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Early Modern Economic and Social History

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Lent Term 2018


The seminar meets Thursdays at 5pm in Room 12 of the History Faculty. We normally have dinner with the speaker afterwards, to which all are welcome. 

Convenors: Amy Erickson, Craig Muldrew, Leigh Shaw-Taylor and Paul Warde


18 January

Laurence Fontaine (EHESS, Paris)

Whom to trust to moralise the market

In early modern Europe, uncertainty weighed upon every aspect of the transaction. Taking France as an example, I intend to discuss how the state and society tried to moralise the market.


1 February

Briony McDonagh (Hull)

Elite women and the agricultural landscape

While we know lots about male landowners and improvers, we have until recently known very little about propertied women’s contributions to landscape change and agricultural improvement in the long eighteenth century – or indeed any other period. This seminar will explore elite women’s relationships with landed property, specifically as they were mediated through the lens of their estate management, building projects and landscape improvements.


15 February

Jon Healey (Oxford)

Religion, revelry and resistance in Jacobean Lancashire

In 1604, a bizarre tranvestite wedding was staged in Cartmel Priory in north Lancashire, landing the instigators in the court of Star Chamber. This paper explores this unusual incident and its meaning, and uses it to shed light on the use of humour and the carnivalesque to mock and resist the Anglican church, and the growth of puritanism in this ‘dark corner of the land’.



1 March

Tawny Paul (Exeter) and Jeremy Boulton (Newcastle)

Debtors’ schedules: a new source for understanding the economy in 18th-century England

Debtors’ schedules, or inventories of wealth produced in the wake of Debtor Insolvency Acts, constitute a significant and relatively unused source related to the economy of eighteenth-century England. This paper presents new research on the scope and significance of schedules. It explores their potential to provide new insights into wealth, credit and work, and considers their relationship to probate material.


The support of the Trevelyan Fund (Faculty of History) is gratefully acknowledged.


 Lent Term 2018 programme - print version


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