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Econ. Dept. Ccon. L\. ;,,'ajii Libran






INDUSTRY IN ENGLAND



HISTORICAL OUTLINES



BY

H. DE B. GIBBINS, LiTT.D., M.A.

SOMETIME UNIVERSITY (COBDEN) PRIZEMAN IN POLITICAL ECONOMY, OXKOKD

AUTHOR OF "THE INDUSTRIAL HISTORY OF ENGLAND" AMD

*" " THE HISTORY OF COMMERCE IN EUROPB "



WITH MAPS, TABLES, AND A PIAN



NINTH EDITION



NEW YORK

CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS
1916



Si*



PREFACE

IN 1890 the author published a small book, entitled The
Industrial History of England, which met with a some-
what undeserved success, and has rapidly gone through
several large editions. It was described in the first preface
as " an attempt to relate in a short, concise, and simple form
the main outlines of England's economic and industrial
history," meant " to serve as an introduction to a fuller
study of the subject, and as a preliminary sketch which
the reader can afterwards, if he wishes, fill in for himself
from larger volumes ; " and it seems to have attained its
object of awakening popular interest, to some extent, in a
very important branch of national history. But it had all
the faults of a brief outline, and contained errors of fact
and of expression which no one has regretted more sincerely
than the author. It has therefore been my endeavour, in
this larger work, to produce a History of Industry of a more
satisfactory character, while at the same time retaining the
essential features that characterised the earlier effort. As
before, I have attempted, as far as possible, in the brief
limits of a work like this, to connect economic and industrial
questions with social, political, and military movements,
since only in some such mutual relation can historical
events obtain their full significance.

The Industrial History of England has been taken, on
the whole, as the basis of this book, and the arrangement

b v >



viii INDUSTRY IN ENGLAND

of periods and chapters has been but slightly altered ; but
the original book has been entirely re-written, and so much
new matter has been added that the present volume is
quite three times the size of the first essay. Fresh maps
have been drawn, new tables of statistics added, and foot-
notes have been given for every statement of any im-
portance.

The first period also, up to the Norman conquest,
contains entirely new matter, involving a certain amount
of original work. For some time it has appeared to me
that the results of archaeological and antiquarian research
into the pre-historic period have not been sufficiently
utilised in dealing with our industrial history, and that the
origin of the manor, in especial, derives added light from
these investigations. It has therefore been my endeavour
to weave into the story of industrial progress several of the
results arrived at by investigators of pre-historic conditions,
believing, as I do, that the many centuries of industrial
human life which elapsed before our written history began
must have left upon our nation some traces of their
course. At the same time, I have not wished to emphasise
the pre-historic period unduly, and have therefore confined
the remarks upon it to a very limited space. But I hope
that the " survey of the origin of the manor," in 32, may
be some contribution to the discussion of the subject.

Throughout the book I have tried to review the in-
dustrial life of England as a whole, and to present a general
survey of it throughout its gradual development. In this
respect Industry in England differs from most works of
the kind, for they have generally been devoted either to
some special period or some special aspect, or have dealt



PREFACE ix

with industry only as a branch of the national commerce. I
have endeavoured to give full weight to the views of other
writers, especially on disputed points, 1 but have also indi-
cated my own (though with considerable diffidence) where
there seemed reason to differ from them. I do not suppose
that I have succeeded in being impartial, for, though
impartiality is the ideal, it is also the will o' the wisp of
the historian, and generally deserts him when he needs it
most ; but I have at least endeavoured to give reasons for
my conclusions. And while in some points I differ, no
one admires more than myself the work of such historians
as Dr Cunningham and Professor Ashley, whose names I
venture specially to mention, because I wish gratefully to
acknowledge the magnitude of the help rendered to me, as
to all students, by their recent contributions to industrial
history. My obligations to them are, I trust, acknowledged
as often as possible in the footnotes, but mere references of
that kind cannot convey by any means adequately the
extent to which a student like myself has benefited from
their researches.

