Jollie's Cumberland Guide & Directory 1811

  > CHAP. III.  PRESENT STATE OR CARLISLE - TRADE, &c.

CARLISLE, which, previous to the Union, was so oft the scene of desolation and bloodshed, shone more in the strength of its walls and fortress, and grandeur of its cathedral, than in the neatness and elegance of its streets, houses, and other buildings. Even so late as the beginning of the last century, the dwellings of the inhabitants were mostly formed of wood, clay, and laths; exhibiting marks of poverty and bad taste. The gables fronted the streets; and the diminutive windows and clumsy oaken doors, fastened together with large projecting wooden pins, were of the Gothic form, and corresponding with the gables. The streets were badly paved, and had large ditches on each side. But, as the prospect of future warfare vanished, trade and manufactures were introduced, began to increase, and an equal augmentation of wealth, spirit, and taste for improvement, as well as of population, took place. In short, one improvement followed another more and more rapidly, till, at the present day, Carlisle, in the openness of its principal streets, neatness and elegance of its buildings, and the decency and respectability of its inhabitants, is excelled by few, if any, towns of equal size in Great Britain. Shops are numerous, (many shew a degree of taste and elegance) well furnished with every necessary of life, and not a few of its luxuries. Carlisle also affords several commodious inns, and maintains an intercourse with the other parts of the island by several regular mail and stage coaches, waggons, &c.

The following is the state of population in the city and suburbs, accurately taken at four different periods:

In 1763 there were 1050 families, & 4158 inhabitants.
    1780 1605 6299
    1796 2314 8716

In the year 1802, the enumeration, according to Act of Parliament, was 1420 houses, and 10,875 inhabitants; of these 5133 were males, 5742 females; but such is the great increase of population since that time, that the total number of inhabitants in the city and suburbs is computed at not less than 16,000.

The great increase of population, wealth, and refinement, is principally owing to the introduction of the cotton manufacture in its various branches. Did our limits allow, it would be a pleasing task to trace with minute attention the rise and progress of manufactures in this city. We shall, however, make the following short remarks on the subject.

Soon after the rebellion of 1745, a woollen manufactory was established in Carlisle by a company of Hamburgh merchants. The distance from Lincolnshire, Yorkshire, Scotland, and those parts of the two kingdoms enriched with the staple commodity, was a very inconsiderable object of this company of adventurers. To facilitate this undertaking, two gentlemen (brothers) of the name of Dewlicher, were sent over from the continent to superintend the work. It brought from various parts of the three kingdoms many workmen in the different branches of the woollen trade. People, to the distance of twenty miles from the city, were employed, and every loom that could be got was engaged. The most sanguine hopes were entertained, that the undertaking would answer the end proposed: and never were two men engaged in any business more caressed by all ranks of people, than the Dewlichers were. A few years after this manufactory was established, the elder brother died, who had taken the most active part of the business upon himself: and who, from its flourishing state during his life, seemed to be every way competent to so great a trust. The younger brother had, sometime prior to the death of the elder, made a very imprudent connection by marrying with the house-keeper to the family. This woman was weak and ambitious, and by her was the ruin of this once flourishing manufactory brought about. Having the ascendancy over her credulous husband, she persuaded him to dismiss most of his old workmen, who were overseers, from their employment: these men having been bred to the business, were capable of conducting the different branches of it. In their place, the relations and acquaintance of the new mistress were substituted, people that knew nothing of the matter. Things soon began to wear a different aspect; the workmen were much dissatisfied with their new mistress; quarrels and complaints daily increased, and a very little time put a finishing hand to the whole undertaking: for, by mismanagement of the new foremen, and by the negligence and extravagance of the superintendant and his wife, the company was declared insolvent: and as no person or company would come forward as successors, Carlisle, in a very little time, was reduced to the state it was in at the commencement of this manufactory. The failure of this company was severely felt by many in Carlisle and the neighbourhood; for, as nothing was carried forward as a substitute to employ the industrious poor, those who had been employed in the work were driven to travel with their families to different parts to seek employment; and for many months nothing but distress appeared round Carlisle for several miles.

