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Edict Protecting the Brandenburg Woolens Industry (March 30, 1687)

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With the same regard for the public welfare, We further equally forbid the importation of all foreign-manufactured serges, baizes, etc., for cutting or consumption in this country, under pain of confiscation, and with the same possibility as above of further penalties.

And since it is highly necessary to supplement the above prohibition with careful and adequate provisions for making good the exclusion of foreign cloths under this prohibition by improving the manufacture of them in this country and providing the tailors, drapers, and others of Our subjects with good cloths, baizes, etc., of various grades, We not only repeat all the above-mentioned Edicts published by Our father of glorious memory and confirmed by Ourselves, but also extend, precise, and elaborate them in the following respects:

[There follow thirty detailed enactments, providing:

1. Every year before the shearing, an official warning is to be given to all sheep farmers that they are not to export their wool, nor to sell it except at annual fairs to any person not directly engaged in the woolens-manufacturing industry.

2. No wool is to be offered for sale at the annual fairs before 11 a.m. After that it can be bought by all weavers, tailors, etc., who have registered with their guild; but not for export.

3. Crown agents and nobles may still export their own wool, but it must be weighed and provided with a permit before export. Foreign buyers may not buy directly from nobles, etc., but only from merchants in the towns, after the wool has paid excise.

4. Traders authorized to sell abroad may for that purpose buy wool from nobles, but not from other growers, and must keep registers of what they buy.

5. Villages, etc., where no weavers’ and tailors’ guilds exist must take their wool to a place where there is such a guild.

6. A clothworker who has bought more wool than he needs may not sell it abroad; he must distribute it to other members of his guild.

7. Wool must be washed and cleaned before being offered for sale.

8. The wool of wild rams must not be mixed with that of the farm sheep; the animals are to be destroyed.

9. Similarly, goats’ hair is not to be mixed with sheep’s wool. To ensure this, goats are to be pastured with swine.

10. Growers may spin, full, and weave cloth for their own consumption only, not for sale.

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