Page:A tour through the northern counties of England, and the borders of Scotland - Volume I.djvu/199

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tory of knives, razors, scissars, files, and other articles made from steel; as well as buttons and silver plated goods; a trade, however, which does not appear to be attended with any considerable benefit to those engaged in it, as few individuals in this place amass large fortunes. The town, vast as it is, (containing 22888 males, and 22807 females) is not represented in parliament; its corporation only relates to the manufactory, and is called the Company of Cutlers of Hallamshire, in which it stands. The incorporation took place in 1625, and was extended, and new privileges granted to it, in 1791. Its concerns are regulated by a master, elected every year on the last Thursday in August, two wardens, six searchers, and twenty-four assistants. The hardware manufactures appear to have commenced here as early as the thirteenth century, when military weapons were made in great abundance. Less destructive instruments, the implements of industry, became the object of the townsmen in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. In the year 1600, we find iron tobacco-boxes and Jews'-harps the chief articles of trade here. Thirty years afterwards the knife-manufactory started up; in 1638, files and razors made their appearance; but it was not till a century afterwards, that a communication being opened between this place and