DOWN. In this Irish county the linen manufacture is the staple trade, and gives employment to a greater number of operatives, in proportion to the population, than in any other part of Ireland. It has been estimated that the linen trade gives. employment, in various ways, to 10,000 persons in the county. Much of the flax employed is grown in the county ; and seed for this flax is imported from Flanders. The new impetus now being given to the flax manufacture will probably lead to favourable results in this county. Machine-spun yarn is now mostly used for the warp-thread of linen, but hand-spun yarn is preferred for the weft. The weaving is mostly done in cottages, by persons who devote a part of their time to farming. There are about a dozen towns in Downshire where linen markets are held. The bleaching of the woven linen is a large branch of manu facture, conducted in bleach fields on the banks of the river Bann. The remaining
articles of manufacture in the county are chiefly muslin, leather, salt, glass, and vitriol. The fisheries on the coast are rather extensive. The chief exports of the county are shipped at Belfast and Newry.
At Ardglass, Banbridge, Downpatrick, Portaferry, Newtownards, cic., much manu facturing is carried on. Belfast, though the principal port for this county, is in Antrim. Newry ranks high in exports, and the imports are very considerable. Steamers sail regularly to Liverpool and Glasgow, and many vessels trade to America, the Baltic, the Levant, and various parts of England. Besides flour and oatmeal mills, there are various manufactures carried on connected with ship-building, and the retail trade of the town is extensive.