Skip to main content Accessibility help
Hostname: page-component-59b7f5684b-2bkkj Total loading time: 0.433 Render date: 2022-10-04T01:45:19.549Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "displayNetworkTab": true, "displayNetworkMapGraph": true, "useSa": true } hasContentIssue true

Smuggling Silks into Eighteenth-Century Britain: Geography, Perpetrators, and Consumers

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 March 2016


As part of protectionist policy in eighteenth-century Britain, imported silks were banned from being sold. Although it is known that bans on imported textiles were widely broken, there have been few systematic studies of the contraband trade in silks. Using customs' records, this article shows how smuggling supplied the demand for imported consumer goods. The illegal trade in silk was diverse, bringing in a variety of products from Asia and Europe. The evidence supports a market segmentation analysis of the different products and their consumers. The trade with Asia supplied “populuxe goods” in the form of handkerchiefs that appealed to a broad, middling customer base. These were brought into the country by the East India Company's trading network. By contrast, continental Europe provided contraband for the high-fashion market. These silks were distributed in more informal and personal ways—travelers and diplomats being the main offenders. The official response to these black markets differed, with silks from Europe posing particular problems for enforcement. Finally, this article provides a reassessment of the transnational influences—specifically the relative importance of Asia and Europe—on production and consumption of consumer goods in Britain.

Copyright © The North American Conference on British Studies 2016 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


1 Although the legislation after 1707 covered Britain, the major centers of silk manufacturing were in England, as was the main center of consumption and fashion, London.

2 See the list in “Reports from the committee on illicit practices used in defrauding the revenue,” Reports from Committees of the House of Commons, vol. 6 (5 July 1782–15 March 1802), Appendix 1, 292, House of Commons Parliamentary Papers.

3 Sickinger, Raymond L., “Regulation or Ruination: Parliament's Consistent Pattern of Mercantilist Regulation of the English Textile Trade, 1660–1800,” Parliamentary History 19, no. 2 (March 2000): 211–32CrossRefGoogle Scholar, at 225, 227.

4 See Rothstein, Natalie, “The Calico Campaign of 1719–1721,” East London Papers 7, no. 1 (July 1964): 321Google Scholar; Davis, Ralph, “The Rise of Protection in England, 1689–1786,” The Economic History Review 19, no. 2 (January 1966): 306–17Google Scholar, at 314, 316; Tim Keirn, “Parliament, Legislation and the Regulation of English Textile Industries, 1689–1714,” in Stilling the Grumbling Hive: The Response to Social and Economic Problems in England, 1689–1750, ed. Lee Davison et al. (New York, 1992), 1–24.

5 O'Brien, Patrick, Griffiths, Trevor, and Hunt, Philip, “Political Components of the Industrial Revolution: Parliament and the English Textile Industry, 1660–1774,” Economic History Review 44, no. 3 (August 1991): 395423CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Sickinger, “Regulation or Ruination,” 212, 225–28; Davis, “The Rise of Protection in England,” 309–10, 316.

6 Beverly Lemire, “Revising the Historical Narrative: India, Europe, and the Cotton Trade,” in The Spinning World: A Global History of Cotton Textiles, 1200–1850, ed. Giorgio Riello and Prasannan Parthasarathi (Oxford, 2009), 205–26.

7 Beverly Lemire, “Fashioning Cottons: Asian Trade, Domestic Industry and Consumer Demand, 1660–1780,” in The Cambridge History of Western Textiles, vol. 1, ed. David Jenkins (Cambridge, 2003), 493–512; Lemire, Beverly and Riello, Giorgio, “East and West: Textiles and Fashion in Early Modern Europe,” Journal of Social History 41, no. 4 (Summer 2008): 887916CrossRefGoogle Scholar, at 892–907.

