English individualism refuted - and reasserted: the land market of Earls Colne (Essex), 1550-1750
University of Exeter; University of Reading
Economic History Review
Earls Colne first came to the notice of historians through Macfarlane's study of its seventeenth-century vicar, Ralph Josselin, and then Macfarlane's use of evidence from the village in his The Origins of English Individualism (1978). This article presents preliminary results drawn from a computer-based reconstruction of the copyhold land market, 1546-1750, to contest Macfarlane's reading of the family-land bond in the manor. The familial possession of land over long periods is shown to be normal, and consistent with an active land market predominantly in smaller parcels. Little consolidation took place in the manor although some growth in holding size was achieved through subtenancy. Finally, the article asks whether the experience of copyholders is typical of the general.
University of Central Lancashire
This is the author's post-print version of an article whose final and definitive form has been published in The Economic History Review. © 2003 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. The definitive version is available at: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/118509292/home
56(4), pp. 595-622