landholdings like the Bishops or smaller
holdings like the Bealds, to the Stoperfield/Stubberfields
holding only one tenement.
The final chapter on ‘Hadlow in a Wealden Context’
acts as a comprehensive conclusion with the admirable objective
of alerting ‘those who study other Wealden parishes to
identify more evidence, which may strengthen some of the
observations made ... about Hadlow’. The authors also take the
opportunity of commenting briefly on the changes between the
date of the original Survey in 1460 and the 1581-3 copy.
The publication of e-books does raise many
questions for historians – both readers and authors – and
some potential problems, but the accessibility of such a
valuable and well-produced work, which uses the tools of the
technology so effectively and will be regularly updated, can
only be welcomed. And there is the promise of a printed book for
those who cannot access the web pages.
Trade and Economic Developments, 1450-1550.
The Experience of Kent, Surrey and Sussex. By Mavis E. Mate.
261 pp. 9 tables, 2 maps. Boydell Press, 2006. Hardback £50.
ISBN 1 184383 1899.
There is such a wealth of detail in this very
traditional economic and social history that the reader is
almost overwhelmed. As the culmination of Professor Mate’s
work on late medieval South-east England, it is a tour de force
which provides comprehensive evidence of the economic activities
of a region which comprises so many different sub-regions. The
period covered, 1450-1550, has been carefully chosen to deal
with transitional change and expansion. By going beyond the
early Reformation period, Mate has been able to show the impact
of the changes in landholding alongside, and together with, the
ongoing economic change and developments. The hundred years
chosen consolidates the recovery from the Black Death and the
final stages of the feudal system and sees the introduction of
new products and the import of new skills. Mate dwells much on
the importance of the transition from ale to beer-brewing,
setting the foundations for the later large scale industry. The
conclusions at the end of each chapter are very brief summaries
and don’t do full justice to the preceding nuanced sections.
They thus leave much work for the reader to do, which makes this
an excellent textbook for the diligent student!
The early chapters provide useful basic background
and two very clear maps on the towns and markets in the
South-east, including those that are identified as ‘straddlers’,
small markets like Warehorne in Kent, which persisted into the
sixteenth century without developing any ‘occupational
diversity’. Right from the start Mate acknowledges that the