8 Rothstein, “The Calico Campaign of 1719–21”; Keirn, “Parliament, Legislation and the Regulation of English Textile Industries,” 1–24; Eacott, Jonathan P., “Making an Imperial Compromise: The Calico Acts, the Atlantic Colonies, and the Structure of the British Empire,” William and Mary Quarterly 69, no. 4 (October 2012): 731–62CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

9 Giorgio Riello, Cotton: The Fabric that Made the Modern World (Cambridge, 2013), 121–24; Michael Kwass, Contraband: Louis Mandrin and the Making of a Global Underground (Cambridge, MA, 2014), chaps. 2 and 4.

10 Nathalie Rothstein, “The Silk Industry in London, 1702–66” (MA thesis, University of London, 1961), 455; North, Susan, “The Physical Manifestation of an Abstraction: A Pair of 1750s Waistcoat Shapes,” Textile History 39, no. 1 (May 2008): 92104CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

11 For “beau monde” see Hannah Greig, The Beau Monde: Fashionable Society in Georgian London (Oxford, 2013).

12 Joan Thirsk, Economic Policy and Projects: The Development of a Consumer Society in Early Modern England (Oxford, 1978); Neil McKendrick, John Brewer, and J. H. Plumb, The Birth of a Consumer Society: The Commercialization of Eighteenth-Century England (Bloomington, 1982); Lorna Weatherill, Consumer Behaviour and Material Culture in Britain, 1660–1760, 2nd ed. (London, 1996); Carole Shammas, The Pre-Industrial Consumer in England and America (Oxford, 1990); John Brewer and Roy Porter, eds., Consumption and the World of Goods (London, 1993); Maxine Berg, Luxury and Pleasure in Eighteenth-Century Britain (Oxford, 2005); Craig Muldrew, Food, Energy and the Creation of Industriousness: Work and Material Culture in Agrarian England, 1550–1780 (Cambridge, 2011), chap. 4.

13 For cottons, see Alfred Wadsworth and Julia de Lacy Mann, The Cotton Trade and Industrial Lancashire 1600–1780 (Manchester, 1931), chaps. 6 and 7; John Irwin and Paul Schwartz, Studies in Indo-European Textile History (Ahmedabad, 1966); Beverly Lemire, Fashion's Favourite: the Cotton Trade and the Consumer in Britain, 1660–1800 (Oxford, 1991); idem, “India, Europe, and the Cotton Trade,” in The Spinning World, 205–22; Riello, Cotton, chaps. 5, 6, and 8. For porcelains, see Berg, Luxury and Pleasure, chap. 2–4; Robert Batchelor, “On the Movement of Porcelains: Rethinking the Birth of the Consumer Society as Interactions of Exchange Networks, China and Britain, 1600–1750,” in Consuming Cultures, Global Perspectives: Historical Trajectories, Transnational Exchanges, ed. John Brewer and Frank Trentmann (Oxford, 2006), 95–122; Gerritsen, Anne and McDowall, Stephen, “Material Culture and the Other: European Encounters with Chinese Porcelain, ca. 1650–1800,” Journal of World History 23, no. 1 (March 2012): 87113CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

14 Gerald Newman, The Rise of English Nationalism: A Cultural History 1740–1830 (London, 1987); Linda Colley, Britons: Forging the Nation, 1707–1837 (New Haven, 1992); Kathleen Wilson, The Sense of the People: Politics, Culture, and Imperialism in England, 1715–1785 (Cambridge, 1998); idem, The Island Race: Englishness, Empire, and Gender in the Eighteenth Century (London, 2003).

15 John Brewer, The Pleasures of the Imagination: English Culture in the Eighteenth Century (London, 1997), chaps. 10, 11, 16; Michael Snodin and John Styles, Design and the Decorative Arts: Georgian Britain 1714–1837 (London, 2004), chap. 2.

16 Newman, The Rise of English Nationalism, chap. 4; Michéle Cohen, “Manliness, Effeminacy and the French: Gender and the Construction of National Character in Eighteenth-Century England,” in English Masculinities, 1660–1800, ed. Tim Hitchcock and Michéle Cohen (London, 1999), 44–62.

