Servants in Husbandry in Early Modern England
Servants in husbandry were unmarried farm workers hired on annual contracts. The institution of service distinguished them in many ways from their chief competitors, day-labourers. Servants were employed on an annual basis; they formed part of their employers' households; they were generally young and unmarried. Service was extremely common - most rural youths in early modern England became servants to farmers, and they composed as much as half of the full-time hired labour force in agriculture. Professor Kussmaul has marshalled information from sources as diverse as marriage registers, militia lists, parish censuses, settlement examinations, account books, records of Quarter Sessions, and the autobiographies of servants and masters, in producing this book which explores this important institution and to consider its wide historiographical implications.
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Incidence and understanding
Life and work
Hiring and mobility
Entry into and exit from service
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account book adult age at marriage agricultural labourers Belchford Book of Fairs Cambridge census cent contracts Corfe Castle cottagers day-labourers distance E. A. Wrigley E. P. Thompson eighteenth century England English Essex farm servants farm service farmers farmhouse Gloucs Hertfordshire hired workers hiring fairs History household Ibid incidence of service increase institution Kent labour force leaving service LIII Lincolnshire London male servants marriage Marshall master and servant Mayday Mayett median Michaelmas militia lists nineteenth century Norfolk Northamptonshire Northants Norwich Mercury number of servants Office Settlement examinations Owen parish listings Peter Laslett population growth proportion Quainton Quarter Sessions real wages Record Office Settlement Sacombe Sept servants and labourers servants in husbandry service in husbandry Sessions Records south and east Spalding SRO(B Statute Sessions Suffolk Table Tetney Thirsk University Press unmarried Wapentake Warwicks Westmorland youths