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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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(p.293) 9 Conclusion
The Character of English Rural Society

H. R. French

R. W. Hoyle

Manchester University Press

This chapter summarises the preceding discussions and presents some concluding thoughts from the authors. Earls Colne was situated within one of the most commercially developed areas of late medieval England. It was on the fringes of London, which in turn implies a regionally specific historical experience. The arrival of a resident landlord in a village was a common experience in the century after 1540. Where this occurred, personal supervision replaced power structures that had relied on monastic, aristocratic or crown stewards. In Earls Colne, this change disturbed a situation in which the village had sometimes taken liberties over its rights or lapsed into self-government. The Harlakendens remained a presence in the village for most of the following century, but the landlord interest in Earls Colne did not develop beyond the limits established then. Earls Colne never had a great nineteenth-century house or park, or model arable farms staffed by day labourers, nor was it incorporated into a great estate. It remained a parish of variegated holdings, with landowners both large and small, because it failed to follow the developmental paths taken by some of the other English villages that have been the subject of exhaustive historical study.

Keywords:   Earls Colne, manors, demesnes, Harlakendens, English villages

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