17 Sidney Mintz, Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History (New York, 1985); James Walvin, Fruits of Empire: Exotic Produce and British Taste, 1660–1800 (New York, 1997), chaps. 5, 8, and 12; Carole Shammas, “The Revolutionary Impact of European Demand for Tropical Goods,” in The Early Modern Atlantic Economy, ed. John J. McCusker and Kenneth Morgan (Cambridge, 2000), 163–85.

18 De Vries, Jan, “The Limits of Globalization in the Early Modern World,” Economic History Review 63, no. 3 (August 2010): 710–33CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

19 Lemire, Fashion's Favourite, 56–76, 89–108; a similar argument for France is made by Daniel Roche, The Culture of Clothing: Dress and Fashion in the “Ancien Régime,” trans. Jean Birrell (Cambridge, 1994); Styles, The Dress of the People, chap. 7.

20 Giorgio Riello, “The Indian Apprenticeship: The Trade in Indian Textiles and the Making of European Cottons,” in How India Clothed the World: The World of South Asian Textiles, 1500–1850, ed. Giorgio Riello and Tirthankar Roy (Leiden, 2009), 309–46, at 344–45.

21 John Styles, “Indian Cottons and European Fashion, 1400–1800,” in Global Design History, ed. Glenn Adamson, Giorgio Riello, and Sarah Teasley (London, 2011), 37–46.

22 For the role of price, see Shammas, The Pre-Industrial Consumer in England and America. For the role of social influences, see Weatherill, Consumer Behaviour and Material Culture in Britain, chap. 9. Horrell, Sara, Humphries, Jane, and Sneath, Ken suggest a way of accommodating both fashion and price in “Consumption Conundrums Unravelled,” Economic History Review 68, no. 3 (August 2015): 830–57CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

23 Stephen Conway, Britain, Ireland, and Continental Europe in the Eighteenth Century: Similarities, Connections, Identities (Oxford, 2011).

24 L. M. Cullen, The Brandy Trade under the Ancien Régime: Regional Specialisation in the Charente (Cambridge, 1998); Ludington, Charles, “‘Claret is the Liquor for Boys; Port for Men’: How Port Became the ‘Englishman's Wine,’ 1750s to 1800,” Journal of British Studies 48, no. 2 (April 2009), 364–90CrossRefGoogle Scholar; idem, The Politics of Wine in Britain: A New Cultural History (Basingstoke, 2013).

25 Hoock, Holger, “The British State and the Anglo-French Wars over Antiquities, 1798–1858,” Historical Journal 50, no. 1 (March 2007): 4972CrossRefGoogle Scholar; idem, Empires of the Imagination: Politics, War and the Arts in the British World, 1750–1850 (London, 2010), chaps. 3–5; John Brewer, “Whose Grand Tour?” in The English Prize: The Capture of the Westmorland, an Episode of the Grand Tour, ed. María Dolores Sánchez-Jáuregui and Scott Wilcox (New Haven, 2012), 45–62; Snodin and Styles, Design and the Decorative Arts, 46–49, 53, 70–76, 114–15.

26 Ludington, “‘Claret is the Liquor for Boys; Port for Men.’”

27 Cole, W. A., “Trends in Eighteenth-Century Smuggling,” Economic History Review 10, no. 3 (April 1958): 395410Google Scholar; Mui, Hoh-Cheung and Mui, Lorna H., “Smuggling and the British Tea Trade before 1784,” American Historical Review 74, no. 1 (October 1968): 4473Google Scholar; idem, ‘Trends in Eighteenth-Century Smuggling’ Reconsidered,” Economic History Review 28, no. 1 (February 1975): 2843Google Scholar; Nash, Robert C., “The English and Scottish Tobacco Trades in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries: Legal and Illegal Trade,” Economic History Review 35, no. 3 (August 1982): 354–72CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Bowen, H. V., “‘So Alarming an Evil’: Smuggling, Pilfering and the East India Company, 1750–1810,” International Journal of Maritime History 14, no. 1 (June 2002): 131CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

