Stroud and strouds and the Atlantic Archipelago
Updated: Jul 5
From Stroud to Strouds:
The Hidden History of a British Fur Trade Textile
Textile History Journal November 2005
These rough notes are derived from this article and this section of the article is derived from Samuel Rudder, 1779.
Stroud scarlet’s ‘inland trade’ also included cloth sold to merchants who sold the cloth to ‘our colonies and other foreign markets’.
These merchants included those in London and Bristol.
Cloth also clad the British army and was also sold to the East India Company.
Questions derived from reading this article:
1. The article focusses upon the fur trade. But if we go beyond the confines of this article and think. Cloth went to ‘our colonies’. London and Bristol were the chief slaving ports involved in the triangular trade in southern England.
2. It would be counter-intuitive to think Stroud cloth wasn’t involved with the slave trade.
3. Turnpike to Bristol? Colin Maggs in The Nailsworth and Stroud Branch: ‘…cloth manufacturers found their trade hampered by the high cost of road transport to ships at Gloucester and Bristol. It is recorded that in 1763 Daniel Ballard ran stage waggons to both these ports’.
4. Stroudwater Navigation to the Severn and thence to Bristol? Thames & Severn Canal and then the Thames to London?
5. We need empirically minded historians with the time to research the unique archive of the Stroudwater Navigation. See the prose-poem below:
A cabinet of curiosities,
and an almost infinite, irresistibly unique, archive:
Ledgers and Journals of Imports and Exports
Books of Tonnage at Brimscombe and Wallbridge,
Rent Account Books, Traffic records,
Cash Books and minutes of Arrival
and Dockage and Departure of Vessels,
Wharf accounts from the Severn to London,
Repair Books and Journals from boat yards,
Memorandum Book, Letter Books, Coal Books,
Workmen’s Ledgers, Poor Rates, Land Tax etc.
Payments received from boat owners for freights:
where from, where to, master’s name, tonnage,
Land and Petty Ledgers, Disbursements, Plans,
The Thames and Severn Canal Plan Book, Maps,
Acts of Parliament, Surveys, Shares, Bye-Laws,
River Thames, Acts and Reports, Lechlade Wharf,
Relationships with the Severn and Wye Railway,
The illusory Thames and Severn Canal,
Local Mills, the Wilts and Berks Canal,
Manchester and Southampton Railway,
Cheltenham and Great Western Union Railway,
Swindon and Cheltenham Extension Railway,
The Stroudwater Canal,
Bonds of Indemnity,
Contracts for purchase of land for the Canal Navigation, Debentures,
Acts of Parliament.
A cabinet of curiosities,
and an almost infinite, irresistibly unique, archive …
A democratic and inclusive archive
For academics, scholars, schools, historians,
Story tellers, family historians, and weavers of fables.