In 1337 the industry received an impulse from the settlement of a party of Flemish clothiers, and extended so greatly that when it was found necessary in 1566 to appoint by act of parliament deputies to assist the aulnegers, Bolton is named as one of the places where these deputies were to be employed.
Tiverton was an important centre of the woollen trade in the 16th century, and Risdon, writing in 1608, describes it as thronged with rich clothiers, and the Monday market famous for its kersies, known as "Tiverton kersies," while as late as the reign of George II.
The wool trade flourished in Basingstoke at an early date, but later appears to have declined, and in 1631 the clothiers of Basingstoke were complaining of the loss of trade and consequent distress.
The cloth-hall dates from 1784, when it was erected as a clothiers' emporium.
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