Commerce And Industry
london trade city docks imports principal india value companies exchange
COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY. - London, which was a port of some consequence in the time of the Romans, is spoken of by Bede as the "mart of many nations resorting to it ; frequent London in large numbers, and, after obtaining Probably by the time of Fitzstephen London had become notwithstanding occasional interference with their privibecome of some importance in the 15th century, soon largely extended, and commercial intercourse was also opened up with Barbary, Guinea, and Brazil. After the abolition of the special privileges of the Steelyard merchants, the trade in wool was transferred almost entirely to the Merchant Adventurers, the annual export of English wool and drapery to Antwerp and Bruges in 1566 being estimated at over £2,000,000. The close of the 16th century was marked by the rapid extension of maritime discovery, and the spirit of enterprise was stimulated by the grant of monopolies to those companies which should first open up communication with undiscovered countries. One of the earliest and most successful of the great maritime companies was the Russian, incorporated in 1553, which, besides establishing an extensive commerce with the ports of Russia, had an overland trade with Persia. The foundation of the Royal Exchange by Gresham in 1566 marked an era in the commercial history of London ; and the destruction of Antwerp by the duke of Parma in 1585 left it without a rival as the emporium of Europe. The settlement of many of the Flanders merchants in England gave a great impetus to the manufacture of silks, damasks, and other fine cloths, but from the time of the expulsion of the Steelyard merchants by Elizabeth in 1597 the development of the maritime trade of London was solely in the hands of English companies. The incorporation of the Turkey Company in 1579, of the East India Company in 1600, of the Virginia Company in 1606, and of the Hudson's Bay Company in 1670 must be regarded, not only as the most important events connected with the 'growth of the port in the 17th and 18th centuries, but as of prime consequence in relation to the social and political history of England.
In the trade of London there is a large excess of imports over exports, arising from the fact that it is specially a mart, and is removed from proximity to any large manufacturing district. The value in 1880 of the total trade of Liverpool, X191,189,838, was nearly equal to that of London, which was X194,043,836, but the value of the imports of London exceeded those of Liverpool by nearly X31,000,000, while the exports of Liverpool exceeded those of London by about .X31,000,000. London has almost a monopoly of the trade with the East Indies and China, and has thus become the chief emporium for tea, coffee, sugar, spices, and indigo, and for silks and Eastern manufactures. A great part of the overland trade of London with India has till quite recently been carried on via Southampton, which, and also Folkestone, Newhaven, and Dover, may be regarded as virtually ports of London. The value of the imports of Folkestone, Newhaven, and Dover in 1880 amounted together to X21,185,034, and their exports to only X4,432,244; the imports of Southampton were valued at .a,205,183, and its exports at £9,306,326. In the Mediterranean and Levant trade London has now a powerful rival in Liverpool. From European and Asiatic Turkey London imports corn, dried fruits, madder, and various other special products ; from Greece currants and olive oil ; from Italy olive oil, wine, sumach, oranges, and lemons ; from Spain wine and dried fruits ; from Portugal and the Azores oranges and wine. Nearly the whole of the French trade with England is concentrated in London, the imports including all the special French manufactures, and large quantities of butter, eggs, vegetables, and corn. It is, however, largely carried on through the southern ports, the value of the imports of silk to Folkestone in 1880 being X3,614,014, and these of London only £260,616, while the imports of eggs at Newhaven greatly exceed those of London, as do also the imports of butter and eggs at Southampton. London absorbs the greater part of the Baltic imports to England, especially timber, corn, cattle, wool, and provisions, the tonnage of the shipping that entered from Germany in 1881 being 631,741, from Belgium 249,161, from Sweden 416,997, from Norway 201,056, from the northern ports of Russia 401,076, and from Denmark 135,634. The tonnage that entered from the southern ports of Russia only amounted to 50,S83, but much of this trade is carried on via Southampton. The chief imports from Russia are corn, tallow, timber, hemp, linseed, and wool. The fact that the staple manufacture of Lancashire is cotton has enabled Liverpool to gain a superiority over London in the United States trade, with the exception of imports of tobacco from Virginia ; but the shipping that entered London from the Atlantic ports of the United States in 1881 had a burden of 670,079 tons, and from the Pacific ports of 321S tons. From Central America London obtains its chief supply of the finer woods, and also jalap, sarsaparilla, indigo, coffee, and Peruvian bark, and from South America sugar, hides, indiarubber, coffee, diamonds, and various drugs. From Canada the port receives timber, corn, cattle, and provisions, from the Australian islands wool, oil, gold, copper, tin, provisions, and cattle ; and it possesses more than half the trade of England with the West Indies, the principal imports being sugar and molasses, fruit, rum, coffee, cocoa, fine woods, pimento, and ginger.
