Staff and Governance
To contact the IMEMS administrative office please use the following details:
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T: 0191 334 6574
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T: 0191 334 42974
Associate Director (World Heritage): Professor Robin Coningham - view profile
The day-to-day running of IMEMS is the responsibility of the Core Executive Committee, comprising the Director and Associate Directors and the Administrator.
Publication detailsBrown, A. T. (2014). Estate Management and Institutional Constraints in Pre-Industrial England: the Ecclesiastical Estates of Durham, c.1400-1640. Economic History Review 67(3): 699-719.
- Publication type: Journal Article
- ISSN/ISBN: 0013-0117, 1468-0289
- DOI: 10.1111/1468-0289.12036
- Further publication details on publisher web site
- Durham Research Online (DRO) - may include full text
Author(s) from Durham
This article explores how far estate management and institutional constraints help to explain the transformations of rural society in England from the fourteenth to the seventeenth centuries. The monks of Durham Cathedral Priory and the bishops of Durham faced many of the same exogenous pressures in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries but they responded differently to these challenges. By the seventeenth century all of the dean and chapter's lands were consolidated holdings on 21-year leases, whereas a confused mixture of copyhold and leasehold land had developed on the bishops' estate. This had a significant impact upon the challenges and opportunities facing their tenants. Institutional constraints were often crucial factors in the transformation of the English countryside: these two neighbouring ecclesiastical estates faced broadly the same problems and yet the composition of their estates diverged significantly across this period, having a profound effect not only on levels of rent, but also on the tenure of holdings and ultimately their relative size; three of the most important factors in the formation of agrarian capitalism. This article also argues that how rural society adapted to the fifteenth-century recession greatly affected the ability of their sixteenth-century counterparts to respond to inflation.
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