This article has been significantly revised as a result of referee comments. I appreciate their detailed and incisive comments which have produced a far better article.
Wool and cloth production in late medieval and early Tudor England†
Article first published online: 3 SEP 2013
© Economic History Society 2013
The Economic History Review
Volume 67, Issue 1, pages 25–47, February 2014
How to Cite
Oldland, J. (2014), Wool and cloth production in late medieval and early Tudor England. The Economic History Review, 67: 25–47. doi: 10.1111/1468-0289.12024
- Issue published online: 15 JAN 2014
- Article first published online: 3 SEP 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 15 APR 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 29 DEC 2012
- Manuscript Received: 11 JUN 2012
Estimates of wool production based on the exports of wool and cloth, and an assumption that domestic cloth consumption was, optimistically, constant, suggest that wool production fell by almost a third from the early fourteenth to the mid-fifteenth century, and had not fully recovered even by the mid-sixteenth century. However, after the Black Death, much of England's arable was converted to pasture, mainly for sheep, and this process accelerated after 1470. These two observations are contradictory. This article provides new numbers of adult sheep based on estimates of domestic cloth consumption, cloth exports, the changing weight of cloth, and fleece yields. The conclusion is that the adult sheep population only declined by around 13 per cent from 1310 to 1440, and had risen dramatically by the mid-sixteenth century.