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"In this Duddery have been sold 300,000 pounds worth of woollen manufactures in less than a week's time; besides the prodigious trade carried on here by wholesale men from London and all parts of England, who transact their business in their pocket-books, &c., meeting their chapmen from all parts, make up their accounts, receive payment chiefly in bills, and take orders. These, they say, exceed by far the sales of goods actually brought to the fair and delivered in kind, it being frequent for the London wholesalemen to carry back orders from their dealers for 10,000 pounds worth of goods a man; and some, much more. This especially respects those people who deal in heavy goods, as wholesale grocers, salters, braziers, iron-merchants, and the like; but does not exclude the dealers in woollen manufactures, and especially in mercery goods of all sorts, who generally manage their business in this


"Here are clothiers from Halifax, Leeds, Wakefield, and Huddesfeild in Yorkshire; and from Rochdale, Bury, &c. in Lancashire; with vast quantities of Yorkshire

to Mr. Thomas Bakewell, from whom it acquired its name, subsequently corrupted into Blackwell. At a yet earlier period it was called Basing's Haugh, or Hall, from the family of the Bassings, who built it, an appellation which the word and the street have still retained.

This Hall is a square building, inclosing two courts surrounded with warehouses, and having three spacious entrances for carriages; one opens into Cateaton-street; a second into Basinghall-street; and a third into Guildhall-yard, where is the principal front, and a doorcase adorned with two columns of the Doric order, with their entablature and a pediment in which are the royal arms, and, a little lower, those of the city.

The market was held on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, between eight and twelve in the forenoon, and from two to five in the afternoon.-See for these details Stow, Strype, Seamour, Northouck,


cloths, kerseys, fennystons,* cottons, &c., and all sorts of Manchester ware, fustians, and things made of cottonwool, of which the quantity is so great, that there are near three thousand horse-packs from that side of the country; and these took up a side and a half of the Duddery at least; also a part of a street of booths were (was) taken up with upholster's ware, such as tickings, sackings, Kidderminster stuffs, blankets, quilts, &c.

"In the Duddery was one warehouse or booth, consisting of six apartments, all belonging to a dealer in Norwich stuffs only, which contained goods to the value of 10,000 pounds.

"Western goods had their share here also, and several booths were filled with serges, duroys, shalloons, cantaloons,† Devonshire kerseys, &c. from Exeter, Taunton, Bristol, and other parts west, and some from London also.

"But all this is still outdone, at least in appearance, by two articles, which are the peculiars of this fair, and are not exhibited 'till the other part of the fair for the woollen manufacture begins to close up; these are the wool and the hops. There is scarce any price fixed for hops in England, 'till they know how they sell at Stirbitch fair. The quantity, that appears in that fair, is indeed prodigious, and they take up a large part of the field, on which the fair is kept, to themselves. They are brought directly from Henningham in Essex, from Canterbury and Maidstone in Kent, and from Farnham in Surrey, besides

* I can offer nothing certain as to the meaning or origin of this word; but it would seem to be some kind of woollen stuff that has taken its name from the manufacturer who invented it.

I never remember to have met with this word cantaloons; and, where so little certainty can be obtained, will not venture to trouble the reader with mere guesses. Duroy is what we now call corduro y.

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what are brought from London, of the growth of these and other places.

"Great quantities of heavy goods, and hops amongst the rest, are sent down the river Cam (which runs by the bottom of the fair) to Lynn, and shipped there for the Humber to Hull, York, &c., for Newcastle upon Tyne, and from thence to Scotland. For, as they do not yet plant hops in the north, this is one reason why at Stirbitch fair there is so great a demand for them; besides, as there are very few hops, if any, worth naming, growing in all the counties even on this side Trent, these counties, as well as Norfolk and Suffolk, bought most of their hops at this fair. This is a testimony of the prodigious resort of the trading people of all parts of England.

