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Archaeologia Cantiana Vol. 14 -1882  pages 59
THE EARLY HISTORY OF TENTERDEN. By Robert Furley, F.S.A.   Continued

were destroyed. An exemplification of the charters was obtained in the reign of George III.
   I promised before I closed this paper to refer to the Skeets family, who were influential clothiers in Tenterden during the seventeenth century, and carried on business for three generations at Westcross. By the kindness of the widow of the late Mr. Talbot, formerly of Tenterden, I have seen the lecture he delivered and the memorandum he made respecting this family. James Skeets was Mayor of Tenterden in 1643, and on two other occasions. There are entries in old waste books shewing the extent of the business he carried on. The factory business was not then known, and the making of cloth was a domestic employment. John Tylden was another influential clothier at that time in Tenterden, and carried on business as you enter Tenterden from Cranbrook. The cloth made was despatched to London, and to the neighbouring fairs. Most of the leading clothiers were also graziers; the Skeets held Morgue under the Colepepers. The leading shopkeeper at this time was Susan Butler; she was a general dealer, and 

had a well-stocked shop.
   By the end of the eighteenth century the manufacture of iron and cloth in the Weald had ceased; the former trade was transferred to Merthyr Tydvil, Aberdare, etc., and the latter to Leeds, Bradford, etc.; and as to the land, its original and peculiar tenures had been converted or abolished.
   From its earliest history we rarely meet with personal servitude in this locality, and when we do it is of the mildest form; the reason is obvious. It was first known as a forest, and it was the last portion of the shire that was brought into cultivation, and this was effected when civilization was making rapid advances, when
       "Custom in Kent, encouraging the brave,
           Distinguished well the brother from the slave."

   The inhabitants of the Weald were amongst the earliest and foremost to expose the errors of the Romish Church, notwithstanding the sanguinary laws passed against the Lollards; and with the aid of the Flemish clothiers, they fostered

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