu1 Harland, Mamecestre, i. 143; its value in 1282 was 26s. 8d. 2 Vict. County Hist. Lancaster, ii. 376.

3 Domesday iv. 582.

4 Vict. County Hist. Essex, ii. 381, 382. For Coggeshall and other centres, see infra, p. 396. 5 Ballard, Chronicles of Woodstock, 9. • Hist. MSS. Comm. 6th Rep. App. 572. In 1227 it contained 4 weavers and 5 fullers: ibid. 576. The vill of Battle also contained its weaver in the twelfth century: English Hist. Review, xxix. 429.

7 Eyton, Antiquities of Shropshire, i. 298.

8 E. A. Fuller, "The Tallage of 6 Edw. II.", in Trans. Bristol and Glouc. Archæol. Soc. xix. part ii. 219.

Latimer, Merchant Venturers, 10.

19 Trans. Bristol and Glouc. Archæol. Soc. ix. part i. 319.

11 "Annales de Theokesberia ", in Annales Monastici, i. 160.

12 Vict. County Hist. Worcestershire, ii. 283.

13 Records of Cardiff, i. 11.

Assize of cloth.

factured in England in the twelfth century, and their relative values. In 1182 the sheriff of Lincolnshire purchased cloth for the king's need: and the Pipe Roll, on which the account was entered, shows that an ell of 'scarlet' cost six and eightpence, an ell of blanket three shillings, green say three shillings, and grey say one and eightpence. The appearance of the word blanket discloses an earlier use of the term than has hitherto been known 1.

The interest taken by the government in the manufacture of cloth is shown by Richard I.'s famous assize (1197) fixing statutory measures, and assigning four or six men in each borough to compel obedience to its regulations. In practice, however, the assize appears to have been evaded by the payment of fines ad opus regis, ad damnum multorum2; and in 1202 a large number of towns, including Nottingham, Stamford, Beverley and Lincoln, purchased the right to "buy and sell dyed cloth as they were wont to do in the time of King Henry". At the end of John's reign, Magna Carta again enjoined that there should be "one width of cloth, whether dyed, russet or halberget, to wit, two ells within the lists "4. Even London, Norwich and Bristol 5 were induced to moderate their jealousy of foreign traders, in order to encourage the importation of woad for purposes of dyeing; and large sums were paid as custom-duty. In spite, then, of the scanty

1 Pipe Roll, 28 Hen. II. (vol. xxxi. 50). This is 120 years earlier than the date given in Murray's Dictionary, cit. Ashley, Economic History, ii. 247. There were two blanket-makers in Bristol in 1312: Trans. Bristol and Glouc. Archæol. Soc. xix. part ii. 217. This completely disposes of the belief that blanket was named after its first maker Thomas Blanket": Pryce, Memorials of the Canynges' Family, 51, 54. For Thomas Blanket, see infra, p. 413. 2 Hoveden, iv. 33 and 172.

3 Madox, Exchequer, 324. This point has been much misunderstood. Many writers have taken it to mean (i.) that the importation of foreign cloth had been forbidden in order to encourage the native industry, and that the trading towns now bought licences freeing them from the prohibition; or (ii.) that it was an attempt on the part of the ruling classes in the town to acquire the monopoly of the sale of cloth.

4 Magna Carta, c. xxxv. According to the De Antiquis Legibus Liber, 125, it was enacted in 1269 that imported cloth should be 1 ells in width and 26 ells in length.

For London and Norwich, see infra, p. 450. At Bristol (1266) merchants of woad could tarry more than forty days on payment of a fine: Charter Rolls, ii. 62.

• In 1197 London paid £96 for licence to import woad: Madox, Exchequer, 531. In 1214 the duty paid in Kent and Sussex (except Dover) was £103, and at the ports of Yorkshire £98: ibid. 530.

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