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of the massacre of St. Bartholomew 1. The authorities freely admitted that the city had "received no small benefit by her majesty's permission "2. The strangers, it was said, showed themselves quiet and orderly, and worked diligently to earn their livelihood. A document drawn up about 1575 bears striking testimony to the services conferred by the strangers upon Norwich. "They brought a great commodity thither, namely, the making of bays, etc. . whereby they do not only set on work their own people, but do also set on work our own people within the city, as also a great number of people near twenty miles about the city. . . . By their means our city is well inhabited, and decayed houses re-edified and repaired that were in ruin. . They live holy of themselves without charge, and do beg of no man, and do sustain all their own poor people "4. But in spite of the advantages arising from the presence of aliens at Norwich, considerable friction ensued from attempts on the part of the authorities to bring them under control, and to compel them to sell their commodities only to freemen of the city. The English shearers of worsted also complained that as a result of the new draperies their occupation was nearly gone 5. In 1571 the "Book of Orders" was drawn up for the strangers of Norwich, embodying the regulations by which they were henceforth to be governed, and allowing them to trade with burgesses and aliens alike 6. Norwich was not the only seat of the new draperies. About 1565 the Dutch immigrants also settled at Colchester, where a few years later (1573) they numbered over five hundred, and in 1586 nearly thirteen hundred 7. Colchester had always been an important city:
"On all the Essexian shore the town of greatest fame ";
1 Moens (op. cit. 36) thinks that there was no further settlement, but in 1582 the number of aliens was 4679 after one-third had been destroyed by pestilence (ibid. 44). See Records of Norwich, ii. p. lxxxiii. 2 Moens, op. cit. i. part ii. App. xx.
3 Ibid. i. part i. 27.
5 Ibid. i. part i. 28, 37.
▲ Ibid. i. part ii. App. xix.
Ibid. i. part ii. App. xviii.
7 In 1571 they numbered 185: W. J. C. Moens, The Dutch Church at Colchester (Huguenot Soc. Pub. vol. xii.), p. iii. In 1573 the figure had reached 534, including a few French settlers: ibid. 1293: ibid. p. viii.
In 1586 they counted
and from earliest times it was closely connected with the cloth trade. At the end of the thirteenth century a greater number of its inhabitants were occupied in the woollen industry than in any other calling, except the leather trade; at the same period its cloth was paying duty at the quay of Ipswich1. The strangers were now warmly welcomed by the authorities. "We cannot but greatly commend the same strangers unto you", they wrote to the privy council, "for sithence their first coming hither we find them to be very honest, godly, civil and well-ordered people, not given to any outrage or excess"2. Nor were they mistaken in their expectation that the newcomers would bring great profit "to the Common Estate of the town", for Colchester became one of the chief centres in England of the new manufactures. The writer of a letter to Walsingham, the secretary of state, observes that before the refugees came to Colchester a great many houses stood empty, and "tenants could not be gotten for them at any reasonable rent"; he adds, "For God's cause I beseech you to pity the poor strangers". But at Colchester, as at Norwich, despite the benefits conferred by the Dutch settlers, there was considerable difficulty in adjusting the relations between the foreign weavers and the native inhabitants. Attempts were even made to expel them from the town, and they were disturbed and troubled by "the meaner sort" as well as by the native weavers, who were jealous of their competition and resented the exclusive right of the Dutch to search and seal all the new draperies made in the town, whether by aliens or denizens. Troubles also arose at Halstead where some settled in 1576, on account of the jealousy of the native manufacturers whose persecution eventually drove them from the town, notwithstanding the efforts of the privy council to keep them there. Their withdrawal ruined the prosperity of Halstead, where at the time of their settlement eight or nine score bays were sent week by week to London, providing much employment for spinners and weavers in the neighbourhood, while now the output mustered a bare "seven or eight 2 Moens, op. cit. p. ii. Vict. County Hist. Essex, ii. 388, 390.
1 Supra, pp. 393, 396. 3 Ibid. p. vi.
single bays in one whole week"1. The blind and unreasoning attachment of the native weavers to their own narrow interests was an obstacle to the progress of the new manufacture. Their dislike of innovations told in the same. direction; the Suffolk clothiers, for example, were hostile to the new draperies, which they contemptuously termed slight and vain commodities wherein the common people delight "2. Alien weavers are found in other towns — Thetford and Yarmouth, Stamford and Sandwich 3. At Southampton the privy council allowed twenty families to settle in the town, each with ten men-servants, on condition that every household retained and instructed two English apprentices for a period of seven years.
The settlement of aliens was not the only cause of friction conflict of in the cloth trade during the sixteenth century, and a fresh source of contention originated in the rivalry between the corporate boroughs and market towns on the one hand, and rural districts on the other. The former endeavoured to retain in their own hands the sole right to manufacture cloth, and the charters of the twelfth century gave their craft gilds a practical monopoly within a well-defined area. Norwich, Oxford, Derby, York, Nottingham and other important centres remained for a long time the emporium, to which cloth-makers settled in the vicinity brought their cloth for sale. Moreover, the town clothier often became the employer of country weavers, who worked for him in their cottage homes. In the eyes of the clothiers the system had the twofold advantage, that it enabled them to obtain cheaper labour and to evade the control of the gild authorities. But it provoked the jealousy of the urban craftsmen, whose opportunities for employment were proportionately diminished. In 1464, for example, the carders, spinners, weavers and fullers of Northampton raised an outcry that cloth-makers put their work into the hands of workers who dwelt outside the franchise 5. Accordingly, many of the towns sought to crush the rivalry of rural artisans, and to 1 Vict. County Hist. Essex, ii. 389; Moens, op. cit. p. v.
