1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Bédarieux

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BÉDARIEUX, a town of southern France, in the department of Hérault, on the Orb, 27 m. N.N.W. of Béziers by rail. Pop. (1906) 5594. The town has a 16th-century church, a board of trade arbitration, a chamber of arts and manufactures, a communal college and a school of drawing. Bédarieux was at one time a notable manufacturing centre. Its cloth-weaving industry, carried on under a special royal privilege from the end of the 17th century to the Revolution, employed in 1789 as many as 5000 workmen, while some thousand more were occupied in wool and cotton spinning, &c. In spite of the introduction of modern machinery from England, the industries of the place declined, mainly owing to the loss of the trade with the Levant; but of late years they have somewhat revived, owing partly to the opening up of coal mines in the neighbourhood. Besides cloth factories and wool-spinning mills, there are now numerous tanneries and leather-dressing works. There is some trade in timber, wool and agricultural produce.