28 Cal Winslow, “Sussex Smugglers,” in Albion's Fatal Tree: Crime and Society in Eighteenth-Century England, rev. ed., ed. Douglas Hay et al. (1975; repr., London, 2011), 119–66; Monod, Paul, “Dangerous Merchandise: Smuggling, Jacobitism, and Commercial Culture in Southeast England, 1690–1760,” Journal of British Studies 30, no. 2 (April 1991): 150–82CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Paul Muskett, “English Smuggling in the Eighteenth Century” (PhD diss., Open University, 1996), chap. 1; Daly, Gavin, “Napoleon and the ‘City of Smugglers,’ 1810–1814,” Historical Journal 50, no. 2 (June 2007): 333–52CrossRefGoogle Scholar; idem, English Smugglers, the Channel, and the Napoleonic Wars, 1800–1814,” Journal of British Studies 46, no. 1 (January 2007): 3046CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

29 Mui and Mui, “Smuggling and the British Tea Trade before 1784,” 51, 56; Cole, “Trends in Eighteenth-Century Smuggling,” 402–4; Nash, “The English and Scottish Tobacco Trades,” 356–57.

30 North, “The Physical Manifestation of an Abstraction.” The domestic black economy was important for supplying clothing: Lemire, Beverly, “The Theft of Clothes and Popular Consumerism in early modern England,” Journal of Social History 24, no. 2 (Winter 1990): 255–76CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

31 Davis, “The Rise of Protection in England,” 309–10.

32 Natalie Rothstein, Silk Designs of the Eighteenth Century: In the Collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (London, 1990), 37–38.

33 Ibid., 37.

34 Anna Jolly, introduction to A Taste for the Exotic: Foreign Influences on Early Eighteenth-Century Silk Design, ed. Anna Jolly (Riggisberg, 2007), 7–10, at 10; Emile De Bruijn, Andrew Bush, and Helen Clifford, Chinese Wallpaper in National Trust Houses (Swindon, 2014).

35 North, “The Physical Manifestation of an Abstraction,” 101; “Select Committee on the Silk Trade,” House of Commons Papers: Reports of Committees (1831–32): 77–79, 137–44.

36 Clive Emsley, Crime and Society in England, 1750–1900, 2nd ed. (London, 1996), 24, 30–32; Styles, Dress of the People, Appendix 1, 330–31.

37 Lemire and Riello, “East and West,” 892–96.

38 In 1770, from a total of 2,491 pieces, 1,318 pieces of silk were seized in London; in 1780, 1,243 pieces were seized in London from a total of 1,993 pieces.

39 Bowen, “‘So Alarming an Evil,’” 18.

40 I used Gale's digitized version of the Burney Collection of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century newspapers.

41 Elizabeth Evelynola Hoon, The Organization of the English Customs System, 1696–1786 (New York, 1938), 281.

42 For example, the sale at Hastings, Public Advertiser, 31 July 1770.

43 See evidence of Richard Bottrell, “Report from Select Committee on the Silk Trade,” House of Commons Papers; Reports of Committees (1831–32), 7757–58.

44 Riello, “The Indian Apprenticeship,” 332 –34.

45 Of a total of 2,691 pieces, 2,354 pieces of silk handkerchiefs were auctioned—87 percent of the total pieces sold.

46 Cissie Fairchilds, “The Production and Marketing of Populuxe Goods in Eighteenth-Century Paris,” in Consumption and the World of Goods, ed. John Brewer and Roy Porter (London, 1993), 228–48.

47 Margaret Spufford, The Great Reclothing of Rural England: Petty Chapmen and Their Wares in the Seventeenth Century (London, 1984), 103–4.

48 Anne Buck, Dress in Eighteenth-Century England (London, 1979), 138.

49 Helmreich, Anne, Hitchcock, Tim, and Turkel, William J., “Rethinking Inventories in the Digital Age: The Case of the Old Bailey,” Journal of Art Historiography 11 (December 2014): 125Google Scholar, at 13, 17–18.

