By Alexandra Shepard
Accounting for Oneself is an important new examine of the social order in early sleek England, as seen and articulated from the ground up. enticing with how humans from around the social spectrum put themselves in the social order, it items jointly the language of self-description deployed through over 13,500 witnesses in English courts whilst answering questions designed to evaluate their creditworthiness. Spanning the interval among 1550 and 1728, and with a huge geographical insurance, this learn explores how women and men accounted for his or her 'worth' and defined what they did for a dwelling at differing issues within the life-cycle. A corrective to top-down, male-centric money owed of the social order penned via elite observers, the point of view from under testifies to an tricky hierarchy in keeping with refined different types of social reckoning that have been articulated in the course of the social scale. A tradition of appraisal was once vital to the aggressive techniques wherein humans judged their very own and others' social positions. for almost all it used to be no longer land that was once the yardstick of prestige yet portable property-the items and chattels in people's ownership starting from cattle to linens, instruments to buying and selling items, tables to tubs, outfits to cushions. Such goods have been repositories of wealth and the protection for the credits on which the majority of early smooth trade depended.
Accounting for Oneself additionally sheds new mild on women's courting to estate, on gendered divisions of labour, and on early sleek understandings of labor which have been associated as a lot to having as to getting a dwelling. The view from lower than was once now not unchanging, yet bears witness to the profound impression of widening social inequality that spread out a chasm among the center ranks and the labouring bad among the mid-sixteenth and mid-seventeenth centuries. consequently, not just was once the social hierarchy distorted past attractiveness, from the later-seventeenth century there has been additionally a steady but basic transforming of the factors informing the calculus of esteem.
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Additional resources for Accounting for Oneself: Worth, Status, and the Social Order in Early Modern England
In its standard form, the relevant interrogatory required witnesses to provide an account of what they were worth, in goods, with their debts paid. 38 The question of a witness’s worth could be asked as a free-standing interrogatory or manuscript and print among civilian lawyers. For the influence of Francis Clerke, Praxis in curiis ecclesiasticis (1596), see R. Helmholz, Roman Canon Law in Reformation England (Cambridge, 1990), 124–31. 34 For a general description of civil procedure relating to witnesses, see Helmholz, Canon Law, 338–41.
54 For a survey of the business handled by the church courts, see Helmholz, Canon Law. For the Cambridge University courts, see Alexandra Shepard, ‘Litigation and Locality: The Cambridge University Courts, 1560–1640’, Urban History, 31 (2004), 5–28. On the gender and age of witnesses in defamation cases and customary disputes, see Meldrum, ‘A Women’s Court’; Gowing, Domestic Dangers; Alexandra Shepard, Meanings of Manhood in Early Modern England (Oxford, 2003), 217–21; Wood, Memory, 307–8. 6. 5 Note: FR = figures adapted from E.
65 Craig Muldrew, The Economy of Obligation: The Culture of Credit and Social Relations in Early Modern England (Basingstoke, 1998), 149. 66 For case studies of the alliances and fissures causes could generate, see Steve Hindle, ‘The Shaming of Margaret Knowsley: Gossip, Gender and the Experience of Authority in Early Modern England’, Continuity and Change, 9 (1994), 391–419; Christopher Haigh, ‘The Troubles of Thomas Pestell: Parish Squabbles and Ecclesiastical Politics in Caroline England’, Journal of British Studies, 41 (2002), 403–28; Bernard Capp, ‘Life, Love and Litigation: Sileby in the 1630s’, P&P, 182 (2004), 55–83.
Accounting for Oneself: Worth, Status, and the Social Order in Early Modern England by Alexandra Shepard