The PeaceHavens Project

https://www.facebook.com/groups/PeaceHavensProject/ ..

 Ports and Towns in the Flax Trade

this is the England & Ireland page

2 more pages ... click here for Scotland .. click here for Baltic States & Russia.

 Website design, maps and photos by Ged Dodd - Director of The PeaceHavens Project.

Click here for all the Project Site Map and Links

 

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   BENTHAM MILLS became the most important mill seal finding site in the UK when in 2013 Ged Dodd the director of the PeaceHavens Project found the first seals and then what was eventually to become over 1400 lead flax bale seals belonging to the one mill with the help of the project detecting team: and which provided enough information to completely rewrite  the books on the Russian flax trade between Russia and the UK.    Messrs J.T. & W. Hornby established themselves in Bentham Village about 1795, and at first operated from Low Bentham Mill. They imported Russian flax bales into a warehouse on St. George's Quay at Lancaster and transported the flax bales by four horse drawn wagons to Bentham. Initially the brothers spun yarn at Bentham for their sail cloth factories at Kirkham but later they built premises for their weavers at Lairgill in Bentham, some of whom came from Kirkham. Each of these houses had 4 looms installed in the basements for the weaving of sailcloth. The Bentham operations were managed after about 1814 by Tony Roughsedge Esq. who continued to trade under Hornby & Co but who extended the Hornby interests there. In 1814 Mr Hornby Roughsedge - who had formerly managed the Hornby factories at Kirkham - purchased High Hill and the residence known as Bentham House in Bentham from Charles Parker Esq. He also acquired the manorial rights of Ingleton and became the gentleman of the district. He was a great benefactor of St Margaret's Church, Bentham, which contains several memorials to him. In the 1830's the sailcloth industry began to decline in Bentham and the mills went over to the production of finer yarns by wet spinning and the making of flexible fire hoses from flax.. In 1850 Mr Hornby Roughsedge sold the Bentham Mills and Bentham House to messrs Waithman and Company, and retired to Foxghyll, near Ambleside. He died in September 1859.

   Every bale of flax and hemp stems was fastened together with a lead seal by a quality inspector in Russia before shipping by sailing ship to the UK.   After processing the discarded stems of the flax and hemp with seals still attached were prized as fertilizer by local farmers and were spread onto the land mixed with night soil manure where they remain to be found even until today.

Night soil + solid waste + the flax waste on to the fields.

Click here for the Bentham Mill Page

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  BRIDPORT Town in West Dorset on the southern coast of England, has been an important centre for the production of rope, twine, netting and sailcloth, from flax and hemp, from the 13th century. The earliest documentary evidence is a record of payment for a large quantity of sails and cordage in 1211, then an order from King John for Bridport rope and cloth to supply the navy in 1213. This order suggests that Bridport was already established in the area for many years before then. A mile south of the town of Bridport is Bridport Harbour, (now West Bay) which was crucial to the economy of the town and still has a high proportion of its historic buildings. It was built with lots of warehouses and shipbuilding facilities, and stands on a very suitable position for the construction of an industrial harbour along a very exposed stretch of coastline. The development of the harbour in the mid-18th century fuelled a resurgence of the Bridport textile industry and a dramatic expansion of the town. By the early 19th century the larger textile firms occupied warehouses at the harbour and had ships built in the adjacent shipyard, supporting a worldwide trade in goods and raw materials. After thriving for several decades, the fortunes of the harbour and shipyard began to change following the extension of the Great Western Railway to Bridport in 1857. The addition of a local branch line to the harbour in 1884 heralded a period of transition that saw the closure of the shipyard and the renaming of Bridport Harbour as West Bay in a bid to encourage tourism. The harbour was no longer a major asset to the flax and hemp industry, but trade in coal, hemp and other commodities continued on a smaller scale until the mid-20th century. The most successful period for the flax and hemp trade was from the late 18th to the late 19th century.

  The relative prosperity of this period saw the construction of houses for the merchant classes and the rebuilding of many of the outworkers’ cottages. Some of the mill surrounding fields that require searching for seals are North Mill, Court Mills, Pymore Mill, Priory Mill, Folly Mill and Mangerton Mill.

 Recently there has been a surge in seal finds, dated 1770, 1775, 1792, 1800, 1805, 1812 and four Riga crossed key flax seals dated from the late 18th century to the early 19th century. The surrounding district had hundreds of small wheel spinners for making twine for nets and several large rope walks for rope making.

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  Chester and the Linen Trade

  In Chester two anchorages were accessible to smaller vessels after 1660: the quay and warehouses across the Roodee from the Watergate, and the anchorage near the Dee Bridge and old cheese warehouse. Shipbuilding was also well established on the Roodee. Thirty ships were owned at Chester in 1672, and at least 25 (totalling 1,925 tons) in 1701, though not all were locally built. The industry seems to have expanded during the 1690s, when the company of Drawers of Dee complained that a new shipyard would encroach on the ground where they hung their fishing nets. The number of roperies on the Roodee had also grown by the 1690s. Ships continued to be built on the Dee in the earlier 18th century, many intended for traders elsewhere, and a few shipwrights and ship's carpenters were freemen of the city.  The Roodee and Roman Quay wall are key features of interest. Sea-going ships used to sail up the River Dee estuary to Chester to a harbour located where the racecourse is today. But the Roodee silted up over time and has been used for horse racing since 1539. Latest thinking suggests the so-called Roman Quay wall, which can be seen below Nuns Road, may be just a Roman defensive structure.
   All traffic, however, was hindered by navigational hazards in the Dee, which despite repeated efforts from the 1660s were not removed until Nathaniel Kinderley's new cut along the Welsh shore was opened in 1737. The reopening of the Dee did not halt Chester's relative decline as a port. About 1701 its ship-owners had only 25 vessels, and in the early 1710s the total tonnage, no more than 3,400, was less than half that owned at Liverpool. By the 1730s it had fallen to c. 1,650 tons, barely a tenth of Liverpool's total, and in the late 1750s Chester's 1,000-1,400 tons was scarcely a twentieth of
Liverpool's fleet. The tonnage of all Chester's foreign and Irish trade, which in the 1710s had reached at least 9,500 tons both inward and outward, seldom exceeded 6,000 tons each way from the 1730s to the 1750s.  In the early 18th century much of the Irish linen went through the port of Chester, this reached it's zenith in the mid 18th century, but much of the trade moved to Liverpool. For flax seals see here

     Hassall & Foulkes (Brewers) was a company in Chester believed to be extensively involved in the imported wine trade c.1851, from Portugal, and had premises in Watergate Street. Many of these seals were found among the Russian flax bale seals.

