Destitute or gentleman? The voices and identity of the poor cloth workers of Exeter's 'Golden Age'
Bailey Treleaven, Tamsin
The University of Exeter
The late seventeenth and early eighteenth century saw the peak, or 'Golden Age' of Exeter's influence in the still dominant cloth trade in England, exporting up to twenty five percent of the national output: by 1700 Exeter had a yearly turnover in cloth of two million pounds per year. The City is therefore a key place to study in that period for an understanding of the social history of the cloth trade. This paper will discuss the poor cloth workers of Exeter in the late seventeenth century, aspects of their identity and their attitudes towards work; together with their relationship with those who provided for them in the form of public relief or private philanthropy.
Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
Research Paper delivered at the Devon and Cornwall Record Society AGM, May 2013