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Parliamentary enclosure, vermin and the cultural life of English parishes, 1750-1850

Cragoe, Matthew; McDonagh, Briony


Matthew Cragoe

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Professor Briony McDonagh
Interim Director of the Energy and Environment Institute & Professor of Environmental Humanities


This article explores the impact of parliamentary enclosure on the cultural life of English villages after 1750. It focuses on parish-sponsored vermin control, arguing that the popular 'hunting' sanctioned by parish vestries under Tudor legislation, and persisting into the early nineteenth century, created a highly participatory recreational culture which continued to exist under the radar of the game laws. Using a sample of parishes from the heavily enclosed county of Northamptonshire, the article demonstrates that this communal activity survived the reworking of the landscape by parliamentary enclosure, and that, by extension, the level of disruption to village cultural life was less than has been suggested. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2013.


Cragoe, M., & McDonagh, B. (2013). Parliamentary enclosure, vermin and the cultural life of English parishes, 1750-1850. Continuity and Change, 28(1), 27-50.

Journal Article Type Review
Online Publication Date Apr 23, 2013
Publication Date May 1, 2013
Deposit Date Oct 6, 2020
Journal Continuity and Change
Print ISSN 0268-4160
Electronic ISSN 1469-218X
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 28
Issue 1
Pages 27-50
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