Smuggling & Smugglers in Sussex - online book

An Account of a notorious Smuggling gang in the early 18th Century

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228                            SUSSEX SMUGGLERS.
manufacture existed both in the counties of Kent and Sussex.* In 1551, renewed attempts to improve the English manufacture were made. A body of Flemish weavers was settled at Glastonbury, and supplied with wools ; and the Legislature passed a very stringent act for regulating the times of buying wool—so stringent, indeed, that several of its clauses had to be repealed in 1553. Queen Elizabeth also favoured still more the immigration of foreign weavers. Although licenses were granted for the export of wools on payment of duty, and in October, 1560, we have an account of wools shipped legally to Bruges, yet practically the merchants of the staple had obtained a monopoly of exportation. §
The loss of Calais, however, and consequently of the staple there, had most materially injured the English wool-grower and the merchants of the staple. The latter laid their complaints before Queen Elizabeth, in 1560, representing the injury they had sustained since the loss of Calais,! | and obtained such redress as was within the power of the crown, namely, by license to export wool generally, on payment of export duty. A similar license had been granted to Lord Eobert Dudley, which was renewed in 1562;^! and in 1571 the act of Edward VI., putting restrictions on the home trade, was extended.
* MSS. State Paper, Lemon, pp. 4, 5. A weaver is among the victuallers of Rye, 1626, Dom., 44.
f Ibid., p. 37.
X Ibid., p. 161.
§ By the Act 27 Henry VIII., c. 15, they had acquired the sole right of buying wool in Sussex and twenty-seven other counties.
|| MSS. State Paper, Domestic, Lemon, p. 168.
IF Ibid., p. 199.
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