50 Styles, The Dress of the People, 173.

51 Alison Toplis, “A Stolen Garment or a Reasonable Purchase? The Male Consumer and the Illicit Second-Hand Clothing Market in the First Half of the Nineteenth Century,” in Modernity and the Second-Hand Trade: European Consumption Cultures and Practices, 1700–1900, ed. Jon Stobart and Ilja van Damme (Basingstoke, 2010), 57–72, at 60–61.

52 Buck, Dress in Eighteenth-Century England, 154, 179; Toplis, “A Stolen Garment or a Reasonable Purchase,” 60–61; White, Sophie, “‘Wearing Three or Four Handkerchiefs around His Collar, and Elsewhere about Him’: Slaves' Constructions of Masculinity and Ethnicity in French Colonial New Orleans,” Gender and History 15, no. 3 (November 2003): 528–49CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed.

53 Lemire, Beverly, “‘Men of the World’: British Mariners, Consumer Practice, and Material Culture in an Era of Global Trade, c. 1660–1800,” Journal of British Studies 54, no. 2 (April 2015): 288319CrossRefGoogle Scholar, at 299.

54 George Porter, A Treatise on the Origin, Progressive Improvement, and Present State of the Silk Manufacture (London, 1831), 86.

55 James Woodforde, The Diary of a Country Parson, 1758–1802 (Norwich, 2003), 93.

56 Morning Chronicle and London Advertiser, 4 January 1780.

57 For example, see the cravat in the Victoria and Albert Museum collection, item number T.1738-191,

58 Middlesex Sessions: Sessions Papers-Justices' Working Documents, 1769, London Lives, 1690–1800: Crime, Poverty and Social Policy in the Metropolis, reference numbers LMSMPS507070024, LMSMPS507070027, (version 1.1), accessed 14 April 2012; Morning Chronicle and London Advertiser, 4 January 1780.

59 Bottrell, “Report from Select Committee on the Silk Trade,” 801, 835; John Forbes Watson, The Textile Manufactures and the Costumes of the People of India (London, 1866), 98.

60 Amelia Peck, “‘India Chints’ and ‘China Taffaty’: East India Company Textiles for the North American Market,” in Interwoven Globe: The Worldwide Textile Trade, 1500–1800, ed. Amelia Peck (London, 2013), 104–19, at 118.

61 General Evening Post, 6–9 June 1761; London Evening Post, 22–24 April 1766; Public Advertiser, 29 February 1768.

62 See comments of H. V. Bowen in “SN 5690—The East India Company: Trade and Domestic Financial Statistics, 1755–1838. User Guide,”, at 11.

63 Rothstein, Silk Designs of the Eighteenth Century, 289.

64 Sjoukje Colenbrander and Clare Browne, “Indiennes: Chinoiserie Silks Woven in Amsterdam,” in A Taste for the Exotic, 127–38, at 128.

65 Lee-Whitman, “The Silk Trade,” 21–41.

66 See the map in K. N. Chaudhuri, The Trading World of Asia and the English East India Company, 1660–1760 (Cambridge, 1978), 244 and Appendix 4, 500–5; Om Prakash, “From Market Determined to Coercion-Based: Textile Manufacturing in Eighteenth Century Bengal,” in How India Clothed the World, ed. Giorgio Riello and Tirthankar Roy (Leiden, 2009), 217–52, at 231–33.

67 Examples include Thomas Jones, MS04655/017, fol. 83, London Metropolitan Archive (hereafter LMA); James King, William Ward, and John Peck, MS04655/017, fols. 102–3, LMA. See also William Farrell, “The Silk Interest and the Fiscal-Military State,” in The British Fiscal-Military States, 1660–c.1783, ed. Aaron Graham and Patrick A. Walsh (Farnham, forthcoming 2016).

68 The National Archives (hereafter TNA), Customs papers (hereafter CUST) 28/2, fols. 431–32.

69 Hoon, The Organization of the English Customs System, 33; Report of Committee on the Silk Industry,” Journal of the House of Commons, vol. 30 (4 March 1765), 208–19Google Scholar; Alfred Plummer, The London Weavers' Company, 1600–1970 (London, 1972), 135.