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Greenodd is a village in the Furness area of the county of Cumbria but within the historical county of Lancashire.  It is located 3 miles north-east of Ulverston. Greenodd and adjacent Penny Bridge are the main districts in the Crake Valley. The River Crake flows into the estuary of the River Leven at Greenodd.  The name Greenodd is of Scandinavian origin, the odd meaning ness (headland) in this case (the name translates literally as 'The Green Promontory').  In the late-18th and early-19th centuries Greenodd was a significant port; a creek-port of Lancaster. Exports included copper ore from Coniston, locally quarried limestone, and gunpowder from the nearby settlement of Backbarrow. Sugar, raw cotton and coal are listed in historical documents as some of the imports. Greenodd was also a shipbuilding centre with vessels up to 200 tons being constructed. On the darker side it is likely that Greenodd was involved in the North American slave trade. Today there are no signs of the former commercial activities. The Ship Inn, previously a warehouse on the quayside, is one of the few reminders of Greenodd's illustrious past. Small Galliot boats would bypass Greenodd to deliver Russian flax bales to Penny Bridge Mill and drop off iron on the way back.

   Until the 1980s Greenodd was on the A590 trunk road from Barrow to Levens Bridge. A bypass to take the traffic over a new bridge across the River Crake made the a cul-de-sac. Greenodd railway station was served by the Lakeside branch of the Furness Railway from 1869 until its closure in 1965. Today there is no trace of the railway, the station having been demolished to make way for a dual-carriageway road. This area is no stranger to being cut off. In 1820 the turnpike bridge across the estuary shut down the Penny Bridge flax mill .. although it is said it was burned down in a fire at that time.. but it wouldn't be the first mill to be burned down for the fire insurance .. and probably not the last.

     Ulverston had taken much trade away from Greenodd which continued to ship copper ore, lead, slate, woodland produce and gunpowder from quays along the River Crake until 1869 and the building of the Lakeside branch railway which cut off access to the river from the estuary. There were six quays downstream of the new turnpike bridge of 1820. The first of these was owned by J.B.Fell and had on it a steam-powered sawmill and a slipway for building coasters of 30-100 tons. In February 1851, Samuel Schollick began shipbuilding at Greenodd in a shipyard previously owned by the Ashburners. The first, perhaps the only vessel from the yard was the Edward and Margaret, a 90 ton schooner. Samuel Schollick opened a second shipyard at Canal Foot, Ulverston, in partnership with E.J.Schollick. "Thrifty", a 45 ton schooner, was launched on August 3rd 1854. and the ship was lost with all hands on the Liverpool Banks in November 1861.

  The port handled 24,000 tons p.a. in the 1840s, and featured a daily steamship service to Liverpool. Navigation up and down the estuary was maintained through a 30 foot drawbridge when the Leven Viaduct for the Ulverston and Lancaster Railway was opened in 1857, but the traders of Greenodd agreed to exchange that facility for a branch line to the village, thus sealing the fate of the port. Greenodd itself had only developed as a port when the new turnpike bridge of 1820 closed the river for navigation further upstream to Pennybridge.  Schollick’s Shipyard,  formerly at Greenodd, was put up for sale in 1855 and taken over by former foreman John Wilson and son in 1870. Last vessel built here was “Heart of Oak” in 1912.

Furness built Schooners   -  The J.M.Garratt (left) & The Mary Barrow which ran aground in a storm at St Ives

 

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HULL From the Baltic the Hull traders brought in flax, which was required in growing quantities by the manufacturers of linen and of sailcloth canvas. Beginning in the 1570s Hull regularly imported several hundred tons of flax every year, an undertaking which involved the use of much shipping. Along with flax came other naval stores—hemp, pitch, tar, and timber—imports which reached a peak in 1586–7 when naval preparations against a Spanish invasion were in full swing. In addition, after 1580 corn, especially rye, was imported in varying quantities as the yield of the harvests at home demanded. During good years Hull exported corn, but during the food shortage of the 1590s large quantities were imported. This made possible a great increase in Hull's cloth exports which reached their highest point in 1598–9, at a time when the town was petitioning to be made the staple for the export of northern kerseys. Flax and corn remained the chief elements in Hull's imports from the Baltic until the late 17th century. The position of the Hull traders, in common with that of other Englishmen in the Baltic, was only established with difficulty, for Danzig firmly upheld the Hanseatic privileges. Troubles mounted until, in 1579, the English were provoked to transfer their mart to Elbing, and in order to consolidate the organization of their newly thriving trade the merchants founded the Eastland Company. In this the influence of the Londoners was strong, but merchants trading from Hull, who had hitherto made much use of the port of Danzig, quickly

 

 

 

established themselves at Elbing and were able to secure their own rights in the new company. Some of the flax bales were imported through the Port of Hull while naval stores and undressed flax were obtained from Narva, Reval or Riga, spruce linen yarn came usually from Konigsberg and Elbing. The advance of the 1730s is noticeable also in the volume of leading imports, as given in the official customs returns. If anything, these figures will understate the volume of trade because of smuggling, though there is no reason to suppose widespread smuggling in the sort of goods in which Hull traded.  Admitting, then, the possibility of under-

