The English Cotton Spinning Industry, 1780-1840, as Revealed in the Columns of the London Gazette

Miami Univ. Dept. of Economics Working Paper No. 2009.06

22 Pages Posted: 14 Apr 2010 Last revised: 27 Jul 2010

See all articles by Peter M. Solar

Peter M. Solar

Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) - Faculty of Economic, Social and Political Sciences

John S. Lyons

Miami University of Ohio - Department of Economics

Date Written: April 2009

Abstract

This paper investigates the early development of English cotton spinning by analyzing about 700 bankruptcies and 1300 dissolutions of partnership reported in the London Gazette, 1770-1840. The data show two temporal cycles, peaking in the early to mid-1800s and in the later 1820s, near the ends of investment booms. Both earlier peaks were absolutely higher than the later, despite industry growth. Over time both bankruptcies and dissolutions show the concentration of spinning in greater Lancashire, and within greater Lancashire in the surrounding towns rather than in Manchester. The industry was dominated by single proprietors or firms with only two partners and integration with weaving was steadily increasing. This paper demonstrates the potential of the Gazette, now searchable online, as a source for business and industrial history.

Keywords: English cotton spinning, partnerships, bankruptcy, dissolutions

JEL Classification: N63, N83

Suggested Citation

Solar, Peter M. and Lyons, John S., The English Cotton Spinning Industry, 1780-1840, as Revealed in the Columns of the London Gazette (April 2009). Miami Univ. Dept. of Economics Working Paper No. 2009.06. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1429417 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1429417

Peter M. Solar

Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) - Faculty of Economic, Social and Political Sciences ( email )

Ave. Franklin D Roosevelt, 50 - C.P. 191
B-1050 Brussels
Belgium
+32-2-6292795 (Phone)
+32-2-6293637 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://aivpc41.vub.ac.be/who/nieuw_whomain.phtml

John S. Lyons (Contact Author)

Miami University of Ohio - Department of Economics ( email )

2054 Farmer School of Business
Oxford, OH 45056
United States

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