Wool Act 1699

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The Wool Act of 1699 (or the Woolens Act) was an Act of the Parliament of England (10 W. III. c. 16), long titled An Act to prevent the Exportation of Wool out of the Kingdoms of Ireland and England into Forreigne parts and for the Incouragement of the Woollen Manufactures in the Kingdom of England.[1] It was intended to increase England's woolen product manufacturing by preventing Irish wool production, manufactures, and export; it also forbade the export of wool and products from the American colonies. Competing woolens from these areas had recently become more available in foreign and domestic markets. The Act prohibited American colonists from exporting wool and wool products,[2] or export to markets outside the individual colony in which it was produced, or to be transported from one place to another in the same colony. The act did not forbid the making of woolen fabrics for private consumption, but simply forbade the making of woolens for the public market. At this time the woolens exported from England had to pay heavy export duties. The act, one of the Acts of Trade and Navigation, was mainly aimed at Irish woolens and established a policy to crush the Irish woolen industry.[3] It had little effect on the American colonies, at most it only slowed the potential industry.[4] Shopkeepers had a very hard time during period when the Wool Act was in force. Some colonists opposed this act by buying more flax and hemp.

An exception to the act was passed the following year by the Exportation Act 1698 (11 Will. III c. 13 s. 9), which allowed these exports, if they were for the use by the ship's crews and passengers.[5] Later in the year however, duties were abolished for English exportation of manufactured woolens, and other products by the Taxation Act 1698 (11 Will. 3 c. 20).[6][3] The act was repealed by the Statute Law Revision Act 1867.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Statutes of the Realm: volume 7: 1695-1701 (1820), pp. 524-28. Date accessed: 5 August 2018.
  2. ^ "Wool, woollfells, shortlings, mortlings, woollstocks, worsted, bay, woollen yarn, cloth, serge, bays, kerseys, says, frizes, druggets, cloth-serges, shalloons, drapery stuff, or any woolen manufacture."
  3. ^ a b George Louis Beer, The commercial policy of England toward the American colonies p.77 (1893)
  4. ^ John A. Garraty; Mark C. Carnes (2000). "Chapter Three: America in the British Empire". A Short History of the American Nation (8th ed.). Longman. ISBN 0-321-07098-4.
  5. ^ long titled "An Act for continuing severall Laws therein mentioned, and for explaining the Act intituled An Act to prevent the Exportation of Wooll out of the Kingdoms of Ireland and England into Forreigne Parts and for the Incouragement of the Woollen Manufactures in the Kingdom of England" Statutes of the Realm: volume 7: 1695-1701 (1820), pp. 600-02. URL: https://www.british-history.ac.uk/statutes-realm/vol7/pp600-602. Date accessed: 16 February 2007.
  6. ^ An Act for takeing away the Duties upon the Woollen Manufactures, Corn Grain Bread Biscuit and Meal exported.