As regards the footnotes generally, every endeavour has
been made to acknowledge all the sources which have been
consulted, and any omission in this respect the author
sincerely regrets. Considerable difficulty was occasioned
by my change of residence during the completion of the
book, and a consequent compulsory recourse to different
libraries; and the indulgence of readers and critics is
therefore asked for any omission or error thereby caused
It might also be added that this book has been written in

1 As, e.g., The Peasants' Revolt, the condition of the Labourer in the
fifteenth century, the Poor Law of Elizabeth, the Assessment of Wages,

&c., &c.



x INDUSTRY IN ENGLAND

the intervals of a very busy life, and out of reach of any
special collection of works on industrial subjects or of any
of the greater libraries of the kingdom.

I cannot conclude without paying a tribute to the
memory of the late Professor J. E. Thorold Rogers, to
whom I showed, as a mere beginner in his special subject,
the proofs of the first few chapters of the little book (The
Industrial History of England) from which this larger
volume has developed. To his kindly encouragement and to
the inspiring teaching of his economic works, I owe what-
ever knowledge I possess of that side of our national
history which is of such vast importance to a citizen of
modern England.

EL DE B. GIBBINS



PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION

THE very favourable reception and rapid sale of this book
have necessitated the issue of a second edition within a few
months of the publication of the first. Only a few verbal
corrections ha,ve been made, but I should like to quote
the following explanation from the preface to the fifth
edition of my earlier work, the Industrial History of
England :

" It has been said that I write with a prejudice against
the owners of land : but this is not the case. The landed
gentry of England happen, for some centuries, to have held
the predominant power in the State and in society, and
used it, not unnaturally, in many cases to further their own
interests. It is the duty of an historian to point this out,
but it need not, therefore, be thought that he has any
special bias against the class. Any other class would have
certainly done the same, as, for instance, mill-owners did
among their own employes at the beginning of this century,
and as, in all probability, the working-classes will do, when
a further extension of democratic government shall have
given them the opportunity. It is a fault of human nature
that it can rarely be trusted with irresponsible power, and
unless the influence of one class of society is counterbalanced



xii INDUSTRY IN ENGLAND

more or less by that of another, there will always be a
tendency to some injustice. I trust that my readers will
bear this in mind when reading the following pages, and
will believe that I intend no unfairness to the landed gentry
of England, who have done much to promote the glory and
stability of their country."

