Managing for Posterity
The Norfolk Gentry and their Estates c.1450–1700
Author: Elizabeth Griffiths
About the book
Securing the long-term survival and status of the family has always been the principal concern of the English aristocracy and gentry. Central to that ambition has been the successful management of their landed estates, whilst failure in this regard could spell ruination for an entire family. In the sixteenth century, the task became more difficult as price inflation reduced the value of rents; improved management skills were called for. In Norfolk, estates began to change hands rapidly as the unaware or simply incompetent failed to grasp the issues, while the more astute and enterprising landowners capitalised on their neighbours' misfortunes.
When Sir Hamon Le Strange inherited his family's ancient estate at Hunstanton in 1604 it was much depleted and heavily encumbered. The outlook was bleak: such circumstances often led to the disappearance of families as landowners. However, within a generation, he and his remarkable wife Alice had modernised the estate and secured the family's future. After 700 years, the Le Stranges still survive and prosper on their estate at Hunstanton, making them the longest surviving gentry family in Norfolk.
ISBN: Format: Hardback, Published: Apr 2022
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