 Number of Ships Entering Hull
Origin 1567 1609 1637 1687
Norway 3 16 29 59
Sweden     7 16
Danzig, Elbing, and Konigsberg 14 33 32 16
North Baltic 4     18
White Sea and Arctic 4 4 1
Scotland 43 19 6

recording, the official volume of undressed flax rose by 73 per cent between 1728 and 1737, linen yarn by 233 per cent, hemp by 224 per cent, deals by 49 per cent and iron by 54 per cent. More significant, however, than the growth in volumes was the gradual yet momentous change in the geographical distribution of trade. In 1717, for Instance, no ships at all had arrived in Hull from Narva, only 2 from St. Petersburg and 9 from Riga; but in 1737, following the Anglo-Russian treaty of 1734 (which, among other things, made life easier for British factors residing in Russia), 11 ships came from Narva, 7 from St. Petersburg and 20 from Riga.  The eastern Baltic increasingly supplied the flax and yam required by the growing linen industry of England, and the hemp that was necessary for Hull's own rope-makers. Joshua Gee, writing in the l730s, commented that 'hemp and flax are so useful in navigation and trade, that we cannot possibly do without them; the first for cordage of all sorts, the latter for making sail cloth, as well for the linen manufactures that are carried out in this kingdom'.   By the early 1780s Spruce linen yam from Prussia and raw Dutch from Hamburg and Amsterdam had together reached over five million pounds, and Hull was the leading port in the trade, despite Liverpool's position as intermediary between Manchester and the Irish flax industry.  The importation of flax was also expanding apace, much of it soon to be diverted to Marshall's mill at Leeds, where they were beginning to spin yam as good as most of that imported from the Baltic. The magnificent Temple Mill built by Marshall at Holbeck with an Ancient Egyptian Temple facade. (A Grade I listed former flax mill built between 1836 to 1840 and based on the Temple of Horus at Edfu, reflecting a craze for Ancient Egypt which swept European society in the first half of the 19th century.)  Tow had also made its appearance, probably in the sixties, but the great expansion in the trade came later, when Marshall's also developed a machine for spinning it.  Russia and Prussia stand supreme among Hull's trading partners at the turn of the century with St. Petersburg alone accounting for one out of every four or five ships entering Hull, while Hull in turn was receiving about one in five of the ships clearing from St. Petersburg. Ships from Russia passed the 150 mark for the first time in 1792, from Prussia in 1802.   Linen cloth of Baltic or Scottish origin was to be found in almost every coaster and there were also small shipments of linen yam, flax and, of course, the cotton wool that was used by the Strutts and other canon people to the east of the Pennines.

Imports into Hull from the Baltic States

1790 1800 1810 1820 1830
vessels tons vessels tons vessels tons vessels tons vessels tons
243 61,964 466 83.732 459 73.786 318 62,448 632 109,60

   On 19 November 1915 a coastal shipment of hemp from Hull was

 the last direct import of textile fibre to be received at Arbroath.

   Hull, along with nearby Yarmouth on the east coast, and Newcastle, on the north east coast, seem to have avoided the slave trade itself. Instead they traded directly with the plantations in America and the Caribbean, supplying the colonies with window glass and vegetable seeds bringing back tobacco, sugar and rum on return.

   December 06, 1709. Order by Treasurer Godolphin to same to observe an order of the Queen in Council [undated] to permit the ship "Speedwell" now in the Humber with flax, hemp &c. from the Baltic to come into the harbour and unload, all her mariners being in good health and she having been some time in Holland and in several roads on the coast of Great Britain since leaving the Baltic. But the feathers and Polonia wool are to be kept on board till further order.

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  KIRKHAM is a small town and civil parish in the Borough of Fylde in Lancashire, England, midway between Blackpool and Preston and adjacent to the smaller town of Wesham. It owes its existence to Carr Hill upon which it was built and which was the location of a Roman fort. The production of coarse linens and ropes from flax and hemp had been a domestic industry in the Fylde and Lancashire plain since the Middle Ages. Practically all Kirkham burgesses grew flax and hemp to produce linen, rope and coarse cloth. The very poor working conditions in the surrounding countryside during the 17th century had caused labourers to go to Kirkham to seek employment as craftsmen and assistants to various trades and businesses so creating a more numerous poor population.  There was trade with Russia from the Wyre as early as 1590 but it was not until the eighteenth century that the trade expanded.  In 1736 all English ships were required to carry a full set of English-made sails. It thus became increasingly profitable for merchants in old-established linen centres like Kirkham to import flax from the Baltic and put it out to local flax dressers, spinners and weavers for the manufacture of coarse linen canvas suitable for sailcloth.  It is generally accepted that the majority of the sails in Nelsons fleet were produced in Kirkham and Freckleton. Early Freckleton supplied water to the Roman fort at Kirkham, and in the 19th century was a port for the ship building industry. Rope and sailcloth, for the early boatbuilding industry, was made in the village for many years. Balderstone Mill, erected in 1880, was the first organised factory system in the village, its weaving shed had 320 looms, and its cloth sold on the Manchester Cotton Exchange. The mills closed in 1980.

  There were two main groups of Kirkham merchants: (a) the Hankinsons and Hornbys, and (b) the Langtons, Shepherds and Birleys. In Kirkham itself (though not elsewhere) they formed two distinct and rival firms.  It was at the beginning of the eighteenth century that three families - Langton, Hornby and Birley settled in Kirkham and were greatly responsible for the prosperity of the town. By the end of the 18th century the Hornby, Langton and Birley families were deeply involved in all aspects of life in the town and were having considerable influence on its development and prosperity. By setting up their industries they had brought more trade, wealth and employment to the town so producing an increase in population. Their interest in the welfare of Kirkham people is seen by their connections with the charities, education and parish church, as well as with the administration of the town.

   1) The first of these families to settle in Kirkham was the Langton family when in 1696 Cornelius Langton, a woollen draper from Preston, was admitted to the freedom of tile borough by paying 30 shillings to the corporation. Soon after his arrival here he married the daughter of Zachary Taylor, the headmaster of the grammar school. His son, John, married the daughter of Thomas Browne, a woollen draper whose family had been in Kirkham for 200 years. Lots of property passed into their possession. Ash Tree House,  Armistead's Carr meadow, Copper Long and Tile Bottom as well as property in Preston inherited from his grandfather, and much more. The Langtons and Birleys combined to set up an early flax mill here.

