By M. W. Flinn (auth.)
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Extra resources for An Economic and Social History of Britain Since 1700
Ta '"a enumerated commodities shipped from the colonies must be imported first into England. In some trades - the East India Company's and that from the North American coloniesa high proportion of the goods shipped was destined ultimately for European markets outside Britain. Nevertheless, the Navigation Laws channelled these trades into English and (after the Union of 1707) Scottish ports. Sugar and tobacco from the New World and tea from the East formed the basis of the re-export trade. In 1724, for example, 75 per cent of the 4 million lbs of tobacco brought to Clyde ports was re-exported.
The application of water or steam power to the loom was a logical step, but the complicated motions of the loom were not easily harnessed to a single shaft. Success came from an unexpected quarter - the Church. '/ I .! One of the first cotton mills, Cromford, Derbyshire, 1771 A stocking frame used in the domestic hosiery industry of the eighteenth century 44 THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION power-loom. It was not rapidly adopted. The causes of thi:s delay were twofold. Firstly, Cartwright's machine was far from perfect, and some years of development were necessary before it could be used commercially on a wide scale.
Fiel'ds divided into strips at Laxton, N ottinghamshire least according to a common timetable, the fewer obstructions the better. With such minute sub-divisions of land - a fifteen-acre farm might consist of as many as thirty halfacre strips - any form of fence or hedge was wasteful of land and the boundaries between strips were often marked by no more than stones or posts at each corner. Though this open-field system was a usual form of arable cultivation in early eighteenthcentury England, it was far from being the only method of farming, and, indeed was scarcely practised at all in Scotland and Wales.