Puslapio vaizdai

himself, "sent deputies round to the principal towns with goods in packs, which they opened and sold to shopkeepers, lodging what was unsold in small stores at the inns, and bringing back sheep's wool, which was bought on the journey, and sold to the makers of worsted yarn at Manchester, or to the clothiers of Rochdale, Saddleworth, and the West Riding of Yorkshire." On the improvement of turnpike roads, waggons were brought into use, pack-horses were partly discontinued, and the chapmen "rode out only for orders, carrying their patterns in their bags." It was during the forty years from 1730 to 1770, Dr. Aiken thinks,1 "that trade was greatly pushed by the practice of sending these riders all over the kingdom to those towns which before had been supplied from the wholesale dealers in the capital places before mentioned," and as this was attended, not only with more trouble, but with much more risk, some of the old traders withdrew from business, or confined themselves to as much as they could do on the old footing, which, by the competition of young adventurers, diminished yearly." The clothiers mentioned in these extracts were not of course makers of garments-though some might be so-but manufacturers of (principally) woollen goods. They were factory masters, having those establishments of workmen at Norwich, Newbury, and elsewhere which have been occasionally mentioned, and which co-existed with the other methods of production and relied partly on them; or they were identical with the "merchants just described. Norwich, for instance, contained besides its factories many separate individual weavers,



1 Aiken's "Description of the Country round Manchester," p. 183.


as did also Sudbury, Lavenham, and other neighbouring towns, which "obtained their material (wool) from the counties of Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Cambridgeshire, and Bedford, where the yarns were spun in the cottages of the peasants, and sometimes in the kitchen of the farmer, under the management of a number of master combers, men of property and intelligence residing in various isolated parts of these counties, but whose headquarters were Norwich and Bury." Kendal had many such handicraft

workers in and around it besides such as were



congregated in factories.1 Manchester, Bolton, other towns in Lancashire, were in a like case. same method flourished at the same time in full vigour in the vicinities of Leeds and Halifax, and throughout the romantic dales of Yorkshire: "whither the coarse cloth trade of Norwich was now being attracted, to be followed at no great interval by the fine trade of the South and West of England:" and Defoe has left a spirited and very interesting description of the class of persons into whose hands this trade was just then passing (Defoe's Tour, III., 144-6). "The land near Halifax," he says, "was divided into small enclosures, from two acres to six or seven each, seldom more. Every three or four pieces of land had an house belonging to them hardly an house standing

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out of a speaking-distance from another. We could see at every house a tenter, and on almost every tenter a piece of cloth, or Kersie or Shallon. At every considerable house was a manufactory. Every clothier keeps one horse at least to carry his

1 Nicholson's "Annals of Kendal," p. 237.

manufactures to the market; and generally a cow or

two, or more, for his family.

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The houses are full of lusty fellows, some at the dye-vat, some at the looms, others dressing the cloths; the women and children carding and spinning, being all employed from the youngest to the oldest. Not a beggar to be seen, nor an idle person. This is an extremely pleasant picture; but the shadow of a great change is already visible in it. Within the circuit of such a conformation of labour we begin to notice the germs of a more capitalistic form of production, the deadly enemy of the domestic system, and fated presently to bring it to a close. Labour, we observe, has become more divided and combined, and the domestic manufacturer is blossoming into a trader as well as a producer. It is easy to perceive too how circumstances might from time to time occur that would surely ripen these germs. A season of bad trade would throw the weaker competitors for the merchant's orders out of employment, a good season offer great inducements to the more thrifty workmen to become masters. These latter were moreover the times just then upperWe are not surprised to learn, accordingly, that small master manufacturers had by the beginning of the nineteenth century increased greatly, nor that new developments, both in production and distribution, were resulting. As late as 1806 the number of such small masters in Leeds and its environs was estimated as highly as 3,500; and "each master employed on the average ten journeymen and apprentices, the rule being one apprentice to two or three journeymen."


1 Quoted in "Industrial Revolution," p. 53.


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"He was regularly assisted by his wife and children; but, "the latter, when working with their father, were not compelled to be bound by indenture." A sort of mixed method for a while prevailed. "As a rule those employed worked in their master's house, where the wool was passed through all its various stages until it became dressed cloth, and even, if necessary, dyed. Sometimes, however, the journeymen did the work in their own houses."1 Mr. Howell2 considers this to have been as yet but an extension of the system of domestic industry; the finished work being produced by dissipated not concentrated labour, and amongst surroundings essentially domestic. But "with the origin of machinery (that is of the new machinery) and the consequent division of labour," there came (he says) a complete change. "The various processes, which had heretofore been chiefly performed by hand under the master's own roof, began now to be executed in public mills, in which, in one or more buildings, as the case happened, the operatives worked up the materials belonging to the manufacturers under the supervision of overseers appointed by the employers." Such an organisation of labour could no longer by any stretch of meaning be called domestic; and the transition to that factory system which is the proper subject of this work comes therefore at this point definitely into view.

It will be desirable, however, both for historical and technical reasons, before treatFACTURE. ing more particularly of it, to add


1 "Conflicts of Capital and Labour," p. 84.

2 Idem, p. 87. It should be mentioned that these extracts from Mr. Howell's book are copied almost verbatim from Dr. Brentano's "History of Guilds," pp. 105-7 (Trübner & Co., 1870); but the context is so very valuable that I prefer to take them at second-hand from the later work.

to this survey of the condition of textile manufacture at that time a still briefer one of another industry very closely allied, wherein the different parts played by the three systems of labour already mentioned may be further compared and traced, and some of their essential qualities exemplified. It is not known by whom the art of knitting hosiery was discovered; but knitting itself is a process extremely ancient, as old at least as older perhaps than weaving. Beckman ("History of Inventions," Vol. II., p. 360)1 quotes a distinguished French writer Savary (Dict. de Commerce, Copenh. 1759, Fol. 1, pp. 388, 576), who "hazarded the conjecture" that this art was a Scottish invention; "because the French stocking knitters, when they became so numerous as to form a guild, made choice of St. Fiacre, a native of Scotland, to be their patron ;" and further conjectures that this highly respectable person was a son of a Scotch king who flourished in the seventh century. What we know for certain is that stockings were not known -in England at all events-before the time of Henry VIII., and that the great invention of the stocking frame (or loom) was made during that of Elizabeth by an Englishman, William Lee, a native of Nottinghamshire, and a graduate of St. John's College, Cambridge. Meeting with but little encouragement at home he carried the invention to France, where he died in obscurity. It returned here after his death, and (having undergone improvement) was extensively adopted, and a Frame Work Knitters' Society of London, was eventually incorporated by charter under Charles

1 66

History of Inventions, Discoveries, and Origins," by John Beckman, Vol. II., pp. 355-76 (G. Bell & Sons, 1880).

2 Coverings for the leg were previously cut out of cloth or leather, or some like material.

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