  2) Hugh Hornby of Newton settled in Kirkham at the beginning of the 18th century and soon became a member of the Thirty Men. By 1753, Hugh with his father and brother, was in possession of the manor of Ribby adjoining Kirkham, and when Hugh died his eldest son, Joseph, received the land of Compton from his uncle so extending his possessions further. Towards the end of the century Joseph built Ribby Hall immediately next to the boundary with Kirkham manor. The development of the manufacture of sail cloth in Kirkham is very closely associated with the Hornby family whose warehouse was on the north side of Poulton Street just a little way above their house in the Market Square. Their workshops were in Old Earth Lane opposite the tan yards and in Back Lane near Old Row. In 1793, William, brother of Joseph, bought a large building on the west side of Freckleton Street consisting of 10 houses a weaving shed and the 2 long sheds.

     Messrs J.T. & W. Hornby established themselves in Bentham Village about 1795, and at first operated from Low Bentham Mill. and later moved to High Bentham Mill. They imported Russian flax bales into a warehouse on St. George's Quay at Lancaster and transported the flax bales by four horse drawn wagons to Bentham. Initially the brothers spun yarn at Bentham for their sail cloth factories at Kirkham but later they built premises for their weavers in Bentham, some of whom came from Kirkham. The Bentham operations were managed after about 1814 by Tony Roughsedge Esq. who continued to trade under Hornby & Co and who had formerly managed the Hornby factories at Kirkham .

    Thousand's of Russian flax bale seals have been found in the fields surrounding the High Bentham Mill.

 3)   It was the Birley family who became the leading flax manufacturers in the town and on first settling here, John Birley traded with the West Indies, his firm being known as Birley and Alker, West Indian Merchants, and the goods were shipped from the small port of Wardleys on the right bank of the Wyre. However, after his marriage with Elizabeth Shepherd, the firm became known as Langton, Shepherd and Birley and it was John Langton in this partnership who helped to set up the flax mill at the west end of the Choice Meadow between 1730 and 1750, but after that in 1766 the young John Birley separated from this partnership and continued In business on his own making more extensions to the mill.

  Birley's Mill - It was at this time towards the end of the 18th century that much Irish labour, especially young girls was imported being brought over by Birley's agent in Ireland. Cottages were specially built for these workers in Mill Street which became known as the Irish quarter of the town, and in both Preston and Poulton Street cottages were specially built for hand-loom weavers who sold their work to Messrs John Birley and Sons, The company produced sail cloth for the Royal Navy and traded in Russian merchandise as well as being dealers in produce of the Baltic Countries. As already mentioned flax and hemp were grown in small crops for the production of linen, rope and coarse cloth but as the industries developed raw materials needed to be brought from elsewhere such as Ireland. Fish was brought to the town from the river Wyre and sold on the fish-stones surrounding the market cross. (these still survive).

           From 1841 Thomas Birley carried on the flax business with his sons Thomas Langton Birley, Charles and Leyland. Although linen and sailcloth were still produced they seem to have concentrated on fine spinning for which, as already stated, extensions were made to the old flax mill. About the middle of the century being the largest property owners and employing about 800 workers they tended to dominate Kirkham, and in 1872 Thomas Langton Birley, having bought the demesne lands and manorial rights from Christ Church Oxford, was able to style himself lord of the manor. The flax mill descended to his eldest son Henry Langton Birley but towards the end of the century high costs and the competition of cotton made it uneconomic and it was finally closed in 1895.

   So far Kirkham is sparse in the finding of Russian flax or hemp bale seals.

IDS
8
32

Д? = D?
ВАПАНОВЪ
(VAPANOV)
H
27

SPB

CGFPK

1807

27

post
(hemp)

Danny Meadowcroft

Kirkham, Lancashire

see
database

IDS
8
33

An unreadable
Numbers Only Seal

WK

SB9PK

1753

??

post
(flax)

Danny Meadowcroft

Kirkham, Lancashire

see
Numbers
Only

     By 1876 the following factories had been established in Kirkham besides the one belonging to Birley:- although Birley's remained the only flax mill .. the others going on to cotton goods.
a. Weaving shed of Walker and Barrett employing 400 workers
b. Weaving shed of Richards Brothers employing 84 workers.
c. Cotton mill belonging to Harrison and Company employing 150 workers.
d. Cotton mill belonging to Richards and Parker employing 180 workers.
e. The Fylde Manufacturing Company in Orders Lane had been recently established, the plans for this new weaving shed having been approved in the previous year.
    One factor which certainly helped the development of all these industries was the coming of the railway to Kirkham in 1840. Its main purpose when constructed was to be to facilitate communications between the Lancashire manufacturers and Ireland by providing easy access to the river Wyre.

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UK flax production 1850 - 1900

 

1850

1900

Ireland

325,000

935,411

Scotland

303,000

160,00

England

365,000

50,000

 

    IRELAND's takeover of the flax trade from 1850 - 1900.

In 1850 Ireland had 325,000 spindles, England had 365,000 and Scotland 303,000 (ie. there was roughly the same number in each country). Over the next fifty years, however, the number of flax spinning spindles in England decreased to near vanishing point with less than 50,000 spindles. Even Marshall's, the leading firm, found it necessary to wind up their business, close their famous mill in Leeds, and transfer the business to America. By the end of the century Scotland had also suffered a major reduction, the number of spindles being 160,000.  While both of these two countries had lost production, Ireland's share had increased and by 1875 there were 906,000 spindles working, this number having reached 935,411 by the turn of the century.  One of the reasons for this great displacement in favour of Ireland was the fact that linen was the staple industry there, whereas England and Scotland had other textile industries which allowed a higher profit and the payment of wages on a higher scale. Towards the end of the last century an average sized flax spinning mill contained about 22,000 spindles, and gave employment to about 750 persons. According to 19th century figures it cost about £4 to £6 a spindle to erect. This meant that the average cost of building a factory at this time was in advance of £120,000. The work force employed in the mill was in the proportion of two or three females to one male. Children of both sexes at the age of 12 were also employed as learners. These were called "half-timers". They worked and went to school on alternative days and could not be employed unless they went to school.

