Scottish, Irish, and imperial connections: Parliament, the three kingdoms, and the mechanization of cotton spinning in eighteenth-century Britain



This paper offers a new perspective on the emergence of machinery in the cotton spinning trade during the third quarter of the eighteenth century. It does so by examining the interplay between economic, political, and national interests within the early Hanoverian state. Changes in trading relationships between textile producers across the three kingdoms of England/Wales, Ireland, and Scotland created escalating supply-side problems, which, by the 1760s, would precipitate a quest for solutions based on new technologies.