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The Wool Trade

One of the main industries of the town was that of the wool trade, from those that worked hands on with the sheep and the wool to those that were the merchants and traders dealing with the end products.  The weekly market held on a Wednesday comprised mainly of yarn [Atkyns 1711].  As the industrial revolution took hold across the country Tetbury was unable to provide facilities for mechanisation of the processes used in fulling, carding and weaving, mainly due to the lack of a water source.  The valleys - Stroud and others - were developed as textile mill centres and the industrial revolution passed Tetbury by.  Changing trends also led to the demise of the wool market and the last payment received for weighing wool was in 1815.


Jackson's Oxford Journal carried the following announcement on Saturday, June 1, 1811:

Caution to Wool Growers

From the great carelessness and palpable neglect, in the management and winding of Wool by suffering the tails, dags, pitch, and dirt to remain on and be folded up in the insides of the fleeces, it may be supposed that many of the Wool Growers are quite ignorant of the existence of penal Acts of Parliament, for the prevention of such abuse, and of the penalties to which they are liable for the infraction of them.

By the Act of 28 Geo. III Cap. 38, which refers to Acts of 18th of Elizabeth, and 23 Henry VIII, it is enacted, “That no manner of person do wind, or cause to be wound, in any fleece, any sand, tails, deceitful locks, cots, lambs’ wool or any other thing whereby the fleece might be made more weighty, to the deceit and loss of the buyer, upon pain, the seller of any such deceitful wools shall forfeit, for every such fleece, Two Shillings, to be paid to the finder and prover of the same deceit; and the offences shall and may be proceeded upon, heard, and determined by and before any one Justice of the Peace in a summary way.”

After this public notice, the Woolstaplers of Cirencester, Tetbury and Gloucester, and of the county in general, having been themselves threatened with prosecutions under the aforesaid Acts, for the fleece wool they have resolved to enforce in the several districts, the fair and honest winding of wool, by availing themselves of the provisions of the Acts, for their own protection, in cases which shall henceforward require it; for it been more carelessly made up than those of surrounding counties, and that its wool trade has thereby suffered.

May 27, 1811


1729 John Ludlow

1784 M.Paul Bamford

William Byam

     Robert Clarke

     Richard Cooper

     Thomas Felton

     William Hooper

     Hopefull Lockey

     John Newcombe

     Nathaniel Overbury

     John Overbury and son

     William Overbury

     Thomas Pike sen.

     Thomas Pike jun.

     Walter Wiltshire Pike

     Josiah Paul Tippets

     Edward & John Tugwell

     Humphry Tugwell

     William Wood




1784 John Baily