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ENGLISH MANUFACTURE IN FRANCE 1803

  • £295.00

[ENGLISH MANUFACTURE IN FRANCE]

Autograph Letter Signed (“John Moor”) to the Finance Minister, M. Gaudin, asking to either rent or buy a “maison nationale” for his business.

2 pages 4to in French with integral blank leaf, Rue Charenton, au Couvent des Anglais, [Paris], 23 Brumaire an 12 [15 November 1803].                              

A most interesting letter.

Trans: “I came to France a year ago, bringing with me an assortment of machines for the manufacture of lace [“dentelle à filet”]. I rented a house rue Thevenot, no. 5, and I have already successfully trained some pupils, all French, and I have taught them to use the machine for which I obtained a patent, as there is nothing similar on the continent.

As I wish to expand my manufacture in proportion to my capital, and finding the space at rue Thevenot too small, I rented from Citizen Gillet a part of the couvent des anglais on the rue de Charenton. But I would like to find a more permanent place; and to that end, allow me, Citizen Minister, to address myself to you to obtain, either by rent or by purchase, a space in a maison nationnale [sic], in which I may execute my plans with certainty, security and advantage. As this manufacture can become something of great advantage to France, once it has been perfected, I hope that you will look kindly on my request . . .

The Englishman John Moor had evidently emigrated to France at the Peace of Amiens, together with his associate G. Armitage. There is a record of a patent being granted to them for a lacemaking machine in 1805, giving their address as 5, rue Thevenot. Citizen Gillet, from whom they rented the space at the Couvent des Anglais, proved duplicitous; he accused Moor of smuggling, Moor was forced to leave France, and Gillet went into the lacemaking business with Armitage, settling in Brussels.

The sumptuous style and fashions of the Empire were encouraged by Napoleon in an effort to boost manufacture in France. This provided a welcome boost for Lyon, renowned for its silk manufacture, and lacemaking, largely concentrated in the north, would also have provided employment for many.

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