The Medieval Clothier
Title Details

15th June 2018

393 Pages

15.60 x 23.40 cm

10 colour. 20 b/w. 6 line. Illustrations

Series: Working in the Middle Ages

Imprint: Boydell Press

The Medieval Clothier

by John S. Lee

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Reviews
A clear and accessibly written guide to the medieval cloth-making trade in England.
Cloth-making became England's leading industry in the late Middle Ages; clothiers co-ordinated its different stages, in some cases carrying out the processes themselves, and found markets for their finished cloth, selling to merchants, drapers and other traders. While many clothiers were of only modest status or "jacks of all trades", a handful of individuals amassed huge fortunes through the trade, becoming the multi-millionaires of their day.
This book offers the first recent survey of this hugely important and significant trade and its practitioners, examining the whole range of clothiers across different areas of England, and exploring their impact within the industry andin their wider communities. Alongside the mechanics of the trade, it considers clothiers as entrepreneurs and early capitalists, employing workers and even establishing early factories; it also looks at their family backgrounds and their roles as patrons of church rebuilding and charitable activities. It is completed with extracts from clothiers' wills and a gazetteer of places to visit, making the book invaluable to academics, students, and local historians alike.

JOHN S. LEE is a Research Associate at the Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of York.
Introduction
Making cloth
Marketing cloth
Identifying Clothiers
Clothiers and government
Clothiers in society
Famous clothiers
Conclusion
Appendix 1: Cloths taxed by county
Appendix 2: Cloths taxed by locality
Appendix 3: Cloth types, as defined by statute in 1552
Appendix 4: Will of Thomas Paycocke of Coggeshall
Appendix 5: Will of Thomas Spring III of Lavenham
Appendix 6: Will of John Smallwood the elder alias John Winchecombe I of Newbury
Appendix 7: Will of William Stumpe of Malmesbury
Gazetteer of surviving buildings
Glossary
Bibliography
"[A] very welcome...informed, informative and up-to-date study...This is an excellent book, not only for those interested in clothiers, but also for anyone interested in the broad development of English textile history." TEXTILE HISTORY
"The book is accessible to a wide range of readers. A glossary is provided for those less familiar with cloth making, while detailed appendices will interest experts. A gazetteer of surviving buildings can be used by local historians." ENGLISH HISTORICAL REVIEW
"Not only eminently readable but also well-researched." THE RICARDIAN
"[E]minently accessible . . . The work is a valuable read for any historian of material culture, or anyone looking to see how one industry functioned during the politically turbulent times of the Hundred Years War, the War of the Roses, and the reigns of the early Tudors." COMITATUS
"The amount of evidence presented in this book is staggering. Almost every page contains lucid examples drawn from an array of sources. The book is also immaculately written, with a richness of narrative sure to be appreciated by historians as well as the precision of argument valued by the more economically inclined. What it offers is a one-stop shop for a trade central to the medieval economy. It should serve as the entry point for researchers and students for years to come." ECONOMIC HISTORY REVIEW
"Anyone seeking a wide-ranging and well-informed historical account of late medieval English cloth-making will find it here." MEDIEVAL ARCHAEOLOGY
"An excellent start to this new series on medieval workers [and] a very worthwhile project.that will be of particular interest to economic and social historians and students, as well as those interested in regional and local history." JOURNAL OF BRITISH STUDIES
"It is surprising that we have had to wait so long for someone to tackle the clothiers . . . but it was worth the wait. John Lee has soaked up all the relevant literature, plus added his own discoveries from wills, chancery documents, and regional archives, to produce a readable, thorough, and wide-ranging survey." MEDIEVAL CLOTHING & TEXTILES
"The Medieval Clothier is an excellent first volume in Boydell's new series Working in the Middle Ages. . . . [It] is a highly successful book that provides an interesting, compelling and at all times authoritative survey of one of the most important trades in late medieval England, making it a must read for students and scholars alike." EH.NET
"The book may be aimed primarily at medievalists with interests in economic history, particularly in trade and taxation, and at those who study the history of entrepreneurship and social history, but the general reader will also be delighted by this appealing, beautifully organized book." BUSINESS HISTORY REVIEW
"Lee's book is an excellent example of clear and accessible research and synthesis and informs a key aspect of the debate on the role of small towns in early modern Europe." URBAN HISTORY
"Provides an interesting, accessible and well-referenced survey." ESSEX JOURNAL
"A very useful account...[It] can be recommended as an up to date introduction to the cloth trade in mediaeval England and is another impressive addition to the Boydell catalogue." EAST YORKSHIRE LOCAL HISTORY SOCIETY
"Lee's careful and thorough analysis based upon contemporary sources reveals the lasting impact a single profession can exert over national and related regional economies. Illustrations and useful definitions clarify terms for those unfamiliar with textiles and their processing. This volume represents a significant contribution to late medieval economic, industrial, social, and material culture studies." Karin J. Bohleke, Sixteenth Century Journal

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Title Details

15th June 2018

393 Pages

1.56 x 2.34 cm

10 colour. 20 b/w. 6 line. Illustrations

Series: Working in the Middle Ages

Imprint: Boydell Press