New research examines seventeenth century Le Strange family

Next month, University of Hertfordshire Press will mark the publication of Managing for Posterity: The Norfolk Gentry and their Estates c.1450–1700 with a special launch event at Thoresby College, King's Lynn. The book explores the innovations of the Le Strange family in the seventeenth century that enabled them to sustain ownership of their estate during a period of change that saw other gentry families fall into decline.

Elizabeth Griffiths, honorary research fellow at the University of Exeter, sadly passed away in April 2020 while this volume was in preparation. It has been compiled and edited by her friend and research collaborator Jane Whittle, Professor of Economic and Social History at the University of Exeter.

The launch will be comprised of a talk by Professor Whittle and a Q&A. Refreshments will be served. This is a free event, but booking is essential as places are limited. Please visit for more information.

More about the book

The Le Stranges are the longest surviving gentry family in Norfolk. They have held land at Hunstanton since the early twelfth century and lived there as resident lords since 1310.  Give or take a property or two, the family still own the estate they held in 1600.

This longevity and association with a single estate is extremely rare amongst gentry families, and even for the Le Stranges it was not plain sailing. Steady progress in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries blossomed in the first half of the sixteenth century, but by 1604, the future hung by a thread, as Sir Hamon Le Strange inherited a much depleted and heavily encumbered estate. Despite this, within a generation, Hamon and his wife Alice had restored the fortunes of the family through the careful and innovative management of their estates.