National Westminster Bank known as NatWest, is a major retail and commercial bank in the United Kingdom. It was established in 1968 by the merger of National Provincial Westminster Bank. Since 2000, it has been part of The Royal Bank of Scotland Group. Following "ringfencing" of the Group's core domestic business, the bank became a direct subsidiary of NatWest Holdings. NatWest is considered one of the Big Four clearing banks in the UK, it has a large network of over 960 branches and 3,400 cash machines across Great Britain and offers 24-hour Actionline telephone and online banking services. Today, it has 850,000 small business accounts. In Ireland, it operates through its Ulster Bank subsidiary. In 2017, NatWest was awarded Best Banking App in the British Bank Awards; the bank's origins date back to 1658 with the foundation of Smith's Bank of Nottingham. Its oldest direct corporate ancestor, National Provincial Bank, was formed in 1833 as the National Provincial Bank of England, it acquired Union of London and Smith's Bank in 1918 to become National Provincial and Union Bank, shortening its name back to National Provincial in 1924.
National Provincial bought District Bank in 1962, but continued to operate District's branch network separately. Westminster Bank was founded in 1834 as London and Westminster Bank dropping the "London" portion in 1923; the creation of the modern bank was announced in 1968, National Westminster Bank Limited commenced trading on 1 January 1970, after the statutory process of integration had been completed in 1969. The famous three arrowheads symbol was adopted as the new bank's logo; the District, National Provincial, Westminster Banks were integrated in the new firm's structure, but private bankers Coutts & Co. Ulster Bank in Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man Bank continued as separate operations. Westminster Foreign Bank was restyled International Westminster Bank in 1973. Duncan Stirling, outgoing chairman of Westminster Bank, became first chairman of the fifth largest bank in the world. In 1969 David Robarts, former chairman of National Provincial, assumed Stirling's position. In 1975 it was one of the first London banks to open a representative office in Scotland.
It was a founder member of the Joint Credit Card Company which launched the Access credit card in 1972 and in 1976 it introduced the Servicetill cash machine. The same banks, excluding Lloyds, were responsible for the introduction of the Switch debit card in 1988. Deregulation in the 1980s, culminating in the Big Bang in 1986 encouraged the bank to enter the securities business. County Bank, its merchant banking subsidiary formed in 1965, acquired various stockbroking and jobbing firms to create the investment banking arm County NatWest. National Westminster Home Loans was established in 1980 and other initiatives included the launch of the Piggy Account for children in 1983, the Credit Zone, a flexible overdraft facility on which customers only pay interest and the development of the Mondex electronic purse in 1990; the Action Bank advertising campaign spearheaded a new marketing-led approach to business development. Under the direction of Robin Leigh-Pemberton Lord Kingsdown, who became chairman in 1977, the bank expanded internationally, forming National Westminster Bancorp in the United States of America with a network of 340 branches across two states, National Westminster Bank of Canada and NatWest Australia Bank.
In 1982, the Frankfurt office of International Westminster Bank merged with Global Bank AG to form Deutsche Westminster Bank. In 1985, Banco NatWest España was formed and National Westminster Bank SA was incorporated in 1988, taking over the bank's six branches in France and Monaco. In 1989, International Westminster Bank was merged into National Westminster Bank by Act of Parliament. Completed in 1980, the bank built the National Westminster Tower in London to serve as its international headquarters. At a height of 600 feet it was the tallest building in the UK until the topping-out of Canary Wharf Tower 10 years later. Worthy of note is National Westminster House in Birmingham: the building was sold to British Land in 2007 and demolished in 2015; the bank's expansion strategy hit trouble with the stock market crash of 1987 and involvement in the financial scandal surrounding the collapse of Blue Arrow. The Department of Trade and Industry report on the affair was critical of the bank's management and resulted in the resignation of several members of the board, including chairman Lord Boardman.
