Chapter

Rural Duties

Paul Langford

in Public Life and the Propertied Englishman 1689–1798

Published in print August 1994 | ISBN: 9780198205340
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191676574 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198205340.003.0006

Series: Ford Lectures

Rural Duties

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There were growing fears in the 18th century that the landowner class in Great Britain was opting out of its responsibilities at the time when commercial farming, and the social changes which accompanied it, called for attendance to duty. Fears that the English gentry were losing interest in their own communities were often expressed in the late 17th and early 18th century. There was a decidedly theatrical quality about the sheriff's office in late 18th-century England. The growing tendency for propertied families to employ their Church patronage as a means of supporting younger sons made it tempting to exploit the potential influence of the magistracy. Furthermore, this chapter also offers information on the conduct of the noblemen who often nominated clerical justices.

Keywords: landowner; farming; sheriffs; magistracy; church

Chapter.  33634 words. 

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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