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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Agrarian origins of industry in Leicestershire, with particular emphasis on the 1660-80 period. Levine, David Cyril 1970-12-31

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THE AGRARIAN O R I G I N S OF INDUSTRY IK LEICESTERSHIRE, WITH  PARTICULAR EMPHASIS ON THE 1660 - 80 PERIOD  by DAVID CYRIL B.A., U n i v e r s i t y  A THESIS  LEVINE  of B r i t i s h  Columbia,  SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT REQUIREMENTS  1968  OF THE  FOR THE DEGREE OF  • MASTER OF ARTS  in  t h e Department of History  We  accept this  required  Thesis  as c o n f o r m i n g t o t h e  standard  THE UNIVERSITY August  OF BRITISH 2 4,  1970  COLUMBIA  In  presenting  this  an a d v a n c e d  degree  the  shall  I  Library  f u r t h e r agree  for  scholarly  by h i s of  this  written  thesis at  it  purposes  for  freely  permission may  representatives. thesis  is  financial  of  September 4,  1970  British  by  for  gain  Columbia  shall  the  that  not  requirements  Columbia,  I  agree  r e f e r e n c e and copying of  t h e Head o f  understood  HISTORY  The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h V a n c o u v e r 8, C a n a d a  of  for extensive  be g r a n t e d  It  fulfilment of  available  permission.  Department  Date  partial  the U n i v e r s i t y  make  tha  in  or  that  study.  this  thesis  my D e p a r t m e n t  copying  for  or  publication  be a l l o w e d w i t h o u t  my  ABSTRACT  This  t h e s i s i s an  promoted the tershire the  a n a l y s i s of  industrialization  i n the  second h a l f  transformation  of  peasant-subsistence  level  particular  of  industrialization  i t was  shire  both  in  a historical  The progress  years  focus  f o l l o w i n g 1660  level.  also of  became c o n c e n t r a t e d scale productive c o u l d be  In our found  and  a  production. emergence  agricultural  o f v/hich a r e h u n d r e d s  to place  in  the L e i c e s t e r -  n a t i o n a l context  An  into  important was  the  soil  l a b o u r was  and  accelerated  the n a t i o n a l ,  by-product  as  of  this  only of the  food  land  s m a l l number o f  large-  f r e e d from a g r i c u l t u r e  activity.  o f West G o s c o t e and t y p e was  the  c r e a t i o n not  a relatively As  on  underemployment  in industrial  examination the  were marked by  modernization  rural  units.  engaged  t h a t as  economy f r o m  t h e s i s i s the  w i t h i n a broader  a g r i c u l t u r a l modernization  it  century  i n West G o s c o t e and (both  in Leices-  perspective.  local  surpluses but  countryside  seventeenth  of the  necessary  of a g r i c u l t u r a l  c o u n t y and  the  i n Framland  Leicestershire), experience  of  c o n d i t i o n s which  to market-oriented  the  commercialization  of the  i t s agricultural  Although rural  the  not  Framland  consistent within  it  was  each  h u n d r e d i t was  necessary to d i s t i n g u i s h sub-regions:  Soar r i v e r v a l l e y , Forest  and t h e C o a l Measures  i n West G o s c o t e ;  and the E a s t e r n U p l a n d s , By u s i n g t h e P r o b a t e (stored  villages  and N o r t h - e a s t  Inventories  influence  f o r the  of  soil  these sub-regions,  structure  labour  i n t h e emergence  villages.  of  the  The  i n the Soar v a l l e y t o  the framework k n i t t i n g  poverty-stricken  the  economies.  trans-  marketendemic  The e x i s t e n c e  i n the Soar v a l l e y a t t r a c t e d  who e s t a b l i s h e d  average  we c o u l d see  agrarian  u n d e r e m p l o y m e n t and d e s p e r a t e p o v e r t y .  populated,  the  from p e a s a n t - s u b s i s t e n c e farming to  oriented production resulted  cheap  for  to  i n retarding or accelerating  of the peasant s o c i e t y  form i t s e l f  1660 - 80 p e r i o d  County Record O f f i c e )  m o d e r n i z a t i o n of the i n d i v i d u a l inability  Framland i n Framland.  the socio-economic p r o f i l e s  i n each of  and Charnwood  t h e V a l e o f B e l v o i r , t h e Wreak v a l l e y  i n the L e i c e s t e r s h i r e  reconstruct  the  merchant  of  capitalist  i n d u s t r y i n the  over-  T A B L E OF  CONTENTS  CHAPTER  PAGE  INTRODUCTION I  II  . . . . . . . .  T H E BROAD N A T I O N A L C O N T E X T : MODERNIZATION  I N ENGLAND,  AN H I S T O R I C A L  P E R S P E C T I V E OF  TRANSFORMATION OVER III  . . . .  OF  SOCIO-ECONOMIC  1650 -  1750  THE PECULIAR EMERGENCE  THE  LEICESTERSHIRE  C I R C U M S T A N C E S WHICH DIFFERENTIATION:  30 PROMOTED THE  OF A G R I C U L T U R A L C O M M E R C I A L I Z A T I O N  I N FRAMLAND AND RURAL I N D U S T R I A L I Z A T I O N WEST G O S C O T E , 1 6 6 0 - 8 0 SUMMARY  . . . . . . . . .  STATISTICAL BIBLIOGRAPHY  4  4 CENTURIES  SOCIO-ECONOMIC  1  APPENDICES  IN 60 84 89 97  1  INTRODUCTION  The d i s s o l u t i o n o f the peasant s u b s i s t e n c e economy and its  replacement by a market economy f o r a g r i c u l t u r a l p r o -  ducts v/as an i n i t i a l p r e - c o n d i t i o n f o r economic modernization.  In England, i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n was  preceded by the  m o d e r n i z a t i o n of a g r i c u l t u r a l p r o d u c t i o n . chapter we v / i l l examine the t e c h n i c a l and  In the  first  institutional  changes i n E n g l i s h a g r i c u l t u r a l a c t i v i t y which o c c u r r e d i n the  1650  - 1750 p e r i o d , p e r m i t t i n g the redeployment  r e s o u r c e s i n t o commerce and i n d u s t r y .  of  T h i s study of eco-  nomic m o d e r n i z a t i o n w i t h i n the n a t i o n a l economy w i l l  enable  us to see the i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n o f L e i c e s t e r s h i r e w i t h i n a broad h i s t o r i c a l p e r s p e c t i v e .  In  o r d e r to see the i n t e r c o n n e x i o n between the commer-  c i a l i z a t i o n of a g r i c u l t u r e and the emergence of r u r a l i n d u s t r y our second chapter w i l l study the t r a n s f o r m a t i o n of L e i c e s t e r s h i r e from a county o f peasant farmers to a county i n which almost 90% of the l a n d was worked by tenant farmers. in  A g r i c u l t u r a l a c t i v i t y was  those areas whose s o i l was  farming. t i o n was  capitalist  first  modernized  unsuitable f o r subsistence  A c r u c i a l by-product of a g r i c u l t u r a l  moderniza-  the c r e a t i o n of a l a r g e body of d i s p o s s e s s e d f a m i l y  2  farmers who were f o r c e d out of t h e g r a z i n g v i l l a g e s i n eastern L e i c e s t e r s h i r e .  Many of these d i s p o s s e s s e d peasants  m i g r a t e d t o the o p e n - f i e l d v i l l a g e s of the Soar  valley  where i n s t i t u t i o n a l circumstances had enabled a l a r g e of c o t t a g e r - l a b o u r e r s t o remain on the l a n d .  class  The combined  e f f e c t o f these two processes was the emergence of r e l a t i v e o v e r p o p u l a t i o n and desperate p o v e r t y among the c l a s s o f i n d i g e n t c o t t a g e r - l a b o u r e r s . The e x i s t e n c e o f p l e n t i f u l cheap labour a t t r a c t e d merchant c a p i t a l i s t s who e s t a b l i s h e d the framework k n i t t i n g i n d u s t r y i n the overpopulated, poverty-stricken villages.  R u r a l i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n emerged  i n response t o the breakdown of the peasant Soar v a l l e y .  s o c i e t y i n the  The c o m m e r c i a l i z a t i o n o f a g r i c u l t u r e i n  e a s t e r n L e i c e s t e r s h i r e , by i n t e n s i f y i n g the p r e s s u r e s w i t h i n the backwards peasant  s o c i e t y o f the Soar v a l l e y , p l a y e d  an i n t e g r a l r o l e i n f a c i l i t a t i n g  the emergence of r u r a l  industry.  The  framework k n i t t i n g i n d u s t r y was e s t a b l i s h e d i n  r u r a l L e i c e s t e r s h i r e i n the second h a l f o f the seventeenth icentury.  In the t h i r d chapter we w i l l examine the emergence  of d i f f e r e n t i a t e d forms of socio-economic in particular,  of i n d u s t r i a l a c t i v i t y ,  hundreds o f Framland  and West Goscote.  o r g a n i z a t i o n and,  i n the n e i g h b o u r i n g As the s o i l  type  3  w i t h i n each hundred was not c o n s i s t e n t , i t was necessary to d i s t i n g u i s h s u b - r e g i o n s :  the V a l e o f B e l v o i r , the Wreak  v a l l e y and the E a s t e r n Uplands, Fraraland; the Soar v a l l e y ,  and North-East Framland i n  and the C o a l Measures and Charn-  wood F o r e s t i n West Goscote.  By c r e a t i n g average  parishes  f o r each o f these f i v e areas, we can see t h e i r s o c i o - e c o nomic p r o f i l e s i n r e l a t i o n t o t h e i r d i s s i m i l a r towards a g r i c u l t u r a l m o d e r n i z a t i o n .  progress  In t h i s way the a g r i -  c u l t u r a l o r i g i n s o f i n d u s t r y i n L e i c e s t e r s h i r e w i l l be seen i n the context o f p e c u l i a r  circumstances.  In b r i e f then, the t h e s i s moves from a focus on n a t i o n a l , long-term h i s t o r i c a l p a t t e r n s t o a c o n s i d e r a t i o n o f the p a r t i c u l a r problems i n L e i c e s t e r s h i r e , and w i l l attempt t o show the i n t e r - r e l a t i o n s h i p i n t h a t county, between a g r i c u l t u r a l change and the beginnings o f i n d u s t r y .  4  CHAPTER I THE BROAD NATIONAL CONTEXT: THE SOCIO-ECONOMIC MODERNIZATION OF ENGLAND, 1650 - 1 7 5 0 . From t h e m i d - s e v e n t e e n t h the  century to the beginning  I n d u s t r i a l R e v o l u t i o n i n the  English society modernization of  was b e i n g  1780's the s t r u c t u r e  significantly altered.  the grov/th o f  i n o r d i n a t e l y complex t h a t  movements  activities.  than observing  out major  satisfied  structural  of  investment  into  the growth of  increases  a significant  c o u l d o n l y be  transfer  of  with  accompanied  p r e s s u r e on f o o d r e s o u r c e s .  an The  resulted  non-agricultural  t o be  ex-  productivity,  neutralized.  income i n t o  s u s t a i n e d when an i n c r e a s e i n  p r o d u c t i v i t y was  was  changes.  in agricultural  c a p i t a l p e r head tended  opened  its  But, because p r e - i n d u s t r i a l populations  i n response to  Therefore,  rather  of  The  i n d u s t r y i n a p r e - i n d u s t r i a l environment  from the redeployment  panded  century had  t o an i n d u s t r i a l economy  i n m i n u t e d e t a i l one must be  explanation which points growth of  The  industrial enterprises.  t r a n s i t i o n from an a g r a r i a n so  of  t h e a g r i c u l t u r a l and c o m m e r c i a l s e c t o r s  t h e economy t h a t b e g a n i n t h e s e v e n t e e n t h t h e way f o r  of  industry  agricultural  by a d e c r e a s e o f  population  But the appearance of  these  5  favourable  c o n d i t i o n s d i d not  immediately flow  mean t h a t c a p i t a l would  i n t o the development of modern i n d u s t r y  because mass-production was  the l e a s t remunerative form of  investment i n a p r o t o - i n d u s t r i a l economy. there was  a considerable  Nonetheless,  amount of s m a l l - s c a l e  i n d u s t r y s c a t t e r e d about the c o u n t r y s i d e  domestic  of England i n the  p e r i o d p r i o r to the I n d u s t r i a l R e v o l u t i o n .  T h i s manufac-  t u r i n g a c t i v i t y d i f f e r e d from  'modern' i n d u s t r y i n s o f a r as  i t was  powered by human energy,  t e c h n o l o g i c a l l y simple,  d i f f u s e d i n s m a l l u n i t s and force.  engaged a semi-permanent  labour  S u b s t a n t i a l c a p i t a l investment i n i n d u s t r y proceeded  o n l y a f t e r a l l other  The  o u t l e t s had been  filled.  p r e - i n d u s t r i a l economy had been composed of a  l a r g e number of p e a s a n t - s u b s i s t e n c e farmers who e i t h e r t o produce an a g r i c u l t u r a l s u r p l u s  were unable  or to purchase  i n d u s t r i a l goods, a s m a l l n o n - a g r i c u l t u r a l p o p u l a t i o n ,  and  a s t a b l e demand f o r luxury goods from a l i m i t e d market of wealthy consumers.  By examining the g e n e r a l  of the n a t i o n a l economy and  i t s e f f e c t s on the s i z e  composition of the p o p u l a t i o n we v / i l l see r e s u l t e d i n the c r e a t i o n of a new tion.. was  The  transformation and  the p r o c e s s which  form of s o c i a l  organiza-  modern, i n d u s t r i a l economy t h a t emerged i n England  c h a r a c t e r i z e d by  a s m a l l number of wealthy, p r o f e s s i o n a l  f a r m e r s who w e r e a b l e t o p r o d u c e purchase i n d u s t r i a l products, commercial p o p u l a t i o n ,  large food  surpluses  a large i n d u s t r i a l  and m a n u f a c t u r e r s  and  and  producing  to  satisfy  a r i s i n g demand f o r m a s s - c o n s u m e r g o o d s f r o m e x p a n d i n g k e t s b o t h a t home and  abroad.  -  1  -  Steady p o p u l a t i o n growth from 1500 to bined with a r e l a t i v e l y inelastic very steep r i s e  i n the p r i c e  r o s e from a base of  100  However t h e  1640-49.''"  only insofar  as  of  food.  i n 1450-99  Agricultural  of  labour  drastically.  enormous  depreciation  exacerbated by the  rise  decade important  purchasing  One d a y ' s effort  i n purchasing  an i n c r e a s e i n t h e p r o p o r t i o n o f t h e p o p u l a t i o n upon wages,  prices  During these  the r e a l  i n 1 6 5 0 was w o r t h o n l y 4 0 % o f a n e q u a l  Added t o . t h i s  the  f o o d was  from w a g e - r a t e s .  these wage-rates f e l l  com-  food to cause a  t o 644 f o r  changing p r i c e  i t differed  1 6 5 0 was  supply of  1 5 0 y e a r s wages w e r e a l m o s t t r i p l e d b u t power o f  mar-  i n the t o t a l  i n 1500.  power  was  dependent population.  1 P . J . Bowden, " A g r i c u l t u r a l P r i c e s , F a r m P r o f i t s , and R e n t s " i n J . T h i r s k , e d . , The A g r a r i a n H i s t o r y o f E n g l a n d and W a l e s 1 5 0 0 - 1 6 4 0 , i n H . P . R . F i n b e r g , e d . , The A g r a r i a n H i s t o r y o f E n g l a n d and W a l e s , V o l . I V , ( C a m b r i d g e , 1 9 6 7 ) , p p . 5 9 3 - 6 1 7 . H e r e a f t e r t h i s t e x t w i l l be r e f e r r e d t o as T h i r s k , e d . , Agarian History.  Furthermore, wage-earners found t h a t was  themselves i n an economy  unable to supply them steady employment w i t h  r e s u l t t h a t t h i s group experienced was  extreme h a r d s h i p ,  the which  p a r t i c u l a r l y i n t e n s e from the l a t e r s i x t e e n t h century  u n t i l the R e s t o r a t i o n .  Famine was  a r e c u r r e n t phenomenon  s i n c e the p r o d u c t i o n of r e g u l a r crops was  i n h i b i t e d by  s o i l ' s i n a b i l i t y to s u s t a i n r e g u l a r c r o p p i n g . out the century- f o l l o w i n g 1650, r e s o u r c e s was  Then,  the p r e s s u r e of men  the  throughupon  r e l a x e d not o n l y because of a drop i n the  r a t e of p o p u l a t i o n growth but a l s o because a r e v o l u t i o n i n farming methods had enabled duce bumper crops. t e c h n i c a l and  efficient,  The  to c o n s i s t e n t l y pro-  In t h i s s e c t i o n we w i l l examine the  sociological  crisis-stricken,  farmers  i n n o v a t i o n s which transformed  s t a g n a t i n g a g r a r i a n economy i n t o  an  expanding e n t e r p r i s e .  s i x t e e n t h century p o p u l a t i o n boom c r e a t e d a demand  f o r marketable food s u r p l u s e s which the contemporary were unable to s a t i s f y .  In essence t h e r e were two  to e.ff i c i e n t a g r i c u l t u r a l p r o d u c t i o n : bear almost continuous  was  farmers  obstacles  the land c o u l d not  c u l t i v a t i o n without  d e p l e t e d w h i l e the p r o l i f e r a t i o n of s m a l l , farmers  a  being  severely  subsistence  meant t h a t a considerable, p o r t i o n o f the t o t a l  w i t h h e l d from the market.  The  s u r v i v a l of  crop  subsistence  8  farming land  was  was  store  never  its  aspect  possession placement  of by  had  from  to  too  given became their unable lease  to  as  small  mere small to or  evitably  a  peasant  capitalist  the  to  long  the  to  re-  solution  to  the  farmers  upon  and  farmers.  and  regime,  enough  dependent  practise  pasture  small  result  to  a  Only  arable  the  their  mixed  his  son  dis-  re-  large  farming,  thereby  of  the  saving  i n which  the  large  reinforced  the  or  case  Landlords while money  the were  the to  pay  growth,  number  of  movements  towards  land  all  to  renew  was  often  renewal  who h a d  be-  children  tenant  therefore,  people  his  l a n d was  reluctant  for  six-  holdings  younger  small  pre-  the  either  their the  a  society  boom o f  death  that  themselves  Population a  peasant's  was  Peasant  population  c h i l d r e n so  leases  up w i t h  farmer  modernization.  wage-earners. tenants'  subsistence  small  support  copyhold.  their, food farming.  of  Upon  creating  this  satisfactory  p r o b l e m was  as  under  starvation.  eldest  come  a  resources land  since,  cultivation  Thus, this  amongst  the  of  agricultural  century.  divided  came  out  customary  their  destroyed  teenth  harmful  large-scale  failure  condition  was  the  nitrogen  The  was  of  enough  alternating it  taken  fertility.  technical  farmers  positively  of  by  his  in-  to  capitalist  buy  9  Large  farmers,  consistently  u n w o r r i e d about  a b l e to supply the market w i t h produce,  large p r o f i t s .  With t h e i r large productive units  farmers  were a b l e t o  resting  a n d m a n u r i n g i t w h i c h meant  were improved. source of  s u b s i s t e n c e needs,  improve t h e i r land by  Since  landlords  i n c o m e i t was  that  earning  capitalist  sufficiently  t h e i r crop  regarded  were  yields  t h e i r e s t a t e s as  in their, interest  t o have  wealthy  t e n a n t s who w o u l d , u n l i k e t h e s m a l l s u b s i s t e n c e f a r m e r s , a b l e t o pay t h e i r r e n t s  punctually.  r e c e i v e d a share of t h e i r tenants'  Moreover, profits  tenants paid higher per acre rents. demand f o r  food created  Furthermore,  closed by landlords  insofar  Therefore,  as  the  by a growing p o p u l a t i o n  The A g r i c u l t u r a l R e v o l u t i o n was i m p r o v e m e n t s whose m a i n a c h i e v e m e n t s  wealthy  wealthy increased  accelerated fewer  p r o d u c t i v e u n i t s v/ere e n l a r g e d i n order, to a t t r a c t  be  landlords  the concentration of a g r i c u l t u r a l production i n t o hands.  a  and e n -  tenants.  a p e r i o d of  qualitative  fell  1673.^  before  The  1 E . K e r r i d g e , The A g r i c u l t u r a l R e v o l u t i o n , ( L o n d o n , 1 9 6 7 ) , passim. My a c c o u n t o f a g r i c u l t u r a l c h a n g e f o l l o w s t h e v/ork o f K e r r i d g e a n d E . L . J o n e s v/ho b o t h s t r e s s t h e s i g n i f i c a n c e o f t e c h n i c a l innovations i n transforming landholding arrangements and p r o m o t i n g the tremendous i n c r e a s e i n t h e p r o d u c t i v i t y of E n g l i s h farming i n the seventeenth.and e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r i e s . A mor-e c a u t i o u s , b u t l e s s c o n v i n c i n g a r g u m e n t i s p u t f o r w a r d b y J.D. Chambers and G . E . M i n g a y who n o t o n l y p u s h b a c k t h e date of the ' r e v o l u t i o n ' but a l s o minimize the s t r u c t u r a l changes w h i c h i t w r o u g h t . (See t h e i r c o m b i n e d e f f o r t The A g r i c u l t u r a l R e v o l u t i o n 1750 - 1 8 8 0 , ( L o n d o n , 1 9 6 6 ) , p a s s i m . ) .  10  major t e c h n i c a l i n n o v a t i o n s were:  the p r a c t i c e of  conver-  t i b l e husbandry; the use of more e f f e c t i v e crop r o t a t i o n s ; the i n c r e a s e d use of i n o r g a n i c f e r t i l i z e r s marl and  lime,  chalk; and the f l o a t i n g of water-meadows.  middle o f the seventeenth  century the Great  b e i n g d r a i n e d so t h a t almost rich  such as  p r a c t i c e s gave farmers  t h e i r food p r o d u c t i o n .  The  slowed down i n the years  L e v e l of Fen  The  was  i n t r o d u c t i o n of  the a b i l i t y t o i n c r e a s e  long i n f l a t i o n of food p r i c e s  1630-60,  and,  then,  f o r the  a f t e r 1 6 6 0 the upwards movement, f o r a l l i n t e n t s and stopped  the  a d d i t i o n a l acres of  750,000  land were p l a c e d i n c u l t i v a t i o n .  