Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Tourcoing

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TOURCOING, a manufacturing town of France in the department of Nord, 7 miles north-east of Lille on the railway to Ghent, is rapidly becoming one with the neighbouring town of Roubaix (q.v.). Wool, cotton, linen, and silk are spun in more than 65 mills (40,000 spindles); there are upwards of 25 combing establishments (by machine and hand), 50 to 55 manufactories of velvet-pile carpets, furniture stuffs, and all kinds of woven goods, be sides dye-works, soap-works, a sugar refinery, and machine workshops. The total industrial production of Tourcoing may be set down at about 6,800,000 per annum. Tourcoing possesses a chamber of commerce, a conseil de prudhommes, a consultative chamber of arts and manufactures, a wool "conditioning" bureau, schools of drawing, painting, music, and architecture, and a horticultural society. In 1866 a pyramid was erected to commemorate a battle gained by Jourdan and Moreau in the neighbourhood in 1794. The population, 34,415 in 1881, was 41,570 in 1886 (commune 58,008).

Famed since the 14th century for its woollen manufactures, Tourcoing was fortified by the Flemings when Louis XI. of France disputed the inheritance of Charles the Bold with Mary of Burgundy. The town suffered much from the French in 1477, from the Huguenots in 1556, and by fire in 1607 and 1711. The inhabitants, 18,000 in 1789, were reduced by the French Revolution to 10,000, but a new era of prosperity began in 1832. In 1801 the population of the commune was 23,493, and in 1871 it was 43,322.