A LATE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY LLANFYLLIN SHOPKEEPER: THE WILL AND INVENTORY OF CADWALADER JONES! DAVID JENKINS, B.A. When one remembers that Napoleon once dismissed the British as 'a nation of shopkeepers' it is surprising how little attention has been paid to the history of retail trade in Britain. Indeed, so far as Wales is concerned, there is a positive dearth of published material on the development of shopkeeping. The reasons for this state of affairs are not, however, difficult to trace, for there is a chronic shortage of original material from which a comprehensive survey of the growth of retailing could be compiled. This is especially true of the pre-nineteenth century era; very few records such as account books from this period have survived, and other sources, such as shopkeepers' diaries are not only more scarce, but often annoyingly un-informative on the day-to-day business of keeping a shop. The foundations of the retail trade as it is understood today were laid largely in the mid-nineteenth century, in response to the material needs of a society increasingly dominated by industry. Prior to the Industrial Revolution it is popularly thought that the obligation to be largely self-sufficient, combined with the availability of certain goods at periodic markets and fairs rendered the need for retail outlets largely unnecessary.3 Nevertheless, there existed throughout most parts of the country by the late seventeenth century a growing number of shops, supplementing and, to some degree, already displacing the established channels that supplied domestic needs. One such shop was that owned by Cadwalader Jones of Llanfyllin, and his will,4 together with the detailed inventory of his worldly goods, drawn up shortly after his death in February, 1695, provide a fascinating insight into the stock and trade of these early retail outlets. 11 wish to thank Mr. Brian Howells, M.A., of the Department of Welsh History, U.C.W. Aberystwyth for his helpful comments on this article, and Mrs. Gwen Jaundrell of Adfa t B. A. Holderness Pre-Industrial England Economy and Society from 1500 to 1700. London, 1976, p. 139. « D.Davis A history of shopping London, 1966. pp. 127-150. 'The will and inventory of Cadwalader Jones are to be found in the Saint Asaph Probate Collection at the National Library of Wales.