Domeinen in beweging: Samenleving, bezit en exploitatie in het West-Utrechtse landschap tot in de Nieuwe Tijd

Jan Huiting

    Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)

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    Jan Huiting's thesis "Manors in motion" provides a fascinating overview of the history of the West Utrecht countryside in the Middle Ages in almost 700 pages. A large amount of new source material forms the basis of this extensive study into society, property and exploitation until the New Age. Soil, relief, vegetation and toponymy are linked to settlement patterns to lay a foundation under the following chapters. Much use was made of archaeological finds and phytosociology (the science of plant communities).

    Social property structures are analysed from the time of the occupation of the land, making it clear that the noblemen held and maintained a very strong position. Peasant ownership was rare. The emergence of ecclesiastical institutions increasingly brought land into the hands of chapters and monasteries. Several ‘curtes’ and traces of manorial organisation showed the Frankish origin of the bishopric of Utrecht. Cartographic reconstructions visualized the size of these manors. Growth in the countryside as well as in the dominant city of Utrecht lasted for centuries. However, a declining population from the late fourteenth century heralded a protracted crisis that lasted a century. Due to a low population density, there were few farmers and on average the farms were quite large, although they mainly consisted of leased land.

    The rhythm of expansion and contraction is sharply illustrated tithe and lease data from the period 1295-1740. With data on population, composition of households, prices, wages, capital interest and skill premium, an enormous amount of data has been processed into an integrated image of the rural economy, the nature and profitability of agriculture.
    Original languageDutch
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Groningen
    • Boer ,de, Dick, Supervisor
    • Spek, Theo, Supervisor
    • Renes, J, Supervisor, External person
    Award date17-Jun-2020
    Place of Publication[Groningen]
    Print ISBNs978-94-034-2433-0
    Electronic ISBNs978-94-034-2432-3
    Publication statusPublished - 2020

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