H. DE B. GIBBINS



CONTENTS



PERIOD I

EARLY HISTORY, FROM PRE-HISTORIC TIMES TO THE
NORMAN CONQUEST

CHAPTER I

PBE-ROMAN BRITAIN

SECTION PAQB

1. Industrial History ....... 3

2. The English Nation and Country ..... 3

3. The Aboriginal Inhabitants of Britain . 5

4. Their Social and Economic Condition , . 7

5. The Bronze Age and the Celtic Immigration ... 8

6. Resume" : The Peoples of Early Britain .... 10

7. Their Social and Economic Condition . . . .10

8. The Celts in the time of Pytheas . . . . .11

9. Foreign Trade of Britain . . . . . ' . 14

10. Internal Trade : Roads and Rivers , . . .16

11. Physical Aspect of Pre-Roman Britain . 17

CHAPTER II

ROMAN BRITAIN

12. The Roman Occupation ...... 21

13. Roman Roads ....... 22

14. Roman Towns in Britain ...... 23

15. The Romans and Agriculture ..... 25

16. Celtic and Non-Roman Influence in Agriculture ... 27

17. Commerce and Industry in Roman Britain . , 31

CHAPTER III

THE SAXON PERIOD

18. The Saxon Invasions ...., 34

19. The Saxon Village and its Inhabitants , , . 37

20. Village Life 38

21. Methods of Cultivation ...... 40

xiii



xiv INDUSTRY IN ENGLAND

BBCTION PAGE

22. Isolation of Villages. Crafts and Trades. Markets . . 41

23. Foreign Commerce and the Danes . . 48

24. Summary of Trade and Industry in the Saxon Period 46

CHAPTER IV

THE MANOR AND THE MANORIAL SYSTEM

25. The Interest of the Question as to the Origin of the Manor 47

26. The Mark Theory and the Manor ..... 48

27. Criticisms of the Mark Theory ..... 49

28. VinogradofTs Evidence on the Manorial System ... 52

29. Evidence from Manorial Courts and Customs . . . 55

30. The "Customary" Tenants ..... 56

31. The Evidence of Village Communities ... 57

82. A Survey of the Origin of the Manor . . 58

83. The Feudal System ...... 60



PERIOD II

FROM THE NORMAN CONQUEST TO THE REIGN OF
HENRY III

(1066-1216 A.D.)
CHAPTER V

DOMESDAY BOOK AND THE MANORS

34. The Survey ordered by William I. .... 65

35. The Population given by Domesday . . . . 66

36. The Wealth of various Districts ..... 68

37. The Manors and Lords of the Manors .... 70

38. The Inhabitants of the Manor . . . . 71

39. The Condition of these Inhabitants .... 73

40. Services due to the Lord from his Tenants in Villeinage . . 74^

41. Money Payments and Rents . . . . . 74

42. Free Tenants. Soke-men ...... 75

43. The Distinction between Free and Unfree Tenants . . 76

44. Illustrations of Manors from Domesday .... 78

45. Cuxham Manor in the Eleventh and Thirteenth Centuries . 79

46. Description of an Eleventh Century Village ... 80

47. The Decay of the Manorial System . 84

CHAPTER VI

THE TOWNS AND THE GILDS

48. The Origin of the Towns .... .86

49. Rise of Towns in England . . . . 87

50. Towns in Domesday ...... 88



CONTENTS xv



SECTION FAGB

51. Special Privileges of Towns ... .89

52. How the Towns obtained their Charters . .90

53. The Gilds and the Towns. Various kinds of Gilds . 91

54. How the Merchant Gilds helped the Growth of Towns , 93

55. How the Craft Gilds helped Industry . .94

56. Life in the Towns of this time ... .96

CHAPTER VII

MANUFACTURES AND TRADE : ELEVENTH TO THIRTEENTH CENTURIES

57. Economic Effects of the Feudal System .... 98

58. Foreign Trade. The Crusades ..... 100

59. The Trading Clauses in the Great Charter . . .101

60. The Jews in England ...... 103

61. Manufactures in this Period : Flemish Weavers . . . 104

62. Economic Appearance of England in this Period. Population.

The North and South ...... 106

63. General Condition of the Period . . 108



PERIOD III

FROM THE THIRTEENTH TO THE END OF THE
FIFTEENTH CENTURY, INCLUDING THE GREAT PLAGUE

(1216-1500)