70 Evidence of Ashburner, Cheveny, and Pritchard, “Report of Committee on the Silk Industry,” (4 March 1765), 210–12.

71 Miles Lambert, “The Consumption of Spitalfields Silks in 18th-Century England: Examples in Collections outside London,” in 18th-Century Silks: The Industries of England and Northern Europe, ed. Natalie Rothstein and Regula Schorta (Riggisberg, 2000), 63–73, at 64–66.

72 North, “The Physical Manifestation of an Abstraction,” 94, 100.

73 TNA, CUST 41/4, fol. 31.

74 Evidence of Sabatier, John, “Report of Committee on the Silk Industry,” Journals of the House of Commons, vol. 30 (14 April 1766), 724Google Scholar.

75 See, for example, the pair of waistcoat shapes in the Victoria and Albert Museum, item number T.12&A-1981,

76 Evidence of John Peregal, Mr. Ashburner, and Mr. Lovie, “Report of Committee on the Silk Industry” (4 March 1765), 209, 210.

77 Bowen, H. V., “Privilege and Profit: The Commanders of East Indiamen as Private Traders, Entrepreneurs, and Smugglers, 1760–1813,” International Journal of Maritime History 19, no. 2 (December 2007): 4388CrossRefGoogle Scholar, at 43–46.

78 Ibid., 50–81.

79 Bowen, “‘So Alarming an Evil,’” 1–31.

80 TNA, CUST 29/1 A–M, “East India Goods,” 22 March 1720.

81 TNA, CUST 29/4, fol. 75.

82 TNA, CUST 29/6, fols. 127–28.

83 TNA, CUST 41/5, fol. 313–17.

84 Arthur Lyon Cross, ed., Eighteenth Century Documents Relating to the Royal Forests, the Sheriffs and Smuggling Selected from the Shelburne Manuscripts in the William L Clements Library (New York, 1928), 252–54.

85 Bowen, “‘So Alarming an Evil,’” 4–6.

86 Lemire, “The Theft of Clothes,” 255, 276; idem, ‘Peddling Fashion’: Salesmen, Pawnbrokers, Taylors, Thieves and the Second-Hand Clothes Trade in England, c. 1700–1800,” Textile History 22, no. 1 (Spring 1991): 6782CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Lambert, Miles, “‘Cast-off Wearing Apparell’: The Consumption and Distribution of Second-Hand Clothing in Northern England during the Long Eighteenth Century,” Textile History 35, no. 1 (May 2004): 126CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Styles, The Dress of the People, 147–148, 161–165, 171–176; Toplis, “A Stolen Garment or a Reasonable Purchase,” 57–72.

87 Lemire, “‘Peddling Fashion,’” Table 1, 71; Lambert, “‘Cast-off Wearing Apparell,’” 14.

88 Bottrell, “Report from Select Committee on the Silk Trade,” 447.

89 TNA, CUST 28/2, fols. 51–52.

90 TNA, CUST 28/2, fols. 258–59.

91 TNA, CUST 28/2, fol. 391.

92 TNA, CUST 28/2, fol. 423.

93 St. James's Chronicle, 3–5 December 1761.

94 TNA, CUST 28/2, fols. 51–52.

95 TNA, Treasury Papers (hereafter T) 1/449, fols. 112–13; 110–11; T 1/454, fols. 190–92.

96 William Ashworth, Customs and Excise: Trade, Production, and Consumption in England, 1640–1845 (Oxford, 2003), 198–99.

