Financing Lancashire's industrial development

Hart, Rosine (2006) Financing Lancashire's industrial development. Doctoral thesis, University of Central Lancashire.

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Historians of industrial financing have often adopted a single-firm or single issue approach, emphasising prominent companies that have bequeathed documentary riches on which detailed studies can be based. However, historians concede that such firms were untypical, as most businesses disappeared leaving liftle trace. Even so, all too little consideration has been given to the source material that is available, especially to assess the ability of partnerships to generate company finance, whilst aspects of the demand for capital that arose from urbanisation and transport development also remains under-researched.
Concentrating on textile Lancashire, this thesis researches lesser-known entrepreneurs between 1770 and 1850 from little-used primary material, studying partnerships as important suppliers of capital. This original approach demonstrates the growing importance of partnerships, particularly amongst non-family firms, exploring the sources of funding they tapped, and
comparing share allocations they made. Consideration is also given to investments partnerships made in establishing related enterprises and how they coped with capital withdrawal on a partner's retirement.
Investment in Lancashire's infrastructure is analysed partly in relation to the construction and improvement of turnpike roads, matters of considerable importance to manufacturers in transporting products and raw materials and which required high levels of financing. It examines the levels of finance needed for improvements, the sources from which it was drawn, and the role of businessmen in financial management of turnpike trusts.
Infrastructural development is also addressed in relation to the construction of the numerous handloom weavers' cottages that were built by terminating building societies. Identifying the membership of these societies reveals that they were not self-help schemes for artisans, but rather that they offered opportunities for those with surplus income to invest in tenanted properties at a time when the skills of the handloom weaver were at a premium. This provision was vital to Lancashire's burgeoning economy, and offered subscribers an additional source of income.
In drawing together the threads of the discussion, new insights are presented to show that the kinds of associations open to them provided a range of investment opportunities for people at different levels of society, who can all be regarded as members of Lancashire's investing classes.

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