"The article of wool is of several sorts, but principally fleece-wool out of Lincolnshire, where the largest staple is found, the sheep of these parts being of the largest breed. The quantity of wool only, which has been sold at this place in one fair, has been said to amount to 50, or 60,000 pounds in value; some say, a great deal



By these articles a stranger may make some guess at the immense trade which is carried on at this place, what prodigious quantities of goods are bought and sold, and what a vast concourse of people are seen here from all parts of England.

"Several other sorts of English manufactures are brought hither to be sold; as all sorts of wrought iron and brass ware from Birmingham; edged tools, knives, &c. from Sheffield; glass wares and stockings from Nottingham and Leicester.


"Here is a court of justice always open, and held every day in a shed built on purpose in the fair this is for keeping the peace and deciding controversies in matters arising from the business in the fair. The magistrates

of the town of Cambridge are judges in this court as being in their jurisdiction, or they holding it by special privilege. Here they determine matters in a summary way, as is practiced in those we call pye-powder courts in other places, or as a court of conscience, and they have a final authority without appeal.

"To attend this fair and the prodigious crowds of people, which resort to it, there are sometimes no less than fifty hackney coaches, which come from London, and ply night and morning to carry the people to and from Cambridge, for there the gross of them lodge; nay, which is still more strange, there are wherries brought from London on waggons, to ply upon the little river, Cam, and to row people up and down from the town and from the fair as occasion presents.

"It is not to be wondered at if the town of Cambridge can not receive or entertain the numbers of people that come to this fair; for not Cambridge, but all the towns round are full; nay, the very barns and stables are turned into inns to lodge the meaner sort of people. As for the fair-people, they all eat, drink, and sleep in their booths,* which are so intermingled with taverns, coffeehouses, drinking-houses, eating-houses, cooks'-shops, &c. and so many butchers and higglers from all the neighbouring counties come in every morning with beef, mutton, fowls, butter, bread, cheese, eggs, and such things,

* These booths or buildings however must always have been of a very slight and temporary nature. In another part of Coles' multifarious manuscripts, (vol. xxiv. p. 129-5820. Plut. 120, D.) he writes "St. Michael, Sept. 29, 1772. Soft and misling day. After a very wet day yesterday at Sturbridge fair, where were three professed play-houses till one was absolutely blown down by an high storm of wind on Thursday night preceding."-He seems, however, to think that some apology is requisite for the number of theatres, for he adds, "the times are such that the vice-chancellor can't well refuse them."

and go with them from tent to tent, from door to door, that there is no want of provisions of any kind, either dressed or undressed,

"In the Duddery, on the two cheif Sundays during the fair, both forenoon and afternoon divine service is read, and a sermon preached, from a pulpit placed in the open air, by the minister of Barnwell, who is very well paid for the same by the contribution of the fair-keepers. In a word the fair is like a well-governed city, and there is the least disorder and confusion that can be seen any where with so great a concourse of people.

"Towards the latter end of the fair, and when the great hurry of wholesale business begins to be over, the gentry come in from all parts of the country round; and though they come for their diversion, yet it is not a little money they lay out, which generally falls to the share of the retalers; such as, the toy-shops, goldsmiths, brasiers, ironmongers, turners, milliners, mercers, &c.; and some loose corns they reserve for the puppet-shows, drolls, rope-dancers, and such like, of which there is no want.

"Thus ends the whole fair, and in less than a week or more scarce any sign is left that such a thing has been there, except by the heaps of dung, straw, and other rubbish, which is left behind, trod into the earth, and is as good as a summer's fallow for the land."*

The rows described by Cole, were each devoted like the streets of some Eastern city to a particular trade or produce, and from this also every one of them took its name; as Booksellers' Row, Garlick Row, Cooks' Row, &c. Of course such a mass even of temporary buildings must have required a considerable time for their erection, and accordingly we find that, if the corn were not cleared off the field by the 24th of August, the builders were allowed to erect their

* COLES' COLLECTIONS FOR CAMBRIDGESHIRE.-MS. folio, 232, 582. Plut. cxx. D., vol. xx., in the British Museum,

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