these new  By  century purposes,  as the p r i c e of a composite u n i t of consumables  f l u c t u a t e d around  650  (1450-99  being  1 0 0 ) .  1  A  century  of  r e l a t i v e l y constant p r i c e s enabled wage-earners to r e g a i n some of the p u r c h a s i n g  power they had  r i s e of the s i x t e e n t h century. of a b u i l d i n g craftsman's 1 6 6 0 v a l u e of h i s l a b o u r .  By  l o s t d u r i n g the p r i c e  1 7 5 0 the p u r c h a s i n g  wages had  i n c r e a s e d 5 0 % over  power the  However, because the p r o t o -  i n d u s t r i a l economy d i d not r e q u i r e enough n o n - a g r i c u l t u r a l labour to erase the p e r v a s i v e under-employment t h a t  depressed  1 Brown, E.H.P. and Hopkins, S.V., "Seven C e n t u r i e s of the P r i c e s of Consumables Compared with B u i l d e r s ' Wage-rates", i n Carus-Wilson, E.M., ed., Essays i n Economic H i s t o r y , V o l . 2 , (London, 1 9 6 2 ) , pp. 1 9 4 - 5 . 2  Brown and Hopkins, I b i d . , p. 1 9 5 .  11  wages, the mid-eighteenth century p u r c h a s i n g day's labour was  The  power of a  s t i l l o n l y 60% of what i t had been i n  c r u c i a l t e c h n i c a l i n n o v a t i o n was  c o n v e r t i b l e husbandry.  1500.  the p r a c t i c e of  T h i s type of farming  "married  the  l i v e s t o c k to the s o i l and e x t r a c t e d the g r e a t e s t p o s s i b l e c e r e a l and  animal produce from the farm."^  that, by u s i n g fodder  crops  Farmers found  (legumes such as c l o v e r , s a n f o i n ,  ryegrass  and t u r n i p s ) , they r e c e i v e d a t h r e e - f o l d b e n e f i t :  •(1)  Because of the n i t r o g e n - f i x i n g q u a l i t i e s of the legumes the l a n d was more f e r t i l e , g i v i n g h i g h e r crop y i e l d s .  The  (2)  The farmers had a l a r g e r amount of fodder to feed and improve t h e i r animals w h i l e b e i n g able to keep more of them over the w i n t e r .  (3)  These animals produced e x t r a dung f o r i n c r e a s e d manuring and f e r t i l i z a t i o n .  use  of legumes d i s t i n g u i s h e d c o n v e r t i b l e husbandry from  mixed farming. avoided its  having  'heart' .  By f e e d i n g n i t r o g e n i n t o the s o i l ,  farmers  to l e t t h e i r l a n d l a y f a l l o w to s l o w l y  They v/ere able to c u l t i v a t e t h e i r land almost  c o n t i n u o u s l y without  d e p l e t i n g i t s f e r t i l i t y w i t h the  that a s i g n i f i c a n t l y  l a r g e r p o r t i o n of the country's  area v/as available to feed the  'Convertible husbandry was the l i g h t  1  s o i l s of southern  Kerridge,  regain  result arable  population.  p a r t i c u l a r l y w e l l s u i t e d to  and e a s t e r n England which had  A g r i c u l t u r a l R e v o l u t i o n , p.  202.  12  p r e v i o u s l y been worn out by permanent c r o p p i n g .  The use o f  n i t r o g e n - f i x i n g legumes remedied t h i s d e f i c i e n c y w i t h the r e s u l t t h a t , from the mid-seventeenth century, farmers began to produce c e r e a l s u r p l u s e s and England became an e x p o r t e r of g r a i n . 1660  During the g e n t l e subsidence of food p r i c e s  "light  after  l a n d farmers found t h a t by i n n o v a t i n g they c o u l d  p r o f i t a b l y expand  t h e i r output.  of produce on the market, at l e a s t maintain t h e i r  By p u t t i n g a b i g g e r volume  even a t reduced p r i c e s , they c o u l d income."  The f i r s t t o f e e l the squeeze of d e c l i n i n g p r o f i t s were, the c e r e a l farmers on the c l a y s o i l s o f the midlands. t o the i n t r o d u c t i o n of c o n v e r t i b l e husbandry  Prior  the midlands  had been the granary o f the country, but because the c l a y s o i l s were u n s u i t a b l e f o r growing  legumes they r e c e i v e d  m a r g i n a l b e n e f i t s from the r e v o l u t i o n i n a g r i c u l t u r a l niques.  In a d d i t i o n the heavy c l a y land was  t o work than the f r e e - d r a i n i n g ,  only  tech-  more d i f f i c u l t  l i g h t s o i l s so t h a t p r o d u c t i o n  c o s t s were h i g h e r f o r the farmers i n the midlands.  Thus the  growth o f l a r g e - s c a l e c e r e a l s u r p l u s e s from the south and e a s t p l a c e d unbearable p r e s s u r e on those midland farmers 1  who  1 E.L. Jones, " A g r i c u l t u r e and Economic Growth i n England 1660 - 1750: A g r i c u l t u r a l Change", i n Jones, ed., A g r i c u l t u r e and Economic Growth i n England 1650 - 1815, (London, 1967), pp. 162 - 8.  13 tried  t o compete i n t h e g r a i n  The able  clay  soils  for dairy  wool.  But  capital  of the midlands,  farming  livestock  and  resources  were,  into  o f t e n a n t s and  The  beneficiaries  who  possessed the  result  form soils  of  i n the  rapid  owner-occupiers.  i n the  tenant  the  landowners  l a n d market,  farming  became  s m a l l s u b s i s t e n c e f a r m e r s were b e i n g d r i v e n  to s u i t  o f c o n v e r t i b l e husbandry, had their  of a g r i c u l t u r a l moved away f r o m  f o r c e d by cropping  com-  r e l o c a t i o n of a r a b l e farming, which r e s u l t e d  introduction  farmers  The  land.  The the  the  resulted  to invest  their  t h e p r e s s u r e s on  selling-out  that professional,  possess.  to reallocate  s i t u a t i o n were t h o s e  extra capital  more common as the  of t h i s  the  and  d i d not  activities.  intensified  of the midlands  and  grazing required large  t h e s e more p r o f i t a b l e  farmers  turn-over  off  and  t h e r e f o r e , unable  r  suit-  t h e p r o d u c t i o n o f meat, h i d e s  farming  b i n a t i o n o f the se f a c t o r s  with  however, were most  e x p e n d i t u r e s w h i c h many f a r m e r s  T h e s e s m a l l men  peasant  market.  their  land's s o i l activity.  type with  When f a r m e r s  the pasture farming  land's i n a b i l i t y  t h e y moved i n t o  cereal  forced complementary  on  the  light  t h a t had been  to s u s t a i n farming.  a  from  permanent  F a r m e r s on  the  en-  14 heavier  soils  were f o r c e d turing long,  v/ho h a d b e e n  into pasture farming.  This wholesale  drawn-out p r o c e s s t h a t began e a r l y g a i n e d momentum a f t e r  p l e t e d by the m i d d l e o f a number o f  restruc-  the  1660,  i n the  b u t was  the e i g h t e e n t h  still  century.  a  seventeenth not  com-  There  were  important reasons f o r the p r o t r a c t e d  character  transformation:  (1)  S o i l t y p e s were not everywhere e i t h e r heavy or l i g h t , many p l a c e s h a d s o i l o f a m i x e d t e x t u r e and q u a l i t y .  (2)  The t r a n s m i s s i o n o f t h e nev/ t e c h n i q u e s was They moved b y w o r d o f mouth a n d , a t f i r s t , p r a c t i s e d on a t r i a l a n d e r r o r b a s i s .  (3)  I n the m i d - s e v e n t e e n t h c e n t u r y t h e r e were s t i l l a g r e a t many p e a s a n t - s u b s i s t e n c e f a r m e r s v/ho v/ere r e l u c t a n t t o change t h e i r h a b i t s and t h i s t r a d i t i o n a l f r a m e o f m i n d was o n l y g r a d u a l l y r e p l a c e d b y a more modern o n e .  (4)  P e a s a n t f a r m e r s v/ere n o t s u m m a r i l y d i s p o s s e s s e d b u t were o f t e n a b l e t o p e r s i s t f o r a c o n s i d e r a b l e t i m e i n t h e f a c e o f a d v e r s i t y , and t h i s p e r s i s t e n c h e l d back the growth of the m a r k e t - o r i e n t e d , c a p i t a l i s t f a r m e r s v/ho w e r e w i l l i n g t o i n n o v a t e .  (5)  R e g i o n a l e c o n o m i c demand m i g h t be i n c o n f l i c t v / i t h the n a t i o n a l p a t t e r n thus m i t i g a t i n g the impact of the t r a n s f o r m a t i o n .  (6)  F o r some f a r m e r s t h e s h o r t - t e r m p r i c e s t r u c t u r e m i g h t be u n f a v o u r a b l e t o a s w i t c h - o v e r i n t h e i r mode o f f a r m i n g .  These q u a l i f i c a t i o n s of  producers  o f t h e n a t i o n a l d i v i s i o n o f a g r i c u l t u r a l l a b o u r was  century,  of  the p r i n c i p a l g r a i n  can o n l y e x p l a i n the  the t r a n s f o r m a t i o n ,  b u t they cannot  relative  negate i t s  slow. were  slowness existence.  15  T h e r e f o r e , w h i l e the r e s t r a i n t s were l o c a l l i m i t i n g  factors,  the t r a n s f o r m a t i o n was a p e r v a s i v e n a t i o n a l phenomenon.  Those i n e f f i c i e n t farmers who d i d not keep up w i t h the changing requirements  f o r success were d i s p o s s e s s e d .  England  became a country o f : "mainly l a r g e l a n d l o r d s , c u l t i v a t e d by tenant farmers working the land w i t h h i r e d l a b o u r e r s . T h i s s t r u c t u r e was p a r t i a l l y hidden by an undergrowth o f e c o n o m i c a l l y m a r g i n a l c o t t a g e r - l a b o u r e r s , o r other s m a l l independents and semi-independents, but t h i s should not obscure the fundamental t r a n s f o r m a t i o n which had a l r e a d y taken place. By 1790 l a n d l o r d s owned perhaps t h r e e - q u a r t e r s of the c u l t i v a t e d land, occupying f r e e h o l d e r s perhaps f i f t e e n t o twenty per cent and a 'peasantry' i n the u s u a l sense no longer e x i s t e d . " The m o d e r n i z a t i o n  o f the a g r i c u l t u r a l economy, then, r e s u l t e d  i n the growth o f a g r i c u l t u r a l p r o d u c t i v i t y , i n the e n l a r g e ment o f the p r o d u c t i v e u n i t s , and i n the r e d u c t i o n of the number o f farmers.  The c r e a t i o n and maintenance o f an  a g r i c u l t u r a l s u r p l u s throughout the 1660 - 1780 p e r i o d f r e e d labour and investment  f o r redeployment i n t o n o n - a g r i c u l t u r a l  acitivities.  -  The modernization  2  -  o f E n g l i s h i n d u s t r y and commerce be-  1, E ; J . Hobsbawm, I n d u s t r y and Empire, (London, 1968), p. 78. The occupying f r e e h o l d e r s t h a t Hobsbawm mentions were not a l l s m a l l farmers, many o f them h e l d as much as f i v e times the acreage o f the s m a l l e r f r e e h o l d e r s . Thus, the amount of land c u l t i v a t e d i n l a r g e u n i t s might have been as h i g h as 85% of the t o t a l .  16  gan  i n the  ditional staple mercy and  of  a  foreign  to  patents.  had  servative of  demand.  Europe  ensure  exports  the  ever,  to  was  itself  the  growth  unit  grow  i n volume  of  as  the  to  During  traditional exports.  Furthermore, changing  sheep  seven  Supple,  of  after  the  1620's  causing  due  flocks  times  abundant  the to  which  p.  cloth con-  i t s share the  Thirty-  broadcloth  important,  how-  industry in  their  accounted  share  had  increasingly  careful  than  and 137.  of  had  English  English  caused  Crisis  produc-  the  s u p p l i e s were  1959),  right  This  reducing  quality  the  more w o o l  Commercial  (Cambridge,  1640  by  English  E v e n more  eastern  London-  1550.  broadcloths  By  a  to  the  English  maintain  were  these  42,  only  Europe  sold  the  at  regulated  profits.  products  35%.  pasturing  -  per  inexpensive  s u p p l y was  B.E.  high  market.  entirely  had  woollen  London's  1600  company  tra-  been  exports  domestic  of to  cloth  i t s  had  been  a  for  However,  trading  had  of  Adventurers,  controlled  precipitously.  1606  as. m u c h  Merchant  decline  In  1  to  economy,  cloths  central  sales.  fallen  had  collapse  broadcloths  wracked  Germany whose  72%  the  The  ceased  The  organization desired  War  exports  wool  by  international  Years'  the  Heavy w o o l l e n  monopoly which  royal  to  single-product export  central  tion  i n response  markets.  of  based of  1620's  these  sheep  to  bear  rough-pastured  sheep.  coarse  and  a  Change  in  had  England  long  17  staple  so that  duction  i n the  pro-  1  a new  markets. the  u n s u i t a b l e f o r use  o f heavy woollen broadcloths." '  Woollen ducing  t h e y were  By  nature  manufacturers  responded  type  of cloth  t o be  1640  " t h e new  draperies had profoundly  of the English  to this  sold  textile  to  crisis  by  pro-  Mediterranean  industry  altered  and t h e geo-  2 graphical of  pattern of English  t h e w o o l l e n -'industry  traditional gave the  sheep  farmers time  when  favourable The mental  an  introduction  s u m e r s who  was  siderably  less  P . J . Bowden, 1962),  Supple,  such  to forego  many  and  pp.  40.  25  -  159.  of  un-  funda-  The sold  charlight  to  con-  This pattern of  favourable to a rapid  increase i n  sold  woollens.  i n Tudor  just  market.  of the  enterprise.  d r a p e r i e s were  at  creating  d r a p e r i e s was  i t possessed  Trade  p.  was  i n the grain  the t r a d i t i o n a l  since i t  arable farming  revolution  f o r them  The Wool  Ibid.,  Leicestershire  fashionable clothing.  t h e new  than  as  i n many v a r i e t i e s  highly  because  2  repercussions i n the  industrial  produced  purchases  (London,  because  demanded  consumption  important  o f t h e new  o f modern  were  The t r a n s f o r m a t i o n  the a g r i c u l t u r a l  circumstances  acteristics  1  counties  incentive  importance  fabrics  had  trade."  and  f o r conMass p r o -  Stuart  England,  18  duction  responsive  because  these  commodity By  a  The the  low  of  the  the  their  had  of  been  The  costs  they  had  enforced  expanding  drawn  F. J .  English  even  in  Fisher,  thus,  Overseas  Centuries,  with  1640,  i n W.E. Trade  (London,  the  popular  purchased. the  output  new  draperies  and  to to  for  the  a  i n the p.  changing enabled of  subordinated  1600  1640  and so  draperies  Trade  1640  i n export  i n the The  Seventeenth  and  to  production  t h a t by  ed.,  6S.  to  turnover  E n g l i s h e c o n o m y was  Export  guilds,  textiles  quick  fivefold  old  the  of  becoming  Minchinton,  1969),  monopoly  respond  light  realize avoid  to  the  standardized  exporting  able  Between  the  whose  promoted  Unlike  regulations of  were  increased  "London's  Century",  the  the  demand  producers  and,  of  by  and  producers  draperies  However,  teenth  a  fabrics,  expanded  manufacturers  merchant-financiers. new  proceed  such  eagerly  inexpensive  draperies  Adventurers  capital  the  goods were  were  to  small-scale manufacturers.  broadcloth  independent  the  of  independent  fashions.  new  production  Merchant  these  1  the  independence  production  quality  textiles  able  profits.  traditional  of  low  t a s t e s was  cheap  l a r g e volume  manufacturers maintained  changing  colourful,  that  selling  to  s t i l l  Early  value.  de-  Seven-  Growth  of  Eighteenth  19 pendent on w o o l f o r diversifying as  t h e i r exports  its  exports.  The p r o s p e c t s  t o Europe were s l i g h t  so  colonial  t h e home m a r k e t .  " T h e most  cluded that-without i t s and s t i m u l u s , found i t better  (i.e.  difficult  t h e N a v i g a t i o n Code)  i n Europe. tobacco, vessels  so  treatment.  of  the  1651 a n d 1660 c r e a t e d  from the r e - s a l e of  The c o l o n i a l p r o d u c e ,  s u g a r and f i s h ,  h a d t o be t r a n s p o r t e d  a  insured  B a n k i n g , m e r c h a n d i s i n g and i n l a n d so  a n d c e r t a i n t y became  1 C. W i l s o n , E n g l a n d ' s 1 9 6 5 ) , p . 184.  that  closed to  such  as  in English preferential  of w e a l t h from the c o l o n i e s  t i o n w e r e made more e f f i c i e n t regularity  Dutch."  c o l o n i a l goods  the modernization of the E n g l i s h commercial  structure.  con-  skill,  mainly b u l k y items  t h a t t h e m e r c h a n t m a r i n e was The i n f l u x  welfare  protection  thereby e n a b l i n g E n g l i s h merchants profits  a  and s h i p p i n g w o u l d have  t e c h n o l o g y and e n t r e n c h e d i n t e r e s t s  receive windfall  have  to develop a g a i n s t the g r e a t e r  The' N a v i g a t i o n A c t s o f  tated  economy t o t h e  careful analysts  the E n g l i s h trade  commercial system  The  to these l i m i t a t i o n s by d e v e l o p i n g  empire and s u b o r d i n a t i n g i t s  for  long  the Dutch c o n t r o l l e d the European c a r r y i n g t r a d e .  E n g l i s h responded  of  80% o f  faciliinfra-  transporta-  a greater  degree  of  possible.  A p p r e n t i c e s h i p 1603 -  1763,  (London,  20  The dustry tured  c o l o n i a l system  by  protecting  goods.  slaves  were  Manchester tropics  for  the  in  both  for  Liverpool  city  expanding  market  for  American  lighter  in  the  received  English grew  were  an  hardware  industry  invaluable  stimulus  which  eighteenth of  great  played the  a  point  century  century."''  exports vital where  of  part  the  and  colonies  the  technical  and  building change  woollens. to  from  as  raw  the  r e s u l t of  later of  was  growth  i t throughout  were  the of  these  transformed  same  building  A t l a n t i c trade.  i t s early  from  materials  very  Ship a  The  demands  the  cloth.  sustained  i r o n wares  Indian  c o l o n i a l system  promoted  "The  in  the  in-  i t s manufac-  West  Indeed,  imported  in  English  response  enormous b o o s t  involvement  seventeenth  in  and  light  manufactured  Birmingham  late  colonists  clothing.  goods  bought  merchants'  in  industry  production which  growth  clothed  cotton  the  places  North  an  fostered  the  For  the  an in  the  the  destinations cottons  which  industries the  to  momentum  2 of  growth."  1 W.H.B. C o u r t , T h e R i s e o f t h e M i d l a n d I n d u s t r i e s , (Oxford, 1953), p a s s i m . The i m p o r t a n c e o f t h e E n g l i s h c o l o n i e s i n the A m e r i c a s i s a l s o d e a l t w i t h by E r i c W i l l i a m s (Capitalism and S l a v e r y , (New Y o r k , 1 9 6 5 ) , p p . 51 84.). 2  R.  -Davis,  (London,  The  1962),  Rise p.  of 393.  the  English  Shipping  Industry,  21  A stagnating one  t h a t was  formation  economy had been r e p l a c e d by  amenable to change and  was  so r a p i d , t h a t by the  growth.  a dynamic  "The  trans-  1690's England seemed  a c t u a l l y on the verge of i n d u s t r i a l r e v o l u t i o n . . . . Moreover, t h i s transformation  i n the w o r l d p o s i t i o n o f the  economy was  merely to spontaneous economic develop-  not due  British  ments w i t h i n ' i t , but p l a i n l y to a major r e v o l u t i o n i n p o l i c y , which h e n c e f o r t h  subordinated  a l l other  ends to an  aggresive  IF  mercantilism, However, the  to the accumulation of c a p i t a l and industry that d i d e x i s t during  d u s t r i a l p e r i o d was  organized  on a domestic,  E n g l i s h goods were s o l d e x t e n s i v e l y  r a t h e r than i n t e n s i v e l y .  As  long as the A t l a n t i c trade  h i g h l y p r o f i t a b l e , e n t r e p r e n e u r s saw manufacturing and  proto-in-  t r a n s i t i o n a l i n s o f a r as i t s o l d i t s  products to a mass market but was handicraft basis.  the  profit.""'"  t h i s b i a s was  ease of disinvestment  was  no reason to i n v e s t i n  r e - i n f o r c e d by  which gave trade  the  relative  i t s advantage over  i n d u s t r y as a magnet f o r funds u n t i l the development of a 2 market f o r i n d u s t r x a l shares. of the m e r c a n t i l e  economy i n the  I t was  not u n t i l the  l a t e r eighteenth  decline  century  1 E.J. Hobsbawm, "The Seventeenth Century i n the Development of C a p i t a l i s m " , Science and. S o c i e t y , XXIV/2, p. 110. 2 R. Grassby, " E n g l i s h Merchant C a p i t a l i s m " , sent, 46, (1970), p. 106.  Past and  Pre-  22  that  capital  investment  revolutionize  in  i n d u s t r y v/as  million growth tinct  population in  1500.  was  not  periods (1)  By  From  (3)  gested such  the  for  the  are  1500  1650  and  about  million.  divided  as  2.8  However,  into  population  the  growth  three  from  grov/th  rate  of  population  grew  from  a  this  dis-  follows: grew  rate  of  .18%  per  23.).  The by  rough the  Tucker,  2.8 .47%  5.3  to  annum.  History  and  into  growth  (quoted 1931),  (London,  source  be  Gregory  i n M.D.  for  George,  was  6.3  The  9.1  Brownlee  Farr, Vale  million and  2nd  (E.A. As  England  XVl/2, but Wrigley,  there  1801  in and  of  are of  5.5  in Transition,  regime  Trent,  for  under  approximation  million  Griffith  2.8  throughout  estimate  Brov/nlee of  Ser.,  78.)  