Sunday, 29 May 2016

29th May 1816: Letter to the Bury & Norwich Post laments the automation of the Wool-spinning industry in the County


Sir,—Through the channel of your useful Paper, I beg leave to make a few observations on the state of the Wool-trade in this County, and to suggest some hints whereby that which is at present nearly lost, may, in the course of a few months be probably recovered. The great disadvantage to the extensive Spinning-trade appears to have arisen from the use of Machinery; to meet this, therefore, I should wish to recommend it to every parish throughout the County to have certain quantity of Wool combed, proportioned to the population of the Parish; that each should supply its own Poor with Spinning, and to pay such wages as will encourage them to keep from the weekly pay-table. Let them not say, “We have no employment;” it is good to keep them employed, and to have their minds as well as their hands occupied. By such measures, and at the same time selling the Yarn made under the price of Machine Yarn, a stop may be put to the use of Machinery; the Trade of the County may return to its own channel; and the Poor be enabled to live by their labour. Embrace, therefore, the present opportunity, or the Trade will be lost past recovery, and thus the landed, as well as every other interest, will be greatly and inevitably injured. I am happy to say, that several Parishes have already adopted the plan now proposed, and that the Poor are well satisfied; and I entertain a hope that it will be immediately attended to in every Parish throughout the County, as I feel no doubt, that at a moderate calculation, it will be the means of employing 1000 combers.

I am, Sir, your obedient Servant.

A Friend to the County of Suffolk.

This letter was published in the 29th May 1816 edition of the Bury & Norwich Post.

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