The start of a suite of 7 episodes about social and economic issues charts the changes in population and how the society it affected described itself.
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Now then, as promised, let us take a break from all the sparkle and drama of national politics and get our collective hands dirty in the muck of the commoner, the daily grind, the struggle for survival. Let us scratch our heads at the theories of economic change, and marvel at the reformation of manners, let us walk the streets of parish politics. Or you might want to skip on a few episodes, I leave it to you.
I must say that I have been feeling guilty for ages about my relentless focus on politics and religion, without so much as a sideways glace at a farthingale or doublet and hose. But as I came to write the following stuff and episodes I did experience a wave of deja vue, and figure that I have maybe included more of the economic and social stuff than I thought I had, sprinkled here and there like pixie dust. So I offer a general apology for any hesitations, repetitions and duplications but not for any deviations, since deviation is the very breath of life; However the thing is that there’s a story to be told and I need to tell it all really, brick by brick at least to a degree. So again, you might like to skip forward to Elizabeth, walking through the streets of London to claim her crown, laughing and joking and playing up to the crowd.
But of course you and I know that all that glitter is just a deckchair on the cruise ship of history. The beating heart, the engine room is 30 decks down among the heat, oil, grime and noise, or alternatively in historical terms, in the history of population. Generally speaking, by the way, I will stick to the period leading up to and including the 1550s, though I’ll often give you pointers to what’s about to come, and I have to say I have often wavered from this rule – but you’ll hopefully see where and when that happens. This is for 2 reasons; firstly, I want to avoid confusion when we get back to the politics; and secondly, I don’t want my head to explode.
There is a line of thought that all these political and religious decisions and individual viewpoints and influences are all totally irrelevant, window dressing to make us feel better; and that in fact we are all just flotsam carried along by the wave of history that is population change. I exaggerate for effect of course, which I am prone to do, but none the less population change would fundamentally change English society at a few points in its story. To back up this claim we need look no further than the catastrophe of the black death, and the fundamental changes that wrought. At the other end, historians have tracked a correlation between the population growth of 16th century and the rise in indictments for crime, in the severity of the reformation of manners, in the spike in riot and rebellion in 1549.
But I am getting ahead of myself, and selling you the sizzle before I have even described the sausage. As far as sausages are concerned, I think we should go all the way back to the great sausage maker himself, Thomas Malthus, the political economist and demographer. Our Thomas lived between 1766 and 1834, but despite his age, I’ve always had a bit of a personal relationship with the lad. I learned about Malthus on my very first day at Big school, sun shining through the metal windows, exercise books clean, fresh and new, and unspoiled as yet by my poor handwriting and unreasonably low marks. I can remember it as though it were yesterday. Obviously you don’t want to know about that, but I mention Malthus because of his still relevant, though much amended and pshawed, theory of population change. As I am sure you know, Malthus built a theory that population had a tendency to outstrip the resources available, that those resources were essentially finite, or at least inflexible, and that therefore when this happened disaster, death and destruction ensued, sometimes accompanied by Punk bands. Well, actually Malthus didn’t put it that way, what he actually said was that when population outstripped resources the result would be ‘positive checks’. Which is your political economist’s way of describing death, misery, decay and disaster. But probably not punk rock. ‘Positive checks’ I expect carry no moral connotation simply that something happens – a famine, an epidemic, a lot of death basically which returns the population to a situation in line with the available resources.
However, slightly more positively, or negatively maybe in this world turned upside down, Malthus also suggested that there might be ‘preventive checks’ society could deploy to stop getting to the stage where positive checks take place; for example, people might stop having so many children for some reason. Let’s not have sex tonight darling, I think there’s a real danger of a Malthusian positive check. A joke that doesn’t feel so funny any more, what with climate change and all.
Ok, hold that thought, and let’s apply that model to 16th century England. There was in England an absolutely whopping project from Cambridge University that went on for over a decade designed to nail this issue of population. And since Thomas Cromwell, Patron saint of the Ancestry business, ordered parish registers to be maintained of all births, deaths and marriages, there is a more solid body of evidence to build on. The conclusions were that late medieval England was a time of stagnant population; the population in the 1520s appears to have been around 2.4 million, which spookily was pretty much that suggested by the 1377 Poll Tax. I’ve seen some estimates going for even lower actually. So that is a long period of stagnation leading to a whole load of discussion about why the recovery to the Black death was so slow to appear.
