Marseilles in the international econorny of lead. (Middle of the sixteenth certtury - middle of the eighteenth century)


  • Gérard Chastagnaret


This article studies role of Marseilles in the international economy of lead from the middle of the sixteenth century until1870. The secular bases of this activity were the purchase of foreign raw lead-English until the Revolution, Spanish there after-, and its redistribution to French and Mediterranean markets, often after its transformation in local factories. Particular attention is paid to the nineteenth century, when this activity experienced two successive phases of growth: -a recovery of the business from 1820, thanks to a Spanish emigrant, Luis Figueroa;- a boom in the middle of the century, when about ten plants appeared devoted to the removal of silver or to obtaining finished products. Then Marseilles commanded a good share of the international lead business, before being displaced by the growth of the demand centered around the Atlantic.


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