Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Manufacturing and Trades: The Urban Economies of the North Essex Cloth Towns c1770-1851

By Neil David Raven

Abstract

The thesis seeks to contribute to the study of the urban economies of the small, slow growing towns of the late Georgian and early Victorian period. This is undertaken at two levels. First, consideration is given to sources. A number of mainly quantitative sources became available from the later 18th century. Four principal ones are identified. Each of the main chapters deals with one of these; evaluating the information contained and considering methods by which this can be used to assess the character and prosperity of the small town urban economy.\ud At the second level the thesis applies these methodologies to a case study of three north Essex cloth towns. Despite experiencing the transition to factory-based production, these towns did not witness the associated urban expansion. A two-part hypothesis is advanced to explain this phenomenon. The first suggests that differences in economic orientation existed between the case study towns and their rapidly growing counterparts in the north; the second, that the dominance of these non-industrial activities restrained the extent to which industry in the Essex towns grew.\ud Results gained from application of the sources to the case study are shown to support the hypothesis. First, in contrast to towns such as Halifax and Macclesfield, marketing and thoroughfare functions formed the staple economic activities of the Essex towns. Second, the Essex silk manufacturers pursued a low wage policy requiring expansion of production through the establishment of additional mills in other settlements. This policy is shown to have been a rational response to local labour markets created by the operation of the towns as agricultural marketing and thoroughfare centres. In concluding similar observations are made for other towns in southern England

Publisher: University of Leicester
Year: 1998
OAI identifier: oai:lra.le.ac.uk:2381/8432

