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A Country Merchant, 1495-1520Trading and Farming at the End of the Middle Ages$
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Christopher Dyer

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199214242

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199214242.001.0001

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Beyond the Account Book: Changing the Countryside

Beyond the Account Book: Changing the Countryside

Chapter:
(p.164) 6 Beyond the Account Book: Changing the Countryside
Source:
A Country Merchant, 1495-1520
Author(s):

Christopher Dyer

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199214242.003.0006

This examines the wider implications of the production and sale of wool, by showing that the role of lords was weakened by the changes in estate management and population, though some efforts were made by them to create enclosed pastures. The peasants can be shown to be more self-confident, and they made changes to their farming techniques by converting land to pasture, constructing buildings, maintaining the disciplines of open-field agriculture, while planning some radical transformations of the fields. Labour was a continuing problem, though servants played an important part. A postscript looks at the evidence for growth and stagnation in the vicinity of Moreton in Marsh, and finds evidence for consumption and prosperity, but little sign of expansion, for example in industry.

Keywords:   lords, estates, pastures, peasants, farm buildings, farming techniques, labour, servants, consumption, economic growth

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