Royal Bank of Scotland
The Royal Bank of Scotland (Scottish Gaelic: Banca Rìoghail na h-Alba, Scots: Ryal Bank o Scotland abbreviated as RBS, is one of the retail banking subsidiaries of The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc, together with NatWest and Ulster Bank. The Royal Bank of Scotland has around 700 branches in Scotland, though there are branches in many larger towns and cities throughout England and Wales. Both the bank and its parent, The Royal Bank of Scotland Group, are separate from the fellow Edinburgh-based bank, the Bank of Scotland, which pre-dates The Royal Bank of Scotland by 32 years; the Royal Bank of Scotland was established in 1724 to provide a bank with strong Hanoverian and Whig ties. Following ring-fencing of the Group's core domestic business, the bank is expected to become a direct subsidiary of NatWest Holdings by 2019. NatWest Markets comprises the Group's investment banking arm. To give it legal form, the former RBS entity was renamed NatWest Markets in 2018. Drummond and Child & Co. businesses in England.
The bank traces its origin to the Society of the Subscribed Equivalent Debt, set up by investors in the failed Company of Scotland to protect the compensation they received as part of the arrangements of the 1707 Acts of Union. The "Equivalent Society" became the "Equivalent Company" in 1724, the new company wished to move into banking; the British government received the request favourably as the "Old Bank", the Bank of Scotland, was suspected of having Jacobite sympathies. Accordingly, the "New Bank" was chartered in 1727 as the Royal Bank of Scotland, with Archibald Campbell, Lord Ilay, appointed its first governor. On 31 May 1728, the Royal Bank of Scotland invented the overdraft, considered an innovation in modern banking, it allowed a merchant in the High Street of Edinburgh, access to £ 1,000 credit. Competition between the Old and New Banks was centred on the issue of banknotes; the policy of the Royal Bank was to either drive the Bank of Scotland out of business, or take it over on favourable terms.
The Royal Bank built up large holdings of the Bank of Scotland's notes, which it acquired in exchange for its own notes suddenly presented to the Bank of Scotland for payment. To pay these notes, the Bank of Scotland was forced to call in its loans and, in March 1728, to suspend payments; the suspension relieved the immediate pressure on the Bank of Scotland at the cost of substantial damage to its reputation, gave the Royal Bank a clear space to expand its own business—although the Royal Bank's increased note issue made it more vulnerable to the same tactics. Despite talk of a merger with the Bank of Scotland, the Royal Bank did not possess the wherewithal to complete the deal. By September 1728, the Bank of Scotland was able to start redeeming its notes again, with interest, in March 1729, it resumed lending. To prevent similar attacks in the future, the Bank of Scotland put an "option clause" on its notes, giving it the right to make the notes interest-bearing while delaying payment for six months.
Both banks decided that the policy they had followed was mutually self-destructive and a truce was arranged, but it still took until 1751 before the two banks agreed to accept each other's notes. The bank opened its first branch office outside Edinburgh in 1783 when it opened one in Glasgow, in part of a draper's shop in the High Street. Further branches were opened in Dundee, Dalkeith, Port Glasgow, Leith in the first part of the nineteenth century. In 1821, the bank moved from its original head office in Edinburgh's Old Town to Dundas House, on St. Andrew Square in the New Town; the building as seen along George Street forms the eastern end of the central vista in New Town. It was designed for Sir Lawrence Dundas by Sir William Chambers as a Palladian mansion, completed in 1774. An axial banking hall behind the building, designed by John Dick Peddie, was added in 1857; the banking hall continues in use as a branch of the bank, Dundas House remains the registered head office of the bank to this day.
The rest of the nineteenth century saw the bank pursue mergers with other Scottish banks, chiefly as a response to failing institutions. The assets and liabilities of the Western Bank were acquired following its collapse in 1857. By 1910, the Royal Bank of Scotland had around 900 staff. In 1969, the bank merged with the National Commercial Bank of Scotland to become the largest clearing bank in Scotland; the expansion of the British Empire in the latter half of the nineteenth century saw the emergence of London as the largest financial centre in the world, attracting Scottish banks to expand southward into England. The first London branch of the Royal Bank of Scotland opened in 1874. However, English banks moved to prevent further expansion by Scottish banks into England. An agreement was reached, under which English banks would not open branches in Scotland and Scottish banks would not open branches in England outside London; this agreement remained in place until the 1960s, although various cross-border acquisitions were permitted.
