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Agricultural Question

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  • JL Badgley
    Greetings and salutations to you all, I was wondering if anyone could help me out with reliable references for farming in England in the 16th century?
    Message 1 of 2 , Aug 19, 2008
      Greetings and salutations to you all,

      I was wondering if anyone could help me out with reliable references
      for farming in England in the 16th century? Internet sources are fine
      for now--I don't have consistent access to libraries at the moment,
      and this isn't an in-depth scholarly review. I'm also aware that this
      isn't a typical question for the list, but I figured this would be one
      of the best sources available to me at this time. Some of the
      questions/assumptions I'm trying to ascertain the truth of:

      1. How much land could a single person be expected to farm
      themselves? E.g. I know that one acre was the amount of land that one
      person was supposed to be able to plough in a day. However, how many
      acres one person could reasonably be expected to look after in the
      course of the year does not automatically follow, since there is
      planting, weeding, harvesting, etc. to take into consideration. Not
      to mention the fallow fields.

      2. Does anyone have information on when the move from common fields
      to the more modern hedged-fields took place? My understanding is that
      early fields were usually strips, without much separation by hedges or
      other barriers. Usually farmers would have several fields in better
      and worse areas so nobody would be farming *only* the good land, near
      the river, let's say. However, eventually people started
      consolidating the fields so that one farmer worked fields that were as
      contiguous as possible to lessen the overall waste caused by them
      trying to look after fields that could be on opposite sides of a
      settlement. I'm trying to figure out if I have the gist of it or if
      I'm way off base and most of my books are still in storage :'(

      3. Landed Gentry: This term seems to be post period, but from what
      I've seen its roots (or at least the roots of those it describes)
      appear to be in the 15th and 16th centuries, with non-noble freemen
      who are able to acquire land and get other farmers to work it, so that
      they, themselves, no longer need to actually labor in their fields.
      Thus they end up somewhere between the knights (and later baronets)
      and the common yeomen and husbandmen. I want to say that it is this
      general class of person that is often titled 'esquire' in the 18th
      century, though I'd have to go check that again.

      I know it is a pretty tall order, and I'm doing my best to go through
      what I can find online right now, but I thought that there might be
      someone out there with particularly pertinent suggestions, or who
      could at least point out sources of greater respect than others.


      -E. G. Logan
    • Pete McKee
      ... Sir, You can contact the Frontier Culture Musseum of Virginia. They have relocated and reassembled a Tudor era farmhouse to their site, and are operating
      Message 2 of 2 , Aug 22, 2008
        --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, "JL Badgley" <tatsushu@...> wrote:
        >
        > I was wondering if anyone could help me out with reliable references
        > for farming in England in the 16th century? >
        >
        > -E. G. Logan
        >

        Sir,

        You can contact the Frontier Culture Musseum of Virginia. They have
        relocated and reassembled a Tudor era farmhouse to their site, and are
        operating it, along with other European farms.

        http://www.frontiermuseum.org/exhibits/english.php

        Hope that helps some.

        Take care,
        Pete McKee
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