Men at Work: Labourers and Building Craftsmen in the Towns of Northern England, 1450-1750

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from BN.com
$131.10
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $32.00
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 76%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (5) from $32.00   
  • New (2) from $119.12   
  • Used (3) from $32.00   

Overview

This study redresses the north and south imbalance of much work on economic and social history by focusing on the lives and economic impact of the building trade in the early-modern period in the context of the change from rural economy to the eve of industrialisation. The period 1450-1750 witnessed substantial changes in England: in the size of national population; the range of industry practised; the commodity structure and patterns of overseas trade; in agricultural techniques; and in the proportion of population tied to the soil. The evidence analysed in this book uses the nature of building and labouring work to consider the variations in wages and living standards allied to studies of individual towns. Using many hitherto unworked sources from local archives, the author addresses conditions of work in the building trades, levels of remuneration, the characteristics of the life-cycles of male and female workers, gender differences in work, and relationships with employers - at times running counter to the prevailing orthodoxies.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Woodward's book contributes valuable new information....Woodward's book is impressively researched, closely argued, and highly readable. Every respectable historical research library should possess a copy." The Historian

"The renewed vitality of the economic history of early modern England is amply confirmed by this admirable study. Men at Work is a tightly structured, thickly illustrated and lucidly argued book, which succeeds at several levels....This is a rich and rewarding book, firmly based on painstakingly collected and accessibly presented quantitative evidence, and displaying throughout a sustained effort to convey the texture of the lives behind the figures." Times Literary Supplement

"Woodward makes judicious use of account books, municipal records, personal papers, and probate inventories to provide insights into the economic circumstances and social practices of a modernizing world. Well written and prodigiously documented...." Choice

"This is an impressive piece of work that both confirms conclusions that hitherto have been based exclusively on evidence from southern England and adds much to our understanding of the experiences of building craftsmen and laborers....careful and stimulating scholarship." John S. Craig, Albion

"Woodward has done us all a favor by plunging into the surviving accounts of the councils, churches, and other institutions of a number of northern towns so as to bring to the surface a picture of the working life of building craftsmen and laborers. Because this work is constructed largely around this archival research, the strengths of the book are a reflection of the strengths of the sources. The author reveals a great deal about the sorts of jobs that these workers did, the sizes of their operations, how they were paid, how their work was arranged, and how the gilds operated." Journal of Interdisciplinary History

"...a rousing study. More than a good read which presents the reader a feel for the work of the period, this book also makes significant contributions to our understanding of the early modern building trades. Woodward brings a fresh perspective to the topic and looks at largely unused archival sources....Men at Work reconstructs the skelatal structure of the urban building trades in early modern northern England. With his marvelous exploitation of the sources for illustrations of real people, Woodward has also succeeded in adding flesh and bone to the story." Tim Fehler, Sixteenth Century Journal

" This is a satisfying and enjoyable book to read because of the warmth and humor of the writing and its skilful and undogmatic arguments." Christopher Dyer, Albion

"There is a long-standing debate about living standards in early modern England, and Donald Woodward's book is an important contribution to this discussion..the author is refreshingly candid...Woodward's book is impressively researched, closely argued, and highly readable. Every respectable historical research library should possess a copy." The Historian

"...in many aspects it might serve as a model study. It opens new archives, focuses on work and living conditions of those at the lower end of the social scale, and worries away at accepted tenets of historical knowledge." The Sixteenth Century Journal

"...Woodward's book...heightened my conciousness of my ignorance and that, to paraphrase Doctor Johnson, is the good of learning." David Levine, Labour/Le Travail

Read More Show Less

Product Details

Table of Contents

List of tables
List of appendices
Preface
List of abbreviations
1 Introduction 1
2 Building craftsmen at work 15
3 The life-cycle of building craftsmen 53
4 Labourers 93
5 Conditions of work for labourers and building craftsmen 116
6 Wage rates in the northern towns 169
7 Towards an understanding of living standards 209
Appendices 250
Bibliography 288
Index 305
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)