The Royal Bank's English expansion plans were resurrected after World War I, when it acquired various small English banks, includin
Henry VIII of England
Henry VIII was King of England from 1509 until his death in 1547. Henry was the second Tudor monarch, succeeding his father, Henry VII. Henry is best known for his six marriages, in particular his efforts to have his first marriage, to Catherine of Aragon, annulled, his disagreement with the Pope on the question of such an annulment led Henry to initiate the English Reformation, separating the Church of England from papal authority. He appointed himself the Supreme Head of the Church of England and dissolved convents and monasteries, for which he was excommunicated. Henry is known as "the father of the Royal Navy". Domestically, Henry is known for his radical changes to the English Constitution, ushering into England the theory of the divine right of kings. Besides asserting the sovereign's supremacy over the Church of England, he expanded royal power during his reign. Charges of treason and heresy were used to quell dissent, those accused were executed without a formal trial, by means of bills of attainder.
He achieved many of his political aims through the work of his chief ministers, some of whom were banished or executed when they fell out of his favour. Thomas Wolsey, Thomas More, Thomas Cromwell, Richard Rich, Thomas Cranmer all figured prominently in Henry's administration, he was an extravagant spender and used the proceeds from the Dissolution of the Monasteries and acts of the Reformation Parliament to convert into royal revenue the money, paid to Rome. Despite the influx of money from these sources, Henry was continually on the verge of financial ruin due to his personal extravagance as well as his numerous costly and unsuccessful continental wars with King Francis I of France and the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. At home, he oversaw the legal union of England and Wales with the Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542 and following the Crown of Ireland Act 1542 he was the first English monarch to rule as King of Ireland, his contemporaries considered Henry in his prime to be an attractive and accomplished king.
He has been described as "one of the most charismatic rulers to sit on the English throne". He was an composer; as he aged, Henry became obese and his health suffered, contributing to his death in 1547. He is characterised in his life as a lustful, egotistical and insecure king, he was succeeded by the issue of his third marriage to Jane Seymour. Born 28 June 1491 at the Palace of Placentia in Greenwich, Henry Tudor was the third child and second son of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York. Of the young Henry's six siblings, only three – Arthur, Prince of Wales, he was baptised by Richard Fox, the Bishop of Exeter, at a church of the Observant Franciscans close to the palace. In 1493, at the age of two, Henry was appointed Constable of Dover Castle and Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, he was subsequently appointed Earl Marshal of England and Lord Lieutenant of Ireland at age three, was inducted into the Order of the Bath soon after. The day after the ceremony he was created Duke of York and a month or so made Warden of the Scottish Marches.
In May 1495, he was appointed to the Order of the Garter. The reason for all the appointments to a small child was so his father could keep personal control of lucrative positions and not share them with established families. Henry was given a first-rate education from leading tutors, becoming fluent in Latin and French, learning at least some Italian. Not much is known about his early life – save for his appointments – because he was not expected to become king. In November 1501, Henry played a considerable part in the ceremonies surrounding his brother's marriage to Catherine of Aragon, the youngest surviving child of King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castile; as Duke of York, Henry used the arms of his father as king, differenced by a label of three points ermine. He was further honoured, on 9 February 1506, by Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I who made him a Knight of the Golden Fleece. In 1502, Arthur died at the age of 15 of sweating sickness, just 20 weeks after his marriage to Catherine.
Arthur's death thrust all his duties upon the 10-year-old Henry. After a little debate, Henry became the new Duke of Cornwall in October 1502, the new Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester in February 1503. Henry VII gave the boy few tasks. Young Henry was supervised and did not appear in public; as a result, he ascended the throne "untrained in the exacting art of kingship". Henry VII renewed his efforts to seal a marital alliance between England and Spain, by offering his second son in marriage to Arthur's widow Catherine. Both Isabella and Henry VII were keen on the idea, which had arisen shortly after Arthur's death. On 23 June 1503, a treaty was signed for their marriage, they were betrothed two days later. A papal dispensation was only needed for the "impediment of public honesty" if the marriage had not been consummated as Catherine and her duenna claimed, but Henry VII and the Spanish ambassador set out instead to obtain a dispensation for "affinity", which took account of the possibility of consummation.
