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|Title:||The Rural Community through the Eyes of the Land Agent on the Marquis of Anglesey’s Dorset and Somerset Estate: William Castleman and His Sons c1812-1854|
|Presented at:||University of Leicester|
|Abstract:||This thesis explores the socio-economic and political history of the rural community on the Marquis of Anglesey’s Dorset and Somerset estate through the correspondence, rental accounts and estate vouchers of the Castleman family. Existing historiography which relates to both the role of the land agent and the rural community remains sparse. The research for this study has taken a new and unique approach which challenges many of the existing theories. Through close textual analysis it has examined six broadly defined themes which relate to all aspects of the rural society. Firstly an in depth and detailed survey of how the rural community was organised, worked and changed over time was undertaken. Secondly it investigates the tripartite relationship between landowner, agent and tenant rather than the more traditional affiliation of landowner, tenant and labourer. Using this new configuration the archive explains how this association worked in practice with regard to estate improvement, repairs and functional schemes to relieve tenant distress. Thirdly this thesis surveyed the political landscape of Milborne Port and in particular it sought to define the role of the election agent in pre-reformed England. Fourthly it analyses the labouring poor, with particular attention to the issue of low wages, under- and un-employment and the role of the landed estate in the economy of makeshifts. The plight of the poor culminated in the Swing riots of 1830 and this archive provides new and important information in the on-going debate of this phenomenon. Fifthly the estate vouchers which contain the minutiae of estate life have never been examined and yet in the absence of recognisable accounts these contain essential quantitative information. Finally this thesis assesses the ways and means that large estates sought to exert social control, through the creation of a deference community, education and the accruing of rental arrears. Significantly this study illustrates the pivotal role played by the land agent in maintaining the equilibrium within the rural community.|
|Rights:||Copyright © the author. All rights reserved.|
|Appears in Collections:||Theses, School of Management|
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