Broadweaving families and their access to land in the Gloucestershire parish of Bisley

Jameson, Joan Dorothy (2006) Broadweaving families and their access to land in the Gloucestershire parish of Bisley. Masters thesis, University of Gloucestershire.

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The organisation of manufacturing work, known as proto-industrialisation, was in operation in the weaving community of Bisley in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Research has focussed on the experiences of weaving families, to whom work was 'put out' by clothiers, and also their relationship to land in this rural community. The purpose of the thesis is to establish the extent of land poverty of weaving families in Bisley parish's proto-industrial community, and to evaluate the effect that might have had on their lives. The experiences of people in the transformation from a peasant subsistence economy to capitalism have been explored with reference to a dual manufacturing and agricultural economy. A dual economy could apply either at community or individual level, or at both levels. Consideration has been given to the threat of enclosure of common land during the period in order to establish how important it was to have access to at least a little land. Approaching the subject 'from below', demographic investigations have established levels of poverty in the community. Links have been made between occupational groups and their degree of access to land, paying particular attention to the significance of small landholding. Evidence has been found of enduring resistance to attempts by the gentry to enforce parliamentary enclosure of common land which would threaten the vestiges of the peasantry. Bisley parish experienced an extreme amount of land fragmentation, affecting the amount of land available to weaving families. It was found that the parish did have a proto-industrial dual economy in both senses. Whilst weaving families valued access to small pieces of land, they were also part of a community with a strong agricultural sector. Availability of common land was one of the attractions of the parish, and a spur to the community to resist enclosure.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Thesis Advisors:
Thesis AdvisorEmailURL
Uncontrolled Keywords: Common land; enclosure; rural Gloucestershire; Bisley; weaving; eighteenth and nineteenth centuries; proto-industrialisation
Related URLs:
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Creatives
Depositing User: Anne Pengelly
Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2022 13:22
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 08:57

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