On account of the burning of the records at the custom-house, and the absence of regular parliamentary returns, it is impossible to give a continuous summary of the progress of the shipping before 1816, but the following table (X.V.) gives the returns of the shipping engaged in the foreign and colonial trade in various years from 1693 to that date, and the yearly average for subsequent periods : - Since 1873 vessels with ashes and manure have been included in the coasting trade, and therefore the figures after that date show 1 much greater progress than has actually taken place. In 1750 the number employed. was 6396, and in 1795 it was 11,964 of 1,176,400 tons. The following table (XVI.) gives details from 1855 : - The following table (XVII.) gives the number of vessels registered in the port of London in various years from 1701 : - Declared values of the exports from London have been made at various periods, and are now made annually in the statement of the trade of the United Kingdom. Since 1840 the value has more than quadrupled, being in that year £11,5S6,037, from which it gradually rose almost without intermission till it was £00,232,118 in 1874, but from that year it declined till in 1879 it was £47,335,753. In 1880 it again rose to £52,000,929, considerably above the average of the four years 1876-79, which wag £49,884, 673, but as much below the average of 1872-75, which was £57,143,480. No return of the value of the imports is given before 1872, when they were £124,174,141. The value for 1880, £141,442,907, exceeds that of any previous year, the next being that for 1877, £140,332,773, while the average for 1872-75 was £129,449,956, and for 1876-79 £132,754,772. The following table (XVIII.) gives details of the principal imports for 1860 and 1830, and also a comparison with the United Kingdom in regard to the same articles : - In the time of Stow, Billingsgate had begun to supersede Queenhithe as the principal landing place of the port of London ; but he also gives a list of other " common watergates," and mentions that there were besides "divers private wharfs and keys all along from the east to the west end of the city, where merchants of all nations had landing places, warehouses, cellars, and stowage of their goods and merchandise." On account, however, of the attempts made to avoid the payment of customs by the use of private landing places, a royal proclamation of Elizabeth appointed certain quays to be used as general landing places and others for special purposes. After the great fire the limits of the port were declared to be the North Foreland and London Bridge; certain wharves named "legal quays " were appointed for the general trade, and others named sufferance wharves were permitted to be used under certain conditions with the special leave of the commissioners. The frontage of the legal quays in 1795 was only 1419 feet, and of the sufferance quays about 3500 feet, and so inadequate was the storage accommodation that it would not have sufficed even for the single article of sugar. After the proposal for the establishment of wet docks was made by the West India Company the system was very rapidly extended. The West India docks at the Isle of Dogs were opened in 1802, the London docks at Wapping in 1805, the East India docks at Blackwall in 1S06, St Katherine's docks to the east of the Tower in 1828, the Victoria docks in 1830, and the inliInwaIl docks at the Isle of Dogs in 1868. The West India Company was granted for twenty years a monopoly of the West India trade, the London Dock Company of the trade in wine, brandy, tobacco, and rice, and the East India Company of the East India and China trade, but in no case were the privileges of the companies renewed. The various docks have at different times undergone improvement and extension to meet modern necessities, the latest addition being the Albert extension of the Victoria dock, opened in 1880, which affords an additional water space of 70 acres, and is unsurpassed in the completeness of its arrangements by any other dock in the world. The St Katherine's, London, and Victoria and Albert clocks are now held by one company, and the East and West India docks by another, who are adding to their accommodation by the construction of the Tilbury docks specially for ocean steamers. All the great merchandise docks are thus on the north side of the river, - the Commercial docks, which date from 1696, and were reconstructed in 1807, and the Surrey docks (1812), on the south side of the river, being used almost exclusively for timber and grain. The position of St Katherine's docks renders it impossible to adapt them to modern requirements ; and probably, on account of the increased use of large ocean steamers, all the older docks may soon be superseded as regards the bulk of the foreign trade. The water area of the clocks on the north side of the river, which in 1861 was 272 acres, will soon be 465 acres. The Surrey and Commercial dock, which is very complicated in its construction, has a total area, including land and water, of 330 acres. The land and water area (in acres) of the several docks on the north side of the river at present completed or in process of construction is as follows (Table XIX.) :- St East and Victoria Docks. London. Katlic- West and Tilbury. Total.