 Until the 19th century Irish peasants repeated the mythical story of the introduction of flax into their island by the "dwellers on the Shliabh na Mann mountain. These talented peoples, who had the name Mann, are said to have been foreigners, from a distant land (could they have been from the Isle of Man?), who long ago settled on this mountain, and first instructed the natives in the art of the management of flax, and hemp.

  The Westminster Parliament prohibited the export of woollen goods from Ireland in 1699, although woollen yarn was still produced both for domestic use and for English manufacturers. These restrictions on the woollen trade increased the linen industry, particularly in Ulster. In 1696 a Bill went through the English parliament which encouraged the manufacturing of linen in Ireland. From the early 18th century, Irish linen was imported duty free to England and to British Plantations in America, and by the end of the 18th century linen accounted for about half of Ireland's total exports. In the early 18th century much of the Irish linen went through the port of Chester, this reached it's zenith in the mid 18th century, much of the trade moving to Liverpool.

                Seal finds in Ireland, both North and South,  are very rare.

  Location Number Post Inspector Year Agent from - Type
                   
N.I Armagh IDS1292 84 Ershev 1762 S.S Baltic 12 head  flax
N.I Newtownards IDS1606 68 Ershev 1824 H.Ш (N.Sh) Baltic 12 head  flax
N.I - IDS 764 Arch Pavel Surl??? 1888 Я.П.П (Ya.P.P) Archangel 2nd Sort  Krown
                   
Ire - IDS 561 271 Lepshev 1786 A.B Baltic 12 head  flax
Ire - IDS 1415 8 L.Lobkov 1798 T.T Baltic 12 head  flax
Ire - IDS 1522 15 E.Sarynin 1799 А.Ш (A.Sh) Baltic 12 K  Krown
Ire - IDS 1393 Arch Н.И. (H.I.) 1834 M.П (M.P) Archangel 1st Sort   flax
                   
Early 17th Century Cloth Bale Seals found at Excavations in Essex Street, Carrickfergus - Brian G Scott

Belfast. Rather than reinvest in cotton the Mulhollands investigated the possibilities of moving into linen. They saw that large amounts of Irish flax were being exported to England to be machine spun. Much of this was then re-exported to Ireland for use by the hand weavers. They visited the North of England and saw James Kay's process, which they brought back to Belfast. After a small-scale trial in 1828-29 T. & A. Mulholland opened an 8000 spindle flax-spinning mill in Belfast in 1830. Although they may not have been the first to see the opportunity, it was the most significant as this was one of the biggest mills in Belfast - The York Street Mill. The project was a magnificent success, and there was a move by other troubled cotton spinners, as well as other businessmen, into flax spinning. By 1850 linen spinning in Belfast was very much greater than cotton spinning. The York Street Mill by 1856 had 25,000 spindles and was probably one of the largest mills of it's type in the world, possibly second only to Marshall's of Leeds. This concentration of mills, mainly in Belfast, put many of the traditional hand spinners out of business. With this it also caused many of the weavers to move into the northeast to be nearer supplies of yarn. The stone or stone weight  is an English and imperial unit of mass now equal to 14 pounds.  Before the early 19th century, as in England, the stone varied both with locality and with commodity. For example, the Belfast stone for measuring flax equalled 16.75 avoirdupois pounds. The most usual value was 14 pounds. Among the oddities related to the use of the stone was the practice in County Clare of a stone of  potatoes being 16 lb in the summer and 18 lb in the winter.

A very Non-PC postcard circa 1900 of Irish Peasants Spinning Flax

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   LANCASTER. The main port for the import of flax bales for Bentham mills. The St George's Quay was built in 1750 for the import of sugar, cotton, rum, mahogany timber and for exporting furniture, general merchandise and slaves to the colonies in North America & West Indies. The slave trade operated in every port on the west coast of the UK.  The Napoleonic Wars raised both demand and price for linen goods in the 1790s, but at the same time made the Baltic trade in raw  materials more  difficult. Napoleon's blockade of the Baltic raised the price of a ton of flax from £40 to £170. The tonnage of shipping from  the Baltic via  Lancaster to Bentham Mills was falling  back in the late  1790s, while from 1808 to 1813 no  ships  entered at the  port at all.

  Some flax was brought in to Bentham from Liverpool to fill the gap until 1808, when the blockade  really began to bite. Meanwhile the  West  House  and Little  Patrick Mills got their raw materials via Hull and the east coast and managed to fare better but  Bentham Mill did not  recover until the late 1820's and then prospered greatly.

The Customs House on St George's Quay

 is now the Maritime Museum

   Lancaster, on the north west coast of England, was a town which had merchants who were involved in the slave trade. Having started slowly and gradually increasing the number of voyages, Lancaster became the fourth biggest slaving port after Liverpool, London and Bristol. Merchants and ships from other smaller ports traded through Lancaster. These included towns such as Preston on the north east coast, and the nearby towns of Poulton-le-Fylde and Ulverston. Perhaps not a coincidence but the Abolitionist Movement copper half penny of 1790 - 1797 had the same clasped hands of friendship used by Alexander Shubin, the Anchourer at the Port of St Petersburg, and uniquely 13 of these seals were found at Bentham Mills who imported their flax bales via Lancaster, and nowhere else. Around the coin's perimeter was the promise. "Payable in Lancaster, Liverpool and London", also the cover picture for PeaceHavens Project. For seals see Bentham Mills  and   Lancashire

 AM I NOT A MAN AND A BROTHER . //

 MAY SLAVERY & OPPRESSION

CEASE THROUGHOUT THE WORLD.