However, in the 1520’s, something awoke in the deep, rumours were heard in Isengard, and the statistics began to stir. The population rose to 2.8m by the 1540’s. And by the 1550s it was close to 3.2m. That is some growth. As we heard with Mary, there was then a dip before population growth resumed after 1560 with renewed enthusiasm, and by the 1580s the mercury has passed 3.6 million, then 4.1 million in 1600, and by 1640 5.3 million. You may well have the memory of the industrial revolution in your mind and assume the population then just keeps going in an S Club reach for the stars, but not yet; population then levels out for another 100 years before we start to get that particular transformation. This is important actually though I can actually hear how dull I am becoming about population figures; these changes fit into a general, and quite Malthusian and traditional structure of growth, stagnation, fall; growth stagnation and fall and so on. It is a premodern Profile. It is also it should be noted, a European phenomenon. However, don’t let that fool you, this is still dramatic stuff; for long periods, the growth rate was over 1%, and in the words of the historian Keith Wrightson ‘These were exceptional rates of growth for any pre-modern population.’ At these levels, it was not a hidden phenomenon, people noticed and saw the impact, it worried them. William Harrison, a contemporary 16th century commentator marvelled at it, the impact was so obvious. He wrote:
‘such increase of people… that the land was never so full’
If you are interested in knowing more about the population of England and having it by your elbow in the pub ready for any questions that come up, I found England’s Population: A History since the Domesday Survey by Andrew Hind very handy. By the way, I have come to realise that I am a bit rubbish at making book recommendations or indeed referencing the proper historians on whose shoulders I stand, so I’ll do more of that – maybe more in the episode notes on the website. Where by the way you will now also find the transcripts. Ha – you could read it as well as hear it. You’d have to be a glutton for punishment but they are there if you want them.
The question then, is why this growth occurred, and why growth stopped in 1640. I realise this is already beyond my chronological brief, but this is interesting not only in itself, but because it gives an insight into marriage practice and the correlation between population and everyday life.
It could be that the growth slowed down because of mortality crises – positive checks in the rarher cold and functional parlance. Famine and epidemic disease still stalk the land, scythe in hand; there are famines in the 1530s, 1550s and 1590s. There are a couple of major national epidemics – the flu crisis in 1557-1560 and another, typhus, 1587-8 The plaque is ever present, but now its localised, particularly London but by no means exclusively. Actually, the crisis in 1556-60 is a genuine whopper; mostly in crisis years something like 1/5th of parishes are affected; in these years, it was as high as 40%. The death rate for crisis years was generally around 30 deaths per thousand; in 1558-9 it was 65 deaths per thousand. It was hideous. As a point of reference btw just for interest, today’s death rate in England is about 8 per thousand. Anyway, so it could be a problem with mortality. But, what about fertility, the birth rate – maybe the growth was caused by a rising birth rate which came to an end for some reason in 1640?
The key to understanding fertility lies in love and marriage, which I am told go together like a horse and carriage, but we don’t have any reliable documentary sources for that statement. Well ok, lies in Family and marriage, what’s love, what’s love got to do with it? It was once thought that Early Modern families would prioritise the production of as many children as possible, with children therefore available for helping on the farm and providing an economic benefit and indeed security for old age, in what was a largely rural economy. It was thought that the family was large and complex, multi-generational and horizontally broad, so, extended family, cousins, grandparents all hanging around it the household. It was thought that people were getting married young to maximise their sprog production capability. And after all, that’s not a surprising conclusion – we’ve all heard of those super young betrothals and marriages among the smart set and nobility.
However, it turns out not to be the case for the vast majority. In fact, the Early Modern household in England turned out to be quite small – 4.5 people on average. Only 15% of households were in fact extended beyond the nuclear family. All of this excludes domestic servants, by the way. Marriage age tended to be surprisingly late – between the ages of 26-27 for men, 24-26 for women. The model conforms to something called a Neo Local model, a phrase seemingly calculated to sound at once impressive and meaningless. Also the use of Neo is normally insulting isn’t it – neo liberal, neo conservative, neo dog walker. That sort of thing. Well it’s neutral in this case; what it means is that children are expected to leave home before they have a family. These attributes – a small, nuclear household and the practice of setting up a separate household as part of getting married – have been neatly packaged together under the label of the NW European Marriage pattern. How neat is NW European Marriage pattern? Historians have always been natural marketeers. As the name suggests, this is not just an English phenomenon, but only partially a European phenomenon therefore. For example, in Russia, children would usually marry and stay within the family home; in Italy households were usually more complex.
