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Post-medieval colonisation in the forests of Bowland, Knaresborough and Pickering

Turner, Maurice


Maurice Turner


Bernard Jennings


Taken from preface: It is the intention of this thesis to examine late settlement on the wastes of former royal hunting forests in Yorkshire. Three forests only were selected for study in detail; those of Bowland, Knaresborough, and Pickering, but they were well spaced across the former county of Yorkshire with their extremities extending virtually from coast to coast. Although their origins were diverse, and they show considerable differences, they were chosen largely on account of their unifying characteristic - the fact that all became part eventually of the Duchy of Lancaster. This is of some importance since it conveys uniformity to a principal source of information - the lists of those fined at the forest courts for illegal encroachment on the forest wastes. It was, in fact, the principal means of colonisation in the 16th and 17th centuries, and the existence of many such lists at the Public Record Office - most particularly for the Forest of Knaresborough - constitutes a hitherto untapped source, for this Forest at least. It is clear that lists of names are of little use unless they can be related to particular places, and this information is never given explicitly. A large part of the research was therefore concerned with correlation of different sources with this end in view. In the process, it was discovered that other civil sources, too, were capable of revealing more about the geographical location of individuals than they are normally given credit for, particularly when used in conjunction with parish registers by utilising the technique of family reconstitution.


Turner, M. (1987). Post-medieval colonisation in the forests of Bowland, Knaresborough and Pickering. (Thesis). University of Hull. Retrieved from

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Aug 5, 2011
Publicly Available Date Feb 22, 2023
Keywords History; Demography
Public URL
Additional Information Department of Adult Education, The University of Hull
Award Date Oct 1, 1987


Thesis (16.9 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© 1987 Turner, Maurice. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

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