AЛEKCEH ШУБИHЬ (ALEXANDER SHUBIN)

 ANCHOURER EPORTASTPETERSBOURG

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  LIVERPOOL. An important port for over a 1000 years for exporting salt and textiles and later as an intermediary between Manchester and the Irish flax industry. The slave trade played a major part.  By 1750, 43% of all British slave ships were setting sail from Liverpool, rising to 79% by the time the trade was abolished in 1807 which lead to growth in the import and export of textiles during the industrial revolution in the 19th century.  Liverpool mainly imported cotton for the mills of Lancashire and North Wales.  Flax being of much lesser importance .. most coming through Lancaster via St George's Quay, for the Bentham Mills.   In the early 18th century much of the Irish linen went through the port of Chester, this reached it's zenith in the mid 18th century, much of the trade moving to Liverpool. Liverpool, on the north west coast of England, was the major slaving port in the north of England. The trade from this small port developed in the early 18th century. In the 1740s Liverpool overtook Bristol in the slave trade. The reasons for this are not clear. Liverpool may have had lower local wage rates than Bristol, which would led to higher profits for investors. The city had good port facilities and closer access to the manufacturing towns of the north and midlands than Bristol. Liverpool may have overtaken Bristol in the slave trade because its merchants were more enterprising, and more willing to take risks, than merchants elsewhere. Liverpool remained the country’s major slaving port for the rest of the century. For flax seals see here

1728

1728

Wishing Gate 1797

1814

1) Tower Fort & fishing boats  2) Customs House with importers

 3) The Castle - c.1680

1814

1815

Goree Warehouses 1829

Stormy Mersey 1836

The Old Dock at Liverpool in 1715 - Note the Red Ensign or

 "Red Duster" flag on the building and flown by the Royal Navy

and later specifically by British Merchant Seamen.

Paddle Steamer 1841

Paddle Steamer 1854

Liverpool c.1680

Liverpool Docks 1839

     

Between 1709 and 1825, when the docks were under the direct control of the corporation,

 the following wet docks were opened in Liverpool :—
1. Old Dock, opened 31 August 1715; closed 31 August 1826.
2. Salthouse Dock, opened 1753; altered 1842; enlarged 1855.
3. George's Dock, opened 1771; enlarged 1825; closed 1900.
4. King's Dock, opened 1788; closed 1906, the name being preserved for two new branches of the Wapping Dock.
5. Queen's Dock, opened 1796; enlarged 1816; deepened and half-tide dock added 1856, and closed 1905; enlarged 1901; branches added 1901, 1905; altered 1906.
6. Union Dock, opened 1816; thrown into Coburg Dock 1858.
7. Prince's Dock, opened 1821; half-tide dock added 1868.
The total area of wet docks in 1825 amounted to 46 acres 3,179 sq. yds.; the lineal quayage to a little over 2 miles. The dock dues paid in the same year amounted to £130,911. It may be noted that the first London Dock was not opened until 1802.

 

Between 1825 and 1857, when the docks were under the control of the Dock Committee,

 the Old Dock was closed (1826), and the following new docks were opened:—
 1. Canning Dock, opened 1829; previously a basin known as the Dry Dock, opened 1753; enlarged 1842.
 2. Clarence Docks, &c., opened 1830; enlarged 1853.
 3. Brunswick Docks, opened 1832; enlarged 1848, 1858, 1889; branch dock added 1878; altered 1900.
 4. Waterloo Dock, opened 1834; reconstructed as E. and W. Waterloo Docks, 1868.
 5. Victoria Dock, opened 1836; altered 1848.
 6. Trafalgar Dock, opened 1836.
 7. Coburg Dock, opened 1840; altered from Brunswick Basin; enlarged 1858; altered 1900.
 8. Toxteth Dock, opened 1842; closed to make way for new works, 1884.
 9. Canning Half-tide Dock, opened 1844.
10. Harrington Dock (bought), opened 1844; closed to make way for new works 1879.
11. Albert Dock, opened 1845.
12. Salisbury Dock, opened 1848.
13. Collingwood Dock, opened 1848.
14. Stanley Dock, opened 1848; partly filled in 1897.
15. Nelson Dock, opened 1848.
16. Bramley Moore Dock, opened 1848.
17. Wellington Docks, opened 1850; half-tide dock closed 1901.
18. Sandon Dock, opened 1851; half-tide dock added 1901; altered 1906.
19. Manchester Dock (bought), opened 1851.
20. Huskisson Dock, opened 1852; branch docks added 1861, 1872, 1902; altered 1896, 1897; enlarged 1900.
21. Wapping Dock and Basin, opened 1855; two King's Dock branches added 1906

   The water area in 1857 amounted to 192 acres 129 sq. yds., or an increase of over 82 acres in twenty-five years; the lineal quayage was about 15 miles; and the river-wall, when the Dock Board came into existence, already extended for just over 5 miles. At the same time the Dock Committee and the Corporation had acquired the Birkenhead Docks. It is clear that the old Dock Committee did not lack energy. For the ten years preceding the establishment of the Dock Board the dock dues averaged nearly £250,000. It was on the security of these that the capital for the construction of the docks was raised; and no profits were used for purposes other than the service of the port.   For flax seals see here

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  NEWCASTLE January 07 1710: By order in Council, dated St. James's Jan. I, for leave to the ship "Beginning" to discharge at Newcastle her lading of flax and iron "four Benches of hemp and eight Regs of cucumbers," she having performed her quarantine and her crew in perfect health: all on the petition of Johnathan Hutchinson Esq. and Samuell Holden, merchant.