our  the  of  century  1650  p.  sug-  possible  rapidly  King's  Under  Chambers, of  about  figures the  figure  seventeenth  p. 1 1 . ) . only  that  1800 9.1  Pre--industrial  Review, grew  1969),  best  by  figure  the  halted  suggested  Farr,  accurate so  The  "English  population  the  no  approximation  The  must  are  estimates. best  Economic  population been  there  English population  (G.S.L.  1650  i n J.D.  suggested  century  History,  1688  the has  (quoted  a  only  population in  growth,  was  the  1750  i s only  century  figures for  figure  9.1  million;  the  205-18).  (Harmondsv/orth,  p.  of  rapid population  million  W a l e s was  o u t l i n e s ^ were  5.3  to  Trends",  pp.  Population no  size  sixteenth  this  but  nineteenth  circumstances  (1963),  i t was  1650  million;  numbers  Population the  1650  actual  million  and  From the m i d d l e of the e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r y t o t h e p o p u l a t i o n g r e w f r o m 6.3 m i l l i o n t o a b o u t m i l l i o n ; a r a t e o f g r o w t h o f . 7 2 % p e r annum.  Before the  to  to  -  annum.  6.3  1  1800  whose b r o a d  per  3  England  continuous  million  on  of  From'1500  (2)  to  production.  The  sufficient  of  slow  1750.  This  Griffith  (London, was  (Ibid.).  also  1957),  23  There are a number of reasons growth r a t e was  why  s i g n i f i c a n t l y slower  p e r i o d t h a t i t was  either before  the  population's  d u r i n g the second  1650  or a f t e r  1750:  (1)  Large c i t i e s were so n o t o r i o u s l y unhealthy t h a t they r e q u i r e d continuous i n f u s i o n s of r u r a l b l o o d merely to m a i n t a i n t h e i r s i z e . During the century from 1650 to 1750 t h e r e was an i n c r e a s e i n the number, s i z e and importance of urban c e n t e r s i n England. In 1650, 350,000 people l i v e d i n London, w h i l e i n 1750 i t s p o p u l a t i o n had grown to 700,000 or 11% of England's t o t a l p o p u l a t i o n . Maintaining London's growth had r e q u i r e d a net immigration of eight* to ten thousand a year. " I t s continued growth a c t e d as a brake upon the growth of the English population. " Moreover, the growth of s m a l l e r urban centers such as L i v e r p o o l , B r i s t o l .and Nottingham s i m i l a r l y h e l p e d to r e s t r a i n popul a t i o n i n c r e a s e , though on a s m a l l e r s c a l e than London. Thus, the c r e a t i o n , continued e x i s t e n c e and expansion of s u b s t a n t i a l urban c e n t e r s was accomplished by the a b s o r p t i o n of some of the surplus r u r a l population.  (2)  In the l a t e seventeenth century Gregory King e s t i mated t h a t at l e a s t h a l f of the households i n England had incomes t h a t were inadequate by contemporary standards. The c o m m e r c i a l i z a t i o n of a g r i c u l t u r e t h a t proceeded throughout the 16501750 p e r i o d r e s u l t e d i n the disappearance of p e a s a n t - s u b s i s t e n c e farming and the concomitant expansion of a c l a s s of wage-earning l a b o u r e r s . U n l i k e the peasant-farmer who had a measure of s e c u r i t y i n h i s land, the wage-earner's o n l y a s s e t was h i s labour f o r which t h e r e was o f t e n l i t t l e demand. Throughout the economy t h e r e was endemic underemployment, t h i s phenomenon was p a r t i c u l a r l y acute among farm l a b o u r e r s . U n t i l the I n d u s t r i a l R e v o l u t i o n manufacturing o c c u p i e d such a s m a l l p a r t of the t o t a l labour f o r c e t h a t redundant farm  ....  1 Wrigley,  P o p u l a t i o n and H i s t o r y , pp.  95-8,  148-50.  24  labour c o u l d not be t r a n s f e r r e d i n t o i n d u s t r i a l employments. T h e r e f o r e , a s u b s t a n t i a l s e c t i o n o f the community d i d not enjoy a steady, secure income w i t h which t o support a f a m i l y . From the s i x t e e n t h centure t o 1911 the mean househ o l d s i z e was r e l a t i v e l y constant a t 4.75.-'- T h i s • meant t h a t when p o p u l a t i o n growth d i d occur i t was not the household's s i z e but the number o f househ o l d s themselves t h a t were i n c r e a s e d . A h i g h e r p r o p o r t i o n o f those people o f m a r i t a l age c r e a t e d households. When the average age a t marriage v/as reduced the g e n e r a t i o n s were more c l o s e l y spaced and more households were c r e a t e d . However, between 1650 and 1750 E n g l i s h p o p u l a t i o n growth was b e i n g l i m i t e d because t h e p r o t o - i n d u s t r i a l economy d i d not p r o v i d e steady, secure employment f o r the labouring class. Many underemployed l a b o u r e r s were r e t i c e n t t o marry or t o have c h i l d r e n , "most of the evidence suggests t h a t p o v e r t y was a major cause o f f a m i l y l i m i t a t i o n arid t h a t i t v/as the poor who o f t e n r e s t r i c t e d the s i z e o f t h e i r families."^ Because people d i d not marry u n t i l t h e i r new household c o u l d be e c o n o m i c a l l y v i a b l e the age a t f i r s t marriage v/as r a r e l y under twentyf i v e , w i t h the average age b e i n g twenty-eight. T h i s marriage p a t t e r n kept women c h i l d l e s s f o r a s u b s t a n t i a l p o r t i o n of t h e i r f e r t i l e p e r i o d ( i . e . from the ages e i g h t e e n t o f o r t y when c o n c e p t i o n was p o s s i b l e ) . Furthermore, i l l e g i t i m a c y seems to have been r e l a t i v e l y uncommon even though many people never m a r r i e d . A g r e a t amount o f the community's p o t e n t i a l f e r t i l i t y remained unused. (3)  Between the e a r l y years o f the seventeenth century and the 1770's new s o c i e t i e s were c r e a t e d i n North America and the West Indies by emigrants from  1 T.P.R. L a s l e t t , " S i z e and S t r u c t u r e o f the Household i n England Over Three C e n t u r i e s " , P o p u l a t i o n S t u d i e s , X X I I l / 2 , (1969), pp. 199 - 223. 2 J.T. Krause, "Some N e g l e c t e d F a c t o r s i n the E n g l i s h I n d u s t r i a l R e v o l u t i o n " , i n M. Drake, ed., P o p u l a t i o n i n I n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n , (London, 1969), p. 107.  25  England who were seeking a b e t t e r l i f e w i t h land of t h e i r own. Many more Englishmen were t r a n s p o r t e d to the c o l o n i e s as i n d e n t u r e d s e r v a n t s or c o n v i c t s s i n c e t h i s " e m i g r a t i o n was i n tune.with the merc a n t i l i s t t h e o r i e s o f the day which s t r o n g l y advocated p u t t i n g the poor to i n d u s t r i o u s and u s e f u l labour and favoured e m i g r a t i o n , v o l u n t a r y or i n • v o l u n t a r y , as r e l i e v i n g the poor r a t e s and f i n d i n g more p r o f i t a b l e occupations f o r i d l e r s and vagrants abroad."-'- The white p o p u l a t i o n of the c o l o n i e s was over three m i l l i o n i n the 1770's and i t seems ..plausible t h a t as many as 500,000 people had l e f t England by t h i s time. (4)  Not  Another s o c i a l c o n t r o l of p o p u l a t i o n growth was c r e a f e d by the almost s y s t e m a t i c i n f a n t i c i d e of the f o u n d l i n g h o s p i t a l s d u r i n g t h i s p e r i o d . "The i n f a n t death r a t e i n workhouses i n 14 London p a r i s h e s i n the e i g h t e e n t h century was estimated at 88 per cent by a contemporary, Jonas Hanway, who i n q u i r e d i n t o t h i s matter."  a l l p a r t s of England, however, had  c l i n i n g populations and manufacturing  i n the 1650-1750 p e r i o d .  d i s t r i c t s both experienced  s t a b l e or  de-  Urban c e n t e r s increases.  People from the c o u n t r y s i d e i n search of employment were drawn to the prosperous commercial c i t i e s .  T h i s move-  ment of labour d i d not cause the n a t i o n a l p o p u l a t i o n to grow because the c i t y ' s g a i n was the p o p u l a t i o n was  being  the c o u n t r y s i d e ' s  redeployed  away from those  loss  as  economic  r e g i o n s which c o u l d not f u l l y employ a l l t h e i r r e s i d e n t s .  1 Williams, 2 Wrigley,  Ca p i t a 1 i sm and  S ]. a ye r v, pp.  P o p u l a t i o n and H i s t o r y , p.  9 -  126.  10.  26  Furthermore, not p r o v i d e the  the economies of the  enough employment f o r a l l t h e  p a r t i c u l a r l y acute  immigrants  with  This form of s o c i a l d i s l o c a t i o n  creased  steadily.  The  t h a t y o u n g men  districts  the p o p u l a t i o n i n -  T h i s p o p u l a t i o n g r o w t h was  because i n d u s t r y p r o v i d e d employment.  r e l a t i v e l y steady,  e a r n e d f u l l wages a n d  manufacturing t o a few  was  u n a b l e t o a b s o r b t h e mass o f t h e  labourers.  The  a g r i c u l t u r a l and w i t h i n the Vale  supple-  Unfortunately,  w i t h the  opera-  result that i t  redundant  farm  d i s t i n c t p a t t e r n s of p o p u l a t i o n growth i n i n d u s t r i a l economies were e x e m p l i f i e d of Trent  after  1650.  T743 s i x t y - t w o a g r i c u l t u r a l v i l l a g e s in. the  M o r e o v e r , women  usually a small-scale  localities,  marry  t h e i r household,  m e n t i n g t h e man's o f t e n i n a d e q u a t e w a g e s .  confined  year-round  so were a b l e t o  than farm l a b o u r e r s .  c h i l d r e n a l s o worked to support  tion,  sustained  d e c a y o f a p p r e n t i c e s h i p r e g u l a t i o n s meant  considerably e a r l i e r  rudimentary  was  i n London.  W i t h i n the manufacturing  was  could  r e s u l t t h a t a hugh t r a n s i e n t p o p u l a t i o n f l o u r i s h e d w i t h i n  a s o c i a l underworld.  and  commercial c i t i e s  1743-64 p e r i o d , 6.4%;  industrial villages  i n the  and  B e t w e e n 1674 increased  and  12.7%;  1 7 6 4 - 1 8 0 1 , 38.7%.  In  then forty  same t i m e p e r i o d s p o p u l a t i o n i n -  27  creased  47.8%;  35.9%  economy  of  Vale  high, been  a  the  from  constant  source  Nottingham  However,  i t was  bourhood  to  work.  ment  migrate  The  horizons  were  An  to  Trent  of  and  to  early  migration  labour even  the  for  Most of  from  to  outside  have  villages. the  villages  the  h i g h l y mobile,  i t s  settlement 1686  -  within  a  period  search argu-  small  certificates 1726  neigh-  in  supports  m o v e m e n t was  i n the  seem  agricultural  Birmingham  the  Birmingham  v/as e x c e p t i o n a l l y  industrialized of  regional  industrialized  nearby  p o p u l a t i o n was  limited.  the  villages  f o r people  growth  the  Within  1  agricultural  examination  immigrants  96.5%.  uncommon  that while  area.  of  immigrants  villages,  of  and  of  showed  o that the  over  75%  growth  adjacent over  of  erized acute  by  the  economy  Chambers,  2  Court,  3  E.J.  ser.,  immediate  area.  was  f u e l e d by  immigration  only  The  Midland  Bukatzsch,  Sheffield, II/3,  2 5%  of  the  Similarly,  immigrants  from  came  the  from  away.^  structural  1  into  miles  as  the  proto-industrial  within  national  from  Sheffield  parishes  twenty The  came  e c o n o m y was,  underemployment  agricultural broke  Vale  of  through  to  Trent,  "Places  (1950),  pp.  of  pp.  -  19  was  Unless  full  charact-  particularly and  until  the  industrialization  -  35.  50.  Origin  1799", 303  which  sector.  I n d u s t r i e s , p.  1624  therefore,  of  Economic 6.  a  Group  History  of  Immigrants  Review,  2nd  28  and  full  e m p l o y m e n t , any  population  was  increase  i n the  s i z e of the  n e c e s s a r i l y accompanied by  immiseration  of r u r a l wage-earners.  Insofar  agricultural population  f o u n d r e g u l a r employment i n i n -  dustry,  as a p a r t  the  total  of t h e i r  the manufacturing areas d i f f e r e d from the  redundant  farming  communities.  - 4 Economic c o n d i t i o n s  -  favouring  the  c r e a t i o n of  s c a l e d o m e s t i c i n d u s t r y were d e v e l o p e d i n the teenth  century.  General,  the  individual parts.  c o l o n i a l s y s t e m and  the  later  seven-  n a t i o n - w i d e improvements were v i t a l  s i n c e the p r o g r e s s of the whole e x e r t e d on  small-  For  modernizing  example, the  pressures  expansion of  A t l a n t i c t r i a n g u l a r t r a d e was  profound importance f o r the  the  of  d e v e l o p m e n t o f a l a r g e r , more  s o p h i s t i c a t e d hardware i n d u s t r y i n the Birmingham  region.  The  c o n s u m e r demand f r o m o v e r s e a s p r e s e n t e d a new  opportunity  for  the  Birmingham i r o n work d i s t r i c t  t i o n at the  expense of i t s E n g l i s h r i v a l s ,  prepared that d i s t r i c t market."'" by  the  to increase  This  for eventual  concentration  and,  o f i n d u s t r y was  passim.  by  c o n t r o l of the  so  doing,  home  accompanied  f a c t t h a t a g r o w i n g number o f i n d u s t r i a l  1 Court, Midland I n d u s t r i e s ,  produc-  labourers  29  (many of whom were d i v o r c e d t h e i r food:  from the  a g r i c u l t u r a l production  sumer demands.  land) had  to purchase  became geared to con-  Together with London, the i n d u s t r i a l d i s -  t r i c t s were the prime agents of consumer demand f o r stuffs;  and  t h i s i n turn stimulated  agricultural enterprise. a few  food-  the r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n  T h i s b r i e f example has  important changes i n i n d u s t r y and  illustrated  agriculture  resulting  from the s h i f t i n g s t r u c t u r e of the n a t i o n a l economy. omic expansion, by  c r e a t i n g new  needs to be  of  Econ-  fulfilled,  enabled the E n g l i s h economy to e x t r i c a t e i t s e l f from i t s heavy dependence on the wool t r a d e . a g r i c u l t u r a l production,  Improvements i n  entrepreneurial a b i l i t y ,  o r g a n i z a t i o n as w e l l as i n t r a n s p o r t a t i o n and all  business  technology  combined to hasten the socio-economic m o d e r n i z a t i o n  of England.  30  CHAPTER  II  AN H I S T O R I C A L PERSPECTIVE OF THE TRANSFORMATION OF L E I C E S T E R S H I R E OVER 4 CENTURIES In  this  geographical  c h a p t e r v/e w i l l forces  Leicestershire systems. rural  combined to t r a n s f o r m the t r a d i t i o n a l  peasant s o c i e t y  i n t o d i v e r s e modern economic  An e x a m i n a t i o n o f t h e p r o c e s s o f m o d e r n i z a t i o n i n  Leicestershire w i l l  growth of ization  e x a m i n e how h i s t o r i c a l a n d  enable  us  in historical  a result  tion.  of,  In fact,  created  (2)  and  perspective. i n response t o ,  and  the modernization of a g r i c u l t u r a l producthe modernization of a g r i c u l t u r a l p r o d u c t i o n  the n e c e s s a r y c o n d i t i o n s f o r the development  manufacturing i n several (1)  the o r i g i n s  c o m m e r c i a l i z e d a g r i c u l t u r e and r u r a l i n d u s t r i a l -  R u r a l i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n emerged as  t o see  of  ways:  The p o p u l a t i o n ' s f o o d r e q u i r e m e n t s w e r e p r o d u c e d b y a s m a l l number o f s p e c i a l i z e d f a r m e r s . Not o n l y were t h e s e farmers s p e c i a l i z e d , b u t t h e y w e r e a l s o e f f i c i e n t w h i c h meant t h a t t h e y p r o d u c e d a large surplus for sale. These c a p i t a l i s t f a r mers e a r n e d t h e i r i n c o m e b y s a t i s f y i n g t h e n o n a g r i c u l t u r a l p o p u l a t i o n ' s demands. By p r o v i d i n g - t h e b a s i c , s u b s i s t e n c e n e e d s f o r a l a r g e number of p e o p l e engaged i n n o n - a g r i c u l t u r a l a c t i v i t i e s , t h e r e f o r e , the modernization of the a g r i c u l t u r a l s e c t o r l a i d t h e f o u n d a t i o n s f o r an i n d u s t r i a l economy. An i m p o r t a n t p r e l i m i n a r y s t a g e o f  agricultural  31  m o d e r n i z a t i o n was the r e o r g a n i z a t i o n of the land into large, e f f i c i e n t productive units. This process was accompanied by the c r e a t i o n of a l a r g e c l a s s of wage-labourers who were not f u l l y emp l o y e d by the c a p i t a l i s t farmers. U n t i l the i n t r o d u c t i o n of i n d u s t r i a l a c t i v i t y the labour market was c h a r a c t e r i z e d by endemic underemploy, ment. L a b o u r - i n t e n s i v e rudimentary manufacturing was, however, e s t a b l i s h e d where a s u f f i c i e n t numb e r of i n d i g e n t l a b o u r e r s e x i s t e d to keep c o s t s down. (3)  Consumer demand f o r manufactured a r t i c l e s was i n i t i a l l y r e - i n f o r c e d by the w e a l t h i e r p a r t s of the community. The emergence of a mass market f o r consumer goods was very l a t e . In a d d i t i o n to the l a n d l o r d s w i t h f i x e d incomes, secured by primog e n i t u r e and s t r i c t settlement, and t h e i r r e l a t i v e s who o f t e n j o i n e d a s u b - c l a s s of ' l a d i e s and g e n t l e men l i v i n g on incomes', t h e r e were a l a r g e number o f tenant-farmers who commanded l a r g e incomes and " d i d not t r y to hoard or t r y to add p a r c e l t o p a r c e l of t h e i r h o l d i n g s as peasants might do, but who spent reasonably f r e e l y on manufactured a r t i c l e s , gee-gaws and f r i p p e r i e s - the t h i n g s whose p r o d u c t i o n the I n d u s t r i a l R e v o l u t i o n was a l l about." 1  (4)  While d i r e c t investment by a g r a r i a n c a p i t a l i n i n d u s t r i a l a c t i v i t i e s was s l i g h t , i t s i n d i r e c t , s u p p o r t i n g investment c r e a t e d an i n f r a s t r u c t u r e t h a t was h i g h l y f a v o u r a b l e to manufacturing. The l a r g e c a p i t a l r e s e r v o i r of the w e a l t h i e s t landowners was i n s t r u m e n t a l i n p r o v i d i n g the f i n a n c i a l b a c k i n g f o r not o n l y r u r a l improvements but a l s o overseas trade, i n t e r n a l communications and resource development. Moreover, a banking system of c o n s i d e r a b l e s o p h i s t i c a t i o n was developed i n response to the demands of i n v e s t o r s .  1 F.M.L. Thompson, "Landownership and Economic Growth", i n E.L. Jones and S.J. Woolf, eds., A g r a r i a n Change and Economic Development, (London, 19G9), pp. 57 - 60.  32  (5)  The i n c u r s i o n of market c o n s i d e r a t i o n s i n t o economic matters l e d to r a t i o n a l c a l c u l a t i o n a breakdown of t r a d i t i o n a l forms of a c t i v i t y h a b i t s of mind.  and and  During the second h a l f o f the seventeenth century the complementary advance of i n d u s t r y and a g r i c u l t u r e v/as rapid.  Thus, r u r a l i n d u s t r y grew i n a s y m b i o t i c r e l a t i o n -  s h i p w i t h the modernized  a g r i c u l t u r a l s e c t o r o f the expan-  ding economy.  - 1 The p e r i o d of t r a n s i t i o n from a t r a d i t i o n a l , s u b s i s t e n c e system o f c u l t i v a t i o n to modernized,  peasantmarket-  o r i e n t e d a g r i c u l t u r a l p r o d u c t i o n had l a s t e d f o r more than f o u r hundred y e a r s . farming was  The m o d e r n i z a t i o n of L e i c e s t e r s h i r e ' s  s u b s t a n t i a l l y completed by 1800.  The  z a t i o n of a g r i c u l t u r a l e n t e r p r i s e , however, had on a. piecemeal b a s i s . uneven.  Change was  rationali  proceeded  continuous, but slow  and  Rather than e v o l v i n g a t a steady r a t e a c r o s s a l l  p a r t s of the county, the stages of m o d e r n i z a t i o n v a r i e d i n a p p l i c a t i o n from r e g i o n t o r e g i o n .  ;.  The modernized  a g r i c u l t u r a l economy of L e i c e s t e r s h i r e  d i f f e r e d from the t r a d i t i o n a l system of peasant farming i n three, b a s i c r e s p e c t s .  First,  r a t h e r than having s t r i p s i n  the community-controlled common f i e l d s ,  each farmer h e l d  33  h i s land i n i n d i v i d u a l p a r c e l s . not  Individual enterprise  r e s t r a i n e d because i n n o v a t i o n s  c o u l d be more readily-  undertaken s i n c e experiments w i t h new  methods c o u l d  p r a c t i s e d without f e a r of i n t e r f e r e n c e from the council.  Competition r e p l a c e d  co-operation.  r a t h e r than working to s a t i s f y t h e i r own  portance. upon the  loss a consideration  simple needs of  t u r a l a c t i v i t y had  to be  s o i l type because the t i v e that production be  im-  Third, s p e c i a l i z e d a g r i c u l -  c l o s e l y s u i t e d to a complementary  scramble f o r p r o f i t s made i t imperabe  as e f f i c i e n t as p o s s i b l e .  Indeed,  s t a t e d as a r u l e of thumb t h a t the p r o p e n s i t y  the q u a l i t y of the s o i l ;  best  of o v e r r i d i n g  i n the seventeenth century  modernize a g r i c u l t u r a l e n t e r p r i s e was  was  market-place,  s i z e of the market, the c r e a t i o n of a n a t i o n a l  a most important advance.  