The last post took industrial development up to about the time of the Civil Wars in the 1640’s. Here are some snippets from then on. Enjoy!
- William Strode of Barrington, born in Darshill in 1589, boasted that he could walk from SM to his home at Barrington Court (Ilminster) – about 30 miles – without ever leaving his own land
- In 18th century, SM was the centre of the woollen cloth industry in the sub-region and was the focal point of worker demonstrations – mainly over wages and the cost of bread – drawing people in their thousands from as far afield as Trowbridge, Bradford-on-Avon and Stonehouse
- There were 6 riots in SM between 1740 and 1815, the most violent of which was in 1783 over the introduction of the steam-powered Spinning Jenny, in which two rioters were shot dead at Bunker Hill in West Shepton
- The last woollen mill on the Sheppey closed in 1815 substantially after the SM area clothiers refused to invest in steam fearing for their lives and property
- In the 19th century, many of the old woollen mills were converted to making silk cloth, particularly crepe and velvet
- The then silk mill owners boasted that although children as young as 5 were best suited to making silk cloth, they only employed 8 year olds and upwards
- And what remains today are the decayed or converted workshops, cottages and houses of the vanished centuries of industry
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