Lead, land and coal as sources of landlord income in Northumberland between 1700 and 1850
In view of the political importance and the economic position of the landlord in England during the 18th and 19th centuries it is perhaps surprising that his economic activities have till lately received little attention from 20th century economic historians. As a vehicle for politico-historical propaganda the history of the agricultural labourer offered more scope for those whose dogma already had damned the capitalist activities of the landlord. A lack of sympathy may account for a lack of interest but scarcely excuses it. In the last few years the work of such historians as Professors Habbakuk and Spring and Mr. F. M. L. Thompson have changed the position radically, but there is still no published work of analysis of the central problem of their income-rents. Coal interests may have been important for the Lambtons or the Londonderrys, but agricultural rents for the majority remained the principal source and no detailed information of changes in this between 1700 and 1850 has to my knowledge been published.