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Farming and landholding in a Wealden Parish : a study of farmers in Frettenden 1800-1870

Betts, Philip Francis John (1999) Farming and landholding in a Wealden Parish : a study of farmers in Frettenden 1800-1870. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.102302) (KAR id:102302)


The position of the farmer in Victorian agriculture and society is an area largely overlooked in recent historical analysis. This thesis draws the condition of the relatively small farmers in the parish of Frittenden and in so doing describes the significant changes in crop production not obviously in line with Caird's, and indeed subsequent, generalisations of a corn growing east of England.

Chapters 1 and 2 provide the background to the research, the sources incorporated, and provides an outline of the parish of Frittenden.

Part I presents the main body of the Thesis; Chapters 3 and 4 describe the basis of landownership and plot the economic fortunes of the farmers through the rentals payable, together with the history of arrears recorded. Chapters 5 and 6 trace the husbandry and crops in the parish, while chapter 7 outlines the workforce and the course of wages. Chapter 8 outlines the relationship between crafts and trades and the agricultural community.

Part II considers sociological aspects; Chapter 10, considers the role of kinship, marriage alliances and use of related labour particularly as a substitute for live-in labour. Chapter 11 brings out the role of the farmer in the administration of the parish, while Chapter 12 further examines parish administration but in the religious context, particularly the role of Edward Moore. Chapter 13 is a case study, providing support at the family level for the findings for the Parish as a whole.

Chapter 14, outlines the conclusion that small farms continued throughout the period 1800-70, while other farms became larger at the expense of the more moderate sized farm. However, it had been the mediumsized farm that had prospered during the deep and long-run economic depression experienced almost continuously from the Napoleonic Wars until the 1850s. The delayed influence of the railway and London market is also apparent.

The Appendix indicates the methodology used and in particular the various software permutations in the collection and analysis of data. It shows how the database was central to the analysis but that spreadsheets and wordprocessing played a major role, not least in providing additional tools for analysing the database.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.102302
Additional information: This thesis has been digitised by EThOS, the British Library digitisation service, for purposes of preservation and dissemination. All theses digitised by EThOS are protected by copyright and other relevant Intellectual Property Rights. They are made available to users under a non-exclusive, non-transferable licence under which they may use or reproduce, in whole or in part, material for valid purposes, providing the copyright owners are acknowledged using the normal conventions. It is available here with permission of the author.
Uncontrolled keywords: agriculture; nineteenth century
Subjects: D History General and Old World
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of History
Depositing User: Suzanne Duffy
Date Deposited: 01 Aug 2023 13:51 UTC
Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 11:36 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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