Skip to main content

Domestic production and consumption in English pauper households, 1670–1840*

Buy Article:

$40.00 + tax (Refund Policy)

This article uses over 450 pauper inventories from Essex and Norfolk to examine domestic production and consumption in the homes of paupers. It finds that as the dependent poor obtained more consumer goods from the 1770s, their households became diverse spaces that contained a wide range of small-scale domestic industries such as baking, farming, and spinning. This evidence suggests that there are limits to Jan de Vries' 'industrious revolution' theory, which claims that households specialized and moved away from modest domestic ventures to acquire new consumer goods over the eighteenth century. Pauper inventories indicate that it was only from the early nineteenth century, when numerous consumer goods had already entered the homes of the poor, that domestic production became less prevalent in pauper homes. In doing this, the study also has important implications on other influential historiographical debates, such as the demise of the old poor law, the role of consumer demand, standards of living, and women and children's work.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2021

More about this publication?
  • Agricultural History Review is the leading journal for the publication of original research in all aspects of agricultural and rural history. First published in 1953, the Review reflects the diversity of approaches which are possible in rural history. Its editors welcome submissions in any aspect of the history of agriculture, rural society and rural economy over the past millennium. Whilst it is not concerned with current policy debates, it is interested in considering discussions of the historical dimensions of current problems in rural society and food supply. The Review is especially strong in British rural history, but actively seeks submissions in European and American rural history and has no bar on submissions concerning the remainder of the world. It is also the journal of record for book reviews in the discipline.

    Agricultural History Review has an international editorial board. The current editors are Professor P. S. Warde, University of Cambridge, UK, who is responsible for articles, and Dr J. E. Morgan, University of Bristol, UK, who serves as editor for book reviews. The Review is fully peer-refereed.

    Agricultural History Review is published by the British Agricultural History Society from whom personal subscriptions may be obtained.
  • Information for Authors
  • Submit a Paper
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Membership Information
  • Information for Advertisers
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content