This seemingly straightforward and unexceptional idea, that children need to leave home to have a family turns out to anything other than dull and boring. It turns out to be absolute dynamite. It is dynamite because it links living standards and fertility, and the economy directly to fertility and birth rates. Let’s say times are good – In and EM context this means food plentiful and therefore cheap, land available, employment easy to find because population is low so labour is scarce, and real wages rise too. Rents are low because landowners need to compete to attract scarce tenants and so general living standards rise. And that means that children can leave the nest young to get married whether or not they take their laundry with them. And so average marriage age falls, families start having children younger, they have more of them in their lifetime, and so population rises.
This is where we can then go back to Malthus and start talking about Preventative Checks. Because the reverse is also true. If times are hard, if food becomes scarce, because there are too many people eating it before you can get down to Tescos, prices will rise. Real wages will fall. It will be harder to land a tenancy because you are competing with others, and the landlord can charge more anyway so your standard of living will be lower. So it is harder for young people to start a new household. So, hey presto, marriages start later, there are fewer children. An average delay of just two years in marriage age will have, for reasons which are far too mathematically complicated for me to contemplate, a significant impact on the birth rate. It is somehow as beautiful as the dawn chorus or the morning sun rising over Dulwich sewage works. I am sometimes excited when I learn something, This is one of those times. Share my joy.
So to return to the actualite then. First of all, if this is the model, why did it seem not to work for 1350 to 1520? Does this invalidate the elegance of the model? Afterall the 15th century was supposed to be the golden age of the working man, with low population, high real wages, tenants scarce all those good things. Unfortunately, as a historian called Sylvia Thrupp rather acerbicaly noted, it was also the golden age of the Bacteria. Which is a very good line, though not one I imagine you’d have enjoyed very much on the sharp end of it in the 15th century. Epidemics were frequent is the point, mortality was high; in Essex it’s calculated that the average lifespan fell to 32-36 years of age, which is seriously not long to raise a family. It appears to have been the other side of the equation, mortality rate, that provided the positive checks side that depressed population growth.
What is less clear then, is why mortality rates were less severe in the 16th century, and therefore released population growth. One theory points out that population growth, with the exception of London, was a largely rural phenomenon, and epidemic disease seemed to strike with less regularity and severity in the countryside in the 16th century. Average ages of death rose to 38-41 years. The influenza epidemic was a mortality crisis of major proportions – but it was quite exceptional, the death rate in the worst year being more than double the average.
However, freed from the shackles of death, the population began to rise. In the wake of population increase, came its handmaiden – price inflation. It is worth emphasising again just what a shock the idea of inflation was to the Early Modern world. People were used to the odd price hike or fall depending on the quality of the harvest but the sustained rise was a real poser. There were some contemporary theories, and the favourite was greed – that farmers and grain merchants were just charging too much, people were putting private profit against the general good of the commonwealth. For many protestants of Edward’s reign in particular, it was a betrayal of everything the Reformation stood for. For men like Hugh Latimer, the Reformation represented a spiritual awakening, the birth of a Christian commonwealth, in which the members of each estate should enjoy reward. And all they saw around them was rising prices, and without any economic theory to help them, they concluded that it must be greed. It did not help of course, that the proceeds of the reduction of the excessive wealth of the church were going into the prosecution of war and the pockets of landowners, rather than building the new Jerusalem. And meanwhile all around the numbers of the poor grew. Together these commentators like Latimer have become latterly known as the Commonswealthmen, and they reflected a broader belief in a communitarian society where all should work together for the common good, according to their role. Their rhetoric and fury filled the air of the Commotion time in 1549, condemning the ‘insatiable thurst of gredynes of men’, by ‘such as passe more on the world then god, more on ther pryvat profett then on the common welthe’. Where were the expected fruits of the Reformation?
The other contemporary theory, and a rather longer lasting one, was that the price inflation of the 16th century was occasioned by an inflow of bullion from the new world. It’s a theory that while of long provenance has caused many a furrowed brow. The thinking seems to be now that bullion was probably pretty short anyway in Europe, and that the amount incoming could not have caused such a rise on its own – but maybe it was a contributor. But rising population, creating increased demand, producing price inflation now seems to be the frontrunner.