I rise's. India. Albert. wall.
Land 59 I 13 210 I 460 200 530 1,177 Toted,„1 99 , 23 346 I 633 286 600 1.937 The bonded warehouse system was sanctioned in the port of London in 1S03, and the exclusive enjoyment for several years of this privilege gave it a great advantage over the other ports of the king- dom. The warehouses of the dock companies, each occupied with their special class of goods, embrace a large portion of the City area, but the rapidity with which goods now pass into consumption renders this kind of dock property at present very unprofitable, and it is probable that very soon many of the warehouses will be turned to other uses.
The Custom-House in Lower Thames Street was built by Laing, 1814-17, but on account of the subsidence of the central part the present Corinthian facade, 490 feet in length, designed by Smirke, was afterwards added. In the building there is a museum containing various old documents and specimens of articles seized by the custom-house authorities.
Trinity House, Tower Hill, a plain building with an ornamental facade, erected in 1793 from the designs:of Wyatt, is the seat of an association of mariners which received a charter from Henry in 1514, and gradually acquired the management of lighthouses and buoys not only on the Thames but on the whole English coast, besides the superintendence of naval arsenals and dockyards. Along with the corporation of the City it had the conservancy of the Thames, until those authorities were superseded by the Thames Conservancy Board. Its general rights and privileges have also been much curtailed since 1853, when it was put under the partial control of the Board of Trade, but it has still the sole charge of the erection and maintenance of lighthouses and buoys, the examination of pilots and of navigating lieutenants ; and two of its elder brethren act as nautical advisers in the High Court of Admiralty. r. The prosperity of that portion of London known as the City is largely due to its proximity to the port, but the rapid development of the trade of the port is closely connected with the increase of London outside the City limits, which is of course dependent on a great variety of causes. The uninterrupted extension of the business and financial transactions of the City, and the connexion of these with the rapid increase of the surrounding population, is sufficiently evidenced by the fact that the rateable annual value of the City has risen from about £760 an acre in 1801 to about £5300 an acre in 1881 ; that the net profits under the commercial and mercantile schedule D for the combined boroughs of the metropolis (1879-80) amounted to £81,088, 368, of which the profits for the City alone amounted to £39,263,424, a larger sum than that of the whole seventeen next largest cities and towns of the United Kingdom; and that the number of persons entering the City daily during the sixteen hours of business has increased from 657,379 in 1866 to 739,640 in 1881.
The business centre of London is the Royal Exchange, which . occupies a commanding position between Threadneedle Street and Cornhill, at the principal convergence of the City thoroughfares. The first building, erected 1565-70 by Sir Thomas Gresham and presented to the City, was destroyed by the great fire, and the second opened in 1669 was also burnt in 1838. The present exchange (1839-44), designed by Tite and erected at a cost of £180,000, is a quadrangular structure with an imposing Corinthian portico at its principal entrance, and encloses a court surrounded by an ambu- latory, It is in the open central area that the commercial transactions take place - the ground floor being occupied by shops and offices, and the principal floor by insurance companies and " Lloyd's rooms." The principal exchanges for special articles are the corn exchange in Mark Lane, where the privilege of a fair was originally granted by Edward I.; the wool exchange in Coleman Street ; the coal exchange adjoining the custom-house, erected in 1849 in the Italian style, and consisting of a rotunda surmounted by a dome; and the auction mart for landed property in Tokenhouse Yard, The metal market is a very important one ; and there is also a very large consignment of precious metals and diamonds, the workers in which are chiefly concentrated in the neighbourhood of Clerkenwell. The Royal Mint, Tower Hill, erected in 1805 on the site of the Cistercian abbey of St Mary, is the only mint in England for the fabrication of gold and silver coins, but bronze coins are chiefly made at Birmingham, and gold coinage is now also manufactured at Sidney and Melbourne.
