Subtenancy: the character of Earls Colne, 1722–50

H. R. French and R. W. Hoyle

in The Character of English Rural Society

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print April 2007 | ISBN: 9780719051081
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781700716 | DOI:
Subtenancy: the character of Earls Colne, 1722–50

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The subtenant is the person who actually farmed the land. On copyhold manors, the names of subtenants often appear in admittances as a handle by which the land can be identified, but this information is rarely sufficiently systematic to allow any real conclusions about the scale of subtenancy. Any leases or rentals made by the copyholders themselves have been lost. At a later date, the tenants in possession of the land are named in land tax returns; but these generally do not survive in our period. This chapter examines subtenancy in early eighteenth-century Earls Colne. Three areas are considered: firstly, the prevalence of subtenants and their mobility; secondly, the degree to which subtenants had standing in the village community and shared in the administration of the village; and thirdly, why it was that some landowners preferred to sublet their land for periods rather than farm it themselves.

Keywords: subtenants; copyhold manors; subtenancy

Chapter.  18687 words. 

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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