Social relations in the Victorian countryside: hiring fairs and their critics in the East Riding of Yorkshire c. 1840-1880

Moses, G.W., 2000. Social relations in the Victorian countryside: hiring fairs and their critics in the East Riding of Yorkshire c. 1840-1880. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.

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This thesis builds upon research undertaken for a Masters' degree dissertation entitled: 'Farm Servants Hiring Fairs and Moral Reform: York and East Yorkshire c. 1850-1880'. Although limited in its scope and tentative in its conclusions this dissertation has provided the framework for this study.

The central focus of this investigation is a campaign of moral reform and abolition conducted by Church of England clergymen against hiring fairs in the East Riding of Yorkshire during the years 1850-1880. In this respect the thesis offers a contribution to the study of nineteenth-century rural popular culture and the and the nature and course of attempts to reshape that culture during the mid- Victorian period. Hiring fairs were significant as rural festivals but they were also important as labour markets for farm servants. Although often regarded as a pre-modem and pre-industrial institutions both farm service and hiring fairs remained common in northern England throughout the nineteenth century. Both were, however, reshaped within the context of economic and social change. This study locates, therefore, both hiring fairs and the campaign that was conducted against them within the context of changes that had taken place within rural economy and society in the East Riding from the late-eighteenth century. It also examines the manner in which this process of economic and social change prompted a reshaping of both farm service and the hiring fair. Of major importance to the investigation is the manner in which these changes came into contradiction with the religious and social agenda of a major social and political institution - the Anglican Church. It is argued here that a prime reason for the Anglican campaign against hiring fairs during the mid-Victorian period is a contradiction between the institutional aims of the Church of England and the changing nature of farm service and the hiring fair. In developing this argument, examining the nature and course of the campaign and evaluating its success it is hoped that the study has realised an interesting body of knowledge and made a significant contribution to the history of nineteenth-century rural society.

Technical note: periodically throughout this thesis the final footnote's text appears as the first item in the footnote frame of the following page. This is a consequence of a technical problem within the software which, the author has been advised, cannot be rectified.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Moses, G.W.
Date: 2000
ISBN: 9781369315806
Divisions: Schools > School of Arts and Humanities
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 22 Sep 2020 10:06
Last Modified: 16 Aug 2023 10:03

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