The Early Development of the Cotton Industry, 1600–1760

  • S. D. Chapman
Part of the Studies in Economic History book series


MOST of what is known about the early development of the cotton industry in Britain can be found in Wadsworth and Mann’s The Cotton Trade and Industrial Lancashire, 1600–1780. It appears that the manufacture of cotton came to Britain from the Low Countries in the sixteenth century, one of the range of ‘new draperies’ that was transforming the textile industry in the later Tudor period. It was brought to East Anglia by Walloon and Dutch immigrants who settled in Norwich and other towns and established the manufacture of fustian, a mixture of linen with cotton imported from the Levant. Towards the end of the sixteenth century fustian reached Lancashire and began to oust the woollen industry from the western side of the county.


Eighteenth Century Seventeenth Century East India Company Cotton Industry Domestic System 


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  1. 1.
    A. P. Wadsworth and J. de L. Mann, The Cotton Trade and Industrial Lancashire, 1600–1780 (Manchester, 1931) esp. pp. 72–91, 314–23; M. T. Wild, ‘The Saddleworth Parish Registers’, Textile History,’ (1969) p. 221.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    W. Radcliffe, Origins of Power Loom Weaving (Stockport, 1828) pp. 10, 65–6.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    J. D. Chambers, Nottinghamshire in the Eighteenth Century (1932) chap. 5.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    W. H. Chaloner, People and Industries (1963) chap. 1; G. Unwin et al., Samuel Oldknow and the Arkwrights (Manchester, 1924 ) pp. 23–9.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    J. Irwin and K. Brett, Origins of Chintz (1970) pp. 3–6.Google Scholar
  6. See also F. M. Montgomery, Printed Textiles: English and American Cottons and Linens, 1700–1850 (1970).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Economic History Society 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. D. Chapman
    • 1
  1. 1.University of NottinghamUK

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