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Title: The economic development of Sheffield and the growth of the town, c.1740-c.1820
Author: Flavell, Neville
ISNI:       0000 0001 3468 4234
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 1996
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In the early eighteenth century Sheffield was a modest industrial town with an established reputation for cutlery and hardware. It was, however, far inland, off the main highway network and twenty miles from the nearest navigation. One might say that with those disadvantages its future looked distinctly unpromising. A century later, Sheffield was a maker of plated goods and silverware of international repute, was en route to world supremacy in steel, and had already become the world's greatest producer of cutlery and edge tools. How did it happen? Internal economies of scale vastly outweighed deficiencies. Skills, innovations and discoveries, entrepreneurs, investment, key local resources (water power, coal, wood and iron), and a rapidly growing labour force swelled largely by immigrants from the region were paramount. Each of these, together with external credit, improved transport and ever-widening markets, played a significant part in the town's metamorphosis. Economic and population growth were accompanied by a series of urban developments which first pushed outward the existing boundaries. Considerable infill of gardens and orchards followed, with further peripheral expansion overspilling into adjacent townships. New industrial, commercial and civic building, most of it within the central area, reinforced this second phase. A period of retrenchment coincided with the French and Napoleonic wars, before a renewed surge of construction restored the impetus. For the most part, the great eighteenth century building enablers were the large estate property holders, most importantly the Dukes of Norfolk, who freed land on lease in ample quantity for development purposes. In the nineteenth century, it was mainly the beneficiaries of Norfolk and other estate disposals who did likewise. Sheffield's attorneys, surveyors, craftsmen, speculators and lenders all had an essential role in more than quadrupling the town's housing stock and adding in even greater degree a wide range of non-domestic building.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: History