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 PENNY BRIDGE MILL is situated a few miles up the river Crake above Greenodd at the high tide line of the tidal estuary. The small Galliot ships were able to sail up the shallow narrow river as far as the bridge with their bales of flax and then to unload them at a slate stone jetty the remnants of which can still be seen to the right of the photograph. A small flax mill and iron foundry were built higher up the river to take advantage of the mill race that powered the waterwheel. Flax and iron were transported along the narrow Mill Lane to a jetty at the bridge (see photo below). Another bridge built downstream in 1820 denied access to the jetty but rumour has it that the mill was destroyed in an explosion in the early 1800's which probably accounts for why only 13 seals were found at the site, 12 dated 1805 and an undated Baltic States Shield seal with a Cross .. circa 1800. For reasons best known to themselves the Mill Owners deposited the seals high up in a field on the other side of the river.    In all 30 seals have been found giving hope of a new flax seal site.   The mill has been completely demolished and all that remains are a few low walls and the entrance to tunnels running under the site where the water was channelled to turn a water wheel which powered the mill.

see http://peacehavens.co.uk/BSPENNY.htm

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POULTON-LE-FYLDE From early times Poulton became an important centre for trade in this area. With harbours on either side of the River Wyre, at Skippool and Wardleys, it was able to import goods from as far away as Russia and North America. The origin of the word "Skippool" is probably from Old Norse skip meaning ship and Old English pull/pol for a slow moving stream. The area came to prominence in the 1700’s when it was the main port on the River Wyre before the development of Fleetwood. Ships of up to 200 tonnes would unload cargoes from around the world with flax and cotton for the Lancashire mills. It was also renowned as being a haunt for smugglers and press gangs looking for recruits for the Royal navy. The opening of the railway to Fleetwood in 1840 quickly brought about the demise of the creek.

  Thomas Hankinson continued to trade from the Wyre along with his brother-in-law Hugh Hornby. They bought additional shares in the Ramlesfield warehouse at Skippool and evidently traded both to the plantations and the Baltic for in 1752 they were pail-owners of a ship the "Hankinson" which made voyages to St Kitts, Riga and St Petersburg."  Flax is brought up the Wyre and landed at Wardleys on the north east side of that river where the principal manufacturers of Kirkham have large and commodious warehouses for the reception of goods. Flax was imported from Ireland and the Baltic, timber came from across the Atlantic and tallow from Russia. There was a close relationship with Lancaster port.  Records from 1806–08 show that Poulton imported limestone from Ulverston, oats from Ulverston, Kirkcudbright, Dumfries, Wigtown, Whitehaven and Liverpool, and coal from Preston. Cheese was exported to the same places. By the 18th century, markets for cattle and cloth were being held in the town in February, April and November, with corn fairs every Monday. It is unclear at what point Poulton began life as a market town; it was never granted a market charter and so markets were held by prescription. The market cross probably dates from the 17th century. The linen industry was widespread in the Fylde during the 18th century and Poulton's importation of flax was essential. There were large warehouses at Skippool and Wardleys, owned by linen merchants from Kirkham. By the 19th century, craftsmen in Poulton were an important part of the industry. In the early part of the 19th century, there was a significant decline in the craft industries because of increased mechanisation, as well as increased demand for labour. In contrast to neighbouring Kirkham, Poulton appeared to suffer from a lack of enthusiasm for new industrial techniques and opportunities among its industry leaders whereas Kirkham used yarn spun at the new mills in Bentham for its sail cloth factories. In both Preston and Poulton, Street Cottages were specially built for hand-loom weavers who sold their work to Messrs John Birley and Sons of Kirkham.  Poulton's commercial importance was affected by the growth in the 19th century of two nearby coastal towns. In 1836 the first building was constructed in the new, planned town of Fleetwood, 7 miles north of Poulton, at the mouth of the River Wyre. Fleetwood became a major port and a link for passengers travelling from London to Scotland. To achieve these ideals a line connecting Fleetwood with Preston was completed in 1840, with Poulton as one of the stops. Although Fleetwood immediately superseded Poulton as a port (the Customs House was quickly moved to Fleetwood), Poulton initially benefited commercially from the rail link. The importation of Irish and Scottish cattle through Fleetwood enabled a fortnightly cattle market to be held in Poulton. At the same time, Blackpool was developing as a resort and for a few years, visitors travelled by rail to Poulton and then on to Blackpool by horse-drawn charabancs or omnibuses. A line between Poulton and Blackpool was completed in 1846. As Fleetwood and Blackpool's own commercial capabilities developed, and Kirkham's prominence in the linen industry continued to grow, so Poulton's importance declined.

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  SCARBOROUGH ship captains came to know the Baltic Sea well. John Tindall's "Free Briton" sailed for Russia in 1762-63 calling at St Petersburg. The mates were paid two to three shillings a day and the deck hands a shilling. Thomas Kendall master of the "Content" called there in 1766 . Captain Enoch Harrison took the "Commerce" into the Baltic in 1764. Robert Duesbery became a "Russia merchant", in partnership with Hugh Atkins of London and Jacob Regail of St Petersburg. He borrowed £4000 from his father but was able to repay it by 1769. Robert Burn in the "Exchange" and George Hopper in the "Ada" were Baltic traders in 1770. Master Thomas Davison took the "Holmpson" to Riga in 1779 and James Tindall was with the "Fortitude" in the Baltic in 1783. It should be noted that although the most productive fisheries in the world were upon the coasts of the British islands; yet at this time, the Dutch sent to the four great towns on the Baltic—Konigsberg, Elbing, Stettin, and Danzig—620,000l. worth of herrings every year, England exported to those places none at all,  nor any to Denmark, Norway, Sweden, or the

ports of Riga, Revel, Narva, and other parts of Livonia, even though sending ships to deal with the flax and hemp from those ports.

  Yorkshire was hungry for Baltic goods in the 18th century. Flax was imported for the linen industry, that extended from Pickering Vale to Scarborough men entered the Eastland trade in the sixties. Twenty years later, this had become a major branch of east coast trade. S. K. Jones has listed Baltic shipping through the Sound in 1784 as Hull 358, London 342, Whitby 311, Newcastle 280, Lynn116, Scarborough 103 and Liverpool 102 ships.

