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Transforming English Rural Society
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  • 4 maps 13 tables
  • Page extent: 312 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.63 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 942.5/9
  • Dewey version: 22
  • LC Classification: DA377.2.V5 B76 2004
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Verney family
    • Administration of estates--England--Buckinghamshire--History
    • Great Britain--History--George III, 1760-1820--Biography
    • Great Britain--History--Stuarts, 1603-1714--Biography
    • Great Britain--History--18th century--Biography

Library of Congress Record

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 (ISBN-13: 9780521829335 | ISBN-10: 052182933X)

Manufactured on demand: supplied direct from the printer

$134.00 (C)

John Broad explores the rise and fall of the Verney family of Middle Claydon, Buckinghamshire, demonstrating the family's rise to wealth as motivated by a strong dynastic imperative. He reveals how the family managed its estates to maximize income and used its wealth to transform the Claydon villages and landscape, creating a pattern of "open" and "closed" parishes. Based on the formidable Verney family archive with its abundant correspondence, this book will appeal to anyone interested in the English countryside as a dynamic force in English social, economic and demographic history.


List of figures; List of tables; Preface; Acknowledgements; Note on editorial practice; List of abbreviations; 1. Introduction; Part I. Re-establishing a Gentry Family 1600–57: 2. A gentry family in county and court society 1603–42; 3. The Civil War and Interregnum 1642–57; 4. The creation of an enclosed estate 1600–57; Part II. The Shaping of Family and Village 1657–1740: 5. Land, business and dynastic advance 1657–1736; 6. The making of a modern landed estate; 7. Power in the community - the making of an estate village 1660–1740; Part III. The Great Estate and Estate Communities c.1700–1820: 8. The rise and fall of Verney fortunes in the eighteenth century 1740–1820; 9. Transforming the Claydons in the eighteenth century; 10. Conclusion; Appendix A: Sir Ralph Verney's confessional letter of 1650; Appendix B: the genealogy of the Verney family; Bibliography; Index.


"This is essentially an excellent case study of the ways a middle-ranking Buckinghamshire gentry family responded to the changes in English political, economic, social, and cultural life across two turbulent centuries that witnessed the transition to modernity. It is a book that delivers far more than its author promises, itself a rare feat in these times."
Robert G. Ingram, Ohio University, Sixteenth Century Journal

"Broad has now set the family firmly in both the rural setting that they did so much to transform and define and in the context of early modern agricultural improvement and change, much to the benefit of us all." - James Rosenheim, Texas A&M University

"Broad's mastery of the Verney archive and of the intricacies of financial and estate management is such that historians will consider his work authoritative."
Norma Landau, Journal of Modern History

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