Contrasting Communities: English Villages in the Sixteenth by Margaret Spufford

By Margaret Spufford

This publication is a close background of the commercial, academic and non secular 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 overall and specific purposes for the adjustments that happened. The learn additionally covers the tutorial possibilities open to the villagers, and examines non secular affairs, the influence on peasant groups of the Reformation and the disturbance within the devotional lifetime of the normal villager, which regularly culminated in dissent and disruption below 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 booklet may be useful to monetary, social, and ecclesiastical historians of britain within the 16th and 17th centuries, in addition to historians of england quite often, and people with a distinct curiosity in Cambridgeshire.

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38 Margaret Spufford, 'The Significance of the Cambridgeshire Hearth Tax', Proceedings of the Cambridge Antiquarian Society, LV (1962), 60, which shows that multiple occupation, although it existed, was not very common in the county in 1664. 13 People, families and land assessed on wages down to a yearly value of £1 and on goods down to a yearly value of £2, and so must include as individual entries a number of younger sons living at home, and servants,39 who would quite possibly not be included thereafter if they were resident within their employers' houses.

I a m very grateful to M r Dennis Jeeps for gaining access t o this for me. See also below, pp. 245-8, 302-6 a n d 334-7. 50 It must be admitted that surveys a r e never satisfactory for this purpose, for several tenants commonly hold m o r e than o n e house apiece. It is impossible t o know how many of these houses a r e actually occupied by nameless sub-tenants, a n d this confuses t h e issue, especially if there is also the contradictory problem of holders of land who d o n o t hold houses.

78 If men paying only on assessments of £20 or more were considered,79 however, it had fewer of them than most of the south-east including, certainly, just those parts of Norfolk, Essex, Kent and Middlesex which appeared most rewarding to the Exchequer in general. In Dr Sheail's words, 'There was a relatively high yield from those assessed for less than £20 in parts of East Anglia, where the map of the distribution of taxpayers suggested a denser population than average. ' His own maps show that the first part of this statement was truer of Cambridgeshire than most of the rest of the south-east.

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