Persian and Syrian Silk

  • Ralph Davis


In the early part of the eighteenth century the best prospects for growth among the English textile industries appeared to lie in silk rather than cotton manufacture. By 1800 silk was slipping out of notice, quite eclipsed by the enormous expansion of cotton following the immense success of its new techniques and organisation; but in mid-century, after a long period of very fast growth, silk was at the peak of its relative importance among English industries.


Eighteenth Century Seventeenth Century Silk Fabric Local Merchant Silk Industry 
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  1. 1.
    A Merchant, The Turkey Merchants and their Trade Vindicated (1720), refers to this as a seventeenth-century practice.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    A. M. Millard, ‘The Import Trade of London, 1600–1640’ (unpublished London Ph.D. thesis, 1956).Google Scholar
  3. 1.
    D. Defoe, A Plan of the English Commerce (Shakespeare Head edn., 1927, p. 164).Google Scholar
  4. 1.
    G. H. Jones, ‘English Diplomacy and Italian silk in the Time of Lombe’ (Bull. Inst. Hist. Research, 1961, xxxiv, 185–7). Report on silk trade, 1749, House of Commons Journals, xxv, 996.Google Scholar
  5. 1.
    The last phase of silk imports through Russia in the 1740s was associated with the name of Jonas Hanway. See Hanway’s Historical Account of the British Trade over the Caspian Sea (1753).Google Scholar
  6. 1.
    Charles Thompson, writing of Smyrna in 1733, describes a very large trade in Persian silk there, but he greatly exaggerates it unless that was an extraordinarily busy year (Travels through Turkey in Asia, 1754, p. 17).Google Scholar
  7. 3.
    N. W. Posthumus, Nederlandsche Prijsgeschiednis (Leiden, 1943).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Ralph Davis 1967

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ralph Davis

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