2 Vict. County Hist. Suffolk, ii. 267.
3 Moens, op. cit. p. i; Burn, Foreign Refugees, 205, 218.
5 Records of Northampton, i. 303.
protect their industrial population from foreign' competition by forbidding the burgesses to give employment to country folk. Even in the thirteenth century, Winchester had enjoined that no citizen should manufacture burel cloth outside the city1. Bristol, on the other hand, at first permitted woollen cloth to be woven in country districts, provided it had first been inspected by the authorities to ensure the proper measurements, but in 1381 the licence was withdrawn 2. Norwich (1421) also decided that no inhabitant should employ any weaver or fuller, who did not dwell or ply his craft within the city3; and again at Coventry no yarn was allowed to be sent outside the town (1549) to be worked up in the country, and no man nor woman was to put out cloth to be woven in the country (1518) 4. We are left in no doubt as to the motive of these prohibitions, which is set forth in the ordinances of Worcester (1467): And that no citizen . . . put out any wool in hurting of the said city or in hindering of the poor commonalty of the same, where there be persons enough . . . to dye, card or spin, weave or cloth-walk within the city, to any manner [of] person or persons foreign "5. It is necessary to lay stress upon the fact that the industrial conflict of town and country is older than the sixteenth century, because it has hardly received sufficient attention.
In addition to the rivalry of urban and rural craftsmen, Rivalry of which gradually recedes into the background, there grew up a rivalry of town and country clothiers". The villages clothiers. ceased to depend upon the towns for industrial employment, and owing to the rapid extension of the woollen manufacture in rural districts its control began to slip from the grasp of the older English boroughs. In Suffolk, for example, Ipswich, Bury St. Edmunds and Sudbury no longer remained the only centres of the cloth trade, and the weaving industry became established in villages like Lavenham. If we follow
2 Little Red Book of Bristol, ii. 5, 7.
1 Archæol. Journal, ix. 77. 3 Records of Norwich, ii. 86. 4 Coventry Leet Book, iii. 661, 791. In 1530 no cloth was to be fulled by non-inhabitants: ibid. iii. 704; this was repeated in 1536: ibid. iii. 723.
5 Smith, English Gilds, 383. The prohibition against the export of yarn was repeated in 1540: Vict. County Hist. Worcestershire, ii. 287. 6 Cf. Unwin, Industrial Organization, 91.
in the wake of Leland's Itinerary, we can trace in certain counties of England both the decay of the older towns and the rise of the new country 'townlets', which owed their prosperity to the spread of the textile industries. At Beverley1, once famous for its cloth, the woollen manufacture was "much decayed". Bridgnorth 2 in Shropshire formerly "stood by clothing, and that now decayed there, the town sorely decayed therewith". Coventry 3 had risen "by the making of cloth and caps, that now decaying the glory of the city decayeth". On the other hand in Somersetshire, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire numerous "clothing towns" and "clothing villages" are enumerated: Bradford, Frome, Pensford, Chew Magna and Norton St. Philip in Somersetshire; Alderley, Wotton, Dursley, Tortworth and Wickwar in Gloucestershire 5; Devizes, Steeple Ashton and Westbury in Wiltshire. Of all these places Leland tells how one is "well occupied with clothiers ", and how another "standeth most by clothing"; and his list could easily be extended from other sources. A similar movement can be discerned in the West Riding of Yorkshire. The aulnager's rolls for the county at the end of the fourteenth century show that weaving was carried on in country districts near York, but was not yet organized on any large scale in the remoter parts of Yorkshire. In the sixteenth century, however, the prosperity of the corporate towns in Yorkshire began to wane, and their place was usurped by their younger rivals. Leland, whose evidence we have already cited for Beverley, specially mentions Wakefield as a town whose "whole profit standeth by coarse drapery "9. In 1561 the authorities of York complained of the decayed fortunes of their city. 'The cause of the decay of the weavers and looms for woollen [cloth] within the city, as I 1 Itinerary, i. 47. 3 Ibid. ii. 108. 4 Ibid. v. 84 (Bradford the pretty clothing town on Avon "); 97 (Frome); 98 (Norton St. Philip); 103 (Pensford, Chew Magna).
2 Ibid. ii. 85.
Ibid. v. 95 (Alderley, Wotton); 96 (Dursley, Tortworth, Wickwar). Ibid. v. 82 (Devizes); 83 (Steeple Ashton and Westbury). 'E.g. in Somersetshire the industry was also growing up in Mudford and Croscombe, the latter having a gild of weavers and a gild of fullers : Vict. County Hist. Somersetshire, ii. 301, 408. The act of 1465 (Statutes, ii. 406) shows that the woollen industry was spreading in country districts. 8 Vict. County Hist. Yorkshire, ii. 409-410. • Itinerary, i. 42.