… is from page 5 of Rick Atkinson’s 2019 volume, The British Are Coming:
A majority of all European urban growth in the first half of the [18th] century had occurred in England; that proportion was now [by 1773] expanding to nearly three-quarters, with the steam engine patented in 1769 and the spinning jenny a year later. Canals were cut, roads built, highwaymen hanged, coal mined, iron forged. Sheep would double in weight during the century; calf weights tripled. England and Wales now boasted over 140,000 retail shops. A nation of shopkeepers had been born.