So what did this mean for society? What it seems to have meant, if a super super summary is called for, is that there were winners and there were losers; and the big differentiator was land. If you had it, and you had enough nous to take advantage, then I don’t care if you’re young or old, let the good times roll. If you were a landless wage labourer, making ends meet would prove to be very, very tough, more so by the end of the century but by Edward VI’s time also. At the core of it was an inflexible medieval economy which simply had no way of expanding to take account of and integrate, all these new joiners.
That’s the super summary. However, this is where we open the barrel of qualifications, which emphasises the variety of experiences, and which, in looking at local experiences, has uncovered a few problems with the grand narratives; and anyway grand narratives are not in vogue. Having said that, there is a grand narrative about the period of which we are in – the growth or birth of capitalism. Obviously, in 1550 we are at the very start of the processes, simply at the confluence of the Acheron and the Styx, staring into the mouth of dark cavern of the underworld and contemplating paying the ferryman; and yet since this is one of the most seismic shifts in English history we should acknowledge it, and continue to reference it as we walk cautiously towards Charon. In the house of many rooms which was the rise of capitalism, a traditional part of the agricultural story is the conversion of England from a society of small family farmers in 1350, to one based predominantly on large farms employing wage labourers. But what is now less clear, is when all this happened, since some of the individual narratives have been undermined. It used to be thought that crop yields in times medieval essentially sucked and enclosure and engrossment of farms was an essential driver to improve them; now we are not so sure, medieval yields could be high – yields in the demesne lands of the Dukes of Norfolk for example, were not bettered until 1700. It’s now accepted that the rural population was strongly proletarianized by 1525, and maybe even by 1381 actually – so by 1525 it looks as though about half of all English families relied on wage labour to support themselves, whether working on the farm or taking part in rural industry. And enclosure, which causes so much protest during the century; in numerical terms the amount was land enclosed by 1500 was about 45%, and only a further 2% was enclosed in our century. Since this is the first mench of enclosure and it’ll crop up all over the place like a skin complaint let me very quickly define it. For a large swathe of England, the traditional farming method was to hold large open fields for arable production. People would own or rent a greater or smaller amount of land within that, but all would also have some common rights – access to pasture, rights to take a certain amount of wood, or graze pigs and so on. Enclosure was the process whereby those large open fields were enclosed and divi’d up in coherent units between the inhabitants of a village, according to how much they held previously in strips. It might include engrossment, whereby landowners bought different lots and added them together to make larger farms. Crucially, although although there would be compensation, common rights would disappear. Now, I think I have spoken about this so much that you will all know most of this, so you know, sorry and all, but just making sure we are all on the same page, singing from the same hymn sheet, smoking fat cigars that sort of thing.
So, back to the ‘don’t assume’ point, the news is that we have to be careful in making generalisations; there are so many ways in which experience might vary according to situation or location. However, since I don’t have 5 years to write an in depth podcast of the 16th century, I am in fact now going to generalise for England, but you have been warned – in detail, it’s complicated, and in detail it varies a lot depending where you lived and the landscape you inhabited. You have been warned – don’t come to me with your finger in your eye telling me the theory doesn’t work for the working communities of Driffield, I don’t want to hear it.
So granted that we need to be mindful of differences, before we generalise we should at very least try to think about how changes affected different orders in society; and as I say from this point on having issued a warning I am now going to generalise at Gold medal level. As an overview, it’m,s helpful to return to the idea of commonwealth to understand how people saw the community around them. I believe that I introduced Edmund Dudley to you many moons ago – one half of the Empson and Dudley team that implemented Henry VII’s gum bleeding policies; and who would be summarily in receipt of the chop when his son came to the throne. So with the sense of deja vue washing around my ears, I will keep the summary of Dudley’s work, the Tree of Commonwealth brief, since it’s probably carved into your mind. Essentially, Dudley’s concept of society was a tripartite one, and very traditional – Clergy, Chivalry and the common people. The underlying principle was that every order and every household and every person had their role, from monarch to the meanest of their subjects; and the failure to fulfil their role meant chaos. In there is an essentially conservative view of the world small c, which ran in the very water of society. Two other points to make; the concept was therefore very communitarian; everyone had responsibilities to everyone else, no matter your estate in life. But it was not in any way egalitarian; I suspect that hardly needs to be said. The commoner was not to ‘presume above their owne degree’, nor to ‘grudge nor murmur’ against the fact that they were born ‘to lyve in labor and pain, and the most part of their tyme with the swete of ther face’. So they have to suck it up, in brief.
