Poor Travellers on the Move in Devon, 1598 - c.1800
Hardy, Marion Ruth
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
Reason for embargo
To pursue opportunities for publication
This study examines poor travellers who were on the move during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The focus is the County of Devon, with Exeter dealt with only briefly as it was a separate county. It is shown that the travellers, including numbers of Irish in the seventeenth century and foreign-born, particularly in the eighteenth century, were affected by a number of factors, but that the most important influence on their numbers and types was the incidence of wars. Economic factors, such as food supply, were of some importance, but the economy too was influenced by the effects of wars. Legislation also was found to have had less influence than expected. However, the legislation effective from 1700 did have a marked impact on the documentation available. The main sources used for this study are the parochial documents provided by churchwardens’ accounts of payments made to travellers in need and some of those of the parish overseers. These are supplemented by the records of Devon’s County Quarter Sessions. A combination of Devon’s geography, its strong international maritime connections and the influence of wars and their locations combined to affect the chronological and spatial variations in the numbers and types of travellers through the two centuries.
PhD in History