Ancient and Modern: The Grocery Trade in Early Modern England

Jon Stobart

in Sugar and Spice

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199577927
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191744884 | DOI:
Ancient and Modern: The Grocery Trade in Early Modern England

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Chapter 1 explores the position of grocers and the grocery trade in the period preceding the arrival of new groceries in the middle decades of the seventeenth century. It begins by considering what defined a grocer during this period, arguing that they were defined both in terms of their specialism and stock, and by their mode of trading. This brought a great range of shopkeepers within this area of retail trade. Attention then shifts to long‐term shifts in the nature of grocers' business and stock‐in‐trade up to the seventeenth century, the widespread availability of novel or exotic goods during the early‐modern period suggesting an earlier and deeper penetration of consumer culture than has previously been suggested. Finally, consideration is given to the rise of so‐called colonial groceries and the motivations which underpinned their growing popularity amongst consumers of all social ranks.

Keywords: guilds; stock‐in‐trade; apprenticeship; colonial groceries; medical qualities; novelty

Chapter.  11950 words. 

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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