The agrarian economy of Romney Marsh and its hinterland, with special reference to the Knatchbull estate, c. 1730-90

Davison, A. (2011) The agrarian economy of Romney Marsh and its hinterland, with special reference to the Knatchbull estate, c. 1730-90. Ph.D. thesis, Canterbury Christ Church University.


Download (12MB)


This study explores the agrarian economy of Romney Marsh and its hinterland, c. 1730-90. It
offers a fresh contribution to current knowledge in respect of landlord-tenant relations,
landholding structures and farming practice. Some 60 years are covered, framed within a wider
context embracing two distinct and contrasting economic phases that characterized the long
eighteenth century.

Special reference to the Knatchbull family affords in-depth insight into an eighteenth century
Kentish landed estate, whose interests lay on the marsh and its hinterland. There is an appraisal of
the character and values of Sir Wyndham Knatchbull in his official and unofficial roles at the
head of the community. Aspects of the Home Farm economy of Mersham Hatch are explored.
Particular attention is paid to landlord-tenant relations, and the multi-dimensional nature of
negotiations for substantial holdings on Walland Marsh. The impact of a windfall inheritance is
seen when, from 1763, the seventh baronet succeeded to the estate.

Using early Land Tax evidence for the region, there is a comprehensive analysis of
landownership and land occupation structures, c. 1746-90. An unusually large area is covered, for
an exceptionally early period, adding substantially to current knowledge. Marsh tax evidence
discloses landownership and land occupation structures on Walland/Denge, 1738-91. Used in
tandem with the tax listings, the wider interests of ‘dual-regional’ farmers are more fully
appreciated, and for whom knowledge has hitherto been confined to their operations on the
marsh. These findings, together with the investigation of previously unexplored aspects of
farming practice, offer fresh insight into the symbiotic relationship between the marsh and its

The influence of ties of social obligation and market-led considerations on landlord-tenant
relations are recurring themes. On the marsh, tenant initiative and market demand are seen as the
main driving forces that re-shaped patterns of landholding over the period.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain > DA0020 England > DA0670 Local history and description > DA0690 Other cities, towns, etc. A-Z > DA0690.R76 Romney Marsh
Divisions: pre Nov-2014 > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > History and American Studies
Depositing User: Mr Andrew Hudson
Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2013 16:18
Last Modified: 28 Sep 2016 12:50

Actions (login required)

Update Item (CReaTE staff only) Update Item (CReaTE staff only)


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics


Connect with us

Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00