i t may  village  Because the degree of s p e c i a l i z a t i o n depended  d i v i s i o n of a g r i c u l t u r a l labour was  be  Second,  subsistence,, farmers produced f o r s a l e i n the making p r o f i t and  was  not b a r r e n .  i n v e r s e l y r e l a t e d to  of course, t h a t the  Peasant s o c i e t y f l o u r i s h e d on the  land which was  whereas i t was  providing,  u s u a l l y found i n the  on the more d i f f i c u l t  c l a y or l i g h t sandy s o i l s ,  to  soil  very  river valleys  land,  such as heavy  that h e a v i l y c a p i t a l i z e d a g r i -  c u l t u r a l a c t i v i t i e s were f i r s t  introduced.  34  The  c h a r a c t e r of the s o i l p l a y e d an important  determining  the type of farming  t i s e d on i t .  In order to be  work w i t h t h e i r  e n t e r p r i s e t h a t was  s u c c e s s f u l , farmers  Even the b e s t  to  needing  restore i t s f e r t i l i t y .  un-  inferior  r a r e l y c u l t i v a t e d f o r more than two  t h r e e years without  which was  had  land c o u l d be  worn out by permanent cropping w h i l e s o i l of an  to  prac-  land, t r y i n g not to burden i t w i t h an  s u i t a b l e form of husbandry.  q u a l i t y c o u l d be  role in  or  s u b s t a n t i a l r e s t or manuring Moreover, t h e r e was  some land  not e a s i l y worked so t h a t the f a m i l y farmer c o u l d  not c u l t i v a t e a l a r g e enough area of i t to meet h i s food requirements  and pay h i s r e n t .  untenanted or e l s e i t was  Such i n t r a c t a b l e l a n d went  put under permanent p a s t u r e .  Geo-  l o g i c a l p e c u l i a r i t i e s d e f i n e d , t h e r e f o r e , the permanent f e a t u r e s i n a farmer's capably  linked.  d i v i d e d i n t o two Apart  l i f e w i t h which h i s work v/as i n e s -  L e i c e s t e r s h i r e ' s g e o g r a p t i i c a l make-up v/as roughly  equal areas by the R i v e r Soar.  from a s m a l l patch of l i g h t , upland  s o i l i n the  ext-  reme north east, the land i n L e i c e s t e r s h i r e e a s t of the Soar.was a f e r t i l e but mostly heavy L i a s s i c c l a y . land was  both d i f f i c u l t  to work and  This  s l o w - d r a i n i n g and i n  some p a r t s a h i g h water t a b l e made i t l i a b l e to f l o o d .  V7est  of  the R i v e r Soar the l i g h t e r c l a y s o i l s were more f r i a b l e  to  the plough.  The  land i n western L e i c e s t e r s h i r e , however,  35 greatly  varied  the barren,  in quality  stony  Forest occupied as  i t was  over  and b a d l y  short  drained  distances. land of  a prominent place i n west  scarcely  settled  c e n t u r y when i t was  as  l a t e as  described  as  the  "that  Leicestershire seventeenth  v a s t and  Charnwood."  The a g r i c u l t u r a l  v a l l e y of  t h e S o a r was  o f v e r y good q u a l i t y ,  s o i l but  The s m a l l e r  s i n c e i t was  for pasture farming medieval  rather  agriculture  minimal importance with wresting  their  liable  physical  flood  river  the best  i t was more  suitable  s u b s i s t e n c e from the for  p r o d u c t i o n enhanced  In  i n s o i l t y p e were  s i n c e f a r m e r s were p r i m a r i l y  society  in  a l s o had good  than arable c u l t i v a t i o n .  the differences  search i n a c a p i t a l i s t of a g r i c u l t u r a l  to  decayed  land i n the  Wreak v a l l e y  addition,  Charnwood  Forest of  Leicestershire.^  In  iand.  concerned But  the  the most p r o f i t a b l e the  of  importance  type  of  variations.1  1 The i n f o r m a t i o n f o r t h i s s e c t i o n o n p h y s i c a l v a r i a t i o n s was d r a w n f r o m W . G . H o s k i n s a s s i s t e d b y R . A . M c K i n l e y , eds., T h e V i c t o r i a H i s t o r y of the County of L e i c e s t e r , V o l . I I , i n R.B. Pugh, e d . , • T h e V i c t o r i a H i s t o r y of the Counties of Engl a n d , ( L o n d o n , 1 9 5 4 ) , p p . 145 - 6, 2 2 4 , a n d W . G . H o s k i n s and R.A. M c K i n l e y , e d s . , A H i s t o r y of the County of Leicester, V o l . I l l , i n R . B . P u g h , e d . , The V i c t o r i a H i s t o r y o f t h e C o u n t i e s of E n g l a n d , (London, 1955), p . 129. Hereafter t h e s e two v o l u m e s w i l l b e r e f e r r e d t o as V . C . H . , I I ; o r V.C.H., III.  36  The breakdown o f the t r a d i t i o n a l system of s u b s i s t e n c e farming was an e s s e n t i a l p r e - c o n d i t i o n t o the economic modernization  of a g r i c u l t u r e i n L e i c e s t e r s h i r e .  Moderniza-  t i o n o c c u r r e d o n l y a f t e r the t r a d i t i o n a l method o f farming had  shown i t s e l f t o be unable not only t o s a t i s f y demands  f o r a marketable s u r p l u s but a l s o t o m a i n t a i n v i a b l e system.  i t s e l f as a  In order t o meet h i s s u b s i s t e n c e r e q u i r e -  ments the peasant-farmer overworked h i s land and so d e p l e t e d w  it.  The r e s u l t was.that h i s f u t u r e crop y i e l d s were s m a l l e r  and h i s a b i l i t y t o pay h i s r e n t was d i m i n i s h e d .  This v i c i o u s  c i r c l e o f overwork, d e p l e t i o n and d e f a u l t doomed the s m a l l farmer,  f o r l a n d l o r d s were r e l u c t a n t to renew those  which were t o be so v e r y expensive their  land.  The s m a l l t e n a n t s '  leases  t o them and ruinous t o  i n a b i l i t y to make r e g u l a r  r e n t a l payments d e a l t the death-blow t o s u b s i s t e n c e farming.  Moreover, the p e r s i s t e n c e of peasant farming had  h e l d back p r o g r e s s i v e a g r i c u l t u r a l change because the peasant-farmer had been unable t o p r o v i d e the s u b s t a n t i a l investments  t h a t were necessary  t o make h i s e n t e r p r i s e l a r g e  enough t o produce a marketable s u r p l u s . of each tenanted  E n l a r g i n g the s i z e  farm meant t h a t , although  of p r o d u c t i v e u n i t s was diminished,  the t o t a l number  the c r e a t i o n o f an  a g r i c u l t u r a l s u r p l u s was f a c i l i t a t e d f o r two reasons:  a  s m a l l e r p a r t of the t o t a l output was needed f o r immediate  37  s u b s i s t e n c e requirements,  w h i l e the t o t a l output  itself  was i n c r e a s e d by c a p i t a l i s t farmers who s u i t e d t h e i r land w i t h a complementary form o f husbandry, and so i n c r e a s e d i t s p r o d u c t i v i t y and maintained a d d i t i o n , wealthy income.  its fertility.  In  tenants p r o v i d e d l a n d l o r d s w i t h a steady  However, the l i m i t e d supply o f such tenants par-  t i a l l y r e s t r a i n e d the movement towards l a r g e r p r o d u c t i v e u n i t s and slowed  down i t s p r o g r e s s .  We w i l l now survey the p r o g r e s s o f a g r i c u l t u r a l modernization  i n L e i c e s t e r s h i r e from the f o u r t e e n t h century  t o the P a r l i a m e n t a r y Acts f o r E n c l o s u r e of the l a t e r e i g h t eenth  century. The B l a c k Death o f 1348, the r e c u r r e n t i n c i d e n c e s o f  the plague  and the socio-economic  t e e n t h century combined t o reduce cestershire.  d i s l o c a t i o n of the f i f the p o p u l a t i o n o f L e i -  Evey by 1563 the county's p o p u l a t i o n had not  r e g a i n e d i t s pre-plague  level.  1  The decimation o f the  p o p u l a t i o n and i t s very g r a d u a l reassumption  o f i t s former  V.C.H., I I I , pp. 132 - 8. The countyfe p o p u l a t i o n was e s timated t o have f a l l e n by almost 40% i n the second h a l f o f the f o u r t e e n t h century. L i t t l e repopulation occurred during the f i f t e e n t h century. I t appears t h a t s u b s t a n t i a l growth resumed o n l y about the b e g i n n i n g of the s i x t e e n t h century. 1  38  s i z e had  important r e p e r c u s s i o n s on the county's  economic  life.  The e a r l y f o u r t e e n t h century's dominant c o n d i t i o n of land-hunger  was  a b r u p t l y transformed i n t o a s i t u a t i o n i n  which r e s o u r c e s v/ere p l e n t i f u l but labour was Groby, near L e i c e s t e r ,  i n 1445  scarce.  At  both a r a b l e and meadow were  worth o n l y o n e - t h i r d of what they had been i n the p e r i o d of  land-hunger/-'-  R e n t a l s f e l l because l a n d l o r d s had  d i f f i c u l t y r e t a i n i n g t h e i r tenants and had t o o f f e r beneficial  terms i n o r d e r t o a t t r a c t nev; tenants or r e t a i n  t h e i r e x i s t i n g tenants.  Moreover, the peasantry's p r o s -  p e c t s were enhanced by the f a c t t h a t m a n o r i a l s e r v i c e s were relatively The  light i n Leicestershire.  o  r e l a t i v e abundance of l a n d combined w i t h the  peasantry's m o b i l i t y t o enable the s u r v i v i n g farmers to choose the land they would r e n t and c u l t i v a t e .  Villages  whose s o i l v/as u n s u i t a b l e f o r s u b s i s t e n c e farming were f o r saken and turned to permanent p a s t u r e . were completely abandoned.  Only a few  In some v i l l a g e s  villages  enterprising  farmers took advantage of the s i t u a t i o n to g a i n c o n t r o l of  1 W.G. scape,  Hoskins, L e i c e s t e r s h i r e : The H i s t o r y of the Land(London, 1957), p. 27.  2- V.C.H., I I , p.  173.  39  i n d i v i d u a l p a r c e l s of land thereby  s e p a r a t i n g themselves  from the demands of communal farming. v i l l a g e s whose s o i l had  However, i n those  s a t i s f a c t o r y arable q u a l i t i e s ,  the  d e p o p u l a t i n g consequences of the plague were h a r d l y n o t i c e a b l e as the t r a d i t i o n a l peasant  s o c i e t y p e r s i s t e d along w i t h  the communal farming o f the o p e n - f i e l d s .  , Before  1450  t h e r e was  l i t t l e b e n e f i t f o r landlords i n  t u r n i n g t h e i r land to permanent p a s t u r e as the demand f o r wool and meat v/as low. teenth century the Low  But  i n the second h a l f of the  fif-  C o u n t r i e s ' demands f o r E n g l i s h wool  promoted the d e p o p u l a t i o n of L e i c e s t e r s h i r e v i l l a g e s i n which t h e r e were too few people  to farm the land p r o p e r l y .  "Most  of the abandoned v i l l a g e s l i e upon the heavy L i a s s i c c l a y s of East  (or High) L e i c e s t e r s h i r e , which were i n g e n e r a l  more s u i t a b l e f o r g r a s s l a n d than f o r t i l l a g e , some landowners defending  t h e i r apparently  a c t i v i t i e s on t h i s g r o u n d . "  1  By 1530,  v i l l a g e s had been d e s e r t e d t o make way  and we  anti-social  more than  fifty  f o r sheep runs.  Most of the e n c l o s u r e f o r p a s t u r e came between 1450 1530,  and  the most i n t e n s e a c t i v i t y happening i n the years  tween 1490  and  1 Hoskins,  L e i c e s t e r s h i r e , p.  2  find  1510.  V. C.H. , I I , pp.  2  192  By  - 5.  1530  perhaps 15% of the  27.  be-  county's  40  t o t a l area had been withdrawn from the t r a d i t i o n a l of peasant  farming and turned i n t o c a p i t a l i s t  system  farming  units.  The p e r i o d from 1530  to 1650 was  c h a r a c t e r i z e d by  r i s i n g food p r i c e s and r a p i d p o p u l a t i o n growth. c l o s u r e f o r p a s t u r e movement was  t e m p o r a r i l y slowed  even b e f o r e the c o l l a p s e of wool p r i c e s i n 1551 c a p i t a l i s t farmers produced expanding  food market.  The  endown  because  g r a i n i n order to supply the  The r i s e i n p o p u l a t i o n had  e n l a r g e d the ranks of the poor.  A peasant-farmer  greatly with a  s m a l l l a n d h o l d i n g e i t h e r d i v i d e d h i s land amongst h i s c h i l d r e n who  s u b d i v i d e d i t a g a i n thereby l e a v i n g the  g e n e r a t i o n w i t h a mere fragment, or e l s e the  third  peasant-farmer  bequeathed a l l h i s h o l d i n g s to h i s e l d e r son alone i n which case h i s younger c h i l d r e n were l e f t p r o p e r t y l e s s . event,  there were more poor people who  had t o  t h e i r g r a i n i n the l o c a l market week-by-week. of r u r a l poverty was  In  any  purchase The  problem  c o m p l i c a t e d by the f a c t t h a t demograph  growth had o u t s t r i p p e d a g r i c u l t u r a l p r o d u c t i v i t y w i t h  the  r e s u l t t h a t w h i l e food p r i c e s rose r a p i d l y wages lagged  be-  h i n d , thus i n t e n s i f y i n g the impoverishment of the l a n d l e s s labourers.  1  1 A. E v e r i t t , "Farm Labourers", H i s t o r y , pp. 430 -42.  i n T h i r s k , ed., A g r a r i a n  41  High c e r e a l p r i c e s throughout the s i x t e e n t h  century-  promoted the p r o s p e r i t y of many peasant-farmers who s e l f - s u f f i c i e n t economic l i f e and surpluses  market c o n d i t i o n s .  Furthermore, u n t i l the l a t e r s i x t e e n t h century low  levels;  joyed economic s e c u r i t y .  farmers who  held  r e n t s were  long-leases  en-  In a d d i t i o n , i t . appears that i n  some L e i c e s t e r s h i r e v i l l a g e s the  copyhold of  was  the dominant form of land tenure.  for  example, a c o n f r o n t a t i o n o c c u r r e d  l o r d and  a  sold their available  i n i n c r e a s i n g l y favourable  f i x e d at very  had  inheritance  In Wigston Magna, i n 1558  between  the  tenants:  "On the one hand we have customary tenants who c l a i m copyholds of i n h e r i t a n c e v/ith a l l the r i g h t s t h a t flow therefrom, who pay a f i x e d and a n c i e n t r e n t more a p p r o p r i a t e to the t h i r t e e n t h century, and who c l a i m to pay o n l y a s m a l l and a n c i e n t f i n e . On the other hand we have a new l o r d who has purchased the manor (no doubt at a p r i c e a p p r o p r i a t e to the r i s i n g p r i c e l e v e l of the 1580's, but we do not c e r t a i n l y know t h i s ) and who i s anxious to sweep away t h i s r a b b i t warren of medieval r e n t s , customs and s e r v i c e s , and t o e x p l o i t i t s f u l l economic p o s s i b i l i t i e s i n the form of l e a s e s at r e n t s that bear some r e l a t i o n to the r e a l annual v a l u e of the land." The  peasants proved t h a t they h e l d t h e i r land by  of i n h e r i t a n c e and  copyhold  gained an almost f r e e h o l d i n t e r e s t i n  t h e i r land inasmuch as the i n f l a t i o n of p r i c e s had t h e i r payments nominal, a d j u s t the terms of  Since  the  yielded  l a n d l o r d c o u l d not  the copies without the peasants'  recon-  42  s e n t h e was f o r c e d t o s e l l o u t . as  l a n d became  r e l a t i v e l y s c a r c e and, hence,  t h e r e was a s t e e p i n c r e a s e  of  piring. labourers  l e a s e h o l d as  the  valuable  "uneconomic" l e a s e s were  r e i n f o r c e d the p r e s s u r e s s o c i a l system.  not  inheritance, readjusted  Moreover, the growth of a c l a s s of  traditional  more  1580  i n r e n t s when l a n d l o r d s ,  burdened w i t h copyholders of terms  Particularly after  the ex-  propertyless  t h a t were d i s s o l v i n g  The s m a l l f a r m e r s '  ability  s u p p l e m e n t h i s i n c o m e w i t h w a g e - l a b o u r was t h w a r t e d b y proliferation  sistence  to the  o f m a s t e r l e s s men a n d s t u r d y b e g g a r s who d r o v e  down t h e p r i c e o f i n exchange  the  for  labour.  cash,  As more p e o p l e  sold their  the market f o r the purchase  requirements  expanded.  of  Production for this  labour submarket  was a p r o f i t a b l e a c t i v i t y , b u t t h e f a r m e r who c o u l d n o t produce a marketable  surplus  rents without benefit  sistence of  had t o pay h i g h e r  o f an e n l a r g e d i n c o m e .  of market p r o d u c t i o n were, professional  nevertheless  therefore,  favourable  farmer w h i l e b e i n g d i s a s t r o u s  farmer.  These  c o n d i t i o n s began  for  f o r the  the  sub-  the d i s s o l u t i o n  t h e e g a l i t a r i a n p e a s a n t community and i t s  individually-operated,  The e c o n o m i c s  replacement by  market-oriented production.  1 W . G . H o s k i n s , The M i d l a n d P e a s a n t : H i s t o r y of a L e i c e s t e r s h i r e V i l l a g e ,  The E c o n o m i c a n d S o c i a l (London, 1957), pp. 106-7.  43 I n many L e i c e s t e r s h i r e v i l l a g e s from the m i s f o r t u n e s  of  their  to these s t r u g g l i n g peasants.  dearths  and f a m i n e s ,  peasants.1  of  mortgaged  The e x t r e m e l y a c t i v e  capitalist  the p r o g r e s s i v e ,  slowly,  1510's t o about  Leicester-  1 6 4 0 ' s made i t  elements  t h e i r h o l d i n g s and to c r e a t e  but after  foreclosed  l a n d market i n  for  From the  recurrent  l a n d w e r e b o u g h t up b y t h e w e a l t h i e r  1570's to the  land.  During the  l a n d was o f t e n  s h i r e from the l a t e r  t o augment  benefited  n e i g h b o u r s b y b e c o m i n g money-  lenders  and e x t r a p i e c e s  a few f a m i l i e s  in rural  possible society  compact p a r c e l s  1580 e n c l o s u r e h a d  of  proceeded  1580 t h e p a c e q u i c k e n e d o n c e a g a i n .  By  1640 n e a r l y one v i l l a g e i n t h r e e was e n t i r e l y e n c l o s e d many o t h e r s w e r e p a r t i a l l y e n c l o s e d . 2 surge of enclosure date t h e i r  strips  mogenitural  1580 -  s m a l l f a r m e r s who h a d managed t o by purchase  o r exchange  the s q u i r e a r c h y to reduce the s i z e common f i e l d s .  In the  i n h e r i t a n c e and a f a i r  1640 consoli-  joined forces  and i m p o r t a n c e o f  Beneficxal marriages,  and  the  small families,  degree of business  with  priacumen  w e r e a l l c o m b i n e d i n e l e v a t i n g t h e e n t e r p r i s i n g men who  1 R . H . Tawney, " H i s t o r i c a l I n t r o d u c t i o n " , T . W i l s o n , c o u r s e Upon U s u r y , ( L o n d o n , 1 9 2 5 ) , p p . 2 4 - 7 . 2  V- C H . , I I ,  pp.  3  V.C H . . I I ,  p.  203 203.  6.  A Dis-  44 formed a t i n y v i l l a g e o l i g a r c h y . 1580  - 1650 p e r i o d t h e r e was  Indeed,  a massive  throughout the  r e d i s t r i b u t i o n of  income i n favour of the w e a l t h i e r s e c t i o n s of the community.  The h i g h demand f o r farm produce which had  partially  p r o t e c t e d the f r a g i l e economic p o s i t i o n of many L e i c e s t e r s h i r e peasant-farmers abated i n the middle decades seventeenth century.  of the  The combined e f f e c t of a slowdown of  p o p u l a t i o n growth and a r e v o l u t i o n i n farming techniques hastened the movement away from a r a b l e farming i n most o f Leicestershire.  Farmers  on the c l a y s o i l s were a t a com-  p a r a t i v e disadvantage i n marketing l a r g e - s c a l e g r a i n crops because  t h e i r land was  u n s u i t a b l e f o r the use of legumes  which meant t h a t they d i d not b e n e f i t from the i n t r o d u c t i o n of c o n v e r t i b l e husbandry. still was  Of course, a few farmers c o u l d  s e l l t h e i r c e r e a l crops i n the l o c a l markets, but  merely a stop-gap measure.  this  In response to the changing  market c o n d i t i o n s , many c a p i t a l i s t farmers i n L e i c e s t e r s h i r e r e d i r e c t e d t h e i r investment i n t o p a s t u r e farming.  The advance of c a p i t a l - i n t e n s i v e p a s t u r e farming p l a c e d enormous p r e s s u r e on s m a l l landowners tenant farmers.  and the s m a l l e r  S m a l l - s c a l e g r a z i n g o p e r a t i o n s i n the pas-  t u r e r e g i o n s were unusual because  l a n d l o r d s p r e f e r r e d to  lease compact h o l d i n g s to s t a b l e , p r o f e s s i o n a l t e n a n t s .  45 Dairy farming, ment t h a t  however,  required far  did stock-breeding,  less  capital  grazing or f a t t e n i n g .  l a b o u r - i n t e n s i v e a c t i v i t y f l o u r i s h e d i n the r i c h the r i v e r v a l l e y s where i t efficient  c o u l d be p r a c t i s e d  clay soils  of eastern  Leicestershire,  enclosures  396 p l a c e s  Leicestershire's  agreements between large  t h e demands  I t has  of  " t h e movement t o v / a r d s  V.CH. , II,  least  cent.) that  from the  pp.  223 -  197  were  about  52%  private  I n many o p e n - f i e l d removed from  communal f a r m i n g a n d f a r m e d p r i v a t e l y .  immense i m p e t u s  1  (50 p e r  l a n d were f e n c e d ,  g r a z i e r became t h e d o m i n a n t f o r c e as  1660  w h i c h when a d d e d  t o t a l a c r e a g e v/as e n c l o s e d b y  sections  of  Between  been e s t i m a t e d  1607 a n d 1 7 3 0 .  