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«DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL HISTORY EH3106/3606 PATRICIANS AND PLEBS In 1801 only one third of the population lived in towns. This module will ...»

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EH3106/3606 Session 2002-03



In 1801 only one third of the population lived in towns. This module will examine the economy and

society of the rural and proto-industrial regions of England in which the majority of the population

lived. We consider the causes of population growth, changes in agricultural practice, increasing industrialization and improved communications and consider their impact on social structures and social policy, with a particular focus upon attitudes to poverty and social control. By the end of this module students will have a wide-ranging knowledge of the economic and social history of eighteenth-century England. Extensive use is made of contemporary sources throughout the module will enhance their understanding of the contemporary debates and give them experience in handling primary evidence.

This module develops and assesses the following subject specific skills in the manner set out below How Developed How Assessed Read, analyse and reflect critically and In reading for tutorials, through Both assignments contextually upon historical texts and other commentary upon primary Exam source materials. sources and in writing essay(s) Develop an understanding of the varieties of In reading for tutorials, through Both assignments approaches to understanding, constructing commentary upon primary Exam and interpreting the past and of comparative sources and in writing essay(s) perspectives on the past.

Gather and deploy appropriate evidence and Through participation in Essay(s) data to develop and sustain historical tutorials, preparing Exam arguments. presentations and the planning and writing of essay(s) This module develops and assesses the skills outlined in the university learning and teaching strategy in the manner set out below Developed Assessed IT Skills Assignment and Essay(s) Assignment and Essay(s) Numeracy Tutorials, Lecture Handouts Written Communication Assignment and Essay(s) Assignment and Essay(s) Oral Communication Tutorials Team Working Tutorials A number of books will be of use for most of the sessions in this module and will not be listed each time in the more specialized lists below. Many of them also have comprehensive bibliographies which you are encouraged to consult in addition to the readingssuggested here.

Martin Daunton, Progress and Poverty. An Economic and Social History of Britain. 1700-1850 (1995).

Joan Thirsk (ed.), The Agrarian History of England and Wales vols 5 and 6. (AHEW) (These volumes have clear chapter headings which will help you to navigate round the several thousand pages!).

Douglas Hay and Nicholas Rogers, Eighteenth-Century English Society (1997).

J. V. Beckett, The Aristocracy in England, 1600-1914 (1986).

EH3106/3606 Session 2002-03 Anne Digby and Charles Feinstein (eds), New Directions in Economic and Social History 2 vols.

(1989 and 1992) – contains essays on enclosure, agricultural changes, protoindustrialization and poverty.

Wrightson, Keith, Earthly Necessities. Economic Lives in Early Modern Britain (2000) covers the earlier part of our period.

Week 1 This session will begin with an introductory lecture will outline some of the crucial themes which we will be covering over the semester and give a basic outline of the ‘agricultural revolution’, its chronology and historiography. Students, will however, be expected to have done some preparation (!) and the second part of the seminar will be devoted to a discussion of some of the historiographical issues.

AEHW, vols. 5 and 6.

R. C. Allen, Enclosure and the Yeoman: The Agricultural Development of the South Midlands, 140Agriculture during the Industrial Revolution’ in Floud and McCloskey (eds), The Economic History of Britain 2nd edn (1994).

B. M. S. Campbell and M. Overton (eds), Land, Labour and Livestock: Historical Studies in European Agricultural Productivity (1991).

J. D. Chambers and G. E. Mingay, The Agricultural Revolution, 1750-1880 (1966).

G. Clark, ‘Productivity Growth without technical change: European Agriculture before 1850’, Journal of Economic History, 47 (1987).

Martin Daunton, Progress and Poverty part 1 (1995).

R. V. Jackson, Growth and Deceleration in English Agriculture, 1660-1790, vol. 38 (1985).

A. Kussmaul, A General View of the Rural Economy of England 1538-1840 (1990).

G. Mingay, Parliamentary Enclosure in England and Wales (1997).

P. K. O’Brien, ‘Agriculture and the Home Market for British Industry, 1660-1820’, EHR, 100 (1985).

Mark Overton, ‘Re establishing the English Agricultural Revolution’, Agricultural History Review 44 (1996), 1-20.

Michael Reed, The Georgian Triumph, 1700-1830 (1983), chs 1-3.

