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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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Subtenancy: the character of Earls Colne, 1722–50

Subtenancy: the character of Earls Colne, 1722–50

(p.251) 8 Subtenancy: the character of Earls Colne, 1722–50
The Character of English Rural Society

H. R. French

R. W. Hoyle

Manchester University Press

The subtenant is the person who actually farmed the land. On copyhold manors, the names of subtenants often appear in admittances as a handle by which the land can be identified, but this information is rarely sufficiently systematic to allow any real conclusions about the scale of subtenancy. Any leases or rentals made by the copyholders themselves have been lost. At a later date, the tenants in possession of the land are named in land tax returns; but these generally do not survive in our period. This chapter examines subtenancy in early eighteenth-century Earls Colne. Three areas are considered: firstly, the prevalence of subtenants and their mobility; secondly, the degree to which subtenants had standing in the village community and shared in the administration of the village; and thirdly, why it was that some landowners preferred to sublet their land for periods rather than farm it themselves.

Keywords:   subtenants, copyhold manors, subtenancy

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