Production and Consumption in English Households, 1600-1750

Production and Consumption in English Households, 1600-1750

Production and Consumption in English Households, 1600-1750

Production and Consumption in English Households, 1600-1750

Synopsis

This is an economic, social and cultural analysis of the nature and variety of production and consumption activities in households in the counties of Kent and Cornwall. It yields important new insights on the transition to capitalism in England.

Excerpt

This study has its origins in a research project funded by the Leverhulme Trust from 1996-8 on 'Household economies in southern England 1600-1750'. Mark Overton and Jane Whittle were the co-directors of the project and employed Darron Dean and Andrew Hann as Research Associates. We are extremely grateful to the Leverhulme Trust, and to the then Director, Professor Barry Supple, for help and support. Darron Dean collected the Kent inventories during the first year of the project and subsequently was responsible for the analysis of material culture and for drafting Chapters 5 and 6. Andrew Hann collected the Cornish inventories and went on to analyse production activity and draft Chapters 3 and 4. Mark Overton drafted Chapters 2, 7, 8, and part of Chapter 1, while Jane Whittle drafted the remainder of Chapter 1 and part of Chapter 4. The final version of the book was written by Mark Overton from 2001-3 and he bears responsibility for the analysis of the data presented. Nevertheless, the research activity was very much a team effort and all four authors contributed to the major arguments of the book.

We owe thanks to many people. Mark Allen was our Computer Development Officer from 1996-7, also funded by the Leverhulme Trust. Without his patience and skill in transforming and extending Mark Overton's ancient computer programs our analysis of inventories could not have been completed. The staff at the Cornwall County Record Office and the Centre for Kentish Studies were extremely helpful in facilitating our use of such a large number of documents. Helen Bailey gave us valuable help in transcribing some of the Kent inventories as deadlines drew close. We were fortunate to have the services of a number of consultants to the project who gave us their advice and support at a number of research workshops in Exeter: David Cullum, Pat Hudson, David Ormrod, Richard Smith and Jan de Vries. Many others have commented on our work, but we should especially like to thank Jonathan Barry, Roger Burt, Henry French, Paul Glennie, Christine North, Phillip Payton and Leigh Shaw-Taylor. We are also grateful for the comments of seminar and conference audiences in Exeter, Cambridge, Le Mans, London, Manchester, Oxford and Rotterdam. Henry French and Meemee Overton read the

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