North-Eastern England in the Eighteenth Century

Sir Lewis Namier shows how, through the growth of mining and the coal-trade, the social and economic character of North-Eastern England was entirely transformed.

Five great sources of wealth have gone to build up the English aristocracy and landed gentry: the earliest was agriculture; next, mines and metal, foremost coal and iron, copper, lead, and tin; third, in point of time, came urban rents; in certain periods, fortunes made in the King’s service or in the law; and in all periods, City fortunes and “City marriages.” If the History of Parliament based on its personnel, that is, on a highly representative cross-section of the “political nation,” succeeds in supplying data for even approximate outlines of that growth, we shall have written an important chapter of English social history. But prerequisite to such a survey are hundreds of well-documented monographs about individuals, families, or regions.

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