for being transported to distant markets as 
wool. It suffers more by keeping. A salted 
hide is reckoned inferior to a fresh one, and 
sells for a lower price. This circumstance 
must necessarily have some tendency to sink 
the price of raw hides produced in a country 
which does not manufacture them, but is obliged 
to export them, and comparatively to 
raise that of those produced in a country which 
does manufacture them. It must have some 
tendency to sink their price in a barbarous, 
and to raise it in an improved and manufacturing 
country. It must have had some tendency
therefore, to sink it in ancient, and to 
raise it in modern times. Our tanners, besides, 
have not been quite so successful as our clothiers
in convincing the wisdom of the nation, 
that the safety of the commonwealth depends 
upon the prosperity of their particular manufacture
They have accordingly been much 
less favoured. The exportation of raw hides 
has, indeed, been prohibited, and declared a 
nuisance; but their importation from foreign 
countries has been subjected to a duty; and 
though this duty has been taken off from those 
of Ireland and the plantations (for the limited 
time of five years only), yet Ireland has 
not been confined to the market of Great Britain 
for the sale of its surplus hides, or of 
these which are not manufactured at home
The hides of common cattle have, but within 
these few years, been put among the enumerated 
commodities which the plantations can 
send nowhere but to the mother country; neither 
has the commerce of Ireland been in this 
case oppressed hitherto, in order to support 
the manufactures of Great Britain
Whatever regulations tend to sink the price
either of wool or of raw hides, below what it 
naturally would be, must, in an improved and 
cultivated country, have some tendency to raise 
the price of butcher's meat. The price both 
of the great and small cattle, which are fed 
on improved and cultivated land, must be sufficient 
to pay the rent which the landlord, and 
the profit which the farmer, has reason to expect 
from improved and cultivated land. If 
it is not, they will soon cease to feed them. 
Whatever part of this price, therefore, is not 
paid by the wool and the hide, must be paid 
by the carcase. The less there is paid for 
the one, the more must be paid for the other. 
In what manner this price is to be divided 
upon the different parts of the beast, is indifferent 
to the landlords and farmers, provided 
it is all paid to them. In an improved and more 
cultivated country, therefore, their interest as 
landlords and farmers cannot be much affected 
by such regulations, though their interest 
as consumers may, by the rise in the price of 
provisions. It would be quite otherwise, however, 
in an unimproved and uncultivated 
country, where the greater part of the lands 
could be applied to no other purpose but the 
feeding of cattle, and where the wool and the 
hide made the principal part of the value of 
those cattle. Their interest as landlords and 
farmers would in this case be very deeply affected 
by such regulations, and their interest 
as consumers very little. The fall in the price 
of the wool and the hide would not in this 
case raise the price of the carcase; because 
the greater part of the lands of the country 
being applicable to no other purpose but the 
feeding of cattle, the same number would still 
continue to be fed. The same quantity of 
butcher's meat would still come to market
The demand for it would be no greater than 
before. Its price, therefore, would be the same 
as before. The whole price of cattle would 
fall, and along with it both the rent and the 
profit of all those lands of which cattle was 
the principal produce, that is, of the greater 
part of the lands of the country. The perpetual 
prohibition of the exportation of wool
which is commonly, but very falsely, ascribed 
to Edward III., would, in the then circumstances 
of the country, have been the most 
destructive regulation which could well have 
been thought of. It would not only have reduced 
the actual value of the greater part of 
the lands in the kingdom, but by reducing 
the price of the most important species of 
small cattle, it would have retarded very much 
its subsequent improvement
The wool of Scotland fell very considerably 
in its price in consequence of the union 
with England, by which it was excluded from 
the great market of Europe, and confined to 
the narrow one of Great Britain. The value 
of the greater part of the lands in the southern 
counties of Scotland, which are chiefly a sheep 
country, would have been very deeply affected 
by this event, had not the rise in the price 
of butcher's meat fully compensated the fall 
in the price of wool
As the efficacy of human industry, in increasing 
the quantity either of wool or of raw 
hides, is limited, so far as it depends upon 
the produce of the country where it is exerted
so it is uncertain so far as it depends upon 
the produce of other countries. It so far 
depends not so much upon the quantity which 
they produce, as upon that which they do not 
manufacture; and upon the restraints which 
they may or may not think proper to impose 
upon the exportation of this sort of rude produce
These circumstances, as they are altogether 
independent of domestic industry, so 
they necessarily render the efficiency of its efforts 
more or less uncertain. In multiplying this 
sort of rude produce, therefore, the efficacy 
of human industry is not only limited, but 
In multiplying another very important sort 
of rude produce, the quantity of fish that is 
brought to market, it is likewise both limited 
and uncertain. It is limited by the local situation 
of the country, by the proximity or 
distance of its different provinces from the