Contrasting Communities: English Villages in the Sixteenth - download pdf or read online

By Margaret Spufford

This booklet is an in depth heritage of the commercial, academic and spiritual lifetime of 3 contrasting groups, Chippenham, Orwell and Willingham in Cambridgeshire from 1525 to 1700. the 3 villages had very distinction financial settings, during which the trend of landholding replaced over this era and the final and specific purposes for the adjustments that came about. The examine additionally covers the tutorial possibilities open to the villagers, and examines spiritual affairs, the influence on peasant groups of the Reformation and the disturbance within the devotional lifetime of the standard villager, which regularly culminated in dissent and disruption less than the Commonwealth. Dr Spufford has penetrated into the social lifetime of the English village in any respect degrees, and with attention-grabbing aspect has created an entire social universe round her villagers or a 'picture within the around' view. The e-book might be valuable to fiscal, social, and ecclesiastical historians of britain within the 16th and 17th centuries, in addition to historians of england commonly, and people with a distinct curiosity in Cambridgeshire.

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The village of Orwell is a community which made a very pleasing contrast, as a special study, to Willingham. It was even more pleasing that, despite the way they were totally contrasted economically and socially, they shared their nonconformity. The difficulties presented by their registers were therefore identical. Detailed examination of the evidence available on the size of Orwell shows just how misleading subsidy returns can be. There were fifty-two taxable individuals there in 1524, and forty-six households, according to the bishop, in 1563.

Registered Wills, vol. J, fo. 104. See above, p . 12, n. 35, on the subsidies of 1544-6. Statutes of the Realm, i n , 231. 92 Hoskins, Essays in Leics. History, p . 129. 93 H. P . R. Finberg a n d W. G. Hoskins, Devonshire Studies (London 1952), p . 419. 94 Thirsk, English Peasant Farming, p. 83. 95 A. M. Everitt, 'Farm Labourers', in Thirsk, Agrarian History, iv, 396-400. 90 91 31 People, families and land This looks like a collector's foible; and yet the same men, in the neighbouring hundred of Chilford, carefully taxed seven out of sixty-seven men with a pound's worth of substance on wages, although the rest were all taxed on goods.

T w o of t h e fourteen hundreds of t h e county, Staplehoe and Cheveley, which lie outside t h e diocese, a r e therefore omitted from the analysis of t h e returns for 1524-5 and 1664. T h e village of Chippenham, which is one of m y detailed case-studies, unfortunately lies in the h u n d r e d of Staplehoe. Cambridge and the parts of Newmarket and Royston which lie within the shire are omitted from all three sets of figures, as are four small villages for which one or another of the returns is obliterated or missing.

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