Blackwell Hall in the City of London (also known as Bakewell Hall) was the centre for the wool and cloth trade in England from mediaeval times until the 19th century. Cloth manufacturers and clothiers from provincial England brought their material to Blackwell Hall to display and sell it to merchants and drapers.
Blackwell Hall was originally a buttressed stone hall adjacent to the Guildhall in private occupation dating from the early 13th century. In 1395, the City of London Corporation purchased it from the de Bankwell family (from which it derives its name) and it was established as a cloth market under Dick Whittington's first mayoralty in 1397 in order to provide the first place where non-citizen and foreigners could buy and sell cloth.It was rebuilt in 1588 and again after the Great Fire of London. It was demolished along with the chapel in 1820.
In the 17th century manufactured woollen cloth was the primary commodity traded in England, much of this passing through Blackwell Hall for the London market and for export. In the mid 17th century Blackwell Hall Factors were introduced as agents who charged a fee to handle the trade. By the 1690s the Blackwell-hall Factors had almost completely taken over the market and clothiers had lost their ancient right of selling their own goods. This was a long running controversy.In 1697 an Act of Parliament was passed "to restore the Markett att Blackwell-Hall to the Clothiers & for regulating the Factors there". The Act was ineffective and complaints about the factors continued until the middle of the 18th century.
There were about fifty Blackwell-Hall Factors at the end of the 17th century. They provided an important service to England's main industry at the time, supplying raw materials to the clothiers and giving credit to clothiers, drapers and exporters. This required considerable capital and although factors were still very active in the mid 18th century, their number had declined to a few wealthy men. The Gentleman's Magazine in 1739 noted. "The Blackwell-Hall factor, originally but the servant of the maker, is now become his master, and not only his but the wool-merchant's and draper's too".
By the 1780s the increasingly mechanised cloth trade, particularly in Yorkshire, was being handled by local merchants rather than through London, and the East India Company was handling its own exports.Blackwell Hall's business declined and the building was demolished between 1812 and 1820 to make way for the Bankruptcy Court, which started operating in January 1822 .
A merchant is a person who trades in commodities produced by other people. Historically, a merchant is anyone who is involved in business or trade. Merchants have operated for as long as industry, commerce, and trade have existed. In 16th-century Europe, two different terms for merchants emerged: meerseniers referred to local traders and koopman referred to merchants who operated on a global stage, importing and exporting goods over vast distances and offering added-value services such as credit and finance.
There are 110 livery companies of the City of London. They comprise London's ancient and modern trade associations and guilds, almost all of which are styled the 'Worshipful Company of...' their respective craft, trade or profession. London's livery companies play a significant part in City life, not least by providing charitable-giving and networking opportunities. Liverymen retain voting rights for the senior civic offices, such as the Lord Mayor, Sheriffs and City of London Corporation, its ancient municipal authority with extensive local government powers.
The Worshipful Company of Drapers is one of the 110 livery companies of the City of London. It has the formal name The Master and Wardens and Brethren and Sisters of the Guild or Fraternity of the Blessed Mary the Virgin of the Mystery of Drapers of the City of London. More usually known simply as the Drapers' Company, it is one of the historic Great Twelve Livery Companies and was founded during the Middle Ages.
A wool church is an English church financed primarily by donations from rich merchants and farmers who had benefitted from the mediaeval wool trade, hoping to ensure a place in heaven due to their largesse.
A guildhall is either a town hall, or a building historically used by guilds for meetings and other purposes, in which sense it can also be spelled as "guild hall" and may also be called a "guild house". It is also the official or colloquial name for many of these specific buildings, many of which are now museums.
The Steelyard, from the Middle Low German Stalhof, was the main trading base (kontor) of the Hanseatic League in London during the 15th and 16th centuries.
Babraham is a village and civil parish in the South Cambridgeshire district of Cambridgeshire, England, about 6 miles (9.7 km) south-east of Cambridge on the A1307 road.
Bildeston is a village and civil parish in the Babergh district of Suffolk, England. Located around 5 miles (8 km) north of Hadleigh, in 2005 it had a population of 960, increasing to 1,054 at the 2011 Census.
In the Middle Ages or 16th and 17th centuries, a cloth merchant was one who owned or ran a cloth manufacturing or wholesale import or export business. A cloth merchant might additionally have owned a number of draper's shops. Cloth was extremely expensive and cloth merchants were often very wealthy. A number of Europe's leading banking dynasties such as Medici and Berenberg built their original fortunes as cloth merchants.
The Company of Merchant Adventurers of London was a trading company founded in the City of London in the early 15th century. It brought together leading merchants in a regulated company in the nature of a guild. Its members' main business was exporting cloth, especially white (undyed) broadcloth, in return for a large range of foreign goods.
Bassishaw is a ward in the City of London. This small ward is bounded on the east by Coleman Street ward, to the south by Cheap ward, to the north by Cripplegate ward, and on the west by Aldersgate ward. Historically, it consisted only of Basinghall Street with the courts and avenues leading from it, but since a boundary review in 2003 also includes streets further west, including Aldermanbury, Wood Street, and, to the north part of London Wall and St. Alphage Garden. It was historically the City's smallest ward.
Mercery initially referred to silk, linen, and fustian textiles imported to England in the 12th century.
The Old Market Hall is an Elizabethan building situated in the town centre of Shrewsbury, the county town of Shropshire, England.
Norwich Market is an outdoor market consisting of around 200 stalls in central Norwich, England. Founded in the latter part of the 11th century to supply Norman merchants and settlers moving to the area following the Norman conquest of England, it replaced an earlier market a short distance away. It has been in operation on the present site for over 900 years.
A charter fair in England is a street fair or market which was established by Royal Charter. Many charter fairs date back to the Middle Ages, with their heyday occurring during the 13th century. Originally, most charter fairs started as street markets but since the 19th century the trading aspect has been superseded by entertainment; many charter fairs are now the venue for travelling funfairs run by showmen.
38–39 Bayley Lane is a former building, whose present-day site is accessible from the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum in Coventry, England. All that remains is the medieval undercroft, a fourteenth-century cellar that initially belonged to a wealthy merchant, who was a clothier. The undercroft is built with sandstone with a stone-ribbed vault for added security and strength. It is a Grade I listed building.
St Peter and St Paul's Church, Lavenham is a Grade I listed parish church in the Church of England in Lavenham, Suffolk. It is a notable wool church and regarded as one of the finest examples of Late Perpendicular Gothic architecture in England.
The medieval English wool trade was one of the most important factors in the medieval English economy. 'No form of manufacturing had a greater impact upon the economy and society of medieval Britain than did those industries producing cloths from various kinds of wool'. The trade's liveliest period, 1250–1350, was 'an era when trade in wool had been the backbone and driving force in the English medieval economy'.
The woollen industry in Wales was at times the country's most important industry, though it often struggled to compete with the better-funded woollen mills in the north of England, and almost disappeared during the 20th century. There is continued demand for quality Welsh woollen products.
The Shrewsbury Drapers Company was a trade organisation founded in 1462 in the town of Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England. The members were wholesale dealers in wool or woollen cloth. The Company dominated the trade in Welsh cloth for many years, holding a virtual monopoly from the 16th century to the late 18th century. It lost its position when the roads were improved, making it practical for factors from Liverpool and elsewhere to travel into Wales and purchase cloth directly from the makers, and became irrelevant when the Industrial Revolution made trade guilds obsolete. Today it survives as a charity that runs almshouses in Shrewsbury.