Sussex country gentry in the reign of Elizabeth
This thesis is a study of some of the social, economic and political conditions of a number of gentry families of Elizabethan Sussex. The families selected for investigation were those which were represented among the holders of important official positions in the county during the reign, i.e. among the Lord or Deputy Lieutenants, the sheriffs, the county members of Parliament for Sussex and the J.P's. In addition, each family selected had to have had a representative living in 1580 and then resident primarily in Sussex. An enquiry was made as to how long the selected families had resided in Sussex, as to where the newcomers had arrived from and what brought them thither; also as to whether or not there were any tendency for important county positions to be monopolised by the long-established families. An examination was also made as to whereabouts the selected families resided and how office-holders at any given time were distributed over the county. The composition and size of the families were discussed and questions raised as to how many Of their members remained single, how many married persons residing mainly in the same county and belonging to the same group of administrative County families, and how many went farther afield or married into different social levels. The relative proportion of gentry during two generations who attended places of higher education was considered and some attempt made to discover how many obtained degrees or were called to the Bar. A survey of the relative economic position of the families was constructed and this was compared with an analysis of the occupations of heads of families in 1580. Finally, the chief political developments in Sussex during the reign, and the part played in them by the selected families were described.