heavier  also  meant t h a t b y 1760 " a t  in Leicestershire  entirely enclosed."1  villages  i n small,  although i t  73 p l a c e s v/ere e n t i r e l y e n c l o s e d ,  to the pre-1640  of  land of  i m p o r t a n t on the  o c c u r r e d i n the western h a l f of the county.  out of  This  units.  E n c l o s u r e f o r p a s t u r e was most  a n d 1760  invest-  in Leicestershire  l a r g e - s c a l e grazing, had 1660's onwards."  The  farming  received  T h e s e men  5.  2 W . G . H o s k i n s , "The L e i c e s t e r s h i r e Farmer i n the S e v e n t e e n t h C e n t u r y " , i n P r o v i n c i a l E n g l a n d : E s s a y s i n S o c i a l and E c o nomic H i s t o r y , (London, 1963), p . 163. 3 Ibid.,  p.  165.  46  " s p e c i a l i z e d not o n l y i n wool but i n producing meat f o r the towns and i n p a r t i c u l a r f o r London.".  1  The d i s s o l u t i o n of the s e l f - s u f f i c i e n t v i l l a g e economy meant t h a t r u r a l s o c i e t y became p o l a r i z e d between the who  possessed  multitude.  few  l a n d and c a p i t a l and the p o v e r t y - s t r i c k e n  The e n t e r p r i s i n g members of the peasantry rose  to become e i t h e r tenant-farmers or s u b s t a n t i a l f r e e h o l d e r s who  were wholly" engaged i n p r o d u c t i o n f o r the market.  The  combination of low and f l u c t u a t i n g a g r i c u l t u r a l p r i c e s f o r more than a hundred y e a r s b e f o r e 1750, e s p e c i a l l y between 1688  and 1715,  dent s t a t u s of many peasant  and heavy t a x a t i o n ,  o b l i t e r a t e d the  landowners.  indepen-  They became i n -  d i g e n t c o t t a g e r s p o s s e s s i n g a few acres and r e l y i n g upon s e a s o n a l employment a t low wages t o eke out a m i s e r a b l e living.  E n c l o s u r e f o r p a s t u r e , by r e d u c i n g employment  o p p o r t u n i t i e s and f o r c i n g the uprooted peasants crowded o p e n - f i e l d v i l l a g e s ,  i n t o over-  c r e a t e d r u r a l slums.  c l o s e d v i l l a g e s the c o - e x i s t e n c e of numerous poor a l o n g s i d e s e v e r a l s u b s t a n t i a l farmers was  1 V.C.H. , II,; p.  In unenpeasants  q u i t e common.  220.  2 G.E. Mingay, E n c l o s u r e and the Small Farmer i n the of the I n d u s t r i a l R e v o l u t i o n , (London, 1968), p. 29.  Age  47  Parliamentary tury  put the finishing  progressing of  since  Parliament  farmers rose  high;  throughout  relatively  in  expenses  large  too small enclosed  7 parcels  sum;  t o be farmed  of over  o f an A c t o f eighteenth  small  Parliament  century;  and f e n c i n g )  at a profit.  100 acres,-  were  required a holdings  In Wigston  1  total  d i d not create  isted  beforehand,  dealt  a death-blow  Thus,  area.  Enclosure  2 Hoskins,  Midland  23 f a r m e r s .  Although  any g r e a t e r  to their  b y t h e time  that  than  of their way  the triumph  only  p p . 2 5 3 - 4.  of the  had ex-  common  rights  of l i f e .  Par-  the Industrial  Farmer,  16%  of agrarian  of modernization  and t h e Small Peasant,  comprised  inequality  loss  On t h e  the enclosure  traditional  finalized  the process  1 Mingay,  3 7 . 9 % v/as h e l d i n  67 a l l o t m e n t s  the peasants'  Enclosure  another  by another  the remaining  commenced  by A c t  b y A c t i n 1 7 6 6 , 4 6 . 1 % o f t h e l a n d v/as h e l d  the parish's  tion  Enclosure  a n d many p o s t - e n c l o s u r e  hand,  capitalism.  that had been  of the titheholder also  other  liamentary  the cost  cen-  on t h e remaining  (e.g.d i t c h i n g  o f 20 t o 100 a c r e s  parish  century.  the later  units  of  eighteenth  t o developments  a heavy burden  the compensation  Magna,  touches  i n s e v e r a l ways:  steadily  of the later  the fourteenth  imposed  supplementary  v/ere  Enclosures  i n rural  RevoluLei-  p p . 22 - 5.  48  c e s t e r s h i r e was  complete.  -  2  -  In the medieval s u b s i s t e n c e economy, household h a n d i c r a f t p r o d u c t i o n and  some g u i l d r e g u l a t e d p r o d u c t i o n  e x i s t e d , but t h e r e was  l i t t l e p o i n t i n producing  volume of goods as long as t h e r e was  a large  no consumer market.  The breakdown of the s u b s i s t e n c e economy, however,  was  accompanied by^the c r e a t i o n of a c l a s s of c a p i t a l i s t mers who  p r o v i d e d not o n l y a food s u r p l u s to feed a popu-  l a t i o n employed i n manufacturing  consumer goods but a l s o a  market f o r manufactured p r o d u c t s . of  far-  But the  transformation  'secondary' p r o d u c t i o n from the household h a n d i c r a f t  stage to machine-powered, m a r k e t - o r i e n t e d a c t i v i t y was  modern  r e t a r d e d by the d e l i b e r a t e progress  c u l t u r a l modernization  industrial of  agri-  which n e c e s s a r i l y r e s t r a i n e d the  development of consumer demand.  The modernization  of i n d u s t r i a l a c t i v i t y was  l i m i t e d by i n h e r e n t r e s t r i c t i o n s i n the techniques the o r g a n i z a t i o n of p r o d u c t i o n f a c t u r i n g was  itself.  also and  H a n d i c r a f t manu-  c h a r a c t e r i z e d by the f a c t t h a t the  processes  of p r o d u c t i o n and d i s t r i b u t i o n were c a r r i e d out by one  per-  son whose economic h o r i z o n s were n e c e s s a r i l y l i m i t e d .  Handi-  c r a f t producers  were g e n e r a l l y committed to q u a l i t y produc-  49  tion  and r e l a t i v e l y h i g h p r i c e s .  w o r k e r s engaged to  expand  consumer  Moreover,  i n h a n d i c r a f t s possessed  the s c a l e of t h e i r  operations,  demand c o u l d o n l y be  of  wage l a b o u r .  it  p o s s i b l e t o expand  trolled  finished  o f wage l a b o u r  n o t o n l y made  c o s t s , thus r u i n i n g the i n e f f i c i e n t class  These s u c c e s s f u l merchants  goods.  profitable  This  inasmuch  f o r m o f e c o n o m i c o r g a n i z a t i o n was as most  to maintain  of inexpensive  r e l a t i v e l y h i g h p r i c e s at the  articles  obsolete  the p r o d u c t i o n  o f c h e a p goods  and e f f o r t  precise  h a d t o be  and t i r e l e s s  and  labour,  the  use o f machine  a profitable  r e p l a c e d by  machines.  the production  demands.  The  was  In order  t o make  venture,  human  rapid, regular,  separation of  f o r a mass consumer  power were,  market  middleman  i n s o f a r as s u c h mass p r o d u c t i o n t o consumers'  expense  The manu-  f o r a mass consumer  position  responsive  non-  m e r c h a n t - c a p i t a l i s t s found i t  the m e r c h a n t - c a p i t a l i s t s ' p r o f i t a b l e  skill  con-  ' p u t t i n g o u t ' work t o d e p e n d e n t  rendered  solely  jour-  of successful  not only  f u r t h e r e n l a r g i n g the s c a l e of production.  facture  but also r e -  b u t a l s o dominated the m e r c h a n d i z i n g o f the  progressive  of  capital  an e n l a r g e m e n t o f  the s c a l e of production,  p r o d u c t i o n by  craftsmen  too l i t t l e  utilization  neyman m a n u f a c t u r e r s b u t c r e a t i n g a new entrepreneurs.  most  s a t i s f i e d by the  The emergence  duced p r o d u c t i o n  since  capital  market  t h e r e f o r e , the three  and  most  50  prominent c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of modern i n d u s t r i a l  activity.  I t was o n l y about 1570 t h a t the p r a c t i s e o f k n i t t i n g j e r s e y o r worsted h o s i e r y became common i n England. hand-knitting  The  i n d u s t r y was connected w i t h the home market;  i t was not an e x p o r t t r a d e .  By the middle o f the seven-  teenth  was w e l l e s t a b l i s h e d as a  century  hand-knitting  Leicestershire^domestic out'  i n d u s t r y i n which k n i t t i n g was 'put  t o women by h o s i e r s who o r g a n i z e d  d i s t r i b u t i o n o f the f i n i s h e d p r o d u c t s .  the p r o d u c t i o n and 1  Even a t t h i s e a r l y  date, the h a n d - k n i t t i n g  i n d u s t r y was c h a r a c t e r i z e d by the  subordination  to c a p i t a l .  The Lee.  o f labour  k n i t t i n g frame was i n v e n t e d  i n 1587 by W i l l i a m  I t was a h i g h l y s p e c i a l i z e d machine which was made up  of over 2,0,00 separate p i e c e s  o f s t e e l , wood and l e a d each  r e q u i r i n g p r e c i s i o n craftsmanship.  I t was a f i r s t - r a t e  t e c h n o l o g i c a l breakthrough which enabled a framework k n i t t e r t o do "1000 t o 1500 s t i t c h e s a minute, compared w i t h about 100  s t i t c h e s a minute i n hand k n i t t i n g . "  However, the  I R.A. McKinley, ed., A H i s t o r y of the County o f L e i c e s t e r , V o l . -IV, i n R.B. Pugh, ed., The V i c t o r i a H i s t o r y of the Counties of England, (London, 1958), pp. 9 0 - 2 . The handk n i t t i n g i n d u s t r y i n L e i c e s t e r s h i r e was merely o f l o c a l importance; the n a t i o n a l c e n t e r o f the i n d u s t r y was i n N o r f o l k .  51  first that  knitting the  were  Furthermore,  required another  less,  cost  i n t r o d u c t i o n of  retarded. frame  frames  the  a prohibitive £  this the  operatives  factor  limiting  industry which  type  so  i t could  also  reduced of  the  ments"  of  George  near  be  i t s cost.  middle  which  Cost  seventeenth Pogson,  Loughborough,  not  were  meant  of  use  was  the  that  created  knitting  labour  a  subsidiary  by  single operative  a  was  Lee's  rapid  "frame  and  silkstocking  weaver  of  £  31  By  the  i n the  protobut  after  The  at  costs  Nonethe-  improved  reduction  valued  so  only  century. a  frame  into general models  frames  worked  1  per  i t s dissemination.  for knitting  frame-making that  earliest  two  demand  machine  80  the  impleDishley  inventory  of  p  his  belongings  tury  the  1718  "the  and  cost  made of  value  framesmith  a of  cf  1 J.D. Chambers, Knitters (1657 2  1660.  frame two  had  been  frames  in  Selston,  worth  E  the 31  have  dated  his  cannot a  of  the  eighteenth  reduced  possession  Records O f f i c e ,  be  i n order  the  A  considered  dispossessed  assets  independent  greatly  Nottinghamshire  A r c h d e a c o n ) , 2 66.  been  early  was  cen-  since  of  a  only  land.  to  man to  Inventories,  v/ho  owned  a  pauper,  be  peasant-farmer engage  in  a  who  trade  a  in  farmer E  8  "The W o r s h i p f u l Company o f F r a m e w o r k 1 7 7 8 ) " , E c o n o m i c a , 27, ( 1 9 2 9 ) , p p . 296  L e i c e s t e r s h i r e County  (Before may  in  and  -  312.  1660  machine although had  which  he  liquiwas  52 E 7 10s. little  respectively."1  as  But even a frame  £ 10 m u s t h a v e b e e n o u t o f  These h i g h i n i t i a l  capital costs,  costing  as  r e a c h o f most  therefore,  cottagers.  necessarily  enabled the p r o d u c t i o n of machine-wrought h o s i e r y to dominated from the o u t s e t These  c a p i t a l i s t h o s i e r s were a b l e  out of estic  b y men w i t h  frames  on t h e b a s i s  capital  "to c o n t r o l the  to domestic craftsmen;  system continued d e s p i t e  large  funds. hiring  and a l t h o u g h t h e dom-  t h e new m a c h i n e ,  it  continued  of the ownership of the instruments of  t i o n by c a p i t a l i s t s  be  produc-  and t h e h i r e o f t h e s e i n s t r u m e n t s  to  o  the i n d i v i d u a l p r o d u c e r . " workers1 capital  frame costs.  rentals  work o n l y t o those the f a c t  to produce  defrayed a large  The s u b o r d i n a t i o n o f t h e  c a p i t a l i s t h o s i e r was  over,  The money f r o m t h e  that  part  1 "Chambers,  the  labourer to  c r a f t s m e n who p a i d a f r a m e the k n i t t i n g (i.e.  f r a m e was  silk  stockings)  rent.  changing  the  Moreused  enabled a to  control  f i n i s h e d goods by m a i n t a i n i n g c l o s e  consumers'  hosiers'  of g i v i n g  initially  s m a l l group of London-based merchant-hosiers  with their  of  i n t e n s i f i e d by the p r a c t i s e  l u x u r y goods  the export of  domestic  contact  tastes.  I b i d . , p„ 2 9 8 .  2 M . Dobb, S t u d i e s i n t h e D e v e l o p m e n t o f Y o r k , 1963), p. 146.  Capitalism,  (New  53  In order  to safeguard t h e i r p r o f i t a b l e p o s i t i o n , the  London-based o l i g a r c h y of c a p i t a l i s t - h o s i e r s twice secured government orders  of i n c o r p o r a t i o n e n a b l i n g  them to exer-  c i s e c o n t r o l over the whole framework k n i t t i n g i n d u s t r y . The  1663  c h a r t e r of the W o r s h i p f u l  Company of Framework  K n i t t e r s i n v e s t e d governing powers i n a c l o s e d , s e l f - p e r petuating  body of o f f i c i a l s .  of t h e i r i n c o r p o r a t e d  Through the use  1  and  powers, a s m a l l group of wealthy  merchant-hosiers completely dominated the h o s i e r y for  as long as the  Company's a u t h o r i t y was  imposing a s c a l e of e x o r b i t a n t  fees on the  of the s m a l l e r  large-scale production  craftsmen, but  these a p p r e n t i c e s h i p i n t e r e s t t o do so. supervisory  t i o n , the  apprentices  beyond the  the wealthy masters  ignored in their  r o y a l patent a l s o gave the Company  a l a r g e measure of p r o t e c t i o n from f o r e i g n  f o r the framework k n i t t i n g i n d u s t r y .  Company v/as empowered to f i x p r i c e s and  h o s i e r s who  reach  powers to f o r b i d the export of k n i t t i n g frames  thus s e c u r i n g competition  By  journeyman  r e g u l a t i o n s whenever i t was The  trade  respected.  members of the Company f o r the employment of the o l i g a r c h y put  abuse  In  fine  t r i e d to undercut the e s t a b l i s h e d r a t e .  1 Chambers, I b i d . , pp.  303  -• 5.  addiany  54  Framework k n i t t e r s o u t s i d e London were not producers i n s o f a r as they manufactured  independent  l u x u r y goods t h a t were  .sold through the London merchant-hosiers.  The Company ex-  p r e s s e d the i n t e r e s t s of the London o l i g a r c h y by keeping the p r o v i n c i a l masters  f i r m l y under c o n t r o l .  pany's a u t h o r i t y was  However, the Com-  e f f e c t i v e l y c h a l l e n g e d when p r o v i n c i a l  masters used the k n i t t i n g frame t o produce cotton stockings.  cheap w o o l l e n or  By t u r n i n g t h e i r a t t e n t i o n t o the  domestic  w  market f o r these cheaper goods, the country  manufacturers  not o n l y escaped from t h e i r s u b j e c t i o n t o the London merchanth o s i e r s , but a l s o rendered the Company i n e f f e c t i v e ,  i n that  i t s power had been dependent upon a commitment to l u x u r y production.  ^  The country manufacturers were mainly l o c a t e d i n Derbys h i r e , Nottinghamshire and L e i c e s t e r s h i r e .  In the Midlands  there were f a v o u r a b l e c o n d i t i o n s t h a t reduced p r o d u c t i o n costs.  Because both f o o d and accommodation c o s t l e s s  than  i n London, wages c o u l d be commensurately lower than those p a i d to London workers.  Many o p e r a t i v e s combined framework  k n i t t i n g w i t h e i t h e r r u r a l l a b o u r i n g or the c u l t i v a t i o n of a s m a l l p l o t of land, and as framework k n i t t i n g merely p r o v i d e d a supplement to t h e i r r e g u l a r income, they c o u l d be p a i d v e r y low wages.  P r o x i m i t y t o the supply of coarse,  55 inexpensive Midland wool f u r t h e r reduced the p r o d u c t i o n costs.  In a d d i t i o n ,  enabled hosiers rentals  that  w i t h another  it  source  of  of  developments  number o f 1664 t o  frame-  still  more k n i t t i n g  frames.  frame  itself  f o r , a s i n g l e man t o o p e r a t e i t .  apprenticeship  These  and t h e  Furtherh a d made  f u r t h e r s i m p l i f i e d w i t h the  o r p r o l o n g e d t r a i n i n g became v/ere b e h i n d t h e p r o d i g i o u s  result  unnecessary.  increase  the a c c e l e r a t e d  pace of  f o r p a s t u r e i n the second h a l f of the seventeenth produced a large  class  o f wage l a b o u r e r s .  in  f r o m 140  the remaining o p e n - f i e l d v i l l a g e s p o o l of underemployed l a b o u r .  in  century  drifted  unable into  where t h e y formed a  Furthermore,  large  the p o p u l a t i o n i n  these o p e n - f i e l d v i l l a g e s ,  s u c h as W i g s t o n Magna i n t h e  valley  " h a d l o n g ago  1 Chambers,  the  enclosure  T h e s e men,  employment i n t h e i r n a t i v e v i l l a g e s ,  south of  of  1727.1  In L e i c e s t e r s h i r e ,  to f i n d  back  The p r o c e s s  frames i n - t h e t h r e e M i d l a n d c o u n t i e s :  3500 i n  hosiers  income w h i c h c o u l d be p l o u g h e d  m e c h a n i c a l k n i t t i n g was that  frames  t h e s e men w e r e p a y i n g p r o v i d e d t h e  an improvement i n t h e k n i t t i n g  possible  price of  t o e m p l o y more o p e r a t i v e s ,  i n t o the purchase more,  the reduced purchase  Leicester,  J.D.,  The V a l e o f  Trent,  p.  outgrown the  13.  Soar  avail-  able  supply of  land,  a n d w o u l d h a v e done s o e v e n h a d  b e e n no g r o w i n g c o n c e n t r a t i o n o f hands."''" for  Thus,  Provincial hosiers  frames t o r e n t were a t t r a c t e d  by the cheap,  labour of the r u r a l poor.  merit:  i t was  a h i r e d frame,  Leicestershire  knitting  Framework k n i t t i n g . the poor  c a r r i e d on w i t h a minimum o f wool s u p p l i e d by the h o s i e r  s m a l l w o r k s h o p w e r e a l l t h a t was n e c e s s a r y . w o r k k n i t t i n g was  with  labour  u n s k i l l e d and  was an i d e a l f o r m o f e m p l o y m e n t f o r a b s o r b i n g d i s p o s s e s s e d as  fewer  a g r i c u l t u r a l m o d e r n i z a t i o n had f r e e d  i n d u s t r i a l employment.  unapprenticed  l a n d i n fewer and  there  and  equip-  and a  By 1750  frame-  a p r o m i n e n t component o f t h e economy o f  a s ' t h e r e were 1,000  frames  p r o b a b l y another 2,000 frames s c a t t e r e d  in Leicester  and  among t h e i n d u s t r i a l  villages.3  The i n t r o d u c t i o n o f f r a m e w o r k k n i t t i n g town o f  L e i c e s t e r was  county  s i m i l a r to the process of i n d u s t r i a l i -  z a t i o n i n many L e i c e s t e r s h i r e was  i n t o the  villages.  r e a l l y a n o v e r g r o w n v i l l a g e as  its  Indeed,  Leicester  mid-seventeenth  cen-  •1 H o s k i n s , M i d l a n d P e a s a n t , p . 2 2 8 . The f i r s t k n i t t i n g f r a m e t o r e a c h L e i c e s t e r s h i r e h a d b e e n s e t up i n H i n c k l e y , a n o t h e r o p e n - f i e l d v i l l a g e w i t h a s u r f e i t of i n d i g e n t c o t t a g e r s , about 1640. ( V . C . H . , I I I , p . 2 . ) 2 Hoskins, Midland Peasant, 3 V. C H . , I I I ,  p.  3.  p.  22 7.  57 t u r y p o p u l a t i o n was o n l y a b o u t farmers  5,000.  from the e n c l o s e d v i l l a g e s  of eastern  s h i r e and the o v e r c r o w d e d v i l l a g e s drifted 57% o f  into Leicester  i n search  the migrant apprentices  m i l e s away, w h i l e 60% o f hosiery ship'  of  had, however,  apprentice  of work.  business  farmers  Leicester  'Apprentice-  of meaning i n the  late  upon t h e c l a s s  of h i s apprenticeship.  On t h e  t h e i r younger sons i n the  the one  hosiery  b y a p p r e n t i c i n g them t o w e a l t h y m e r c h a n t - h o s i e r s . j o i n e d the ranks of  the c a p i t a l i s t  after  their  hand,  a p p r e n t i c e s h i p v/as o f t e n a f o r m o f  a p p r e n t i c e s h i p was c o m p l e t e d .  hosiers  On t h e cheap  other  l a b o u r as  " i n t h i s i n d u s t r y t h a t we come a c r o s s t h e f i r s t indentures of apprenticeship,  manufacturers  and p a r i s h e s .  the. p a r i s h t o g e t  1 V.C.H.,  of  from nearby a g r i c u l t u r a l v i l l a g e s  in establishing  These p e o p l e  tive  .1730,  t h a n 10  the youths a p p r e n t i c e d i n  c e n t u r y t h a t was d e p e n d e n t  substantial  succeeded  was  F r o m 1678 t o  h a d come f r o m l e s s  a b r o a d range  and t h e terms  Leicester-  the Soar v a l l e y had  t r a d e s came f r o m t h e i m m e d i a t e a r e a . 1  seventeenth  hand,  Dispossessed family  IV, p.  r i d of  193.  2 Hoskins, Midland  by arrangement  collec-  between  I t was a g o o d o p p o r t u n i t y f o r  i t s workhouse c h i l d r e n and i t  Hoskins, Midland Peasant,  Peasant,  it  p.  2 58.  