The most important branch of the commerce is the cross-channel trade, which has increased to a great magnitude since the introduction of steam navigation. The principal exports in this department are linen cloth, grain, live stock, butter, and eggs. In 1834 there were exported to Liverpool, of linen cloth, 4965 boxes; butter, 92,000 firkins; wheat, 4166 tons; barley, 6698 tons; oats, 38,000 tons; flour, 9163 tons; oatmeal, 18,654 tons; flax, 868 tons; eggs, 4688 crates; oysters, 482 hogsheads; horned cattle, 7115; pigs, 65,493; and horses, 498; besides which, large consignments of most of these articles were made to the Clyde. The principal imports in the same trade are tea, sugar, iron, salt, British hardware and soft goods, and general merchandise. Three steamers are employed in the Liverpool trade, and two in that with Glasgow; a steamer also trades regularly to Dublin. The average time of the passage to Liverpool is 16 hours; to Glasgow, 14; and to Dublin 12.

The chief branch of foreign trade is with the United States and British North America. The chief exports are linen cloth, blue, starch and whiskey; the imports, timber, staves, tobacco, ashes, flax, and clover seed. The Baltic trade consists of the importation of timber, tallow, ashes, flax, and hemp: hides and tallow are imported from Odessa; mats, tar, pitch, flax and flax seed from Archangel; and wine, fruit, oil, lime juice, brimstone and barilla from the Mediterranean. The number of vessels belonging to the port is inadequate to the extent of its commerce, a great portion of which is carried on in vessels of other countries: the Baltic trade is carried on exclusively in foreign bottoms; the United States' trade in American vessels, the trade to British America and Russia in British ships, and the coal trade chiefly in Whitehaven vessels.

The market day, under the patent, is Thursday, but a market is held on Tuesday for grain, and on Saturday for meat. The principal market-house is near the site of Bagnal's castle; there are also separate markets for butchers' meat, meal, potatoes, grain and hides, and two for linen yarn. Fairs are held on April 3rd and Oct. 29th.

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