Suggested articles

Citations

  1. 239; Castle Hedingham Vol. III, 251-52; Earls Colne Vol. III, 252-53; Horndon, Vol. III, 289; Harlow Vol.
  2. (1899). A , `Historians of Essex VI: a gentleman', Essex Review,
  3. (1996). A Consolidated Bibliography of Urban History, (Hants,
  4. (1989). A proto-industrial community study: Coggeshall in Essex, c1500-1750' (unpublished PhD thesis,
  5. A proto-industrial community study',
  6. (1997). A shortened version of this chapter, which focused on Braintree and Bocking, entitled, 'The trade directory: a source for the study of early nineteenth century urban economies', appeared
  7. (1985). A Town built on Silk: doi
  8. (1803). Abstract of the Answers and Returns made pursuant to Act 43 Geo 3, Relative to the Poor in England: Parliamentary Papers.
  9. (1996). Adapting to Capitalism: Working Women in the English Economy, doi
  10. (1981). Agricultural seasonal unemployment, the standard of living, and women's work in the south and east, 1690-1860', doi
  11. Agricultural seasonal unemployment', doi
  12. (1965). Agriculture and economic growth in England, 1660-1750: agricultural change',
  13. Amersham and Chesham straw plait was considered to be a large employer in the
  14. (1997). An investigation of the female-male wage gap during the industrial revolution in Britain', doi
  15. Asked `Are you acquainted with any Coventry manufacturers?, Hall replied, 'I know many. '
  16. centuries, Oldham and its early Victorian working class, and carpet manufacturing in Halifax.
  17. Commercial Directory 1823-4,129-132; idem,
  18. Commercial Directory 1823-4,155; idem,
  19. Commercial Directory 1823-4,157-158; idem,
  20. Commercial Directory 1823-4,159-160,3-8; idem,
  21. Commercial Directory 1823-4,226-228,203-204; idem,
  22. Commercial Directory 1823-4,233-234; idem,
  23. Commercial Directory 1823-4,254-257; idem,
  24. Commercial Directory 1823-4,261-262; idem,
  25. Commercial Directory 1823-4,262-264; idem,
  26. Commercial Directory 1823-4,441-443; idem,
  27. Commercial Directory 1823-4,453-454; idem,
  28. Commercial Directory, 1844,3-8; idem,
  29. considerable inland trade in corn etc'. The same comment was also made in the 1840s
  30. containing 'London, Mdsx, Essex, Herts, Kent, Surrey and Sussex'; Pigot & Co., Directory (London, 1832), containing 'London,
  31. (1995). Coping with city growth'. doi
  32. (1996). Current bibliography', doi
  33. (1996). Current bibliography', 597, doi
  34. (1997). Current bibliography', 866, doi
  35. (1840). De-industrialisation and the urban response', 46-69. Three directories were used comprising the UBD, Baines, History,
  36. De-industrialisation as economic adjustment'.
  37. (1978). English Towns 1500-1700: Studies in Historical Geography doi
  38. (1969). Essex at Work,
  39. European directories', doi
  40. (1989). example, is one who considers Coggeshall to have de-industrialised and, by the second half of the 18th century, to have become little more than an `agrarian village'.
  41. (1950). For a more complete account
  42. (1993). Forward and index', The Universal British Directory 1793-1798,
  43. Forward and index'.
  44. From 'which Returns have been obtained'. doi
  45. General View of the Agriculture in the County of Essex (London,
  46. Growth and decay',
  47. Growth and decline', doi
  48. History of Essex by a doi
  49. History of Essex by a Gentleman,
  50. (1989). Household and family among the poor: the case of two Essex communities in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries' doi
  51. (1994). In neo-classical economics businesses adopt rational, profit maximising behaviour. The actual form this takes will be
  52. Industrialisation and the development',
  53. (1978). Industry and towns 1500-1730', in doi
  54. (1994). Industry in the Countryside: Wealden Society in the Sixteenth Century (Cambridge: doi
  55. London and Provincial New Commercial Directory (London, 1823-4), 294;
  56. (1992). London in the Age of Industrialisation: Entrepreneurs, Labour Force and Living Conditions, doi
  57. (1992). London in the Age of Industrialisation: Entrepreneurs, Labour Force, and Living Conditions, doi
  58. (1979). Measuring industrial growth from trade directories',
  59. Measuring industrial growth',
  60. My thanks to Steve Caunce, University of Leeds, for drawing my attention to this.
  61. Occupational censuses and the agricultural workforce', doi
  62. Post Office Directory (London, 1845), contains 'Essex,
  63. (1990). Proto-industralisation',
  64. (1984). Proto-industrialisation? Cottage industry, social change, and industrial revolution', doi
  65. (1987). Rate books: a technique of reconstructing the local economy',
  66. (1994). Regional labour market integration in England and Wales, doi
  67. (1973). Regional Wage Variations in Britain, doi
  68. Report into the Administration of the Poor Laws. Appendix (A. ). Part 1: Assistant Commissioners' Reports: Parliamentary Papers 1834 (44) XXVIII,
  69. Return of Mills and Factories Specifying the Number of Persons Employed
  70. (1990). Similarly, commenting on the wages paid to females working for Courtaulds in the middle of the century, Lown observed that they 'compared unfavourably with those of their counterparts in other branches of the textile industry in the north of
  71. (1995). Small towns in England, 1550-1850: national and regional population trends',
  72. (1974). The Banburys of England', Urban History Yearbook (Leicester, doi
  73. (1978). The content and reliability of 18th century trade directories',
  74. The content and reliability of directories',
  75. (1957). The economic development of Essex in the later seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries' (unpublished PhD thesis,
  76. (1977). The English pillow lace industry 1840-1880: a rural industry in competition with machinery', doi
  77. The rise of the new draperies in Essex',
  78. The south east: Kent, Surrey and Sussex', doi
  79. (1982). The Universal British Directory -a warning',
  80. (1976). The use of directories in comparing the industrial structure of towns',
  81. The use of directories',
  82. (1962). Tour through the Whole Island of Great doi
  83. Trades and professions',
  84. (1831). we agreed to divide the concern; I took the mills and manufactory, and he the London warehouse and Coventry manufactory'. Silk Trade:
  85. (1994). Women's harvest: straw-plaiting and the representation of labouring women's employment, c. 1793-1885', Rural History, doi

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.