The Rise of the English Sailcloth Industry 1565-1643: Coastal Trade Records as an Indicator of Import Substitution

By Martha Morris, published May 1998


During the period of the Tudors, when England was developing into a major maritime power, much of the naval stores required for shipbuilding were imported from across the North Sea. At this time Ipswich became a significant centre for the production of numerous types of sailcloth. Using the Ipswich port books Morris demonstrates how, in a relatively short time, producers and merchants transformed the situation from import dependence to local surplus. With domestic demand satisfied imports ceased and surpluses were shipped coastwise for sale outside the immediate vicinity of Ipswich.

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Filed under: Tudors | North Sea
Subjects include: Shipbuilding & Design

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