A New World of Goods: Groceries in the Long Eighteenth Century

Jon Stobart

in Sugar and Spice

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199577927
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191744884 | DOI:
A New World of Goods: Groceries in the Long Eighteenth Century

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This chapter considers the ways in which the stock of groceries available to English consumers was transformed during the course of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The overall context for reappraising the impact of new groceries on English retailing is laid out in terms of the shifting geography of supply and the growing importance of empire in provisioning English consumers. The chapter then assesses how far grocers were able to capitalise on demand for new imported goods, and the ways in which these helped to stimulate more general growth in retailing, as Shammas suggests. This chapter argues that grocers quickly came to dominate the provision of tea, coffee, etc. Lastly, the chapter examines the extent to which these goods carried associations of empire, and argues that imperial associations formed just one point of reference for the shopkeeper and consumer.

Keywords: empire; commercial revolution; place‐names; colonial groceries; stock‐in‐trade

Chapter.  12285 words. 

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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