Family strategies and relationships: the labouring poor of Derby and south Derbyshire, 1750-1834

Ann Minister

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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Abstract

[Truncated] This thesis, using the family as the point of reference, aims to explore the survival strategies used by the labouring poor in Derby and South Derbyshire. It further seeks to examine the relationship between family members. Many studies of poverty and welfare focus on impoverished rural areas, but this thesis focuses on an area of England which was considered to be at the forefront of industrial development in the period known as the Industrial Revolution. Derbyshire is not commonly the focus of studies of poverty, so researching the lives of the labouring poor in the south Derbyshire area adds to the body of knowledge produced by historians of poverty. This is a local study based on Derby and the three neighbouring rural south Derbyshire parishes of Melbourne, Repton and Ticknall in the period 1750-1834. A wide range of sources are used including settlement examinations, apprenticeship indentures, petty and quarter session records, marriage registers, census records, trade directories and other contemporary writing.
The thesis has three distinct parts. The first two chapters establish a sense of place and ask if a neighbourhood of common economy or culture can be identified. Chapter One uses contemporary writing to suggest that Derbyshire was not a united county in the period. An analysis of trade directories shows that the economy of the three rural parishes varied, despite the parishes lying in close proximity and in an area of similar topography. Chapter Two investigates marriage registers to establish the extent of social links in the parishes. It researches marriage distances and marriage seasonality. The results suggest that the River Trent was a barrier to marriage distances and that a marriage neighbourhood area can be mapped.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Publication statusUnpublished - 2012

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