CHAPTER VIII

AGRICULTURE IN MEDLfflTVAL ENGLAND

64. Introductory. Rise of a Wage-ermiig Class . . . Ill

65. Agriculture the Chief Occupation of the People . . .112

66. Methods of Cultivation. The Capitalist Landlord and his Bailiff.

The " Stock and Land " Lease ..... 113

67. The Tenants' Communal Land and Closes . . . 115

68. Ploughing ........ 116

69. Stock, Pigs, and Poultry ...... 116

70. Sheep ..... 117

71. Increase of Sheep-farming . . . , .118

72. Consequent Increase of Enclosures . . 119

CHAPTER IX

THE WOOLLEN TRADE AND MANUFACTURES

73. England's Monopoly of Wool . . . , .120

74. Wool and Politics ....... 121

75. Prices and Brands of English Wool , . , .124

76. English Manufactures . * . 125



xvi INDUSTRY IN ENGLAND

nscriow PAOI

77. Foreign Manufacture of Fine Goods . . . 126

78. Flemish Settlers teach the English Weavers. Norwich 127

79. The Worsted Industry ...... 129

80. Gilds in the Cloth Trade . . . . . .130

81. The Dyeing of Cloth ...... 131

82. The Great Transition in English Industry . . .131

83. The Manufacturing Class and Politics . . . .132

CHAPTER X

THE TOWNS, INDUSTRIAL VILLAGES, AND FAIRS

84. The Chief Manufacturing Towns , 134

85. Staple Towns and the Merchants . . . .135

86. Markets ........ 138

87. The Great Fairs ....... 140

88. The Fairs of Winchester and Stourbridge . . .142

89. English Mediaeval Ports 144

90. The Temporary Decay of Manufacturing Towns . . .145

91. Growth of Industrial Villages. The Germs of the Modern Fac-

tory System ....... 146

CHAPTER XI

THE GREAT PLAGUE AND ITS ECONOMIC EFFECTS

92. Material Progress of the Country. . . . .149

93. Social Changes. The Villeins and the Wage-paid Labourers . 150

94. The Famine and the Plague ..... 151

95. The Effects of the Plague on Wages . . . .152

96. Prices of Provisions ...... 155

97. Effects of the Plague upon the Landowners . . , 156

98. Large and Small Holdings : the Yeomen , , . 157

99. The Statute of Quia Empiores ..... 158

100. The Emancipation of the Villeins . . . .159

CHAPTER XII

THE PEASANTS' REVOLT OF 1381, AND THE SUBSEQUENT CONDITION OF THE
WORKING CLASSES

101. The Place of the Revolt in English History . . .161

102. New Social Doctrines . . . . . .162

103. The Coming of the Friars. Wiklif . . . .163

104. The Renewed Exactions of the Landowners . , . 164

105. Social and Political Questions ..... 165

106. The Mutteriags of a Storm . . . . .167

107. The Storm Breaks Out ...... 168

108. The Result of the Revolt ..... 170

109. The Condition of the English Labourer . . . .172

110. Purchasing Power of Wages ..... 175

111. Drawbacks . . .177



CONTENTS xvii



CHAPTER XIII

THE CLOSE OF THE MIDDLE AGES
SECTION FACE

112. The Nobility 180

113. The Country Gentry ...... 182

114. The Yeomen ..... 183

115. Agriculture and Sheep-farming ..... 184

116. The Stock and Land Lease . . . . .186

117. The Towns and Town Constitutions . . . .187

118. The Gilds and Municipal Institutions . . . .189

119. The Decay of Certain Towns ..... 190

120. The Commercial and Industrial Changes of the Fifteenth

Century ....... 192

121. The Close of the Middle Ages 194



PERIOD IV

FROM THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY TO THE EVE OF THE
INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION

(1509-1716)
CHAPTER XIV



THE REIGN OF HENEY VIII., AND ECONOMIC CHANGES IN THE
SIXTEENTH CENTURY

122. Henry VIII. 'a Wastefulness

123. The Dissolution of the Monasteries

124. Results of the Suppression

125. Pauperism

126. The Issuing of Base Coin .

127. The Confiscation of the Gild Lands



199
202
203
205
206
207



128. Bankruptcy and Rapacity of Edward VI. 's Government . 209

129. The Agrarian Situation ...... 211

130. The Enclosures of the Sixteenth Century . . .213

131. Evidence of the Results of Enclosing .... 215

132. Other Economic Changes. The Finances . . . 218

133. Summary of the Changes of the Sixteenth Century . . 220

CHAPTER XV

THE GROWTH OF FOREIGN TRADE

134. The Expansion of Commerce. The New Spirit . . .223

135. Foreign Trade in the Fifteenth Century . . . .224

136. The Venetian Fleet ...... 225

137. The Hanseatic League's Station in London . . . 227



xviii INDUSTRY IN ENGLAND

SECTION PAOM

138. Trade with Flanders. Antwerp in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth

Centuries ....... 228

139. The Decay of Antwerp and Rise of London as the Western

Emporium ....... 230

140. The Merchants and Sea-Captains of the Elizabethan Age in the

New World .231

141. Remarks on the Signs and Causes of the Expansion of Trade . 232

CHAPTER XVI

ELIZABETHAN ENGLAND

142. Prosperity and Pauperism . . 234

143. The Restoration of the Currency ..... 235

144. The Growth of Manufactures ..... 236

145. Monopolies of Manufacturing Towns . . 239

146. Exports of Manufactures and Foreign Trade . . . 240

147. The Flemish Immigration ..... 241

148. Monopolies 242

149. The Revival of the Craft Gilds ..... 246

150. Agriculture 247

151. Social Comforts ....... 250

152. The Condition of the Labourers ..... 251

153. Assessment of Wages by Justices. The First Poor Law 253

154. The Working of the Assessment System . . . 255

155. The Law of Apprenticeship ..... 259

156. The Elizabethan Poor Law 260

157. Population 263



CHAPTER XVII

PROGRESS OF AGRICULTURE IN THE SEVENTEENTH AND EIGHTEENTH
CENTURIES

158. Resume" of Progress since Thirteenth Century . . . 265

159. Progress in James L's Reign. Influence of Landlords . . 266

160. Writers on Agriculture. Improvements. Game . . 267

161. Drainage of the Fens ...... 268

162. Rise of Price of Corn and of Rent .... 269

163. Special Features of the Eighteenth Century. Popularity of

Agric7ilture ....... 270

164. Improvements of Cattle, and in the Productiveness of Land.

Statistics ....... 271

165. Survivals of Primitive Culture. Common Fields . . 273

166. Great Increase of Enclosures ..... 274

167. Benefits of Enclosures as Compared with the Old Common Fields 275

168. The Decay of the Yeomanry ..... 276

169. Causes of the Decay of the Yeomanry .... 278

170. The Rise in Rent . ...... 279

171. The Fall in Wages 280



CONTENTS xix



CHAPTER XVIII

COMMERCE AND WAR IN THE SEVENTEENTH AND EIGHTEENTH
CENTURIES

SECTION PAGE

172. England a Commercial Power .... 284

173. The Beginnings of the Struggle with Spain . . . 285

174. Cromwell's Commercial Wars and the Navigation Acts . . 286

175. The Wars of William III. and of Anne . . . .288

176. English Colonies ....... 290

177. Further Wars with France and Spain . 291

178. The Struggle for India . 293

179. The Conquest of Canada . ... 295

180. Survey of Commercial Progress during these Wars . . 296

181. Commercial Events of the Seventeenth Century (Banking the

Bank of England, National Debt, Restoration of the Currency) 299

182. Other Important Commercial Events (Darien Scheme, Union of

England and Scotland, Methuen Treaty, Speculation and the

South Sea Bubble) 801

<

CHAPTER XIX

MANUFACTURES AND MINING

183. Circumstances Favourable to English Manufactures . . 305

184. Wool Trade. Home Manufactures. Dyeing . . . 305

185. Other Influences Favourable to England. The Huguenot Im-

migration ....... 307

186. Distribution of the Cloth Trade ..... 308

187. Coal Mines 310

188. Development of Coal Trade: Seventeenth and Eighteenth

Centuries ....... 311

189. The Iron Trade ....... 812

190. Pottery ........ 314

191. Other Mining Industries ...... 315

192. The Close of the Period of Manual Industries 316



PERIOD V

THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION AND MODERN
ENGLAND

CHAPTER XX

THE EVE OF THE REVOLUTION

193. Industry and Politics. Landowners and Merchant Princes . 821

194. The Coming of the Capitalists ..... 324

195. The Class of Small Manufacturers . . . .326

196. The Condition of the Manufacturing Population . . 327



xx INDUSTRY IN ENGLAND



MM

197. Two Examples of Village Life ... . 328

198. Condition of the Agricultural Population . . 331

332
334



199. Growth of Population

200. England still mainly Agricultural

201. The Domestic System of Manufacture



CHAPTER XXI

THE EPOCH OF THE GREAT INVENTIONS

202. The Suddenness of the Revolution and its Importance . , 341

203. The Great Inventors ...... 343

204. The Revolution in Manufactures and the Factories . . 347

205. The Growth of Population and the Development of the Northern

Districts ....... 349

206. The Revolution in the Mining Industries . . .352

207. The Improvements in Communications . . 354

208. The Nation's Wealth and its Wars . . , .356

CHAPTER XXII

WARS, POLITICS, AND INDUSTRY

209. England's Industrial Advantages in 1763 . . , 358

210. The Mercantile Theory ...... 359

211. The Mercantile Theory in Practice . . . .361

212. English Policy towards the Colonies . . . .364

213. Attempts to raise a Revenue from America . . . 367

214. Outbreak of War . ...... 368

215. The Great Continental War ..... 370

216. Its Effects upon Industry and the Working Classes . . 372

217. Politics among the Working Classes . . . .376

218. Political Results of the Industrial Revolution . . . 378

CHAPTER XXIII

THE FACTORY SYSTEM AND ITS RESULTS

219. The Results of the Introduction of the Factory System . . 381

220. Machinery and Ha'nd Labour . . . 383

221. Loss of Rural Life and of Bye-Industries . . . 385

222. Contemporary Evidence of the New Order of Things . . 387
; 22J& English Slavery. The Apprentice System . . . 388
"224. The Beginning of the Factory Agitation . . . .391