Week 2 As we saw in week 1, one of the outstanding features of agrarian change over the eighteenth century was the consolidation of great estates: clearly the great landowners did very well out of these changes. We will be looking more closely at the processes by which the great landowners achieved this consolidation, and their overall contribution to the ‘agricultural revolution’. The traditional orthodoxy of improving aristocratic landlords has been extensively modified in some areas. Another area of debate is the change in the way in which estates were managed, with profit oriented capitalism often presented as replacing the paternalism of earlier periods.


• Describe and explain the different patterns of land use to be found throughout England in the 18th century.

• How did the major landowners consolidate their position as landowners, and what were the wider social implications of this development?

• How did approaches to estate management and farming change during this period?

You should be using the items from Week 1 (if you have not already read them cover to cover) and the following studies which focus mainly on landownership and estate management amongst the elites.

–  –  –

J. V. Beckett, ‘English landowners in the late 17 and 18th centuries: the debate and the problems’, Economic History Review (1977).

---, Aristocracy in England (1986), esp. chs 4 and 5.

---, The Rise and Fall of the Grenvilles: Dukes of Buckingham and Chandos, 1710-1920 (1994).

---, ‘The decline of the small landowner in England and Wales, 1660-1900’, in Thompson, F.M.L.

(ed), Landowners, capitalists and entrepreneurs: essays for Sir John Habakkuk (1994) 89David Brown, ‘Reassessing the influence of the aristocratic improver: the example of the fifth Duke of Bedford’, Agricultural History Review, 47 (1999).

C. Clay, ‘Landlords and Estate Management in England’ in AHEW, vol. v pt. ii ‘1640-1750: Agrarian Changes’ summarises the literature on regional variation on concentration of ownership.

J. Habbakuk, Marriage, Debt and the Estate System: English Landownership 1650-1950 (1994).

See also his series of articles, ‘The rise and fall of English landed families, 1660-1800’, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, vols. 29-31 (1979-81).

Philip Jenkins, The Making of a Ruling Class: The Glamorgan Gentry, 1640-1790 (1983) R. A. C. Parker, Coke of Norfolk: A Financial and Agricultural Study, 1702-1844 (1975) Peter Roebuck, ‘Absentee Landownership in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries: a neglected factor in English Agrarian History’, Agricultural History Review, 21 (1973).

----, Yorkshire Baronets 1640-176: families, estates and fortunes (1980).

J. M. Rosenheim, The Townshends of Ranyham (1989).

----, The Emergence of a Ruling Order. English Landed Society, 1650-1750 (1998).

Spring, Eileen. Law, land, and family: aristocratic inheritance in England, 1300 to 1800 (1993).

L. and J. Stone, An Open Elite? England 1540-1880 (1984) abridged version (1986).

F. M. L. Thompson, ‘The social distribution of landed property in England since the sixteenth century’, Economic History Review (1966).

J. R. Wordie, Estate Management in Eighteenth-Century England: the Building of the Leveson Gower Fortune (1982).

Week 3 Clearly the landowners were beneficiaries of agricultural change in the eighteenth century. In this session we will be looking at those who ‘lost’. The question of enclosure was one which vexed contemporaries at the time, and historians are still divided in opinion as to the precise nature of its impact upon the labouring sort. Doubts have been expressed as to whether the English model of large estates, whereby the yeoman farmers were squeezed out, was the best way forward for agricultural progress, or whether French model of small peasant farmers might actually have been more beneficial in the long run. Historians have also drawn attention to the impact which changing patterns of rural employment had on the position of women, and we will also be discussing how this affected the construction of women’s role in society.

Presentations Present the arguments for and against enclosure – from the perspective of two of the following: (nb – you may not find the texts discuss specifically the attitude of an industrial employer: try to work out what it might have been).

a) small yeoman farmer; b) cottager or landless labourer; c) labouring woman; d) great landowner; e) urban gentleman with concerned interest in poverty; f) industrial employer R. C. Allen, Enclosure and the Yeoman: The Agricultural Development of the South Midlands, 1450The efficiency and distributional consequences of eighteenth-century enclosures’, Economic Journal, 92 (1982).

Sarah Birtles, ‘Common Land, Poor Relief and Enclosure: the Use of Manorial Resources in Fulfilling Parish Obligations 1601-1834’, Past and Present, 165 (1999) EH3106/3606 Session 2002-03 Paul Carter, ‘Poor relief strategies: women, children and enclosure in Hanwell, Middlesex, 1780 to 1816’. Local Historian, 25:3 (1995), 164-77.

J. D. Chambers, Nottinghamshire in the Eighteenth-Century 2nd edn (1964) chapters VI and VII.

J. Chapman, ‘The Chronology of English Enclosure’, Economic History Review, 37 (1984).

Gregory Clark, ‘Commons sense: common property rights, efficiency, and institutional change’.

Journal of Economic History, 58 (1998), 73-102.

Bridget Hill, Women, Work and Sexual Politics (1989).

Jane Humphries, ‘Enclosures, Common Rights and Women; The proletarianization of families in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries’, Journal of Economic History (1990).

Stephen Joyce, ‘Enclosure and landholding in the Soar Valley’, Leicestershire Archaeological and Historical Society Transactions, 73 (1999) J. M. Martin, ‘Members of Parliament and Enclosure: A Reconsideration’, Agricultural History Review, 27 (1980).

---, ‘The small landowner and Parliamentary Enclosure in Warwickshire’, Economic History Review, 32 (1979).

---, ‘Village Labourers and the Emergence of a Proletariat in South Warwickshire’, Agricultural History Review, 32 (1984).

G. E. Mingay, Enclosure and the Small Farmer in the Age of the Industrial Revolution (1968).

Richard J Moor Colyer, ‘The small landholder in Northamptonshire: Corby, c.1700-1850’, Northamptonshire Past and Present, 52 (1999).

J. Neeson, Commons: Common Right, Enclosure and Social Change in England 1700-1820 (1993).

Pamela Sharpe, Adapting to Capitalism. Working Women in the English Economy, 1700-1850 (1996) esp ch. 4.

----, ‘The female labour market in English agriculture during the Industrial Revolution: expansion or contraction?’, Agricultural History Review, 47 (1999).

Leigh Shaw-Taylor, ‘Labourers, cows, common rights and parliamentary enclosure: the evidence of contemporary comment, c.1760-1810’, Past and Present, 171(2001).

M. E. Turner, Enclosures in Britain, 1750-1830 (1984) Macmillan pamphlet.

Susanna Wade Martins, 1946-; Tom Williams, ‘Labour and improvement: agricultural change in East Anglia, c.1750-1870’, Labour History Review, 62 (1997), 275-95.

D. Valenze, The First Industrial Woman (1995).

J. Yelling, Common Field and Enclosure in England, 1450-1850 (1977).

Week 4 It is easy to forget that the industrial revolution was not a purely urban phenomenon and that some of the most important developments in Britain’s manufacturing history took place in a rural location. In this session we will be looking at ‘rural industry’ and the forms it took. We shall be considering the reasons why certain industries flourished in certain areas and the impact of industry on patterns of employment and settlement. Where did the original capital for industrial expansion take place, and how close were the connections between the agricultural and the manufacturing economy? Where did the labour for these enterprises come from? What kind of communities evolved as a result?


• What did the aristocracy contribute to the development of manufactures? – was their involvement simply parasitic?

• How would you characterize the social structure and communities of the proto-industrial areas? What is distinctive about them?

• What are the connections between proto-industrial growth and urban growth and why is the concept of regionality so important?

J. V. Beckett, Aristocracy in England (1986), ch. 6.

–  –  –

---, Coal and Tobacco: The Lowthers and the Economic Development of West Cumberland, 1660J. D. Chambers, Nottinghamshire in the Eighteenth Century (1932).

Francois Crouzet, The First Industrialists (1985).

D. Hey, The Rural Metalworkers of the Sheffield Region: A Study of Rural Industry before the Industrial Revolution (1972).

---, The Fiery Blades of Hallamshire. Sheffield and its neighbourhood 1660-1740 (1991).

P. Hudson, Regions and Industries: A Perspective on the Industrial Revolution in Britain (1989).

E. L. Jones, ‘Agricultural Origins of Industry’ Past and Present (1968).

P. Large, ‘Urban growth and Agricultural Change in the West Midlands during the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries’ in P. Clark (ed.) The Transformation of English Provincial Towns (1984).

J. Langton, ‘The Industrial Revolution and the Regional Geography of England’, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 9 (1984).

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