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This volume revisits a classic book by a famous historian: R.H. Tawney's Agrarian Problem in the Sixteenth Century (1912). Tawney's Agrarian Problem surveyed landlord-tenant relations in England between 1440 and 1660, the period of emergent capitalism and rapidly changing property relations that stands between the end of serfdom and the more firmly capitalist system of the eighteenth century. This transition period is widely recognised as crucial to Britain's long term economic development, laying the foundation for the Industrial Revolution of the eighteenth century. Remarkably, Tawney's book has remained the standard text on landlord-tenant relations for over a century.
Here, Tawney's book is re-evaluated by leading experts in agrarian and legal history, taking its themes as a departure point to provide for a new interpretation of the agrarian economy in late Tudor and early modern Britain. The introduction looks at how Tawney's Agrarian Problem was written, its place in the historiography of agrarian England and the current state of research. Survey chapters examine the late medieval period, a comparison with Scotland, and Tawney's conception of capitalism, whilst the remaining chapters focus on four issues that were central to Tawney's arguments: enclosure disputes, the security of customary tenure; the conversion of customarytenure to leasehold; and other landlord strategies to raise revenues. The balance of power between landlords and tenants determined how the wealth of agrarian England was divided in this crucial period of economic development - this book reveals how this struggle was played out.

JANE WHITTLE is professor of rural history at Exeter University.
Contributors: Christopher Brooks, Christopher Dyer, Heather Falvey, Harold Garrett-Goodyear, Julian Goodare, Elizabeth Griffiths, Jennifer Holt, Briony McDonagh, Jean Morrin, David Ormrod, William D. Shannon, Jane Whittle, Andy Wood. Foreword by Keith Wrightson

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781843838500
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer, Limited
Publication date: 08/15/2013
Series: People, Markets, Goods: Economies and Societies in History Series , #1
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.60(d)

Table of Contents

List of Figures vii

List of Tables vii

Abbreviations viii

List of Contributors ix

Acknowledgements xii

Foreword Keith Wrightson xiii

Introduction: Tawney's Agrarian Problem Revisited Jane Whittle 1

1 The Agrarian Problem, 1440-1520 Christopher Dyer 19

2 Common Law and Manor Courts: Lords, Copyholders and Doing Justice in Early Tudor England Harold Garrett-Goodyear 35

3 Negotiating Enclosure in Sixteenth-Century Yorkshire: The South Cave Dispute, 1530-1536 Briony McDonagh 52

4 The Politics of Enclosure in Elizabethan England: Contesting 'Neighbourship' in Chinley (Derbyshire) Heather Falvey 67

5 The Loss of Athelstan's Gift: The Politics of Popular Memory in Malmesbury, 1607-1633 Andy Wood 85

6 In Search of the Scottish Agrarian Problem Julian Goodare 100

7 The Transfer to Leasehold on Durham Cathedral Estate, 1541-1626 Jean Morrin 117

8 The Financial Rewards of Winning the Battle for Secure Customary Tenure Jennifer S. Holt 133

9 Risks and Rewards in Wasteland Enclosure: Lowland Lancashire c.1500-1650 William D. Shannon 150

10 Improving Landlords or Villains of the Piece? A Case Study of Early Seventeenth-Century Norfolk Elizabeth Griffiths 166

11 The Agrarian Problem in Revolutionary England Christopher Brooks 183

12 Agrarian Capitalism and Merchant Capitalism: Tawney, Dobb, Brenner and Beyond David Ormrod 200

Conclusions Jane Whittle 216

Select Bibliography 222

Index 233

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