'Before the breaking of the day, in a riotous manner and with great shouts and outcries': disputes over common land in Shropshire in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries

James Bowen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Enclosure disputes have long attracted attention given their perceived political motivations, the importance of custom and customary practices in legitimising action and various forms of protest. Based on research undertaken at local and national record offices and the study of both written records and maps, this paper explores a series of disputes over common land in the wood-pasture countryside of Shropshire, placing them within the wider historiography concerning enclosure riots and popular protest. It complements the existing body of local and regional studies which have provided insight into the national historical context of the enclosure process. Historians need to examine economic and social developments at a local level to ascertain the causation of enclosure protest and the motivation of those involved. This evidence suggests that disputes arose between lords and tenants over the loss of customary rights and also neighbouring manorial lords as a result of ownership or boundary disputes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-159
Number of pages27
JournalRural History
Volume26
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2015
Externally publishedYes

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