97 For example, through gift giving within Anglo-Indian families. Finn, Margot, “Colonial Gifts: Family Politics and the Exchange of Goods in British India, c. 1780–1820,” Modern Asian Studies 40, no. 1 (February 2006): 203–31CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

98 Jerry White, London in the Eighteenth Century: A Great and Monstrous Thing (London, 2013), 108.

99 Buck, Dress in Eighteenth-Century England, 34.

100 Public Advertiser, 23 August 1764.

101 TNA, CUST 29/1, “Baggage,” 20 October 1710.

102 TNA, CUST 28/2, fol. 455.

103 TNA, CUST 41/10, fols. 235–38, 240.

104 TNA, CUST 29/1, “Baggage,” 13 December 1718.

105 TNA, CUST 29/1, “Baggage,” 14 July 1737.

106 TNA, T 29/27, fol. 402.

107 Cross, Eighteenth Century Documents, 243.

108 TNA, CUST 29/5, fol. 293

109 Buck, Dress in Eighteenth-Century England, 34.

110 North, “The Physical Manifestation of an Abstraction,” 94–95.

111 Rosemary Sweet, Cities and the Grand Tour: The British in Italy, c.1690–1820 (Cambridge, 2012), chap. 1.

112 Jeremy Black, France and the Grand Tour (Basingstoke, 2003), 18–19, 122–26.

113 Sweet, Cities and the Grand Tour, 18.

114 Quoted in Black, Italy and the Grand Tour, 98.

115 London Evening Post, 1–3 September 1761.

116 “Report of Committee on the Silk Industry” (14 April 1766), 725.

117 Brian Fitzgerald, ed., Correspondence of Emily, Duchess of Leinster (1731–1814) (Dublin, 1949), 1:82, 89, 95. I owe this reference to Ruth Thorpe of Queens' University Belfast.

118 TNA, CUST 28/1, fol. 335.

119 TNA, CUST 41/4, fols. 177–78.

120 London Evening Post, 20–23 February 1773.

121 TNA, CUST 41/7, fol. 43.

122 Quoted in Mary M. Drummond, Villiers, George, Visct. Villiers (1751–1800). History of Parliament Online, accessed 1 September 2013,

123 TNA, CUST 41/7, fol. 48.

124 TNA, CUST 41/7, fol. 49.

125 For example, St. James's Chronicle or the British Evening Post (London), 26–28 July 1764. For royal patronage, see Lister, Jenny, “Twenty-Three Samples of Silk: Silks Worn by Queen Charlotte and the Princesses at Royal Birthday Balls, 1791–1794,” Costume 37, no. 1 (January 2003): 5165CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

126 Greig, The Beau Monde, chap. 4.

127 Ashworth, Customs and Excise, chap. 17.

128 Riello, Cotton, 271; Tirthankar Roy, Traditional Industry in the Economy of Colonial India (New York, 1999); Berg, Maxine, “Craft and Small Scale Production in the Global Economy: Gujarat and Kachchh in the Eighteenth and Twenty-First Centuries,” Itinerario 37, no. 2 (August 2013): 2345CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

129 Carolyn Sargentson, Merchants and Luxury Markets: The Marchands Merciers of Eighteenth-Century Paris (London, 1996); Carlo Poni, “Fashion as Flexible Production: The Strategies of the Lyon Silk Merchants in the Eighteenth Century,” in World of Possibilities: Flexibility and Mass Production in Western Industrialization, ed. Charles Sabel and Jonathan Zeitlin (Cambridge, 1997), 37–74; Robin Fox and Anthony Turner, eds., Luxury Trades and Consumerism in Ancien Regime Paris (Aldershot, 1998).

130 Alain Cottereau, “The Fate of Fabriques Collectives in the Industrial World: The Silk Industries of Lyon and London, 1800–1850,” in Sabel and Zeitlin, eds., World of Possibilities, 75–152.

131 Davini, Roberto, “Bengali Raw Silk, the East India Company and the European Global Market, 1770–1833,” Journal of Global History 4, no. 1 (March 2009): 5779CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

Cited by

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Smuggling Silks into Eighteenth-Century Britain: Geography, Perpetrators, and Consumers
Available formats

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Smuggling Silks into Eighteenth-Century Britain: Geography, Perpetrators, and Consumers
Available formats

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Smuggling Silks into Eighteenth-Century Britain: Geography, Perpetrators, and Consumers
Available formats

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *