1538, a group of merchants set up a Cloth Market in Exeter next to the
existing Wool and Yarn Market in Northgate Street. The Merchants of
Crediton, just a few miles away, who already had what they considered to
be a perfectly satisfactory Cloth Market, wanted no rivals and were far
from pleased. It was a turning point, not only in the history of Exeter
but in the history of the Woollen Trade in Britain.
By 1700, it was said that 4 out of 5 people in Exeter owed their
livelihood to this trade and probably a similar number in the
countryside were making a contribution to the prosperity of Devon as a
grew to become the 4th most prosperous
town in the United Kingdom.
Stentifords? Let's examine some of the clues and pointers to
their involvement in the woollen industry, beginning
with Professor Hoskin's map taken from his book "Industry, Trade
and People in Exeter 1688-1800" *