University of Cambridge > > Early Modern Economic and Social History Seminars > Paternalism and the politics of “toll corn” in early modern England

Paternalism and the politics of “toll corn” in early modern England

Add to your list(s) Download to your calendar using vCal

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Martin Andersson.

This paper examines controversies related to a neglected aspect of early modern English grain marketing: toll corn. Such disputes and the litigation that they occasioned provided opportunities for individuals of various positions — including grain sellers — to reassert normative ideals about the considerations that should take precedence in the market: specifically, the belief that the needs of the poor should outweigh the interests of private individuals (or corporate entities), and that authorities had a paternalistic duty to ensure that the poor’s needs were met. That these points were articulated in toll corn disputes throughout the period ­indicates their continued hold in some quarters, even after they had ceased to be reflected in ‘official’ policies regarding grain provision and marketing. However, controversies about toll corn also demonstrated the extent to which such thinking could ring hollow in practice. Individual authorities’ willingness to fulfil the material component of their duty to their inferiors was not accompanied by a mandate that they do so kindly. The politics of toll corn — like contemporary ideologies and practices of paternalism — both enabled and circumscribed the labouring population’s ability to shape the terms of their subordination in early modern England.

This talk is part of the Early Modern Economic and Social History Seminars series.

Tell a friend about this talk:

This talk is included in these lists:

Note that ex-directory lists are not shown.


© 2006-2024, University of Cambridge. Contact Us | Help and Documentation | Privacy and Publicity