. The Decline and Rise of the Textile Merchanting, 1880-1990
In the later Victorian years the British textile industry was dominated by merchants . In two generations of rapid growth , from the 1820s to the 1880s , they had become the undisputed kings of the textile business . After all that has been written about the Industrial Revolution in cotton, and in textiles generally , it may seem almost reactionary to assert that merchants rather than manufacturers ruled Britain's premier industry. The idea certainly requires some explanation .