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
labourers male and female by county 1851
Form and practice
Hiring and mobility
Entry into and exit from service
Servants and labourers in early
Age and sex
Statute Sessions and hiring fairs
The Holland Lincolnshire Statute Sessions
The 1831 census
Other editions - View all
adult agricultural annual assessments become Board Book Book of Fairs calculated called Cambridge census cent common continued contracts cost decline difference distance early modern east Economy eighteenth century England English Essex estimate Fairs farm servants farm service farmers female Figure force growth hired History household Ibid incidence increase institution labourers later LIII Lincolnshire listings living London male marriage married Marshall master Mayett mean Mich Michaelmas mobility moved nineteenth century noted Office Owen parents parish poor population practice Present proportion Quarter Sessions rates records regions relative remained reported returned Riding Rural seasonality Sept servants in husbandry served service in husbandry settlement examinations seventeenth Society Source Spalding Statute Table twenty University Press wages Westmorland women workers Young youths