Dudley would have recognised that the society he lived in was however not as simple as it was in the days of King Alfred, who had used broadly the same division; by 1500, England’s economy was integrated across towns and regions, with international and national trading links and multiple industries. But despite this, Tudor society was hostile to the notion of unrestricted individual freedom in commercial affairs; and the idea of material gain as an end in itself was anathema, or it was in theory – commercial affairs should be subordinated to ethical ends. Since Alfred’s time, new ideas had entered into English political thought with the ideas of the new learning, the renaissance – or should I say that some old bottles found in the wine cellar of civilisation had been reopened. At the core of the school curriculum were the writings of the Roman statesman Marcus Tullis Cicero, which carried with it republican notions of liberty and deliberative counsel, and a deep suspicion of autocrats. But between 1485 and 1530, these ideas became integrated into the monarchical tradition, to produce the commonwealth idea of a communitarian and conciliar monarchy, in which monarchs were appointed by God; but appointed by God to defend the common good. So that’s a neat combination. The holders of public power became ‘officers of the Commonwealth’, and the importance of lesser governors to implement policy and dispense justice was central to the effective running of the state. Lesser governors will be critical to understanding local society in EM times; the Gentry, Yeomanry and people who took the roles of parish governance both translate power down from central government, but also convey desire and demands up from the village to Westminster.
So the renaissance confers a responsibility to the king to defend the common good; it emphasised the delegation go powers form centre to locality; and the role of the law was every more enhanced, which took some doing in England, and emphasised that even the monarch was bound by that law.
It’s worth taking a little shimmy into a bit of constitutional history, about the role of the king. It’s commonly and casually assumed that monarchs like Henry VIII were tyrants – the word is bandied about with gay abandon by all and sundry, and I understand why – he was a nasty, bullying piece of work. And yet as I have been at pains to note, even he operated within a parliamentary framework and within the bounds of law – and is therefore not really worthy of the word tyrant. In the later 15th century a famous figure of English law, one time Lord Chief John Fortescue, wrote a number of legal texts, one of them called the Commendation of the Laws of England – written somewhere between 1468 and 1471. I feel a slight surge of panic since I know there are many lawyers who are kind enough to listen to this podcast, and I imagine a general leaning forward in seats, the sound of sharpening pencils as I use the name Fortescue. Along with Glanvill and Blackstone he’s one of those names. So I’ll keep it brief – and then duck. Here’s Fortescue on the powers of the king:
Nor can a king, who is head of the body politic, change the laws thereof, nor take from the people what is theirs by right, against their consents…For he is appointed to protect his subjects in their lives, properties and laws; for this very end and purpose he has the delegation of power from the people; and he has no just claim to any other power but this.
Immortal words; he has delegation from the power of the people. According to Eric Ives, Fortescue had in mind to contrast the absolutism of French kings with English kings who therefore exercised royal authority within political parameters. Nonetheless Fortescue was to be used rather anachronistically during the Civil War to justify placing further constitutional restrictions on the king, but that is a story for another day, another day further in the future. For the moment sufficient to say that the idea of the power deriving from the people and law requiring their consent was alive and kicking in late 15th century England.
Before the legal letters of objection hit me, let me then quote from Thomas Smith an English scholar, parliamentarian and diplomat, who wrote, in the 1560’s, another of these books about the operation of society, called De Republica Anglorum: the Maner of Gouernement or Policie of the Realme of England. Here is his summary of the commonwealth
A commonwealth is called a society or common doing of a multitude of free men collected together and united by common accord and covenants among themselves, for the conservation of themselves in peace as in ware.
One thing about this quote to emphasise is just how communitarian it is. The other is the strength of custom and order which it naturally assumes lay behind the conservation of the community.
So, economic and social change, any kind of change, was challenging to the prevailing mindset. So often public policy, such a labour regulation or the sumptuary laws defining what you could wear, felt like society desperately trying to stuff a stream of expanding genies back into a very small bottle, to try and hold back the tide of economic change and pressures generated by population growth.