Cohabitation was not possible. Isabella's death in 1504, the ensuing problems of succession in Castile, complicated matters, her father preferred her to stay in England, but Henry VII's relations with Ferdinand had deteriorated. Catherine was therefore left in limbo for some time, culminating in Prince Henry's rejection of the marriage as soon he was able, at the age of 14. Ferdinand's solution was to make his daugh
Martins Bank was a London private bank, trading for much of its time under the symbol of “The Grasshopper”, that could trace its origins back to the London goldsmiths. Martins agreed to its acquisition by the Bank of Liverpool in 1918; the Bank of Liverpool wanted Martins to give it a London presence and a seat on the London Clearing House. The title was shortened to Martins Bank Limited in 1928 at the insistence of the directors of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Bank when it was bought by the Bank of Liverpool and Martins; the Head Office and managerial control remained in Liverpool, cementing Martins' place as the only British national bank to have its Head Office outside London. The history of Martins Bank is intertwined with the Grasshopper, the sign under which the Bank traded and was known in its early years. Tradition has it that Thomas Gresham founded the bank in 1563. Although he is believed to be the first to use the sign of the Grasshopper in Lombard Street but does not appear to have had any connection with the Martins.
Chandler states that there are differences of opinion as to when the Grasshopper became a bank and John Martin did not purchase the freehold of the Grasshopper until 1741. The Martin family were among the early London Goldsmiths. In 1558 Richard Martin was elected a liveryman of the Goldsmiths Company and a Master of the Mint and Lord Mayor of the City of London. Successive generations of Martins ran the bank, popularly referred to as “The Grasshopper” but the partnership went through various incarnations, including Martins and Blackwell, Martin Stone and Foote in the eighteenth century; the London private bankers confined themselves to their one office, although Martins did have the occasional branch where individual partners lived. It meant. Following the panic that followed the collapse of Barings Bank in 1890, Martins decided to become a limited company; this prompted a more expansionist approach but the bank “thought only of amalgamations with other private banks”. There was an unsuccessful approach to Cocks Biddulph, with which there were family links, but the realisation that “expansion to the provinces was now essential” led to the bank agreeing, in 1914, to its acquisition by the Bank of Liverpool, founded in 1831 in Liverpool, England.
The Martins name had a seat on the London Clearing House. The name was subsequently shortened to Martins Bank Limited in 1928; the change of name was at the insistence of the directors of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Bank, whose former HQ at 43 Spring Gardens Manchester became Martins' Manchester district office. By 1928, the bank had expanded to some 560 branches and had a logo featuring a grasshopper, the crest of Sir Thomas Gresham, a Liver Bird, the logo of the Bank of Liverpool; the combined coat of arms was duly registered by the College of Heralds. The heraldic description of the coat of arms is as follows: "Or, a Liver Bird Sable, holding in the beak a branch of Laver Vert, on a Chief of the third a Grasshopper of the first." Directors of Martins Bank included Edward Stanley, 18th Earl of Derby, The Queen Mother's younger brother The Hon. Sir David Bowes-Lyon and Colonel Robert Buxton DSO MA-Oxon. Between 1958 and 1967 Martins Bank owned and operated Lewis's Bank which had branches in each of the Lewis's Department Stores and in Selfridges in London.
Lewis's Bank was lasted until at least the 1980s. The last Lewis's department store closed in May 2010. A new headquarters building for Martins Bank Limited was designed by the architect Herbert James Rowse in the classical revival style and opened in 1932 at 4 Water Street, replacing the previous headquarters at 7 Water Street; the bank was bought by Barclays Bank in 1969, when all of its 700 branches became branches of Barclays. Around 30 branches closed and 10 were downgraded to sub-branches. Some, such as the sub-branch at Eaton, Norfolk were brand new and handed over to Barclays on the day appointed by Act of Parliament for the merger of the two banks, 15 December 1969; the Martins grasshopper logo was retained for part of the combined business until the early 1980s, with "Martins Branch" and a small grasshopper appearing first on both statements and cheque books cheques only. Martins numbered among its customers a football pools company, a major airline and a world-renowned shipping line.
