Tamsin Bailey Treleaven

Department: History
Discipline: History
Research Centre/Unit: Early Modern History

Project Summary

 The Social History of the Cloth Trade in Exeter, 1660 - 1720.

Using the woollen cloth trade in Exeter as a means of looking at a defined group of people, I am researching Exeter's social structure and social mobility and the factors determining this, with a particular interest in those at the lower end of society: the poor cloth workers.  I am interested in the way these urban poor were given assistance through charity provided by wealthy merchants and the ruling oligarchy in Exeter and through poor relief provided by the parish.  I am looking at the nature of the cloth trade, in particular the interplay between the production and finishing of cloth in the region and within Exeter itself, and its trading nationally and internationally; the role of urban institutions and the role of the family, especially the role of women in work and in transmitting business expertise and wealth. This is a collaborative project with Tucker's Hall, Exeter.

Working with a group of volunteers from Exeter and Topsham, and with Topsham Museum, I led research which culminated in a travelling exhibition 'Shipping The Serge'.  This has been on display at Topsham Museum, Cullompton and Tiverton and is currently travelling around Devon.

Supervisory Team

Prof. Jonathan Barry

Prof. Jane Whittle

Wider Research Interests

Early Modern women in work and in urban society.

Social mobility in Early Modern England

Archaeology in towns

Poor relief and charity