A small town and its hinterland: Halesowen in the Early Modern Period

Paxton, Coralie (2022). A small town and its hinterland: Halesowen in the Early Modern Period. University of Birmingham. M.A.

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This thesis examines the socio-economy of the parish of Halesowen in the early modern period. Halesowen was a large parish consisting of several townships, a small borough, and three manors. The first aim is to establish whether its location on the borders of geographic, geological and administrative areas were factors in its lack of development into a major industrial town, compared with others within the west midlands area at this time. Its second aim is to identify the role of the middling sort in the economy and administration of the various communities within the parish. As such, it is a contribution to debates on industry in the countryside and on urban studies, particularly small towns.
Halesowen’s manorial and borough records of the medieval period have been a major resource for study. Early modern Halesowen has received some attention from historians, though this has generally consisted of references to its industry or its sixteenth century, published, churchwardens’ accounts. This micro-history is largely based on unpublished primary sources, mainly manorial and probate records, from national and local archives. They were used to create databases to enable analyses combining agriculture, industry and governance of small towns. The analyses identified the importance of agriculture and the textile industries, as well as the iron industry, in the local economy, which can be associated with its geographical location. The strength of the manorial courts and the lack of attempts by the lords of the manor to renew the borough’s charter or obtain parliamentary representation, enabled the middling sort to continue having major control of agriculture, governance and disorder.
This study provides a picture of a socio-economy that is distinctive rather than typical of the industrial west midlands.

Type of Work: Thesis (Masters by Research > M.A.)
Award Type: Masters by Research > M.A.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of History and Cultures, Department of History
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/12343


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