pp.  en-  257 -  9.  58 abled  the manufacturer  down t h e wages o f Industrial innovation: age w i t h  to obtain free  adult  that  ment a n d e a r l y m a r r i a g e t h e age  force  workers."1  men w e r e a b l e t o e a r n f u l l  communities,  and thus  employment c a u s e d a s t a r t l i n g  the r e s u l t  noted that  labour,  i t was  wages a t  common f o r  acted,  an  early  i n d u s t r i a l employ-  t o go h a n d - i n - h a n d .  at marriage.  sociological  We h a v e  already  in agricultural  as- a v o l u n t a r y m e t h o d o f b i r t h - c o n t r o l b e c a u s e  men d i d n o t e s t a b l i s h  households  until  income.  ment was  i t p r o v i d e d y o u n g men w i t h e n o u g h money t o  m a r r i e d and s u p p o r t  a family.  were p a i d s u b s i s t e n c e - l e v e l noted a close a s s o c i a t i o n d u s t r y and a r i s e  However,  absence of  between the  i n the poor  tated  framework  the r e l a t i v e  knitters  contemporaries  coming o f  rural i n -  a prominent f e a t u r e of  economy d u r i n g t h e e i g h t e e n t h  by l a n d l o r d s  get  rates.  i n s t i t u t i o n a l checks,  Of s e t t l e m e n t  i n d u s t r i a l employ-  wages so t h a t  R u r a l i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n was Leicestershire  of  independ-  ent source of that  But the genius  t h e y h a d an  s u c h as  century.  the r i g i d  and p a r i s h o f f i c e r s ,  had  over-population of o p e n - f i e l d  1 P . M a n t o u x , The I n d u s t r i a l R e v o l u t i o n i n t h e C e n t u r y , (New Y o r k , . 1 9 6 5 ) , p . 1 9 3 .  the The  control facili-  villages.  Eighteenth  59  The  i n d i g e n t c o t t a g e r s s u p p l i e d the cheap labour that  c r u c i a l to the success  of domestic i n d u s t r y .  was  In Wigston  Magna, f o r example, a t l e a s t o n e - t h i r d of the v i l l a g e ' s population  i n 1765  were i n d u s t r i a l workers, r e n t i n g frames  and b e i n g p a i d s u b s i s t e n c e wages. t i o n had  little  nineteenth  1  The  Industrial  impact i n L e i c e s t e r s h i r e u n t i l the  century when framework k n i t t i n g was  organized w i t h i n f a c t o r y w a l l s .  Revolumid-  finally  T h i s f i n a l stage  i n the  t r a n s f o r m a t i o n of k n i t t i n g from h a n d i c r a f t to machine i n d u s t r y was  achieved  o n l y a f t e r steam power had  human e f f o r t xn d r i v i n g the k n i t t i n g  1 Hoskins, Midland 2  V.C.H., I I I , p.  Peasant, p. 22 8. 16.  frame.  replaced  60 CHAPTER  III  THE PECULIAR CIRCUMSTANCES WHICH PROMOTED SOCIO-ECONOMIC D I F F E R E N T I A T I O N : THE EMERGENCE OF AGRICULTURAL COMMERCIALIZATION I N FRAMLAND AND RURAL I N D U S T R I A L I Z A T I O N I N WEST GOSCOTE, 1660 - 8 0 . M o d e r n i n d u s t r i a l a c t i v i t y was  i n i t i a t e d only after  more e f f i c i e n t  d i v i s i o n of a g r i c u l t u r a l l a b o u r had  a food surplus  and had t h e r e b y e n a b l e d  t o be  redeployed  facturing tional  i n t o such secondary  and s e r v i c e  industries.  l a b o u r and  we w i l l  examine  seventeenth  specific,  century.  has  Leicestershire  1670's.  t i m e one c a n a l r e a d y  of  social  In the of  see  during  chapter  1660's the  and  bifurcation t o be  intensi-  the p r i m a r y economic  activity  t h e p o p u l a t i o n i n b o t h F r a m l a n d and West  A p a r t from such t r a d i t i o n a l v i l l a g e  b l a c k s m i t h or the c a r p e n t e r , activity.  scale  this  the p r o t o - i n d u s t r i a l p e r i o d .  1 6 6 0 ' s f a r m i n g was  the b u l k of  cote.  d u r i n g the  na-  i n two n e i g h -  and e c o n o m i c o r g a n i z a t i o n t h a t was  f i e d throughout  manu-  shown t h a t  In t h i s  local conditions  bouring parts of By t h i s  as  Our e x a m i n a t i o n o f  economic m o d e r n i z a t i o n began on a s u b s t a n t i a l the middle of the  created capital  undertakings  and r e g i o n a l economic development  a  By t h e  1660's,  craftsmen  t h e r e was v e r y l i t t l e  however,  the a g r a r i a n  F r a m l a n d was v e r y w e a l t h y i n c o m p a r i s o n w i t h t h e  as  Gosthe  industrial  society  of  poverty-  /  A  /  1 Vale of Belvoir 2 . L i g h t S e l l s . o f North-east Framlend 3 Wreak v a l l e y 4 E a s t e r n Uplandt; 5 fifelland valley G L i a s s i c Clay S o i l Ji&st L e i c e s t e r s h i r e 7 Sot.r / a l l e y 3 C o a l ivieasures 9 Charir.vccd F o r e s t 10 L e i c e s t e r F o r e s t 11 Remainder c f .vest L e i ce r t e r s h i r e  61  s t r i c k e n v i l l a g e s i n West Goscote.  In order to e x p l a i n the  d i s p a r i t y of wealth d i s t r i b u t i o n between these two r e g i o n s we must review the d i s s i m i l a r p r o g r e s s o f a g r i c u l t u r a l modernization.  We w i l l then see that the o r i g i n s of a g r i -  c u l t u r a l c o m m e r c i a l i z a t i o n i n Framland  and of i n d u s t r i a l i -  z a t i o n i n West Goscote r e s u l t e d from t h e i r p e c u l i a r r e sponses to p a r t i c u l a r socio-economic c r i s e s w i t h i n t r a d i t i o n a l economic systems.  Moreover,  we w i l l  their  observe  t h a t these fundamental economic t r a n s f o r m a t i o n s o c c u r r e d when the p r e s s u r e s of a d v e r s i t y had f o r c e d men their habitual  t o abandon  activities.  - 1 In Framland hundred perhaps 60% of the l a n d belonged to the b e l t of L i a s s i c c l a y s o i l s which h a l f of the c o u n t y . though  1  None of t h i s l a n d was  t h e r e were p l a c e s where i t was  difficult  covered the e a s t e r n  to c u l t i v a t e .  infertile a l -  heavy and,  E n t e r p r i s i n g farmers on the c l a y  s o i l s became g r a z i e r s r a t h e r than c e r e a l farmers t h e i r l a n d was  more p r o d u c t i v e v/hen i t was  than v/hen i t was Framland was  therefore,  cultivated.  because  used f o r p a s t u r e  The o t h e r 40% of the land i n  a mixture o f sandstone and limestone which  1 See the accompanying map  on s o i l  structure.  was  62  l i g h t e r and more e a s i l y worked than the dominant c l a y which surrounded was  i t on three s i d e s .  soils  However, as t h i s land  more s u s c e p t i b l e to n i t r o g e n d e p l e t i o n than the c l a y  s o i l s i t r e q u i r e d s u b s t a n t i a l f e r t i l i z a t i o n i f i t was realize  i t s f u l l potential.  In t h i s s e c t i o n we w i l l  to see  t h a t when circumstances f o r c e d farmers to become e f f i c i e n t , specialized their  producers, they c o u l d o n l y do so i f they  suited  l a n d w i t h a complementary form of husbandry.  S u b s i s t e n c e farming i n Framland  broke down f i r s t  l i g h t s o i l s which were worn out by continuous Without  on the  cultivation.  1  the a i d of legumes, farmers on t h i s type of land  had to p r a c t i s e a form of mixed farming i n which  their  animals' manure r e p l e n i s h e d the n i t r o g e n t h a t was e x t r a c t e d from the s o i l by t h e i r  c e r e a l crops.  Mixed farming  was,  however, beyond the economic competence of the s m a l l farmer s i n c e , by demanding t h a t a l a r g e p a r t of h i s l a n d be put to p a s t u r e , i t r e q u i r e d him t o own  a l a r g e number of animals.  1 By the l a t e r f o u r t e e n t h century the v i l l a g e s on the l i g h t s o i l s were poor as evidenced by the f a c t t h a t they v/ere a l ready s p a r s e l y populated, a f t e r having been the most densely populated p a r t of L e i c e s t e r s h i r e at the time of the Domesday survey i n 1036. . U n t i l the l a t e r seventeenth century t h i s r e g i o n v/as among the most t h i n l y populated p a r t s of L e i c e s tershire. (V.C.H., I I I , pp. 131, 135, 133, 143.).  63 Many members  of  the t r a d i t i o n a l peasant s o c i e t y were  enfranchised  because they c o u l d not adapt to the  demands w h i c h p r e s s e d upon them a f t e r to the s o i l ' s farmers was of the  nitrogen depletion.  had l o s t  reorganized capitalist  t h e i r tenancies and t h e  l a n d v/as  farmers.  1 6 6 0 ' s when 6 o f  had been t o t a l l y Enclosure  the  the v i l l a g e s  shrank  the average,  o n l y 36.3  the years  of  family  landholding  rented to a smaller  13 p a r i s h e s o n t h e  light soil belt  number  advanced  by  light soil  o f F r a m l a n d was  pasture,  they were not d e s e r t e d . households  reduced because t h i s  efficiently.  contributed  belt  enclosed.1  i n the  the c r e a t i o n of  system  T h i s p r o c e s s was w e l l  the  nev/  A f t e r the small  m i x e d f a r m i n g and not f o r permanent  f o r c e was  they had  dis-  l a r g e farms  so t h a t w h i l e There were,  per p a r i s h .  enclosure  for  The  labour-  was a c c o m p a n i e d  which u t i l i z e d labour  1670 we f o u n d t h a t  by  more  In our examination of probate i n v e n t o r i e s  1660 t o  on  o n l y 26.32% o f  for  the  1 The d a t e s a t w h i c h e n c l o s u r e was f i n a l i z e d f o r t h e s e 6 p a r i s h e s w e r e as f o l l o w s : B e s c a b y ( 1 5 3 8 ) ; C r o x t o n K e r r i a l ' ( 1 5 3 8 ) ; E a t o n ( 1 5 7 5 ) ; S t o n e s b y ( 1 5 7 9 ) ; E a s t v / e l l ( 1 6 5 6 ) ; and Goadby Marwood ( 1 6 3 8 - 7 4 ) . ( V . c . H . , I I I , p p . 254 - 9 . ) 2 See A p p e n d i x 1 f o r t h e s o u r c e o f t h i s f i g u r e f o l l o w i n g which r e l a t e to the s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e s o i l r e g i o n of Framland.  and t h o s e of the l i g h t  64  estates  from t h i s  relative Tax  absence  a r e a were w o r t h of poor  r e t u r n s o f 1670  exempted b e c a u s e i s h e s which  p e o p l e was  i n which  were e n c l o s e d by  the f a m i l y  of the households However,  compared  f a r m e r was  commercial  complete  1660's.  by  the  population,  75% o f t h i s that  In the  group  this  the  from  f o r the  p r o c e s s was  largest  £25  t o £ 100.  was  very  area of Framland  from  this  part  of  In a d d i t i o n ,  the moveable w e a l t h ,  and  the  less  than £  fragile.  the wealthy the  50  1660's.  farmer 30.28%  r e g i o n were made f o r p e o p l e  this  since  group the  source of wealth  i t follows  was  i n l a r g e u n i t s by  b e i n g farmed  not  However,  owned more t h a n £ 1 0 0 . i n p o s s e s s i o n s a t t h e t i m e death.  the  independents  owned goods w o r t h  independence  soil  the i n v e n t o r i e s  their  were  b e i n g r e p l a c e d by  h a d become t h e most i m p o r t a n t f i g u r e b y  who  Hearth  i n the 6 par-  t o 2 9%  composed o f s m a l l  i n size  their  light  farmer,  Indeed,  43.43%, was  whose e s t a t e s v a r i e d  of  i n the  mid-seventeenth'century  o n l y 17% as  market-oriented  suggesting  the  noted  The  parishes.  Although  almost  2 5.6%  t h a n E 25.  also  of t h e i r poverty.  t h e p o v e r t y r a t e was unenclosed  less  controlled  l a n d was  that perhaps the  the  75.32% o f primary  75% o f t h e  1660's.  of  land  65 The light  i n a b i l i t y of subsistence farmers  s o i l s had, t h e r e f o r e , enabledthe  m e r c i a l farmer tion.  While  t o s u r v i v e on t h e  market-oriented  t o become t h e . c h a r a c t e r i s t i c u n i t o f p r o d u c -  the mixed farming which  t h e y p r a c t i s e d v/as a  d e f i n i t e improvement over t h e d i s a s t r o u s system tence  These l i g h t s o i l  of their  qualities.  farmers were n o t t a k i n g  land's t r a c t a b i l i t y Mixed  an a c t i v i t y w h i c h The  o'f s u b s i s -  f a r m i n g , i t was n o t a n e s p e c i a l l y p r o d u c t i v e f o r m o f  husbandry. age  com-  or i t s free  advant-  draining  f a r m i n g was a r e m e d i a l m e a s u r e r a t h e r t h a n p r o m o t e d an i n t e n s i f i c a t i o n o f c u l t i v a t i o n .  t e c h n i c a l aspect of farming  i n this  m o d e r n i z e d sometime i n t h e l a t e r  r e g i o n began t o be  seventeenth  century,  after  the i n t r o d u c t i o n o f c o n v e r t i b l e husbandry had enabled t h e light soil  farmers  to s p e c i a l i z e  coming c e r e a l f a r m e r s .  t h e i r production by be-  A r a b l e h u s b a n d r y demanded a  larger  l a b o u r f o r c e t h a n m i x e d f a r m i n g had needed, w i t h t h e r e s u l t that the population of the l i g h t s o i l s 1705  i n c r e a s e d 2 5 % between  and 1801 c o m p a r e d w i t h a n i n c r e a s e o f o n l y a b o u t 4% i n  the g r a z i n g r e g i o n s of e a s t e r n  On t h e c l a y s o i l s  Leicestershire.  i n Framland a g r i c u l t u r a l  1  efficiency  c o u l d o n l y be a c h i e v e d when t h e l a n d v/as u s e d f o r p a s t u r e  1 V.C.H., I I I , p. 155.  66 farming. drained,  Because t h e y were d i f f i c u l t  most c l a y s o i l s were n o t s u i t a b l e  market-oriented cereal production. not,  farmers.  therefore,  Agricultural  proceed u n t i l  p l a c e d by c a p i t a l i s t g r a z i e r s w i t h the world of  Subsistence  intensive, farmers  seventeenth  terribly  whose a c t i v i t i e s w e r e  of the s i x t e e n t h  The s m a l l e r t e n a n t s  difficult  their  and from  were p l a c e d i n a  p o s i t i o n b e c a u s e many o f them c o u l d n o t farms'  produce.  who w e r e u n a b l e t o meet t h e demands  d i d not get  re-  connected  l a n d l o r d s demanded h i g h e r r e n t s  e a r n more money f r o m t h e i r farmers  commercialization could  cash and c r e d i t .  centuries,  tenants.''"  did  themselves  the f a m i l y farmers were  In response to the p r i c e r i s e  their  for  h o w e v e r , p o s s e s s enough c a p i t a l t o e s t a b l i s h  as p a s t u r e not,  t o work and p o o r l y  l e a s e s renewed.  Their  Those  family  for higher  rents  l a n d was r e n t e d  to  1 Of c o u r s e , l a n d l o r d s c o u l d o n l y demand h i g h e r r e n t s i f t h e i r l a n d was n o t h e l d b y c o p y h o l d o f i n h e r i t a n c e t e n u r e . The t e r m s o f t e n a n c y h a v e n o t b e e n d i s c o v e r e d ; h o w e v e r , t h e s p e e d w i t h w h i c h t h e b e l t o f h e a v y c l a y s o i l was e n c l o s e d supports the c o n t e n t i o n t h a t l a n d l o r d s were not r e s t r a i n e d by t h e i r t e n a n t s ' l e g a l r i g h t to t r a d i t i o n a l r e n t a l payments. I n d e e d , i t was i n t h e l a n d l o r d s ' i n t e r e s t t o h a v e h i s l a n d enclosed f o r pasture i n view of the f a c t that t h i s type of f a r m c o u l d be r e n t e d f o r a l m o s t t h r e e t i m e s as much as o p e n f i e l d a r a b l e , - b e t w e e n 9 s . 6 d . a n d l i s . an a c r e a g a i n s t 3 s . 6 d . an a c r e i n t h e m i d - s e v e n t e e n t h c e n t u r y a t D a l b y - o n - t h e - W o l d s , t h e p a r i s h a d j o i n i n g M e l t o n Mowbray on t h e s o u t h . (V. C H . , I I , p . 2 2 5 . )  67  men who c o u l d p r o v i d e  l a n d o w n e r s w i t h more money.  the r e o r g a n i z a t i o n of  l a n d h o l d i n g v/as  seventeenth of  century i n the v i l l a g e s  Whereas  completed during  the  on t h e h e a v y c l a y  t h e Wreak v a l l e y and t h e E a s t e r n U p l a n d s ,  soils  i t d i d not  reach f u l f i l m e n t i n the V a l e of B e l v o i r u n t i l  after  Parliamentary Acts for Enclosure of  eighteenth  the  later  c e n t u r y h a d d i v i d e d t h e t r a d i t i o n a l common f i e l d s individual  the  into  farms.  The d i s e n f r a n c h i s e m e n t  of the s u b s i s t e n c e farmer  was  v e r y r a p i d i n t h e Wreak v a l l e y a n d t h e E a s t e r n U p l a n d s . t h e end o f t h e s e v e n t e e n t h on the heavy c l a y s o i l s  century only 3 of the  v/ere n o t f u l l y  more,  of these 3 unenclosed parishes  ford,  had e x p e r i e n c e d  farming by  at  18  enclosed.  By  parishes  Further-  l e a s t one,  Staple-  some movement away f r o m o p e n - f i e l d  1603.1  Much o f t h e e n c l o s e d capital-intensive  l a n d v/as d e v o t e d t o g r a z i n g :  activity with a b u i l t - i n bias  in  a  favour  1 The d a t e s when e n c l o s u r e was c o m p l e t e d i n t h e s e 15 p a r i s h e s w e r e as f o l l o w s : M e l t o n Mowbray ( 1 6 0 1 ) ; K i r b y B e l l a r s ( 1 5 3 6 ) ; C o l d O v e r t o n (1631); L i t t l e Dalby (before 1679); B u r t o n L a z a r s (1649); Thorpe A r n o l d (1601-1700); Wyfordby (1612-74); S a x b y ( 1 6 7 4 - 1 7 3 6 ) ; Wymondham (by 1 6 0 7 ) ; E d m o n t h o r p e (by 1607); Buckminster (1579); Sewstern (1597); Coston (1634-9); G a r t h o r p e (1674); and Sysonby ( e a r l y s e v e n t e e n t h c e n t u r y ) . ( V . C . H . . I I , p p . 254 - 9 . ) .  68  of l a r g e - s c a l e e n t e r p r i s e .  Because pasture  l i t t l e employment f o r the dispossessed,  farming  created  those people who  c o u l d not adapt t o the a g r a r i a n economy's new s t r u c t u r e were d r i v e n o f f the land.  Between 1603 and 1676 the p o p u l a t i o n  of the e n c l o s e d v i l l a g e s of the Wreak v a l l e y and the E a s t e r n Uplands was d e c l i n i n g , 12% and 31% r e s p e c t i v e l y .  1  a s i d e the market town o f Melton Mowbray, the p u r e l y  Leaving agricul-  t u r a l v i l l a g e s ^ i n t h i s r e g i o n had an average o f o n l y 30 households e a c h .  2  The d i s p o s s e s s i o n of the poor farmers was w e l l  advanced by 1670 when only 19.2 7% of the households i n t h i s area were exempted from payment of the Hearth Tax because of poverty.  Our  f i g u r e s on the d i s t r i b u t i o n of wealth i n the 1660's  showed t h a t men w i t h e s t a t e s v a l u e d a t more than £ 100 composed 30.7% of the p o p u l a t i o n i n the v i l l a g e s on the c l a y soils. The  T h i s group c o n t r o l l e d 78.2% of the community's w e a l t h .  f o l l o w i n g examination of the s t r u c t u r e of l i v e s t o c k owner-  s h i p i n Melton Mowbray w i l l i l l u s t r a t e  the c o n c e n t r a t i o n of  w e a l t h i n t o the hands of a p a r t i c u l a r k i n d o f farmer - the  1  V. C H . , I I I , pp. 144 - 5.  2 See- Appendix 2 f o r the source of t h i s f i g u r e and those f o l l o w i n g which r e l a t e to the s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e o f the heavy c l a y r e g i o n of the Wreak v a l l e y and the E a s t e r n Uplands.  69 grazier.1  23 o f t h e  57 i n v e n t o r i e s  t h e d e c e a s e d h a d owned a t inventories sheep:  t h e r e was  sheep.  t h a n 19 s h e e p ;  20 and 99 s h e e p ;  the t o t a l ;  26.8%; w h i l e the ownership of  these deceased's 9 people  a n d 4 men owned more t h a n o f more t h a n 100  those w i t h medium-sized  than 5 animals  and a n o t h e r  The w e a l t h i e s t  apiece;  flocks  man i n t h e  community,  owned a n i m a l s  h a d 591 h o g s ,  16 o x e n ,  445 s h e e p ,  His involvement  the  13 h e l d  100 sheep had The lines:  between animals  Edward S t o k e s ,  w o r t h £ 1,2 7 3 .  9 h o r s e s and 41 h e a d  i n a r a b l e f a r m i n g v/as  and a n o t h e r  same  5 men owned more t h a n 20  m e r c e r who d i e d i n 1 6 6 9 ,  acres of barley  another  and h o r s e s f o l l o w e d a l o n g  17 p e o p l e owned f e w e r  cattle.  the  that  s m a l l men h e l d o n l y 5.7% o f t h e t o t a l .  cattle  5 and 19 b e a s t s ;  I n 22 o f  a r e c o r d o f t h e number o f  The 4 men who e a c h h a d f l o c k s  owned 68% o f  each.  l e a s t one s h e e p .  9 p e o p l e owned f e w e r  h e l d between  from Melton noted  a  He of  l i m i t e d to 8  8 a c r e s o f p e a s and b e a n s w h i c h  1 T h i s i n f o r m a t i o n was g a t h e r e d f r o m t h e p r o b a t e i n v e n t o r i e s made f o r M e l t o n Mowbray r e s i d e n t s b e t w e e n 1660 and 1 6 3 0 . The i m p o r t a n c e o f t h e l a r g e s t f a r m e r s may h a v e b e e n underestimated i n v i e w o f t h e f a c t t h a t men who h e l d l a n d i n more t h a n one c o u n t y had t h e i r i n v e n t o r i e s r e g i s t e r e d i n London a t t h e vChancery. The L e i c e s t e r s h i r e i n v e n t o r i e s a r e l o c a t e d i n t h e L e i c e s t e r s h i r e County Record O f f i c e i n L e i c e s t e r . 2 S t o k e s ' e s t a t e had the t o t a l v a l u e of E 1,449. (Leicesters h i r e . C o u n t y R e c o r d O f f i c e , I n v e n t o r i e s , 1669, 14.).  70 were v a l u e d a t of h i s  E 30.  