Enclosures tea towel
£12.00

Enclosures tea towel

‘The law locks up the man or woman
Who steals the goose from off the common
But leaves the greater villain loose
Who steals the common from off the goose.

The law demands that we atone
When we take things we do not own
But leaves the lords and ladies fine
Who take things that are yours and mine.’
 

This was a 17th century protest against English enclosures. Enclosure was the process by which land in Britain which had been traditionally farmed by peasants was enclosed by those who technically held the deeds. It ceased to be land for communal use, usually transformed into private pasture or hunting grounds, which resulted in vast numbers of dispossessed poor and a process of steady depopulation of the countryside. Various versions of this anonymous verse exist – it’s a cry against the effects of unbridled private ownership and neoliberal values. Still relevant today, perhaps? (The backdrop, if you were wondering, is from a painting by a 19th century Italian artist, Antonio Montemezzo.)

 

Specifications: Half Panama unbleached cotton (heavy weight, textured finish). Stitched on all four sides. Includes hanging loop. Measures approximately 48cm x 70cm. Machine wash at 40 degrees max. We recommend that before you use your tea towel for the first time you wash it at least once to soften up the material and make it more absorbent for drying dishes. Please note size can vary slightly.