Women and Property in Early Modern England

Women and Property in Early Modern England

Women and Property in Early Modern England

Women and Property in Early Modern England


This ground-breaking book reveals the economic reality of ordinary women between the late 16th and early 18th centuries. Drawing on little-known sources, Amy Louise Erickson reconstructs day-to-day lives, showing how women owned, managed and inherited property on a scale previously unrecognised. Her complex and fascinating research, which contrasts the written laws with the actual practice, completely revises the traditional picture of women's economic status in pre-industrial England. Women and Property is essential reading for anyone interested in women, law and the past.


In the transcription of early modern manuscripts and published works, spelling has been modernized only in so far as the inversion, for twentieth-century eyes, of u/v and i/j, and the substitution of ‘th’ for ‘y’ where necessary. Capitalization is standardized and abbreviations are spelt out. In manuscript transcription, first names are standardized where possible and an occasional comma has been added for clarity. Dates are modern—that is, the year is taken to begin on 1 January, instead of 25 March, as it did until 1752. All numerals, whether Roman or Arabic in the original, are rendered in Arabic notation. Archaic monetary values (marks, nobles) and all variations of monetary expression are rendered as pre-decimal pounds, shillings, and pence: 12 pence (d.) to the shilling (s.), and 20 shillings to the pound (£). Common early modern expressions such as ‘twelvepence’ and ‘40s.’ become 1s. and £2 in this text, for consistency.

References to documents in manuscript take the following form.

Probate accounts, inventories and wills: Name, social status, initial estate value/net estate value (date) Parish, Record office: reference number(s), except

Yorkshire wills: Record office: Name (date) Parish, Deanery.

Chancery Court records: Plaintiff v.Defendant, County of origin (date) Public Record Office: reference number.

All information necessary to locate the document follows the record office designation. Other information, such as names or dates, which is given in the text may be omitted in the reference. Estate values are rounded to the nearest pound. The net estate value is that listed by the early modern probate clerk, and not the actual total which may be derived with the aid of a modern calculator.

References to printed records take the following form:

Statutes: Regnal year Monarch chapter (date). Thus 22 & 23 Car.II c.10 (1671).

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.