Picture Library - Wool and Cloth Trades

(Use the 'back' button to return.)

Wool and cloth trades

Wool was medieval England's most valuable export. The tax on the wool trade provided the crown with a regular and buoyant income. Brasses to the woolmen - the middlemen in the trade - are found in greatest number in the main wool-growing areas, notably Gloucestershire and Lincolnshire. Good examples are to be seen at Chipping Campden, where William Grevel is described as 'the flower of the wool merchants of all England' and Northleach . Wool merchants are often depicted standing on bags of wool, often showing their merchant's mark, or with a sheep as their footrest. Thomas Bushe's brass at Northleach has in the canopy spandrel the arms of the Staple of Calais on a shield with sheep lying beneath a bush (an obvious rebus) below. By the fifteenth century, much of the wool clip was being made into cloth in England. A good example of a clothier's brass is that of Thomas Horton at Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire. 

Click the links below for the corresponding thumbnail image. Click any image for an enlarged view. 

Thomas Adynet, 1409, Northleach, Gloucestershire


William Grevel, 1401, Chipping Camden, Gloucestershire


John Lyndewode, 1419, Linwood, Lincolnshire


John Yonge, 1451, Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire


Footrest from brass to John Fortey, 1458, Northleach, Gloucestershire


William Browne, 1489 engr. c. 1465, Stamford. Lincolnshire


Footrest from brass to unknown wool man, c. 1485, Northleach, Gloucestershire


Thomas Horton, 1530 engr. c. 1520, Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire


Detail of canopy from brass to Thomas Bushe, 1526, Northleach, Gloucestershire





Northleach Brass



Thomas Adynet, 1409,

Northleach, Gloucestershire







Chipping Camden Brass



William Grevel, 1401,

Chipping Camden, Gloucestershire







Linwood Brass



John Lyndewode, 1419,

Linwood, Lincolnshire







Chipping Norton Brass



John Yonge, 1451,

Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire







Northleach 1458 Brass



Footrest from brass to John Fortey, 1458,

Northleach, Gloucestershire







Stamford Brass



William Browne, 1489 engr. c. 1465,

Stamford. Lincolnshire







Northleach 1485 Brass



Footrest from brass to unknown

wool man, c. 1485,

Northleach, Gloucestershire


 


Bradford-on-Avon Brass



Thomas Horton, 1530 engr. c. 1520,

Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire







Northleach 1526 Brass



Detail of canopy from brass to

Thomas Bushe, 1526,

Northleach, Gloucestershire


 


Click here for the Picture library

Copyright © 2002 Monumental Brass Society (MBS)

Page last updated 17 September 2006