J Cross letter

Scope and Content

Address: London. [To Mr Oriel.] 'I laid your proposal respecting the mill at Quemerford [near Calne, Wiltshire] before my Lord Lansdown [i.e. the Marquess of Lansdowne], in answer to which he had directed me to give you, in his own words, his opinion of the use of machinery in the cloathing manufacture - vizt "Nothing can be more mistaken than the prejudice conceived against machinery , nor could be more unfortunate for the country if suffer'd to prevail - for the consequence must be, the transfer of the manufacture either to the North of England, where the prejudice has been got the better of, and where they experience the advantage, or else to foreign countrys - or part to one & part to the other. Calne is calculated to be the seat of it, much better than either Chippenham or Devizes, or any town which I can immediately recollect, & independent of the great increase of trade, it would create a number of mechanists, and promote in consequence every sort of ingenuity, which would make up abundantly the loss sustain'd by the spinners; besides the navigations which are proposed [i.e. the Wilts & Berks Canal] will furnish a great deal of work; but rather than attempt any thing so arbitrary & absurd as to stop the progress of the machinery, I am very clear it would be better to come to a general rise of wage, especially if evey person was compell'd at the same time to belong to some amicable society ...".'
Autograph, with signature.


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