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The Character of English Rural SocietyEarls Colne, 1550-1750$
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Henry French and Richard Hoyle

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780719051081

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719051081.001.0001

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The land market quantified

The land market quantified

(p.179) 6 The land market quantified
The Character of English Rural Society

H. R. French

R. W. Hoyle

Manchester University Press

This chapter shows that a great deal of land was bought and sold in every decade, but, on a numerical calculation, especially in the 1630s. On the other hand, the retention of land for three or four generations — between 60 and 100 years — was not uncommon, and the inheritance of land was perfectly normal and perhaps expected. The 1630s was undoubtedly a decade of instability, but individual mishaps and misfortunes explain this as much as any underlying response to economic conditions. After 1650, the land market perhaps came close to re-achieving the stability of the three-quarters of a century before 1625. On 1 January 1625, one-third of the land in view was still retained by the families that held it in 1550. One-third of the land in 1725 was held by the families that held it in 1650, and in 1750, a little short of a third of the copyhold land in Earls Colne had been in familial possession for 75 years.

Keywords:   landholding, land ownership, land market, Earls Colne, copyhold land

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