Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Nineteenth century farm women in Northumberland and Cumbria : the neglected workforce
Author: Gielgud, Judy
ISNI:       0000 0001 3498 0068
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 1992
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
This thesis addresses a major omission in the history of agriculture. It is concerned with the contribution made by women to the enterprise of farming during the nineteenth century, in their varied capacities as farm servants, day labourers, bondagers, farmers' wives and daughters, and as women farmers in their own right. The three counties of Northumberland, Westmorland and Cumberland have been chosen partly because comparatively little modern research has focused on this part of the north of England. Information about farming methods and studies of particular areas or estates are, with few exceptions, located south of Lincolnshire. Choosing these more northern counties has therefore given the opportunity for original research to redress the existing Imbalance of information presently available. Additionally, the area, although mainly one of upland farming, also has the advantage of the usual east-west arable-pasture divide, showing women's versatility in day-labour work, dairy-work and stockrearing and fattening. There is also the contrast of extensive farms and smaller, family holdings, where women's unpaid labour as wife or daughter was essential to the viability of the enterprise. This diversity permits investigation into most of the agricultural tasks undertaken by women throughout the whole country. The variety of work done by women is explored in detail, and reevaluated, supported by Day Labour Records and the reports of contemporary commentators, and further interpreted by the use of specially recorded oral sources. The generally accepted decline of women's agricultural work throughout the century is challenged and evidence brought forward to support the view that it continued to be vital into the twentieth century. The marginalisation of their work is analysed and a theory advanced for their historically lower earnings and the continuing invisibility of their work in the eyes of so many agrarian historians. The major source of information on the work of women in agriculture, the two Government Enquiries in 1843 and 1867-8 is critically examined and some of the findings questioned. My argument throughout is that the contribution of women to the agrarian economy has been seriously undervalued, to the detriment of history as a record of the past.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available