At this time provisions were extremely cheap; and such was the ignorance and sloth of farmers, that the corporation gave a man 40s. a year, and a new cart occasionally, to take the manure from the streets once a week. Goods were then brought on pack-horses from Newcastle; and Carlisle at that time was only noted for making a few whips and fish-hooks, and also a small quantity of linen.

About the year 1750, the late Aldermen Richard and William Hodgson established a manufactory of coarse linen cloth, called Osnaburgs; and about the same time arose a new woollen manufactory, the proprietor of which was Mr. George Blamire. The latter was of short duration, and has scarcely been revived since.

The road from Newcastle to this place was now made good1, and came in at the Scotch-gates; whereas it formerly came through Warwick-bridge, and in at the English-gates. Large carts and waggons were set up about this period, and found employment thereon. Provisions rose in price, butchers began to sell their meat by weight, the street manure was sold, and the country wore a more cultivated aspect.

In consequence of these changes, and of the revival of manufactures, the spinning and weaving of cotton and linen began now to increase rapidly, and population kept pace therewith. Every year houses were pulled down and rebuilt upon a more elegant plan. The grass which disfigured the streets, lanes, and avenues, began daily to disappear.

In 1756, a public brewery arose. In 1758, many hundreds of French prisoners, with plenty of cash in their pockets, came to Carlisle on their parole of honour; and the several parties of the military being there also, money was circulated in Carlisle and its neighbourhood with more than usual celerity. A more luxurious mode of living stole in upon the inhabitants, and carriages began to be more in use. - The private carriages kept at that time were - Dr. Waugh's, Dean of Worcester, a coach and four horses - Major Farrer's, a single horse chaise - Mr. Dobinson's, a single horse chaise - General Stanwix's, a coach and four horses.

The year 1761 was an śra of real advantage to Carlisle, as to the prospect of an increasing commerce. The printing or stamping of calico was introduced here about this period. Gentlemen from Newcastle and its vicinity, under the firm of Scott, Lamb, and Co. were the first establishers of this branch of trade in the environs of Carlisle. And as the calico business has been the principal means of increasing the population of this city, it is necessary to remark that the flourishing advances of this manufactory induced others to form themselves into companies to begin and carry on the same business. Some of them were men unacquainted with commerce; for in former times a country Esq. would have thought it a degradation of his rank to have his name entered with any company of a manufacturing or mercantile line. Time has removed this prejudice, and men are convinced that trade enriches, in particular, those engaged in it, and the public in general. This was followed by an extensive manufactory, carried on by the ingenious Bernard Barton, whose premature death deprived the public of the abilities of an able and enterprising tradesman - The community is also much indebted to Mr. Wood, for the general introduction of the spinning cotton by machinery. Since that time, this branch of trade is carried to a very considerable extent.

Thus the erecting of one manufactory was followed by that of another, till at present there are three printfields, but which, from the general stagnation of trade, do not carry on business to such great extent as formerly; though it is still pretty extensive. - Besides these, there are several more manufactories, some of which are very extensive in all the branches, from the raw materials to the finishing of checks, calicos, muslins , and all kinds of fancy work: also, an extensive bleaching concern, dye-houses, &c. Here are, at present, four public breweries, and three foundries lately established.

Carlisle possesses five banks, which are found of considerable service to trade: two of them issue notes on their own account.

The importations2 principally consist of iron, deals, tar, slates, staves, salt, sugar, rum, &c. &c. and the exportations of grain, potatoes, oak bark, oat meal, flour, timber, lead, freestone, herrings, alabaster, British barrel staves, &c. &c.

The site of Carlisle is admirably fine; on a very gently rising ground, in the midst of an extensive and fertile plain, terminated on every side by distant lofty mountains and surrounded with rivers. The beautiful meadows and banks along the sides of the Eden and Caldew afford the pleasantest walks to the inhabitants of the city and its environs; who, unlike its turbulent, rough, and warlike occupiers in former ages, can enjoy in peace the rich and pleasing scenes which Nature has lavishly spread around them.

 

Jollie's Cumberland Guide & Directory 1811

 

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Notes

1. This so-called "Military Road" was built following the 1745 rebellion, largely to facilitate troop movements. In part it is built on the remains of the Roman Wall, which no doubt served as an excellent foundation.
2. A list of import and export tonnages, by year, has been omitted.


19 June 2015

© Steve Bulman