The unique commercial position of London, and its intercourse with every quarter of the globe, have assisted to make it financially in a more complete sense than it is commercially the metropolis of the world. The stock jobbers and brokers, who according to the City census of 1881 numbered 1682, and who have their offices chiefly in the courts and alleys adjoining the Bank of England and the Royal Exchange, are nearly all members of the stock exchange, for whom the present building in Capel Street was erected in 1801 ; but there is also an open stock exchange in Lothbury. The earliest approximation to banking transactions in London appeared in the negotiations for loans between Elizabeth and the principal city merchants, but the general adoption of the system was due to the civil war, when the merchants, some of whom had already made use of the Royal Mint as a bank of deposit, and the landed proprietors, began to place their money for the sake of greater security in the hands of the goldsmiths. Some of the private banks now existing, such [es Coutts's and Child's, date from the 17th century, and a new era in the financial history of London was inaugurated in 1694 by the foundation of the Bank of England, of which a full account is given in the article BANKING (v01. p. 316 sq.). Until 1733 the business of the bank was carried on at Grocers' Hall. The present building, which covers about 4 acres, and was enlarged in 1770 and 1788 by Sir Robert Taylor and Sir John Soane, presents to the street a low triangular wall without windows, and almost entirely devoid of ornament except at the north-west corner, which was copied from the temple of the Sibyl at Tivoli. Until the establishment of the London and Westminster Bank in 1834, the Bank of England was the only joint-stock bank in London. The private and joint-stock banks which have offices in London now number over 150, The principal banks are members of the Clearing House near Lombard Street, where a daily exchange of drafts or cheques is effected. For the year ending April 30, 1882, the total amount of bills, cheques, &c., paid at the Clearing House was £6,382,645,000, the largest sum paid in any of the fifteen years for which statistics have been collected, the amount for the first_ year eliding 1868 being only £3,257,411,000. The extent of the commercial enterprise of London is strikingly indicated by the large number of companies, with their field of operations chiefly in foreign countries, which have been projected in the City or have in it their headquarters. The foreign operations of these companies are however sometimes only nominal, their real business being wholly confined to London itself.
The largest manufacturing industry in Loudon is that of brewing, the number of common brewers in 1880 being 110, who made use of 9,955,177 bushels of malt, while of the 412,192 barrels of beer exported from the United Kingdom 236,206 were from London. To supply the breweries with water, wells now require to be sunk below the chalk to the greensand. According to Stow, the brewers in 1585 in London and Westminster, who then remained " near to the friendly water of Thames," numbered 26, sonic of them being foreigners, who first introduced the art of cultivating hops, Among the oldest and most important of the breweries now existing is that of Barclay, Perkins, & Co., which covers an area of 12 acres, belonged at one time to Johnson's friend Thrale, and occupies the site of the old Globe theatre.
Silk-weaving, which received a special impulse from the settlement of foreign refugees at Spitalfields after the revocation of the I edict of Nantes, has within the last fifty years been in a stagnant i condition, owing chiefly to the rivalry of Lancashire. The majority 1 of the other manufactures are carried on in the neig,libourhood of the Thames. The ships built in London in 1881, which are principally yachts, numbered 64, but their total tonnage was only 2723. The principal shipbuilding yards are at the Isle of Dogs. Boat-building is extensively carried on at Chelsea and at several other places in the upper reaches of the river. There are large engineering-works at Lambeth and Millwall, potteries and glassworks at Lambeth, Whitefriars, and Southwark, tanneries at Bermondsey, chemical-works on the Lea, pape•-works on the Wandle, and sugar bakeries at Whitechapel. The cabinetmakers' shops are situated principally in the neighbourhood of Shorediteh, but there are several adjoining Tottenham Court Road and Hampstead Road, where upholstery warehouses are very numerous. Lucifer match making gives employment to a large number of women and children in the eastern districts. There are extensive hat manufactories in Lambeth, The special manufactures in different parts of London are too numerous for mention. The principal dep6ts of the carriage-builders are in Long Acre. A large trade in second-hand clothing is done by the Jews at Houndsditch, especially on Sunday morning, and on the same day of the week there are bird and fancy animal fairs at Church Street, Bethnal Green, and at St Andrew's Street, Bloomsbury, near the Seven Dials. The centre of the wholesale book trade is in Paternoster Row, but some of the principal publishers have their premises in the neighbourhood of Covent Garden and still farther west. Fleet Street is largely occupied with the offices of the London and the provincial daily newspapers, but the office of the MACS is in Printing-house Square. Time weekly newspapers have their offices chiefly in streets running oil' the Strand.