When these customers wanted to borrow large sums, Martins was known to have borrowed from other banks on a number of occasions to fulfil these requests. So, many who worked for the bank believed that Martins could have survived on its own, as at the time of takeover it was expanding its UK banking operation, continuing a run of "firsts" which included: First in the north of England with a cash machine, in 1967 at 84 Church Street, Liverpool First with mobile branches to provide banking to remote areas First with a drive-through bank, in Leicester in 1959 and Epsom in 1966 First and only English bank to have a Head Office outside London First to recognise and embrace the swinging 60's in its advertising First to experiment with and use a computer to operate current-account business First with a b
The Royal Mint is a government-owned mint that produces coins for the United Kingdom. Operating under the name Royal Mint Ltd, the mint is a limited company, wholly owned by Her Majesty's Treasury and is under an exclusive contract to supply all the nation's coinage; as well as minting circulating coins for use domestically and internationally, the mint produces planchets, commemorative coins, various types of medals and precious metal bullion. The mint exports to an average of 60 countries a year. Formed over 1,100 years ago, the mint was part of a series of mints that became centralised to produce coins for the Kingdom of England, all of Great Britain and most of the British Empire; the original London mint from which the Royal Mint is the successor, was established in 886 AD and operated within the Tower of London for 800 years before moving to what is now called Royal Mint Court where it remained until the 1960s. As Britain followed the rest of the world in decimalising its currency, the Mint moved from London to a new 38 acres plant in Llantrisant, Wales where it has remained since.
In 2009 after recommendations for the mint to be privatised the Royal Mint ceased being an executive government agency and became a state-owned company wholly owned by HM Treasury. Since the mint has expanded its business interests by reviving its bullion trade and developing a £9 million visitor centre; the history of coins in Great Britain can be traced back to the second century BC when they were introduced by Celtic tribes from across the English Channel. The first record of coins being minted in Britain is attributed to Kentish tribes such as the Cantii who around 80–60 B. C. imitated those of Marseille through casting instead of hammering. After the Romans began their invasion of Britain in AD 43, they set up mints across the land, including in London which produced Roman coins for some 40 years before closing. A mint in London reopened in 383 AD until closing swiftly as Roman rule in Britain came to an end. For the next 200 years no coins appear to have been minted in Britain until the emergence of English kingdoms in 650 AD when as many as 30 mints are recorded across Britain with one being established in London.
Control of Britain's mints alternated. In 886 AD Alfred the Great recaptured London from the Danelaw and began issuing silver pennies bearing his portrait. In 1279, the country's numerous mints were unified under a single system whereby control was centralised to the mint within the Tower of London, mints outside of London were reduced with only a few local and episcopals continuing to operate. Pipe rolls detailing the financial records of the London mint show an expenditure of £729 17s 8½d and records of timber bought for workshops. Individual roles at the mint were well established by 1464; the master-worker was charged with hiring engravers and the management of moneyers, while the mint warden was responsible for witnessing the delivery of dies. A specialist mint board was set up in 1472 to enact a 23 February indenture which vested the mint's responsibilities into three main roles. In the 16th century having suffering from the effects of the Black Death, mainland Europe was in the middle of an economic expansion, England however was suffering with financial difficulty brought on by excessive government spending.
By the 1540s wars with France and Scotland led Henry VIII to enact The Great Debasement which saw the amount of precious metal in coin reduced. In order to further gather control of the country's currency, monasteries were dissolved which ended major coin production outside of London. In 1603, the union of Scotland and England under King James VI led to a partial union of both countries' currencies, the pound Scots and the pound sterling. Due to Scotland debasing its silver coins, a Scots mark was worth just 13.5d compared to an English mark, worth 6s 8d. To bridge the difference between the values, unofficial supplementary token coins made from lead were made by unauthorised minters across the country. By 1612 there were 3,000 such unlicensed mints producing these tokens, none of whom paying anything towards the crown; the Royal Mint, not wanting to divert manpower away from minting more profitable gold and silver, hired outside agent Lord Harington who under licence started issuing copper farthings in 1613.
Private licenses to mint these coins were revoked in 1644 which led traders to resume minting their own supplementary tokens. In 1672 the Royal Mint took over the production of copper coinage. Prior to the outbreak of the English Civil War, England signed a treaty in 1630 with Spain which ensured a steady supply of silver bullion to the Tower mint. Additional branch mints to aid the one in London were set up including one at Aberystwyth Castle, in Wales. In 1642 parliament seized control of the Tower mint and after Charles I tried to arrest the Five Members he was forced to flee London, establishing at least 16 emergency mints across the British Isles in Colchester, Cork, Dublin, Salisbury, parts of Cornwall including Truro, Worcester, Carlisle, Newark and Scarborough. After raising the royal standard in Nottingham marking the beginning of the war, Charles called upon loyalist mining engineer Thomas Bushell, the owner of a mint and silver mine in Aberystwyth, to move his operations to the royalist-held Shrewsbury within in the grounds of Shrewsbury Castle.