We are not going to bother too much with Chivalry – knights, Gentry, peers – because we are always talking about their goings on, though we’ll obviously have occasion to mentioned them; here we will focus on the rest of us, the Commoner. A group which was itself on no way homogenous. Traditionally we can divide them into groups; yeomen, husbandmen, craftsmen, cottagers and labourers. Boiling it down to the bare essentials, the Yeoman was a substantial farmer, and was a big fish in their own particular pool, which was the parish, since gentry might be frequently absentee. And we will definitively talk about the English Parish. The Husbandman was a small holder, with a bit of land but farming it generally speaking on the basis of the labour that their own family could produce rather than employing wage labourers – with the exception of domestic servants of course. They would expect to produce a small surplus every year.
Another group are village craftsmen and tradesmen, who were to be found in most communities. They could be very different in terms of wealth; millers, blacksmiths or butchers, were often men of substance. Others, like weavers, tailors or alehouse keepers, could be quite poor. But it varied. Also, very often they’d also be involved in farming in a small way as well. When we talk about Cottagers and labourers, we are now talking about the landless, people largely dependant on wage labour and or a bit of rural industry on the side. Their lives were intrinsically precarious, even more so than the rest, because you should put aside the idea that these were folks with a full time job at a fixed wage That would be relatively rare. Granted, 25% of the population were servants at one time or another where there would be a wage. But that tended to be a young person’s game. For the most part, cottagers and labourer’s work would be on/off, employed for a particular job and then let go, and over all it could be very seasonal. They’d have a small plot of land to produce veggies and so on, and that would help; they may also have common rights to help them make do, like some taking of wood; the normal rule was that they could cut what they could reach, or take fallen wood; but the manorial court would be quick to deal with any complaints that they were taking more than their share. But essentially they would have times of plenty and times of dearth and need to bridge the gaps. And the options were limited; as social legislation throughout the period would constantly re-iterate, from Edward IV to Elizabeth, people were meant to stay on their own parish and make their lives there; hence the fear and terror with which vagrancy was received. The phrase I like is ‘make shift and mend’, this might be the motto of Cottagers and Labouring families, constantly making do, finding opportunities, making the most of whatever they could find. An immediate point to make then, is that enclosure could mean the difference between survival and famine for some of these folks. So to go back to the stat mentioned above that 45% of land was already enclosed, and only 2% was enclosed in the 16th century – and yet there is all this trouble; Thomas More and his people eating sheep, Wolsey and his laws, Commotion Time. The squaring of that circle may well lie with the growth in population, with the rising prices, with the precarious life of the cottager and labourer – 2% might be a relatively small amount, but unlike the 45% which has gone before, that 2% could have been in highly contentious situations and pushed the people concerned in the village over the line from coping to starving.
I can imagine you asking at this point how many people we are talking about in each of these groups. Although the social and economic make up of different parishes varied wildly according to where you are, let us take a couple of examples. Highly is a village in Shropshire, unenclosed so based on open field and common rights. A study of the Henrician subsidy of 1543 suggests 4 social strata, with no resident Gentry. At the top were six large farmers, who controlled maybe half the land in the settlement. Then below them was a larger group of smaller farmers with more modest 20 to 40 acre holdings, and they probably made up 30% of the village population. Let’s call them husbandmen for the sake of. Then there’s a group of craftsmen and cottage dwellers, still well off enough to pay said subsidy, and then the remaining 25% of the community were day labourers and domestic servants. In Terling, Essex, in 1524/5 there were nine very large farmers (11.8 per cent); twenty-eight lesser yeomen, substantial husbandmen and prosperous craftsmen (36.8 per cent); eighteen smaller husbandmen and craftsmen (23.7 per cent); and twenty-one cottagers and labourers (27.6 per cent). So you get the general idea, but again it would vary; from these two examples, 25-28% were wage labourers.
 Hind, A: ‘England’s Population: A History since the Domesday Survey’ (Arnold Publication, 2003)
 Laslett, L: ‘Family, kinship and collectivity as systems of support in pre-industrial Europe: a consideration of the ‘ nuclear-hardship’ hypothesis’, in Continuity and Change 3 (2), 1988, p156
 Whittle, J: ‘Land and People’ in Wrightson ed; ‘A Social History of England, 1500-1750’ p153; enclosure 159
 Ives, E, Sir John Foertescue, ONDB
 Wrightson, K: ‘Crafting the Nation’ in Wrightson ed; ‘A Social History of England, 1500-1750’ p25
 French, H; ‘Parish Government’ in Doran ed ‘The Elizabethan World’ p155