Commentary on the Calico Printers' Act 1787

Ronan Deazley, Lionel Bently (Editor), Martin Kretschmer (Editor)

Research output: Other contribution


Legislation conferred exclusive rights lasting two months on those first printing 'new and original' patterns on linens, cottons, calicoes and muslins.
The commentary describes the background to the Act, the challenge which the Northern cotton and printing industry presented to those printing fashionable cottons and calicoes in London, as well as the significance of the cotton industry to the British economy in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. Against this backdrop, the commentary also explores why it was that the protection provided by the legislature was limited to two months only, by comparison with the more generous copyright terms provided by the Statute of Anne 1710 (uk_1710) and the Engravers' Acts (uk_1735; uk_1766; uk_1777).
Original languageEnglish
TypeScholarly Commentary
Media of outputOnline
PublisherUniversity of Cambridge
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Bibliographical note

Please cite as: Deazley, R. (2008) ‘Commentary on the Calico Printers' Act 1787', in Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer,


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