 

 

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  TORPOINT The first mention of Torpoint in known records is on an old print of the harbour dated 1734. There are records dated 1745 of masons and carpenters from Torpoint repairing Antony church. Torpoint developed apace after 1750 due to the Dockyard. Expansion was driven by the need to expand the Navy. Ship building and repair required workers from the Torpoint side of the river as Plymouth at that time was a difficult place to reach directly from the Dockyard and housing was limited nearby. Other factors which speeded the development of Torpoint were the construction of Lime Kilns, wharf, a warehouse and a quay. By 1774 as well as Lime Kilns there were a ropewalk, shops and a place for spinning.  The next ten years saw even more development. Warehouses had been built and ships came in from foreign countries with their goods. Goods to and from East Cornwall were more easily shipped from the Torpoint side of the river rather than making the journey from Plymouth via Gunnislake. This development however was stopped by the customs and excise because they were not able to police this trade sufficiently.  Most seals found were hemp from the late 18th century for rope making, with a T for TAMOЖHЯ (customs tax paid)

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ULVERSTON and Morecambe Bay.   Eller Flax Mill at Ulverston, was owned by William Harrison, a surgeon and was quite small with only 216 spindles on water frames and 200 on hand frames. The main industrial product was sailcloth, used by the shipbuilders of Lancaster and Whitehaven, and also of Ulverston and the numerous small havens to the north of Morecambe Bay, like Beanwell at Baycliffe, Goadsbarrow, Greenodd, Maskel Point, Penny Bridge on the river Crake, Plumpton, Hammerside Hill near Ulverston, Conishead Bank. Carter Pool once navigable to smaller vessels as far as Outcast. Shipbuilders Ephraim Swainson and Messrs Hart & Ashburner were here in pre-Canal days. Several armed vessels built for the West Indies trade.  The Enclosure Award of 1812 enclosed the previously common land of Oxenholme. Carter Pool, once 50 yards wide, was narrowed and gated. An earth embankment 8ft wide and 3ft high ran from the floodgates to Conishead Bank on the seaward side of Sand Hall (now a footpath). Saltcoats Bridge over Carter Pool built around 1870s to afford access to housing and works at Sand Hall. The North Lonsdale ironworks built its own tidal quay by which ore was imported and pig iron dispatched. Their original Beaconsfield Pier was replaced by larger Ainslie Pier at Hammerside.

 As a result of the prior development of cotton spinning, prices of cotton dropped and cotton captured the popular market while linen manufacturers were still struggling with their process. The early 19th century saw very many bankruptcies in the region.  Flax and hemp had been grown in the north west for centuries. The growing of hemp was more common than that of flax, particularly in North Lancashire and West Cumberland. It was, however, never enough to meet demand throughout the period, and extra supplies were imported, mostly from Archangel and the Baltic ports of Memel, Riga, Narva and St.Petersburg mostly via the Port of Lancaster where smaller boats spread it out to other small ports and jetties.. This trade was profitable, but profits were counterbalanced by various hazards. Bad weather caught many ships as they passed to the north of Scotland, and the trade was limited to the late summer, after the flax harvest but before the winter set in.

   Subsistence production, in and for the home, was widespread in the region at the start of this period. Throughout most of the eighteenth century, yarn spinning for commercial employers crept further north and by the 1740s merchants in Garstang and Lancaster and Furness were putting-out spinning for home production.

    Though now long abandoned Ulverston once had its own port with a canal connecting it to Morecambe Bay. The canal was completed in 1796, in order to provide the town of Ulverston, one and a half miles from the coast at Morecambe Bay, with a port. The Ulverston Canal is claimed to be the deepest, widest and straightest canal in

the UK. It is entirely straight and on a single level.  At 15 feet (4.6 m) deep and 66 feet (20 m) wide, it was intended to take very large ships. The loch gates at Canal Foot (now permanently sealed) on the coast were opened at high tide to permit the entry and exit of ships to the canal. In the days before the construction of the Furness Railway, Furness was cut off by the mountainous Lake District on its only landward side; the region was accessed only by crossing the sands of Morecambe Bay. The Ulverston Canal was once the starting-point for steamers to Liverpool, passenger ships to Scotland and London, and cargoes of local slates that made their way to coastal towns all around Britain. At the head of the canal was a large saw mill with the port full of ships with timber. The Port of Barrow-in-Furness took all of this trade in the past and builds nuclear powered submarines today.

 

It is recorded that the peak year for traffic on the canal was 1846, with some 944 vessels arriving and departing but fewer than 400 vessels used the canal in 1848, and its traffic steadily declined. The last ship left the Canal in 1916.

  The schooner "Ulverston" was the last vessel to be named for the town and was built at Edward James Schollick's yard at Canal Foot in 1862. She was a schooner of 61 tons and largely owned by local businessmen. She would carry 100 tons of cargo, with a maximum draft of 8ft 6in. The Ulverston left the canal on 26th August 1862 for Liverpool with 86 ton of iron ore and general cargo. She was intended as a grain carrier, but this was concealed in the word "general". Over the next 30 years the Ulverston made nearly 300 voyages to her home port, nearly always with general cargo from Liverpool. One such cargo is detailed by the lock keeper: 500 carboys of vitriol, 25 ton of iron and 35 tons of coal. Other imports were timber from Glenarm and Glasson Dock, bones, manure and sulphur from Liverpool, sand from Fleetwood and coal from Glasgow. She rarely arrived light.     William and John White operated one of several shipyards at the head of the Ulverston canal. They built twelve vessels at Ulverston, their first ship, Mary Goldsworthy, launched into the Ulverston Canal, in October, 1865. Eleven other ships followed, the last, Ellen Harrison, in 1879.  William White can claim to be the last Ulverston shipbuilder, because after the launch of the Ellen Harrison no more merchant vessels were ever built there.  The ill fated Ellen Harrison was stopped and scuttled 7 miles NW of Cherbourg by the U Boat 32 in 1917, during WWI.

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WEST END MILLS  Click here for the West House page

  A complex of 18th/19th century flax mills spreading down the steep River Washburn valley from Aked High Mill, Little Patrick Mill, Patrick Mill, Low Mill and down to the West House Mill at Blubberhouses.   None of these mills exist anymore .. Aked High Mill was demolished, Little Patrick, Patrick and Low Mill vanished under the waters of Thruscross reservoir in 1960 and West House Mill was demolished, although parts can be still be found hidden away.    In all over 1500 Russian lead flax bale seals were found here with metal detectors by the PeaceHavens Project teams buried in fields above the reservoir water level.

 

West House Mill

Ruins of Little Patrick, the church going under, the red on the map is Little Patrick and Whinny Hill flax bale seal fields.

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