, and brought with them the techniques of fine weaving, and of fulling to finish the cloth.
The End of an Era
During the next 200+ years the cloth was created, and the majority exported into Europe, however this was due to stop in Elizabeth I's reign.
In 1566 an Act of Parliament was passed which prohibited the export of unfinished cloths, this was intended to create work and wealth in the clothing manufacturing industry. Most of the Wealden Broadcloth industry was centred around exporting, with only a few local markets. This banning of the export trade basically killed off the industry that brought great riches to the area. Although the industry continued and took about 100 years to finally die, its time was over, and this Act signalled the end of an era.
In the very early days of the Flemish weavers coming to England there was some local problems at the Flemings taking Englaish jobs but very soon the English weavers found that by following the Flemings prosperity was on the move.
Dutch and Flemish London
The Dutch had significant influence in London from the 15th to the 17th centuries. Many of the city’s medieval craft workers were from Holland and Belgium. When England became a Protestant country , religious refugees arrived from the Spanish Netherlands. the Dutch and Flemings developed the weaving, brewing and ceramics industries. 17th century Dutch artists painted famous views of London, while Prince William of Orange in Holland became King of England.
After Henry VIII broke off relations with the Catholic Church in 1534, England became a haven for Protestants being persecuted throughout Europe.
Flemish and Walloon refugees from the Spanish Netherlands flocked to east London during the last 30 years of the 16th century. The Dutch Church still occupies the same site in Austin Friars in the City that was granted to the community in 1550.
The 16th century saw the Dutch in East Anglia developing ‘New Draperies’, a light soft cloth which outdid heavy English woollen textiles. Meanwhile the Dutch in London dyed and finished this cloth. Cornelis Drebbel discovered how to create a brilliant scarlet dye and set up a dye-works at Bow.
The London brewing industry was more or less run by the Dutch, whose word ‘brewery’ replaced the English term ‘brewhouse’. Potters Field indicates the place where Dutch potters brought new ceramics technology to Southwark. Dutch engravers and mapmakers monopolised the production of high quality views of London.
They also made important contributions to goldsmithing, the leather trades, clock-making, printing, spectacle-making, tailoring and brickmaking. Not able to join city guilds at the highest levels, the immigrants set up their own businesses in the suburbs. Women earned their living by doing laundry, spinning and in domestic service.
Dutch influences on English art and design were strong during the reign of Charles II, who spent part of his life exiled in Holland.
Dutch craftsmen seeking refuge in England at the end of the 17th century brought with them the furniture-making techniques of veneering, marquetry and japanning. The painters Van Dyck and Lely were the most famous of the many Dutch artists resident in London.
Dutch financiers invested considerable capital in England and the Dutch played a leading part in the development of London as a financial centre. John Houblon, a Walloon, was first governor of the Bank of England founded in 1649.