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Title: The relationship between land ownership and the commercialisation of agriculture in Angus, 1740-1820
Author: Blair-Imrie, Hew
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2001
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This thesis is concerned with the Scottish landowners' influence on the development of commercial agriculture. It examines the transformation of a traditional and essentially feudal agricultural society to one in which commercial agricultural interests dominate. The thesis focuses on the county of Forfarshire (now Angus) in Scotland, between the years 1750 - 1815. The author challenges the orthodoxy of a landlord-led revolution in agricultural improvement by establishing the vital role of the tenant farmer. The societal changes associated with the eighteenth-century agricultural revolution, it is argued, were derived as much from tenants responding to new agricultural markets as from the consequences of estate planning dictated by their landlords. The work draws heavily on analysis of evidence from the Forfarshire Sheriff Court records and Court of Session papers in a deliberate departure from traditional historiography derived predominantly from the study of landlord and estate papers. The thesis examines the changes in rural society through the conflicts that resulted from the evolution of the feudal, community based farmtoun of traditional agriculture to the commercially based, single-tenanted agriculture of the 'improved' farm. The way in which landowners exercised power through the agricultural tack is examined through the changing relationship between landlord and tenant that was expressed (or implied) in the conditions imposed by farm tacks. The evolution of the fee contract in response to pressures arising from commercial agriculture will be discussed. Finally, the thesis explores the influence of emerging agricultural markets on the way in which tenants exploited the resources of their farms.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available