----- Original Message -----
Sent: Saturday, April 27, 2002 2:30 AM
Subject: Re: [Kent] sheeps clothing

> This is the woollen shroud Act of 1679. English wool was regarded as the best
> but English woven cloth was relatively poor. The weavers of France and
> Flanders would buy English wool and import their cloth back to England where
> it would outsell English cloth. The English Weavers guilds were quite
> powerful however and persuaded Parliament to protect their trade. Initially,
> attempts were made to prevent foreigners buying English wool, first by
> putting huge taxes on it and then by making its sale abroad virtually
> illegal. Smugglers easily overcame these attempts however so Parliament tried
> to make it compulsory for people to buy at least some English cloth by making
> it law that everybody had to be buried in a woollen shroud and requiring the
> officiating minister to record the fact.
> Mark