The mint there was however short-lived, operating for no more than three months before Charles ordered Bushell to re
Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, with a population of 545,500 as of 2017. It lies within the United Kingdom's second-most populous built-up area, with a population of 3.2 million. It is fringed by the Cheshire Plain to the south, the Pennines to the north and east, an arc of towns with which it forms a continuous conurbation; the local authority is Manchester City Council. The recorded history of Manchester began with the civilian settlement associated with the Roman fort of Mamucium or Mancunium, established in about AD 79 on a sandstone bluff near the confluence of the rivers Medlock and Irwell, it was a part of Lancashire, although areas of Cheshire south of the River Mersey were incorporated in the 20th century. The first to be included, was added to the city in 1931. Throughout the Middle Ages Manchester remained a manorial township, but began to expand "at an astonishing rate" around the turn of the 19th century. Manchester's unplanned urbanisation was brought on by a boom in textile manufacture during the Industrial Revolution, resulted in it becoming the world's first industrialised city.
Manchester achieved city status in 1853. The Manchester Ship Canal opened in 1894, creating the Port of Manchester and directly linking the city to the Irish Sea, 36 miles to the west, its fortune declined after the Second World War, owing to deindustrialisation, but the IRA bombing in 1996 led to extensive investment and regeneration. In 2014, the Globalisation and World Cities Research Network ranked Manchester as a beta world city, the highest-ranked British city apart from London. Manchester is the third-most visited city after London and Edinburgh, it is notable for its architecture, musical exports, media links and engineering output, social impact, sports clubs and transport connections. Manchester Liverpool Road railway station was the world's first inter-city passenger railway station. Manchester hosted the 2002 Commonwealth Games; the name Manchester originates from the Latin name Mamucium or its variant Mancunium and the citizens are still referred to as Mancunians. These are thought to represent a Latinisation of an original Brittonic name, either from mamm- or from mamma.
Both meanings are preserved in Insular Celtic languages, such as mam meaning "breast" in Irish and "mother" in Welsh. The suffix -chester is a survival of Old English ceaster and from that castra in latin for camp or settlement; the Brigantes were the major Celtic tribe in. Their territory extended across the fertile lowland of what is now Stretford. Following the Roman conquest of Britain in the 1st century, General Agricola ordered the construction of a fort named Mamucium in the year 79 to ensure that Roman interests in Deva Victrix and Eboracum were protected from the Brigantes. Central Manchester has been permanently settled since this time. A stabilised fragment of foundations of the final version of the Roman fort is visible in Castlefield; the Roman habitation of Manchester ended around the 3rd century. After the Roman withdrawal and Saxon conquest, the focus of settlement shifted to the confluence of the Irwell and Irk sometime before the arrival of the Normans after 1066. Much of the wider area was laid waste in the subsequent Harrying of the North.
Thomas de la Warre, lord of the manor and constructed a collegiate church for the parish in 1421. The church is now Manchester Cathedral; the library, which opened in 1653 and is still open to the public today, is the oldest free public reference library in the United Kingdom. Manchester is mentioned as having a market in 1282. Around the 14th century, Manchester received an influx of Flemish weavers, sometimes credited as the foundation of the region's textile industry. Manchester became an important centre for the manufacture and trade of woollens and linen, by about 1540, had expanded to become, in John Leland's words, "The fairest, best builded and most populous town of all Lancashire." The cathedral and Chetham's buildings are the only significant survivors of Leland's Manchester. During the English Civil War Manchester favoured the Parliamentary interest. Although not long-lasting, Cromwell granted it the right to elect its own MP. Charles Worsley, who sat for the city for only a year, was appointed Major General for Lancashire and Staffordshire during the Rule of the Major Generals.
