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Governing England through the Manor Courts, c.1550-1850

Waddell, Brodie (2012) Governing England through the Manor Courts, c.1550-1850. Historical Journal 55 (2), pp. 279-315. ISSN 0018-246X.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0018246X12000040

Abstract

Using records from 113 manors in Yorkshire and elsewhere, this article surveys the changing role of manor courts in English local government over three centuries. These institutions allowed juries of established tenants to deal cheaply and easily with a variety of chronic concerns, including crime, migration, retailing, common lands, and infrastructure. Their focus varied significantly according to region, topography, settlement size, and time period, but active courts existed in most parts of the country throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Ultimately, they had many valuable functions which historians have barely begun to explore. This article thus offers the most systematic analysis to date of the role of these institutions in making and enforcing by-laws in this period, showing that many of the courts evolved to suit the changing priorities of local tenants rather than falling rapidly into ruin as has sometimes been assumed.

Item Type: Article
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > History, Classics and Archaeology
Depositing User: Dr Brodie Waddell
Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2012 16:57
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:33
URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/5792

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