This description of Bridport, Dorset, England is taken from The representative history of Great Britain and Ireland by Thomas Hinton Burley Oldfield published in 1816.
Bridport is a borough and market-town in the hundred of Beaminster, Dorset, situated between two branches of the river Brit, which join below the town, and fall into the sea. The town consists of three spacious streets; some of the houses being built of stone and some of brick. The East, West, and South streets are in the form of a T, having several back lanes or passages. Its chief manufacture is in twine, sail-cloth, and hats : for the two former, it was so noted in the reign of Henry VIII. that it was enacted, that all the cordage, &c. for the navy, for a limited time, should be made here or within five miles, and no where else; which act was confirmed for near sixty years. This town is a great thoroughfare to the west of England, which causes its principal trade. It has two market-days, on Wednesday and Saturday, which are well supplied with fresh meat, and its fairs are Old Lady-day, Holy Thursday.and Old Michaelmas-day. It is nine miles from Lyme Regis, six from Beaminster, and 134 from London; containing 287 houses and 3,117 inhabitants, of whom 3,006 were returned as being employed in trade and manufacture.