WICKLUND, RYAN,KNOWLTON (2022) AGRICULTURAL DECISION-MAKING AND MANAGERIAL RESPONSE AT DURHAM CATHEDRAL PRIORY DURING THE LONG FOURTEENTH
CENTURY, c.1300-1453. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.
ABSTRACT: The role of agency and the framework which we use to discuss agriculture in the Later Middle Ages and in the medieval economy deserves fresh consideration. Previous scholars have often portrayed medieval economic actors as unmoved by or uninterested in the changing world around them. However, the true role of decision-making is obscured in much of this literature on medieval agriculture due to the common framework of proto-capitalistic and profit-maximising within which the field is often analysed. In such circumstances, the role of individuals is much too easily obscured. My thesis addresses these issues while paying particular attention the roles of manorial managers and monastic obedientiaries and the effect the actions of these individuals had on manorial farming. In this thesis, I examine the extant manorial accounts from the estate of the Durham Cathedral Priory bursar, of which there are over four hundred. I use the data gathered from these accounts to examine measures of arable productivity. I additionally use data from tithe receipts and rental books, which provide evidence for the extra-demesne economic activities of those who managed the bursar’s manors. The evidence from these sources is then examined in light of the agricultural treatises of the period, including Walter of Henley’s Husbandry, Les Reules de Seynt Roberd by Robert Grosseteste, Bishop of Lincoln, and the anonymous Senechausie. I argue throughout this thesis for a re- evaluation of the motives and capabilities of those involved in medieval agriculture. These activities of these very capable individuals too easily become lost when careful analysis is not undertaken to deliberately restore their agency.
|Item Type:||Thesis (Doctoral)|
|Award:||Doctor of Philosophy|
|Faculty and Department:||Faculty of Arts and Humanities > History, Department of|
|Copyright:||Copyright of this thesis is held by the author|
|Deposited On:||06 Jul 2022 10:47|