He was a diligent puritan, banning the celebration of Christmas. Significant quantities of cotton began to be used after about 1600, firstly in linen/cotton fustians, but by around 1750 pure cotton fabrics were being produced and cotton had overtaken wool in importance; the Irwell and Mersey were made navigable by 1736, opening a route from Manchester to the sea docks on the Mersey. The Bridgewater Canal, Britain's first wholly artificial waterway, was opened in 1761, bringing coal from mines at Worsley to central Manchester; the canal was extended to the Mersey at Runcorn by 1776. The combination of competition and improved efficiency halved th
The Industrial Revolution was the transition to new manufacturing processes in Europe and the US, in the period from about 1760 to sometime between 1820 and 1840. This transition included going from hand production methods to machines, new chemical manufacturing and iron production processes, the increasing use of steam power and water power, the development of machine tools and the rise of the mechanized factory system; the Industrial Revolution led to an unprecedented rise in the rate of population growth. Textiles were the dominant industry of the Industrial Revolution in terms of employment, value of output and capital invested; the textile industry was the first to use modern production methods. The Industrial Revolution began in Great Britain, many of the technological innovations were of British origin. By the mid-18th century Britain was the world's leading commercial nation, controlling a global trading empire with colonies in North America and the Caribbean, with some political influence on the Indian subcontinent, through the activities of the East India Company.
The development of trade and the rise of business were major causes of the Industrial Revolution. The Industrial Revolution marks a major turning point in history. In particular, average income and population began to exhibit unprecedented sustained growth; some economists say that the major impact of the Industrial Revolution was that the standard of living for the general population began to increase for the first time in history, although others have said that it did not begin to meaningfully improve until the late 19th and 20th centuries. GDP per capita was broadly stable before the Industrial Revolution and the emergence of the modern capitalist economy, while the Industrial Revolution began an era of per-capita economic growth in capitalist economies. Economic historians are in agreement that the onset of the Industrial Revolution is the most important event in the history of humanity since the domestication of animals and plants. Although the structural change from agriculture to industry is associated with the Industrial Revolution, in the United Kingdom it was almost complete by 1760.
The precise start and end of the Industrial Revolution is still debated among historians, as is the pace of economic and social changes. Eric Hobsbawm held that the Industrial Revolution began in Britain in the 1780s and was not felt until the 1830s or 1840s, while T. S. Ashton held that it occurred between 1760 and 1830. Rapid industrialization first began in Britain, starting with mechanized spinning in the 1780s, with high rates of growth in steam power and iron production occurring after 1800. Mechanized textile production spread from Great Britain to continental Europe and the United States in the early 19th century, with important centres of textiles and coal emerging in Belgium and the United States and textiles in France. An economic recession occurred from the late 1830s to the early 1840s when the adoption of the original innovations of the Industrial Revolution, such as mechanized spinning and weaving and their markets matured. Innovations developed late in the period, such as the increasing adoption of locomotives and steamships, hot blast iron smelting and new technologies, such as the electrical telegraph introduced in the 1840s and 1850s, were not powerful enough to drive high rates of growth.
Rapid economic growth began to occur after 1870, springing from a new group of innovations in what has been called the Second Industrial Revolution. These new innovations included new steel making processes, mass-production, assembly lines, electrical grid systems, the large-scale manufacture of machine tools and the use of advanced machinery in steam-powered factories; the earliest recorded use of the term "Industrial Revolution" seems to have been in a letter from 6 July 1799 written by French envoy Louis-Guillaume Otto, announcing that France had entered the race to industrialise. In his 1976 book Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society, Raymond Williams states in the entry for "Industry": "The idea of a new social order based on major industrial change was clear in Southey and Owen, between 1811 and 1818, was implicit as early as Blake in the early 1790s and Wordsworth at the turn of the century." The term Industrial Revolution applied to technological change was becoming more common by the late 1830s, as in Jérôme-Adolphe Blanqui's description in 1837 of la révolution industrielle.
Friedrich Engels in The Condition of the Working Class in England in 1844 spoke of "an industrial revolution, a revolution which at the same time changed the whole of civil society". However, although Engels wrote in the 1840s, his book was not translated into English until the late 1800s, his expression did not enter everyday language until then. Credit for popularising the term may be given to Arnold Toynbee, whose 1881 lectures gave a detailed account of the term; some historians, such as John Clapham and Nicholas Crafts, have argued that the economic and social changes occurred and the term revolution is a misnomer. This is still a subject of debate among some historians; the commencement of the Industrial Revolution is linked to a small number of innovations, beginning in the second half of the 18th century. By the 1830s the following gains had been made in important technologies: Textiles – mechanised cotton spinning powered by steam or water increased the output of a worker by a factor of around 500.
The power loom increased the output of a worker by a factor of over 40. The cotton gin increased productivity of removing seed from cotton by a factor of 50. Large gains in productivity occurred in spinning and weaving of w