The most important and imposing among the more modern architectural additions to the city are the handsome Gothic exchange, completed in 1867, the municipal theatre, the municipal library, the post office (1878), the law courts (1891-1895), the wool exchange, the German bank, the municipal museum for natural science, ethnology and commerce, and the fine railway station (1888).
In 1672 John Ford was granted a Tuesday market for the sale of wool and woollen goods made from English yarn, and in 1705 Andrew Quicke obtained two annual fairs, on the first Thursdays in March and June, for the sale of cattle, corn and merchandise.
A still more lengthy and unfortunate suit was the attempt of Philip the Fair and his successors to incorporate the Flemish fief like the English one (1300-1326), thus coming Philip the into conflict with proud and turbulent republics;:, composed of wool and cloth merchants, weavers, fullers and powerful counts.
Surviving records show that in assessments of wool to the king, Bedfordshire always provided its full quota.
The principal native products exported are live sheep, horses, salt meat, wool and hides, to which must be added the fish products - cod, train-oil, herring and salmon - eiderdown and woollen wares.
The principal exports are salt, minerals, opium, cotton, cereals, wool and live stock; and the imports cloth-goods, coffee, rice and petroleum.
It has also extensive lithographic works, and its wool market is celebrated.
The depression was accentuated by the financial crisis in America, which affected adversely the wool trade, and in a more marked degree the diamond trade, leading to the partial stoppage of the Kimberley mines.
The duties on wool were raised, corresponding changes made on woollen goods, the duties on cottons, linens, some silks, and velvets considerably raised.
This deputation led to the recall of Narses in 567, accompanied, according to a somewhat late tradition, by an insulting message from the empress Sophia, who sent him a golden distaff, and bade him, as he was not a man, go and spin wool in the apartments of the women.