225. Efforts towards Factory Reform ..... 392

22(L Richard Oastler . 393

227. Factory Agitation in Yorkshire. For and Against . . 395

228. Ten Hours' Day and Mr Sadler ..... 397

229. The Evidence of Facts ...... 398

23Q. English Slavery ....... 400

23 The Various Factory Act? ..... 403

232. How these Acts were Passed ..... 404



CONTENTS



xxi



CHAPTER XXIV

THE CONDITION OF THE WORKING CLASSES
SECTION

233. Disastrous Effects of the New Industrial System

234. The Allowance System of Relief .

235. The Growth of Pauperism and the Old Poor Law

236. The Poor Law and the Allowance System

f Restrictions upon Labour .

The Combination Acts .

Growth of Trades Unions .

240. The Working Classes Fifty Years Ago ,

241. Wages ......



?AG1

407
408
410
412
415
416
419
421
424



CHAPTER XXV

THE RISE AND DEPRESSION OF MODERN AGRICULTURE

242. Services Rendered by the Great Landowners . . 427

243. The Agricultural Revolution ..... 430

244. The Stimulus caused by the Bounties . . 433

245. Agriculture under Protection 435

246. Improvements in Agriculture ..... 436

247. The Depression in Modern Agriculture .... 439

248. The Causes of the Depression (lack of capital, reuts, lack of

adaptability, lack of education and scientific methods) . 441

249. The Labourer and the Land ..... 445

250. The Condition of the Labourer ..... 447

251. The Present Condition of British Agriculture . . 450



CHAPTER XXVI

MODERN INDUSTRIAL ENGLAND

252. The Growth of our Industry ..... 454

253. State of Trade in 1820 455

254. The Beginnings of Free Trade . . . . .456

255. Revolution in the Means of Transit .... 458

256. Modern Developments ...... 459

257. Our Colonies ....... 461

258. England and other Nations' Wars .... 463

259. Present Difficulties. Commercial Crises . . . .464

260. Commercial Crises since 1865 ..... 466

261. The Recent Depression in Trade ..... 467

262. The Present Mercantile System. Foreign Markets . . 469

263. Over-production and Wages ..... 470

264. The Power of Labour. Trades Unions and Co-operation. Labour

Politics ........ 471

265. The Necessity of Studying Economic Factors in History % 473



LIST OF MAPS

1. PHYSICAL ASPECT OF ENGLAND IN SAXON AND NORMAN

TIMES . ... To face page 65

2. PLAN OF A TYPICAL VILLAGE . . . On page 84

3. THE DISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH IN ENGLAND IN 1503 To face page 196

4. THE DISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH IN ENGLAND IN 1636 n 263

5. INDUSTRIAL ENGLAND, 1700-1750 (SHOWING POPU-

LATION AND MANUFACTURES) 350

6. INDUSTRIAL ENGLAND IN 1895 (SHOWING POPULATION

AND MANUFACTURES) . w 454



PERIOD I

EARLY HISTORY, FROM PRE-HISTORIC TIMES
TO THE NORMAN CONQUEST



INDUSTRY IN ENGLAND

CHAPTER I

PRE-ROMAN BRITAIN

1. Industrial History.

THE history of a nation's industry must necessarily date
back to pre-historic times and to the earliest stages of national
life. For the history of industry is the history of civilisation,
and a nation's economic development must, to a large extent,
underlie and influence the course of its social and political
progress. Hence it has been aptly remarked x that there is
no fact in a nation's history but has some traceable bearing
on the industry of the time, and no fact that can be
altogether ignored as if it were unconnected with industrial
life. " The progress of mankind is written in the history
of its tools ; " 2 and to the economic historian the transition
from the axehead of stone to that of bronze is quite as
important as a change of dynasty ; and certainly, in its way,
it is as serious an industrial revolution as the change from



Online LibraryHenry de Beltgens GibbinsIndustry in England; historical outlines → online text (page 1 of 44)