'Some 19th Century Berkshire Squires - A County History'


'Some 19th Century Berkshire Squires'

          Within this book :-

"Merchants are commonly ambitious of becoming gentlemen"   Adam Smith

The large country estates were the social basis of much of rural west Berkshire from the mid-18th Century until the outbreak of the Second World War.

The estate owners, the squires, whether their acres had been inherited or more recently purchased, administered local justice, raised the militia, provided employment with the associated 'tied' cottage and endowed the local community with schools, village halls, a water supply and additionally met the spiritual needs of villagers by the restoration and building of churches.

The book presents a portrait of the Squires and their families together with a survey of 19th Century Berkshire.  The latter includes a view of rural labour, trades and crafts, domestic service, medical services, the workhouse, the game laws, law and order plus other aspects of social life including cricket, Coronations, Jubilees, 'Harvest Home', the changing modes of transport and a chapter on village schools.  Events include the 'Swing' Riots of 1830, the Great Reform Bill of 1832, Berkshire parliamentary elections, the Anti-Corn Law League and a dual in Battersea Park.

"Pupils absent for three weeks were to be struck from the register and all were expected to attend Sunday School and Church" - Welford and Wickham School Rules (1854).

"On Monday last (15th November 1830) the labourers of Thatcham parish began to assemble at an early hour for the purpose of inducing their employers to raise their wages".

"This is to GIVE NOTICE that SPRING GUNS will BE SET NIGHTLY.  All persons are therefore cautioned not to trespass in said wood........"   William Mount, Wasing Place.

It contains 168 pages plus over 20 photographs and illustrations................Available through John Trigg or the Woolhampton Village Shop.

click here to see some examples

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