The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

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324                     THE SUSSEX COAST
the dishartening and (in short time) destroying of our said important manufacture of iron which once totally decayed is not recoverable . . . and most of these that are kept working is rather don to spend the whole stock then for other profit made thereby for they sell the sd iron soe imported hither, at cheaper rates for the reasons above-mentioned than is possible to be affoorded here without loss to the maker, wh causes many to wish well to such strange importation, not reflecting that when they shal have engrossed into theyr hands the sole manufacture (wch wil inevitably follow upon the decay of our sd ironworks . . . wh in time of warr might absolutely ruin us," &c* Holinshed had at an earlier date expressed a somewhat hesitating preference for free trade in the matter. " Iron is found in manie places, as in Sussex ... of which mines diuerse doo bring foorth so fine and good stuffe, as anie that commeth from beyond the sea, beside the infinit games to the owners, if we would so accept it, or bestow a little more cost in the refining of it. It is also of such toughnesse, that it yeeldeth to the making of claricord wire in some places of the realme. Neuerthelesse, it was better cheape with vs when strangers onelie brought it hither : for it is our qualitie when we get anie commoditie, to vse it with extremitie towards our owne nation, after we have once found the meanes to shut out forreners from the bringing in of the like. It breedeth in like manner great expense and waste of wood." The last work of importance carried out by the Sussex ironworkers was the railing that enclosed St. Paul's, heavy, effective, and eminently suitable to the architecture of the
* Printed in S.A.C., xxxii.
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