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Ned Elliott

Ridge and Furrow

Reading the Landscape Several books have been written about the appearance of the English Countryside, the most famous of which is W G Hoskins ‘Making of the English Countryside’. Other favourites are the History of the English Countryside by Oliver Rackham and Richard Muir’s 1981 ‘Shell Guide to Reading the […]

Lieut. Robert Kearsley Dawson

The Tithe Commutation Act had been drafted with two incommensurable clauses in it concerning the provision of a map. Clause 35 allowed the apportioners, to base their apportionment on “any admeasurement, plan, or valuation previously made of the lands…..the accuracy of which they shall be satisfied”.[1] Such plans were not […]

The Laws of Settlement

“When the parish became a prison it was the poor-law settlement system which made it so; when the parish became a vast almshouse it was an ill-advised relaxation of the poor-law principles which pauperised the labourer and bankrupted the small farmer.”[1] Contents In the 1640’s John Lilburne , a member […]


Smallpox -it sounds innocuous enough, particularly when the great pox was syphilis, but historically, depending upon which population it affected it killed between a third and a quarter of its victims. Today we know it to be an infection but in the 17th century even this simple fact was not […]

The Tithe Commission

The process of implementing the Tithe Commutation Act was vested in three Tithe Commissioners based in London. The Chairman was William Blamire, whose simple description was ‘Cumberland farmer’. Born in 1790 he was educated at Westminster School, Christchurch Oxford and was friends with the Vicar of Dalston – William Paley, […]