PAurErasm. - London since 1867 has been divided into thirty poor-law unions, which are governed by boards of guardians, for the most part elected annually by the householders and owners of property, the number of votes possessed by each owner or householder varying from one to six, according to the value of the property. A proportion of the guardians in each union are so cx officio, or are nominated by the Local Government Board. The Act of 1867 authorized the establishment of outdoor dispensaries in any union or parish ; and in twenty-seven of the thirty unions of the metropolis there are now forty-seven of these dispensaries, the number of prescriptions made up in the year 1880 being over a million. For the maintenance of lunatics and insane poor, of patients suffering from contagious diseases, and of pauper children at school, and for the relief of casual paupers, a metropolitan common poor fund is provided, through the operation of which the cost of maintaining the poor is now equalized, to the extent of 42.3 per cent, of the whole sum applied over the metropolitan area. The good results which have followed, both in lessening expense and diminishing pauperism, especially outdoor pauperism, form a strong argument for the complete equalization of the rates, and the creation of a united poor-law authority for the whole metropolis. The three unions which iu 1880 contributed most in aid of the poorer ones were Kensington (£27,705), St George's (n5,299), and the City of London (0£61,080); and the three unions most benefited were Holborn (£21,048), Bethnal Green (£19,835), and St Saviour's, Southwark (£23,085); but, as will be seen from Table XXI. below, great inequality still exists in the rating, and the rate is generally higher in the poorer districts. Each poor-law union possesses one or more workhouses, but the accommodation is inadequate, and difficulty in dealing satisfactorily with applicants often follows, Several minions, by the powers granted them under the Act of 1867, have combined into districts to provide infirmaries for the sick and imbecile, there being now only three unionsBethnal Green, Hampstead, and Lewisham - whose sick are not treated in establishments under medical supervision. In addition to this, the several unions and parishes are combined into one metropolitan asylums district, with a managing body of sixty members, fifteen of whom are nominated by the Local Government Board. The total number of persons relieved in establishments belonging to the managers of the metropolitan asylums district since the first was opened in 1870 has been more than 1200 in imbecile asylums, nearly 50,000 in hospitals for infectious diseases, and 1375 on board the "Exmouth " training ship, which was established in March 1876. The paupers' schools fall to be noticed under another section (see below, p. 834). The amount of accommodation provided in the various establishments of the unions in July 1870 was 35,093 beds, and in December 1880 it was 53,332 beds. Table XX. gives a summary of the poor rate returns for 1880 ; Table XXI. the rateable value of the different unions in 1871 and 1881, and the average pauperism, the amount of adjusted relief, and the rate in the pound for relief in 1880 ; and Table XXII. various particulars in reference to metropolitan pauperism for 1871 and 1880.
The annual income of the various charitable institutions in London is now over £4,000,000, of which at least three-fourths is spent in London. That of the endowed parochial charities of the City of London in 1865 was £64,500, which by 1881 had increased to £116,960, those of Westminster being in the same years £26,555 and £33,124. The income of the charities of the Livery Companies in 1869 was stated to be £99,027, and now the 1028 charities belonging to the companies have an aggregate income of £185,829, representing a capital value of £4, 456, 768. The amount spent on education is £65,130, and on doles £108,498. In addition, the charities of the corporation probably possess an annual income of £30,000. The parliamentary commission appointed to inquire into the endowed parochial charities of the City of London and Westminster in the report of 1880 divides them into two classes, - those that are eleemosynary and those that are ecclesiastical. In regard to the first, it states that it is impossible to effect a satisfactory combination or readjustment of them under existing circumstances, and, in regard to the second, that they are so far liberated by altered circumstances as to require reappropriation to new charitable use.