DECLINE (continued) FOR the moment the agitation died down, but it revived again nine years later, and a new shower of petitions to the house of commons showed how widespread was the feeling in favour of opening, or at least making access more easy to, the Levant trade. They came in from Liverpool, Bristol, Yarmouth, Wilton, Chippenham, Dumfries, King's Lynn, Calne, Heytesbury, Taunton, Hampton, Nailsworth, Norwich, Woodchester, Chester, Wotton-under-Edge, Bradford (Wilts.), Salisbury, Shepton Mallet, Warrington, Kendal, Corsham, Wakefield, Leeds, Hull, Lancaster, Gloucester, Halifax, Cockermouth, Macclesfield, Rochdale, Bury, and Haslingden;1 and they clearly represented a striking unanimity of opinion throughout the ports and cloth-manufacturing areas of the country. The petitions repeated the accusation that the declining export of cloth to Turkey was due to the monopoly of the Levant Company and to its large profits; and nine more years of dwindling trade had by now reduced the Turkey commerce to such a state that the plea for remedial measures could no longer be ignored. In 1753 an act was therefore passed similar in intention to the bill which had been rejected in 1744.2 The fee for admission to the Company was lowered to £20, and the old qualifications which required that candidates must be merchants and freemen of London was abolished. All subjects-including Jews and those who had been naturalizedwere henceforth made eligible for admission; but the old fear of Jewish clannishness was echoed in the clause which forbade Jewish members of the Company to employ Jews as factors in the Levant. Another clause reflected the suspicion that in the past the Company had been run for their own benefit by a small group of powerful merchants. It provided that by-laws made by the general court must be confirmed by a subsequent general court held at least one month afterwards, and notice of all courts summoned to make such by-laws was to be given in the London Gazette at least 20 days in advance. If seven or more freemen felt that they had a grievance they could appeal to the commissioners for trade and plantations,

who were empowered to hear the appeal and to confirm or quash the disputed regulation.1