The f a c t  capital into his  that  Stokes  had i n v e s t e d  l i v e s t o c k u n d e r l i n e s the  importance  o f g r a z i n g i n t h e a g r i c u l t u r a l economy o f t h e c l a y In the  1 6 6 0 ' s t h e r u r a l economy o f  was n o t e n t i r e l y d e v o t e d t o p a s t u r e e a r l y seventeenth for  its  flexible  arable  qualities.  from i t s  family farmers.  By s u c c e s s f u l l y  f o r a few g r a z i e r s  seemed  t o have  to  century.  p r a c t i s i n g arable onto t h e i r  a  remove  the remaining for  example,  co-existed.1  11 i n t h e V a l e o f B e l v o i r was  to hold  the  B e c a u s e o p e n - f i e l d f a r m i n g was  durxng the seventeenth  men w e r e a b l e  During  In the p a r i s h of B o t t e s f o r d ,  the  Belvoir  c l a y l a n d was r e n o w n e d  demands w i t h o u t r u i n i n g  and f a m i l y f a r m e r s  Only 1 p a r i s h of enclosed  rich  s y s t e r j i t was p o s s i b l e  themselves  graziers  century i t s  soils.  the Vale of  farming.  87.8%  fully  2  husbandry the  land d u r i n g the  small  seventeenth  1 I n B o t t e s f o r d t h e r e were 8 p e o p l e w i t h p o s s e s s i o n s v a l u e d a t more t h a n E 200 as a g a i n s t o n l y 3 p e o p l e o f s i m i l a r w e a l t h i n t h e o t h e r 10 p a r i s h e s i n t h e V a l e o f B e l v o i r . See A p p e n d i x 3 f o r t h e s o u r c e o f t h i s f i g u r e and t h o s e f o l l o w i n g which r e l a t e to the s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e of the V a l e of B e l v o i r . 2 P l u n g a r was c o m p l e t e l y e n c l o s e d b y 1 6 1 2 . Other enclosure was n o t e d i n t h e e x t r a - p a r o c i a 1 a r e a o f B e l v o i r w h i c h was f u l l y e n c l o s e d b y 1734, w h i l e some e n c l o s u r e t o o k p l a c e i n Hose a n d N e t h e r B r c u g h t o n i n . 1605 and 1651 r e s p e c t i v e l y . (V. C H . , I I , p p . 254 - 9 . ) .  71  century. evident  The s u c c e s s f u l i n the  households Belvoir  of  were a b l e  as  was  1670 H e a r t h Tax r e t u r n s w h i c h 8 0 . 3 3 % o f  each had,  households  s u r v i v a l of the peasantry  to pay.  The v i l l a g e s  on t h e a v e r a g e ,  almost  i n the Vale of  t w i c e as  the p u r e l y a g r i c u l t u r a l , enclosed  many villages  t h e Wreak v a l l e y and t h e E a s t e r n U p l a n d s - 5 4 . 7  t o 30.  a c t i v i t y was  Enclosures  of  the  completed only a f t e r  later  eighteenth  d i v i d e d i n t o separate farms,  the  c e n t u r y when t h e  where f o r  farm,  grazing  small  looking else-  employment.1  The i n a b i l i t y  of  f a m i l y farmers  h u s b a n d r y i n t h e Wreak v a l l e y , light  l a n d was  the r e n t s were t r e b l e d ,  f a r m e r was f o r c e d t o g i v e up h i s  agri-  Parliamentary  became t h e p r e d o m i n a n t f o r m o f h u s b a n d r y a n d t h e family  compared  The c o m m e r c i a l i z a t i o n o f t h e V a l e o f B e l v o i r ' s  cultural  the  soil belt  arable  t h e E a s t e r n U p l a n d s and  i n Framland r e s u l t e d  l a r g e - s c a l e farmers  to p r a c t i s e  i n t h e i r replacement  who w e r e n o t p r e s s e d b y i m m e d i a t e  sistence requirements  and c o u l d s u i t  the  t h e i r land with  by.  suba  1 W . G . H o s k i n s , "The L e i c e s t e r s h i r e C r o p R e t u r n s o f 1 8 0 1 " , in.Hoskins, ed., Studies i n Leicestershire Agrarian History, ( L e i c e s t e r , 1 9 4 9 ) , p p . 131 - 3 . I t was n o t e d i n t h i s a r t i c l e t h a t t h e Duke o f R u t l a n d owned l a n d i n a n d a r o u n d the V a l e of B e l v o i r w o r t h E 21,000 per y e a r i n 1809. A p p a r e n t l y t h e Duke h a d b e e n moved t o e n c l o s e h i s l a n d b y P a r l i a m e n t a r y A c t i n o r d e r t o make i t more p r o f i t a b l e .  72  complementary form of husbandry. cialization  of the Vale of B e l v o i r ' s a g r a r i a n  h e l d back by the peasant farmers' arable  h u s b a n d r y on i t s  ment o f m o d e r n , therefore, either tance  In contrast,  rich  efficient  after  inability  clay soils.  the  commer-  economy was  to  The  practise establish-  farming i n Framland occurred,  the f a m i l y farmers.were  dispossessed by  t h e i r own i n e f f i c i e n c y o r t h e i r l a n d l o r d s ' t o p u t up w i t h t h e i n a d e q u a t e  reluc-  income t h e y p r o v i d e d  tr  him.  -  The q u a l i t y o f dissimilar  the  -  l a n d i n West G o s c o t e  and d i s t i n c t c a t e g o r i e s :  The r o c k y , b a r r e n s o i l Leicestershire Goscote.  2  of  The f e r t i l e s o i l  d i v i d e d among t h e a d j a c e n t manors But the s o i l  1 See  ex-  Goscote.  as  a part  b u t had been of  their  i n C h a r n w o o d F o r e s t was  p o o r q u a l i t y , b a d l y d r a i n e d and i m p o s s i b l e its  60% o f West  of the Soar r i v e r v a l l e y  Charnwood h a d n e v e r been a r o y a l f o r e s t  because of  good.1  and t h e West  covered perhaps  t e n d e d o v e r t h e o t h e r 40% o f W e s t  manorial waste.  i n t o two  p o o r and v e r y  Charnwood F o r e s t  C o a l Measures  fell  stony composition.  t h e a c c o m p a n y i n g map on s o i l  to  I t was o n l y  structure.  very  cultivate suitable  73  for  rough p a s t u r e .  the peasantry their  Nonetheless,  t h e F o r e s t was u s e f u l  to  o f t h e s u r r o u n d i n g v i l l a g e s who p a s t u r e d  animals i n i t .  In a d d i t i o n , t h i s uninhabited waste-  1  l a n d was p r o b a b l y one o f t h e h a v e n s  chosen by s q u a t t e r s  o t h e r m a s t e r l e s s men whose numbers mushroomed d u r i n g s i x t e e n t h and s e v e n t e e n t h  centuries.  or  the  "Driven p a r t l y by  the depopulation of o l d - e s t a b l i s h e d v i l l a g e s ,  p a r t l y by  the  rapid rise  of p o p u l a t i o n and m o r c e l l a t i o n o f t h e i r  ancestral  tenements,  a n d i n p a r t b y t h e a t t r a c t i o n o f new i n d u s t r i e s  l i k e m i n i n g a n d s m e l t i n g , many l a b o u r e r s w e r e d r i f t i n g from the o l d centers  away  of r u r a l population i n t h i s p e r i o d ,  and r e s e t t l i n g t h e m s e l v e s ,  wherever land remained unappro-  priated,  on sandy h e a t h s ,  wooded  i n royal forests,  and  spaces."  P o v e r t y was a l s o a m a j o r p r o b l e m i n t h e s i t u a t e d on t h e C o a l M e a s u r e s . to wrest t h e i r acidic  beside  soil.  subsistence  parishes  The p e a s a n t r y w e r e  unable  needs from t h e r e g i o n ' s  sandy,  A l l 9 parishes  on the C o a l Measures  exper-  i e n c e d some e n c l o s u r e d u r i n g t h e s e v e n t e e n t h  century  w i t h at  before  l e a s t 4 of  1 V.-C.H. , I I ,  pp.  them b e i n g f u l l y  2 69 -  enclosed  9.  2 A . E v e r i t t , "Farm Labourers", H i s t o r y , p. 409.  i n Thirsk,  ed.,  Agrarian  74  1710."'"  By e n c l o s u r e ,  landlords salvaged  their  land.  Because the  tion,  the p o p u l a t i o n ' s  the c o a l mines.  l a n d v/as u n s u i t a b l e  main source  cultiva-  o f e m p l o y m e n t v/as  operations  g r o w i n g demand f o r d o m e s t i c  in  r a p a c i o u s l y denuded. landless  i n response to  the  the n a t u r a l f o r e s t s had been  The g r o v / t h o f m i n i n g c r e a t e d  labourers.  ex-  f u e l w h i c h emerged d u r i n g t h e  sixteenth century after  ment f o r  for  The L e i c e s t e r s h i r e m i n e s h a d g r e a t l y  panded the s c a l e of t h e i r  later  some i n c o m e f r o m  Of t h e p r o b a t e  employ-  inventories,  37.7% v/ere r e c o r d e d f o r p e o p l e whose p o s s e s s i o n s w e r e v a l u e d at  less than £ 2 5 . 3  turns,  Similarly,  i n the  1670 H e a r t h Tax  re-  37.3% o f t h e p o p u l a t i o n were g r a n t e d e x e m p t i o n from  payment o f  the t a x .  N e a r l y tv/o h o u s e h o l d s  v/ere c o n s i d e r e d t o b e d e s t i t u t e There was,  therefore,  by t h e i r  i n every  five  contemporaries.  a l m o s t t w i c e as much p o v e r t y i n t h e  1 The f o l l o w i n g p a r i s h e s w e r e f u l l y e n c l o s e d b e f o r e 1 7 1 0 : A s h b y de l a Z o u c h ( 1 6 0 1 ) ; C o l e O r t o n ( 1 6 3 8 ) ; P a c k i n g t o n ( 1 6 0 9 ) ; a n d W h i t v / i c k (by 1 7 0 4 ) . I n a d d i t i o n , e n c l o s u r e was f i r s t n o t e d f o r the f o l l o w i n g p a r i s h e s b e f o r e 1700: Breedon on t h e H i l l ( 1 5 4 1 ) ; C h a r l e y F o r e s t ( 1 6 1 8 ) ; U l v e r s c r o f t ( 1 5 4 0 ) ; W o r t h i n g t o n ( 1 5 0 6 ) ; a n d Woodhouse E a v e s (1656). ( V . C . H . , I I , p p . 254 - 9 . ) . 2  V.C.H. , III,  pp.  32-4.  3 See A p p e n d i x 4 f o r t h e s o u r c e o f t h i s f i g u r e a n d t h o s e f o l l o w i n g which r e l a t e to the s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e of the poor s o i l r e g i o n o f West G o s c o t e .  75  mining r e g i o n as i n the p u r e l y a g r i c u l t u r a l v i l l a g e s Framland i n which o n l y 20% o f from paying  the Hearth Tax.  of  the p o p u l a t i o n were exempted Moreover, the average i n v e n t o r y  worth o n l y 50% of the average  from the mining r e g i o n was  i n v e n t o r y i n the e n c l o s e d v i l l a g e s i n which the g r a z i e r f i g u r e d so l a r g e l y .  By the  1 6 6 0 ' s , when mining had become  a major economic endeavour i n the poor s o i l b e l t of West Goscote, i n d u s t r i a l p o v e r t y was  The  farmland  v e r y r i c h and  already  present.  i n the a l l u v i a l v a l l e y of the Soar  was  fertile:  "The broad f l o o d p l a i n s produced hay as w e l l as summer p a s t u r e , and i t v/as o f t e n the supply o f w i n t e r fodder t h a t l i m i t e d s t o c k - r e a r i n g . The g r a v e l terraces provided e x c e l l e n t settlement s i t e s w i t h a r e l i a b l e water-supply as w e l l as good, w e l l d r a i n e d loams f o r a r a b l e f a r m i n g . 1,1  As a r e s u l t of these b e n e f i c i a l c o n d i t i o n s , the Soctr v a l l e y had been the most densely shire, willing vacant was  populated  region i n Leicester-  a t l e a s t s i n c e the Domesday survey immigrants had tenancies,  the t r a d i t i o n a l system of peasant  the p o p u l a t i o n boom of the  131.  any farming  century.  Then,  l a t e r s i x t e e n t h century  caused  s u b d i v i s i o n of l a n d h o l d i n g s  1 V.C.H., I I I , p.  Since  always been a v a i l a b l e to f i l l  a b l e to s u r v i v e u n t i l the seventeenth  an e x c e s s i v e  of 1 0 8 6 .  and  the  fragile  76  f a b r i c of peasant s o c i e t y was  destroyed.  The d e l e t e r i o u s e f f e c t s of p o p u l a t i o n growth on the peasant communities  of the Soar v a l l e y  c l e a r l y i n Loughborough. 1563  1603  An e c c l e s i a s t i c a l census made i n  found t h a t t h e r e v/ere 2 77 households  I f we the  can be seen most  assume t h a t t h e r e were 4.75  p o p u l a t i o n o f Loughborough was  persons per household then 1,316  another survey, the L i b e r C l e r i ,  were 1,200 negligible. h o l d we  i n Loughborough.  In  1  recorded that there  communicants i n Loughborough. By u s i n g a r a t i o of 2.8  at t h i s t i m e .  Non-conformity  communicants per  found t h a t t h e r e were 430 households  was  house-  i n the p a r i s h .  In a p e r i o d of f o r t y years the p o p u l a t i o n had r i s e n 62.3%; to 2,042 p e r s o n s .  2  A l a r g e p a r t of t h i s i n c r e a s e must have  been absorbed by Loughborough's a g r a r i a n economy. the  Soar v a l l e y was  In  1563  the most densely p o p u l a t e d farmland i n  L e i c e s t e r s h i r e w i t h over 20 households per 1000  acres.  The  p o p u l a t i o n e x p l o s i o n o f the next f o r t y years, i n t e n s i f i e d  1 V.C.H., I I I , p. 166. The assumption t h a t each household had 4.75 persons v/as the r e s u l t s of the r e s e a r c h of Peter s L a s l e t t which found t h a t household s i z e i n England had r e mained almost c o n s t a n t from the m i d - s i x t e e n t h century to 1911. ("Size and S t r u c t u r e of the Household i n England over Three C e n t u r i e s " , P o p u l a t i o n S t u d i e s , X X I I l / 2 , (1969), pp. 199 - 223.). - . 2  V.C.H., I I I , pp.  142 - 3;  168.  77  this  l a n d - p o p u l a t i o n r a t i o t o more t h a n 35 h o u s e h o l d s  1000 a c r e s . 1  The s a t u r a t i o n p o i n t seemed  reached by about had  date.  178 o f  t h e r e w e r e 17 f e w e r h o u s e h o l d s  The H e a r t h Tax r e t u r n s  for  1670  The  common i n  t h e y were i n M e l t o n Mowbray.  i m p a c t o f a d d i t i o n a l p e o p l e meant t h a t  either  l a n d h o l d i n g s w e r e d i v i d e d a n d i n e q u a l i t y among t h e became more common o r e l s e an enormous g r e w up i n L o u g h b o r o u g h . two  alternatives  farms  living  1  Probably a combination of  occurred.  enough f o o d t o  their  continue  t h e s e men w e r e d r i v e n i n t o e i t h e r wage l a b o u r  III,  pp.  V.C.H.,  III,  p.  138;  these  The r e d u c e d o u t p u t f r o m t h e  In order to purchase  1 V.C.H., 2  farmers  labouring population  o f many c o t t a g e r s w e r e t o o s m a l l t o s u s t a i n  families.  they  P o v e r t y - s t r i c k e n house-  43% o f t h e t o t a l , w e r e more t h a n t w i c e as  L o u g h b o r o u g h as  a  recorded  t h e t o w n ' s 413 h o u s e h o l d s v/ere s o p o o r t h a t  were exempted from p a y i n g the t a x . 3 holds,  at  The p o p u l a t i o n h a d c o n t r a c t e d t o 1 , 9 6 1 ,  d e c l i n e o f 4%.2 that  been  1603 b e c a u s e b y 1670 t h e t o w n ' s p o p u l a t i o n  d e c l i n e d s l i g h t l y as  the l a t e r  to have  per  or  143.  171.  3 See A p p e n d i x 5 f o r t h e s o u r c e o f t h i s f i g u r e a n d t h o s e f o l l o w i n g which r e l a t e to the socio-economic s t r u c t u r e of the v i l l a g e s i n the Soar v a l l e y .  78  mortgaging t h e i r land. the y e a r s 1660  - 1680  In the Loughborough i n v e n t o r i e s f o r there was  of money from o u t s t a n d i n g Altogether  75 out of 134  owing to him  debts c r e d i t e d to people's  upon h i s death.  2 3 of these people had  first  l e n d i n g them money and  did  not,  off  the  were reduced by  l i k e t h e i r counterparts land.  The  such  f e r t i l i t y of the s o i l  foreclosures  enabled the  cottager Further-  t h e i r a t t e n t i o n to  advantageous to the c o t t a g e r  labour-intensive enterprise created part-time a d d i t i o n a l income.  thrown  s t r i p s of land.  more, the f a c t t h a t many farmers turned  which gave him  Those house-  i n Framland, get  to r e a l i z e l a r g e y i e l d s from h i s few  d a i r y farming was  neighbour's  then r e c e i v i n g  s t r i p s of land when payments c o u l d not be met. h o l d s whose landholdings  lent  Undoubtedly some of the town's  r e s i d e n t s had b e n e f i t t e d from t h e i r  m i s f o r t u n e s by  estates.  noted t h a t the deceased had money  out sums t o t a l l i n g £ 2,760. wealthier  a remarkably l a r g e amount  Perhaps the  since  this  employment land  was  a l i e n a t e d s t r i p by s t r i p i n which case the process of t i o n would have been prolonged.  The  l a r g e number of i n d i g e n t c o t t a g e r s  existence  of a very  combined w i t h the s u r v i v a l  of many f a m i l y farmers to f r u s t r a t e most attempts to ganize the farms.  common f i e l d s  Enclosure  Soar v a l l e y d u r i n g  attri-  reor-  into large, i n d i v i d u a l l y - o p e r a t e d  v/as not an important phenomenon i n the the seventeenth century  as o n l y 1 p l a c e  79 was  fully  enclosed,  while 2 others  experienced  some  enclosure.1 Because the poor were n e i t h e r thrown o f f  the  land nor  g i v e n n o n - a g r i c u l t u r a l work, endemic underemployment  was  common i n t h e v i l l a g e s  1660's.  of  the Soar v a l l e y d u r i n g the  The p o r t i o n o f t h e p o p u l a t i o n w h i c h s o l d i t s c a u g h t b e t w e e n t h e S c y l l a o f a l o w demand f o r Charybdis of therefore, valley  the oversupply of  labourers.  a major problem i n the v i l l a g e s  i n the  1660's.  40.5% o f  labour  was  labour  and  P o v e r t y was, of  the  Soar  t h e i n v e n t o r i e s w e r e made  f o r p e o p l e whose e s t a t e s w e r e v a l u e d a t  l e s s than £ 25.  A n o t h e r 2 1 . 4 % o f t h e i n v e n t o r i e s w e r e made f o r p e o p l e p o s s e s s i o n s w e r e w o r t h b e t w e e n £ 25 a n d £ 5 0 . of  the p o p u l a t i o n ,  three households  indigent or uncomfortably close  i n f i v e , v/ere  to poverty.  t h e p r o b l e m o f p o v e r t y i n t h e S o a r v a l l e y was the f a c t  that  the v i l l a g e s  Thus,  whose 61.9%  either  Furthermore, compounded b y  w e r e v e r y l a r g e w h i c h meant  that,  1 B e l t o n was f u l l y e n c l o s e d b y 1 6 2 5 , w h i l e T h u r c a s t o n and L o n g W h a t t o n e x p e r i e n c e d some e n c l o s u r e i n t h e s e v e n t e e n t h c e n t u r y , f i r s t n o t e d i n 1600 and 1664 r e s p e c t i v e l y . Howe v e r , some e n c l o s u r e h a d t a k e n p l a c e i n t h e S o a r v a l l e y i n e a r l i e r times: D i s h l e y was f u l l y e n c l o s e d b y 1529 a n d Wanl i p was d e s c r i b e d as b e i n g an " o l d e n c l o s u r e " i n 162 5 , while- a s e c t i o n of C a s t l e Donington had been imparked i n 1482. ( V . C . H . , I I , p p . 2 54 - 9 . ) .  80  i n a b s o l u t e terms, there were a g r e a t many poor people i n each v i l l a g e .  There were an average o f 104 households per  p a r i s h w i t h the r e s u l t t h a t each p a r i s h had an average o f 42 households which were i n d i g e n t . smaller v i l l a g e s  In comparison, the  i n Framland, which had an average o f o n l y  45 households and a p o v e r t y r a t e o f 2 0%, had an average o f o n l y 9 i n d i g e n t households.  Primary pqverty, s i g n i f i e d by the ownership o f p o s s e s s i o n s worth  l e s s than £ 10, was a much g r e a t e r p r o -  blem i n the Soar v a l l e y t h a t i n the e n c l o s e d v i l l a g e s o f the Wreak v a l l e y and the E a s t e r n Uplands. valley  In the Soar  18.3% o f the i n v e n t o r i e s were made f o r people who  can be c o n s i d e r e d d e s t i t u t e .  Whereas i n the e n c l o s e d  v i l l a g e s on the heavy c l a y s o i l s i n Framland o n l y 7.3% of the p o p u l a t i o n were i n such s t r a i t s .  Mien we look a t t h i s  problem i n a b s o l u t e terms, primary p o v e r t y i n the average v i l l a g e i n the Soar v a l l e y can be seen t o be an even more serious s o c i a l e v i l .  There were 18.9 d e s t i t u t e households  per p a r i s h i n the Soar v a l l e y compared t o 3.4 d e s t i t u t e households i n the Framland v i l l a g e s which were devoted t o grazing.  Thus, primary p o v e r t y was almost s i x times as  common i n the e c o n o m i c a l l y backwards v i l l a g e s as i t was i n v i l l a g e s which were a g r i c u l t u r a l l y commercialized.  Poverty  81  i n the Soar v a l l e y was q u a l i t a t i v e l y d i f f e r e n t from t h a t i n Framland because the poor e x i s t e d as a c l a s s which  still  p l a y e d a r o l e i n the r e g i o n ' s economy i n comparison t o the i r r e v e l a n c e of t h e i r counterparts  to the g r a z i n g economy  of Framland.  The progress  o f a g r i c u l t u r a l s p e c i a l i z a t i o n i n the  Soar v a l l e y was h i n d e r e d by the c o t t a g e r s ' i n a b i l i t y t o s u r v i v e on the -produce from a few s t r i p s o f land,  supple-  mented by the income which they r e c e i v e d from p a r t - t i m e wage labour.  In order t o supply s u b s i s t e n c e needs a con-  s i d e r a b l e amount of l a n d was not a v a i l a b l e f o r c o n v e r s i o n to d a i r y pasture.  Moreover, the w e a l t h i e r farmers were  r e l u c t a n t t o devote t h e i r a t t e n t i o n s o l e l y t o d a i r y  farming  as long as they c o u l d p r o f i t a b l y supply the c o t t a g e r s ' and l a b o u r e r s ' demands f o r food.  The c o m m e r c i a l i z a t i o n  o f the  Soar v a l l e y ' s a g r a r i a n economy was not completed by the 1660's because a r a b l e husbandry and s u b s i s t e n c e  farming  c o u l d be s u c c e s s f u l l y p r a c t i s e d on i t s r i c h a l l u v i a l  The  Soar v a l l e y ' s socio-economic  soil.  p r o f i l e i n the 1660's  was c h a r a c t e r i z e d by a s u b s t a n t i a l number o f p o v e r t y - s t r i c k e n households.  .Many o f these households were d e s t i t u t e ; a l l  of them were underemployed.  The e x i s t e n c e of a l a r g e number  of poor people was, a t once, both  cause and e f f e c t o f the  82 agrarian l o n g as this  economy's new f o r m s  situation.  breakdown.  Stagnation  was  inevitable  o f employment were not f o u n d t o The a b u n d a n c e  of  labourers  remedy  who w e r e  des-  perately  i n need o f employment and s u p p l e m e n t a r y  income,  however,  attracted  cheap  labour  capitalist  i n order to establish  hosiers  who n e e d e d  the framework  as  knitting  industry. I n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n was i a n economy's its  not o n l y a response to the  b r e a k d o w n b u t became a p o w e r f u l r e a s o n  continued stagnation.  In a d d i t i o n to creating  new f o r m o f e m p l o y m e n t w h i c h drew l a b o u r e r s almost  total  triggered  dependence  agrarfor  a wholly  away f r o m t h e i r  upon f a r m w o r k , i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n  a growth i n the  ranks of  those landless  wage  w o r k e r s who h a d t o p u r c h a s e t h e i r f o o d a n d s u s t e n a n c e . Loughborough,  f o r example,  the  i n t r o d u c t i o n of  In  framework  k n i t t i n g was a c c o m p a n i e d b y r a p i d p o p u l a t i o n g r o w t h .  The  population which for  up-  wards between added  70 y e a r s h a d b e e n  1670 and 1 7 0 5 .  556 p e o p l e ,  an i n c r e a s e  continued throughout  III,  p.  o f 29%.  the eighteenth  145.  shot  I n t h e s e 35 y e a r s t h e t o w n  Loughborough had 4,603 r e s i d e n t s . 1  1 V.C.H.,  stagnant,  The r a p i d g r o w t h  c e n t u r y and b y The b u l k o f  this  1801 growth  83  was d i v o r c e d from the l a n d .  Indeed, growth was p o s s i b l e  o n l y i n s o f a r as t h e town's economy became n o n - a g r i c u l t u r a l . The a g r a r i a n economy's response t o t h e e n l a r g e d demand f o r f o o d was i n c o n c l u s i v e :  on the one hand the f o r t u n e s o f t h e  f a r m e r s p r o d u c i n g f o r t h e market were promoted, b u t on t h e o t h e r hand t h e c o t t a g e r s ' a b i l i t y t o r e t a i n t h e i r p a r c e l s of l a n d was r e i n f o r c e d w i t h t h e r e s u l t t h a t t h e r e o r g a n i z a t i o n of the land i n t o l a r g e , e f f i c i e n t productive was f r u s t r a t e d .  units  84 SUMMARY The r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n o f tremendously has been for  the  agricultural enterprise  cogently  noted that  continuous  the t o t a l  expansion  crop t h i s  "an o b l i g a t o r y of  surplus  p r e s e n t and i t ' h a d t o be r e v o l u t i o n of w h i c h was  cities  represented,  reliable."1  p r e - c o n d i t i o n was  satisfied.  Indeed,  boom o f  eighteenth  century,  cereals.  fact  that  a poor  agricultural out  the  i t had t o  As a r e s u l t and  system  of  be the  organization century  until  the  England  A new d i v i s i o n o f a g r i c u l t u r a l  the century p r i o r to the  specialist  however s m a l l a p e r c e n t a g e  a g r i c u l t u r a l techniques  later  It  pre-condition  and a  i n i t i a t e d d u r i n g the seventeenth  the  a  important s t a g e i n economic m o d e r n i z a t i o n .  w o r k f o r c e must be a f o o d s u r p l u s ; of  was  this  population  exported  l a b o u r emerged  Industrial Revolution despite of d i s t r i b u t i o n kept  i n n o v a t i o n from b e i n g f e l t  in the  the r e s u l t s  of  immediately through-  country.  I n a d d i t i o n t o f e e d i n g more p e o p l e , large cereal'surpluses producers  d i r e c t l y affected  the c r e a t i o n  of  t h e many m a r g i n a l  who f o u n d t h a t when g r a i n p r i c e s  were  falling  1 E . L . J o n e s and S . J . W o o l f , " I n t r o d u c t i o n " , i n J o n e s a n d W o o l f , e d s . , A g r a r i a n Change a n d E c o n o m i c D e v e l o p m e n t , p . 1 4 .  85 t h e y e i t h e r had  t o i n n o v a t e o r e l s e be  f a r m i n g i n t o the and  1750  labour market.  witnessed the f i n a l  o c c u p i e r s and  The  s l o w l y f o r c e d out  p e r i o d between  d u r i n g t h i s p e r i o d was  b i n a t i o n o f low and  The caused  and  1715,  The  t h a t the process  accelerated: having  their  l e a s e s renewed.  their  land i n larg  No  l o n g e r d i d m o s t men  of  been  agricultural  have t o s t r u g g l e  t h e r e v o l u t i o n i n f a r m i n g t h e most n e c e s s a r y economic a c t i v i t y The  had  had  underemployed  with the land i n order to feed themselves.  community.  the  v/age-earners.  a most i m p o r t a n t b y - p r o d u c t  modernization.  in  s u b s i s t e n c e farmer  f o r m a t i o n o f an enormous p o o l o f  l a b o u r was  was  By t h e l a s t y e a r s o f  t o e x i s t w h i l e t h e numerous s m a l l p e a s a n t s  The  the  peasantry.  small tenants experienced d i f f i c u l t i e s  converted into  i :  intensified  of c o n c e n t r a t i o n  e i g h t e e n t h century the t r a d i t i o n a l , ceased  a com-  taxation  s t r a t i f i c a t i o n w i t h i n the  fact that landlords favoured leasing  p a r c e l s meant  by  as w e l l as t h e i n e x o r -  a b l e p r e s s u r e s o f t h e m a r k e t economy w h i c h d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n and  disappearance  f l u c t u a t i n g p r i c e s , heavy  p a r t i c u l a r l y 'between 1688  1660  d e c l i n e o f t h e s m a l l owner-  the s m a l l tenant farmers..  of the peasantry  of  c o u l d be p e r f o r m e d  remainder  by  As a r e s u l t form  of  a f r a c t i o n of  o f t h e l a b o u r f o r c e was  of  the  freed for  86  employment industry  i n such  and  'secondary'  service.  The  products  a c t i v i t i e s v/ere demanded and farmers in  whose p u r c h a s i n g  sustaining infant  Areas unable  of  the  a g r a r i a n economy. i n d u s t r y was  with  two  source  i n the  their  sources  o f income  however, was insurance  The a l i z e d by  Because the  significance  to a  technical  activities.  subservience  of  and  The  industrial  man  be  using cheese.  o f income were c u s h i o n e d  from  whose  employment, had  no  d u r i n g slow p e r i o d s .  l a b o u r t o c a p i t a l was  the e x p l o i t a t i v e  aspect  Cottager-  l o c a l market w h i l e  f a m i l i e s v/ith m i l k  came f r o m  crisis  i t could e a s i l y  l a b o u r market.  over  been Rural i n -  i n a p r e c a r i o u s p o s i t i o n because' he  t o t i d e him  practice  l a r g e number o f o u t w o r k e r s .  a merchant  simple  agricultural  t h e u n e v e n demands o f t h e  paying  of great  i n d u s t r y l o c a t e d had  usually  grain  land to provide  Labourers  by  prosperous  t h e r e f o r e , emerged i n r e s p o n s e  labourers purchased  very  the  'secondary'  industries.  combined w i t h p a r t - t i m e  sole  business,  t o become a g r i c u l t u r a l m a r k e t p r o d u c e r s .  domestic  their  as  of these  b o u g h t by  power was  i n v/hich d o m e s t i c  dustrialization;, within  activities  c a p i t a l i s t who  institution-  of underemploying  P r o d u c t i o n was  a  controlled  'put o u t ' work t o c o t t a g e r s ,  them a p i e c e - r a t e t o p e r f o r m  simple,  repetitive  87 -?  operations. very  small  need  for  desire  wage  that  what  high-wage  to  be  of  heavy  with  as  like  on t o  losses  during  demand,  for  he  a  was  particular,  trans-formation modernization  of was  freed  trade  than  our  the  labour the  call  on  who w e r e Such  a  of  the  away  from  lack  of  deficit  remained  from during  to  of  in-  reservoir  of  industrial  dis-  opposition  happy  form  in-  labour  while  too  in  structure  large  only  his  was  entrepreneur  the  by  to  the  the  his  He h a d  organizing  force,  loose to  it  presented  brunt  a  man's  restrained  recessions,  technology  rather  working  relative  in  paid  low w h i l e  enterprise  The  problems  well-adapted  industrial  his  Since  change.  was  therefore,  could  the  Furthermore,  move  the  were  dispensable.  London.  labourers  way  wages  too  c o u l d be  costs  this  offered.  organization  on man-power  In  only  formidable  passed  In  to  worker  living  higher  conditions.  organization long  was  interest  underemployed employed  his  concentration,  industrial curring  for  centers  working  could  domestic  great.  he was  he  capitalists'  sidents  since  agitate  knowledge  dustrial  rural  w o r k was  to  accept  The  be  times of fully  business activity  backwards,  so  relying  machine-power.  examination  Leicestershire achieved  in  has  of  the  shown  two w a y s :  socio-economic that  economic  Framland  became  88  agriculturally  commercialized as farmers became devoted t o  improving t h e i r p a r t i c u l a r ,  specialized  form o f a g r i c u l -  t u r a l e n t e r p r i s e ; w h i l e i n West Goscote  the breakdown o f  the a g r a r i a n economy c r e a t e d c o n d i t i o n s which r e s u l t e d i n rural  industrialization.  89  S T A T I S T I C A L APPENDICES Introduction The 1670 H e a r t h Tax r e t u r n s  and p r o b a t e  inventories  were the sources from w h i c h the s o c i o - e c o n o m i c t h e f a r m i n g communities were drawn. have been r e p r i n t e d i n the V . C . H . ,  profiles  The H e a r t h III,  pp.  Tax.returns  170 - 2.  p r o b a t e i n v e n t o r i e s were s t u d i e d at  the  County Record O f f i c e i n L e i c e s t e r .  These documents,  by a man's neighbours  his  shortly after  s u c h as  livestock,  money a n d c r e d i t ,  death,  or i n storage.  b u t more o f t e n  as h i s  crops  either  I n an economy w i t h o u t b a n k i n g  men showed t h e i r t h r i f t i n a c c u m u l a t i n g passed at  their death.1  the h i s t o r i a n with  Thus,  an e x t r e m e l y  t r i b u t i o n of wealth i n r u r a l /;:::-  The raw s t a t i s t i c a l  struct  three  their  value,  i n groups  tables:  insight  ground  facilities  those things  which  provide  i n t o the  dis-  been used t o  con-  communities.  i n f o r m a t i o n has  Table  ready  i n the  probate inventories rare  made  summarized  f u r n i t u r e , household u t e n s i l s , as w e l l  The  Leicestershire  t h e d e c e a s e d ' s p o s s e s s i o n s and e s t i m a t e d sometimes a r t i c l e by a r t i c l e ,  of  I repeats the  1670 H e a r t h Tax  1 R . H . Tawney, " H i s t o r i c a l I n t r o d u c t i o n " , T . W i l s o n , c o u r s e Upon U s u r y , ( L o n d o n , 1925), p p . 103 - 4.  A Dis-  90  returns in order to show the relative prevalence of poverty in the various regions and to show the size of the population in each parish so that we can create an average parish size;  Table II described the distribution of population  among different economic stations; and Table III reconstructs the average community for each region, showing how many households from this average parish were found in the various economic stations.  By creating ideal parishes for  our 5 regions we can contrast their socio-economic profiles, and therefore see their dissimilar progress towards agricultural modernization.  The ideal or standard parish was,  in fact, very rare, but for the purposes of analysis i t is a necessary conceptual tool.  91  REGION  DEGREE OF AGRICULTURAL MODERNIZATION ( l a t e 17th century)  SOIL TYPE  ENCLOSURE (before 1700)  SIZE OF AVERAGE VILLAGE (households 1670)  WEALTH DISTRIBUTION Average (Inventory 1660*s)  Subsistence farming l o n g s i n c e superseded; a g r i c u l t u r a l l y commercialized grazing  15 o f 18 p a r i s h e s f u l l y e n c l o s e d ; 1 other p a r i s h p a r t i a l l y enclosed  Subsistence farming was p r a c t i s e d on the V a l e ' s r i c h c l a y s o i l - very l i t t l e progress towards a g r i c u l t u r a l commercialization  Enclosure n e g l i g i b l e as only 1 o f 11 p a r i s h e s f u l l y enclosed; 2 other p a r i s h e s experienced some e n c l o s u r e  54.9  £  75  LIGHT UPLAND SOIL - easy t o work - free draining - susceptible to nitrogen depletion  Unsuitable to subsistence farming because o f susc e p t i b i l i t y to nitrogen depletion; agriculturally commercialized - mixed farming  6 o f 13 p a r i s h e s enclosed  36.3  E  92  8s.  Wealthy r e g i o n ; mixed farming  Soar V a l l e y - LOUGHBOROUGH  FERTILE ALLUVIAL SOIL excellent arable loams easy t o work* fertile good meadowland on r i v e r banks  R i c h s o i l enabled subs i s tence farmers t o s u r v i v e ; l a r g e numbers o f cottager-labourers  2 o f 15 v i l l a g e s e n c l o s e d by 1 5 3 0 ' s ; 1 more v i l l a g e enclosed by 1625; 2 o t h e r v i l l a g e s experienced some enclosure i n l a t e r 17th century  81.4  £  68  10s.  High r e c e p t i v i t y t o industrialization because desperate a g r i c u l t u r a l poverty pushed people i n t o i n d u s t r i a l labour  REMAINDER o f WEST GOSCOTE  COAL MEASURES - thin acidic soil - poor f o r a r a b l e CHARNWOOD FOREST - h a r d stony s o i l t h a t was i m p o s s i b l e to c u l t i v a t e  Unsuitable for subsistence, a r a b l e farming. Coal m i n i n g .  A l l 9 p a r i s h e s experienced some e n c l o s u r e ; 4 p a r i s h e s f u l l y enclosed  £  57  10s.  Commitment t o c o a l m i n i n g ; rough grazing  Wreak V a l l e y and the Eastern Uplands - MELTON MOWBRAY  HEAVY CLAY SOIL - d i f f i c u l t to cultivate - poor d r a i n i n g  VALE OP BELVOIR  RICH CLAY SOIL - not d i f f i c u l t cultivate - l i a b l e to flooding  NORTH-EAST FRAMLAND  to  completely  30  E 112  7s.  COMMENTS  Melton Mowb r a y , the mark e t town, had 430 households  Persistence of peasant farming  Loughborough, the market town, had 413 households  62.2  Wealthiest area, l i t t l e poverty. Large-scale commercialized grazing.  92 Appendix 1 Table  Parish  Table  I  Paying  Exempt  Total  -  -  Value o f Possessions £  Bescaby*  -  Branston  27  10  37  10 -  Croxton K e r r i a l  37  12  49  25 - 50  Eastwell  22  -  22  Eaton  28  10  Goadby Marwood  20  Harston  II  Total Value  People  C  Table % of Population  % of Wealth  Value o f Possessions C  III  Households  9  48.60  11.8  ..7  11  199.05  14.5  2.8  10 -  25  5.7  24  861.90  31.6  12.3  25 -  50  12.4  50 - 100  9  624.60  11.8  8.9  50 -  100  4.6  28  100 - 200  12  1,746.05  15.8  24.8  100 -  200  6.2  3  23  200 - 500  10  3,010.50  13.2  42.9  200 -  500  5.2  18  7  25  500 over  _1  533.55  1.3  7.6  Knipton  22  15  37  76  7,024.25  Saltby  25  8  33  average  Sealford  41  26  67  Sproxton  36  5  41  Stonesby  27  4  31  Waltham on t h e Wolds  50  21  71  351 74.4%  each.  '  121 25,6%  0 - 1 0 25  £ 92  0 - 1 0  4.6  500 over  .6  8s.  472  At the time o f t h e 1670 Hearth Tax the average s i z e of the 12 i n h a b i t e d p a r i s h e s i n the b e l t o f l i g h t s o i l i n Framland was 39.3  1 Bescaby had been completely enclosed and depopulated by 1538 and became a p a r t o f the p a r i s h o f S a l t b y Crop Returns o f 1801", i n H o s k i n s , e d . , S t u d i e s i n L e i c e s t e r s h i r e A g r a r i a n H i s t o r y , p . 151.  (W.G. H o s k i n s ,  "The  households  Leicestershire  93 Appendix 2 Table  Table I  % of Population  % of Wealth  Value o f Possessions £  III  Paying  Exempt  Ab K e t t l e b y  26  4  30  0 -  10  10  51.05  7.3  .3  Buckutinster  25  10  35  10 -  25  27  463.20  19.7  3.0  Burton  30  10  40  25 -  50  34  1,148.55  24.8  7.5  C o l d Overton  20  6  26  50 - 100  24  1,677.10  17.5  10.9  0 -  10  2.1  Coston  22  9  31  100 - 200  19  2,763.75  13.9  17.9  10 -  25  5.9  Edmonthorpe  15  9  24  200 - 500  19  5,882.65  13.9  38.2  25 -  50  7.5  Garthorpe  23  6  29  500 over  4  3,403.45  2.9  22.1  50 - 100  5.2  Kirby  25  2  27  137  15,389.75  18  9  27  average  284  56  340  Saxby  18  3  21  Sewstern  30  6  36  Somerby  39  11  50  Stapleford  29  29  7  7  Thorpe A r n o l d  24  24  Wyfordby  16  16  Wymondham  40  24  64  691  165  856  80.7%  19.3%  Bellars  L i t t l e Dalby H e l t o n Mowbray  Sysonby  £  People  Total Value E  Table  Parish  Lazars  Total  Value of Possessions  II  C 112  7s.  •  Households  Socio-economic p r o f i l e o f the purely a g r i c u l t u r a l v i l l a g e s which had an average o f 30 households each.  - 200  4.2  200 - 500  4.2  100  500 over  .8  The 18 p a r i s h e s which were l o c a t e d i n t h e Wreak v a l l e y and on t h e E a s t e r n Uplands had a t o t a l of 856 households i n 1670. The average s i z e o f each p a r i s h was, t h e r e f o r e , 47.6 households. However, i f we o n l y look at the p u r e l y a g r i c u l t u r a l v i l l a g e s then t h e average s i z e of t h e s e p a r i s h e s was 30 households each. The market town o f Melton Mowbray had 340 households, making i t more than 10 times as l a r g e as the p u r e l y a g r i c u l t u r a l v i l l a g e s which surrounded i t . Poverty was not a s e r i o u s problem i n e i t h e r Melton Mowbray or the surrounding v i l l a g e s as o n l y 16.5% o f M e l t o n ' s r e s i d e n t s and 21.1% o f the people l i v i n g i n the g r a z i n g v i l l a g e s were exempted from paying the Hearth Tax.  94 Appendix 3 Table  1  Table  I  Total  Value o f Possessions £  Paying  Exempt  Barkestone  29  9  38  Bottesford  52  15  67  10 -  Harby  49  5  54  25 -  Hose  42  20  Long Glawson  75  Muston  Parish  II  Total Value £  People  Table % of Population  % of Wealth  Value o f Possessions £  III  Households  9  55.80  9.2  .7  0 -  10  5.0  25  19  291.60  19.4  4.0  10 -  25  10.6  50  27  977.20  27.6  13.3  25 -  50  15.2  62  50 - 100  19  1,330.50  19.4  18.1  50 -  100  10.6  11  86  100 - 200  13  1,702.10  13.3  23.2  100 -  200  7.3  35  14  49  200 -  11  2,991.40  11.2  40.7  200 -  500  6.1  Nether Broughton  47  8  55  500 over  Plungar  19  8  27  98  Redmile  43  6  49  average £ 75  Strathern  50  12  62  441  108  549  80.3%  19.7%  In the 10 p a r i s h e s o f t h e V a l e o f B e l v o i r t h e r e were 549 households i n 1670. Each p a r i s h h a d , t h e r e f o r e , an average o f 54.9 h o u s e h o l d s .  1 The e x t r a - p a r o c h i a l a r e a o f B e l v o i r , the r e s i d e n c e o f t h e Manners f a m i l y who were the Dukes o f R u t l a n d , was not i n c l u d e d i n t h e 1670 Hearth Tax r e t u r n s .  0 - 1 0  500  500 over  «-^>  7,347.60 0s.  95 Appendix 4 Table I I  Table I  Parish Ashby de l a Zouche  Paying  Exempt  Total  167  49  Breedon on the H i l l  29  24  53  C o l e Orton  38  39  77  8  4  12  Packington  40  13  53  Seal  21  Charley Forest  216  -  7  Whitwick  42  17  59  Woodhouse Eaves  32  41  73  Worthington  46  67  113  430  254  684  62.7%  37.3%  People  Total Value £  Value o f Possessions £  95.10  15.4  1.3  10 -  25  29  488.85  22.3  6.5  25 -  50  36  1,280.30  27.7  17.1  25-50  19.1  50 - 100  20  1,356.30  15.4  18.1  50 - 100  10.5  15.4  40.9  100 - 200  10.5  16.1  200 - 500  2.5  .  0 - 1 0  Households  20  10 -  25  10.5 15.2  >  20  3,055.40  5  1,199.85  130  7,475.79  average £ 57 10s.  i  % of Wealth  10  200 - 500  The 10 p a r i s h e s i n t h e poor s o i l r e g i o n o f West Goscote had 684 r e s i d e n t households ate t h e time o f the Hearth Tax i n 1670. Each p a r i s h had, on t h e average, 68.4 households.  % of Population  o -  100 - 200  21  7  UIverscroft  Value o f Possessions £  Table I I I  3.8  500 over  96 Appendix 5 Table  Table  I Value o f Possessions  Parish  Paying  Exempt  £  Total  0 - 1 0  People  £  % Of Populat  % of Wealth  Value o f Possessions £  III  Households  326.10  18.3  1.5  0 - 1 0  18.9  25  68  1,134.80  22.2  5.4  10-25  22.9  25 -  50  65  2,345.95  21.4  11.2  2 5 - 5 0  22.4  50 -  100  63  3,760.20  17.3  17.9  50 - 100  100 -  200  41  5,637.30  13.4  26.9  100 - 200  14.0  200 -  500  19  5,301.55  6.2  25.3  200 - 500  6.7  4  2,266.85  10.8  500 over  1.3  306  20,962.75  47  21  68  C a s t l e Donington  99  51  150  10 -  Diseworth  57  26  83  Dishley Thorpe A c r e  15  6  21  Hathern  61  11  72  Kegworth  63  50  113  Lockington  20  21  41  Long Hhatton  44  31  75  Loughborough  235  178  413  Mountsorrel  84  84  168  Osgathorpe  21  9  30  Quorndon  61  50  111  Shepshed  120  33  153  Thurcaston  24  12  36  Wanlip  12  4  16  966  587  62.2%  37.8%  The average s i z e o f the 15 p a r i s h e s i n the Soar V a l l e y was 103.6 households each. 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