A short list of published works, likely to be useful background
reading for those interested in rural and agricultural history in
Kent particularly and in England generally.
Hastead's History & Topographical Survey of Kent (publ. 1790s
etc.- a contemporary multi-volumed work covering each parish in the
county of Kent's most well-known historian). Later editions of the
collection are available in most larger libraries in Kent and in
major Kentish record offices. Nature of the agriculture in most
parishes is described briefly.
F. W. Jessup: A History of Kent (Phillimore 1974, 1978 etc).
C. W. Chalklin: 17th Century Kent - A Social & Economic History
(Longmans, 1965, J Hallewell publns 1978)
E. Melling (ed.) The Poor Vol IV in Kent Sources series (KCC
E. Melling (ed.) Aspects of Agriculture & Industry. Vol III
in Kent Sources series (KCC, 1961)
M. Lawrence: The Encircling Hop- A History of Hops & Brewing
(SAWD publns, 1990)
R. Filmer: Hops & Hop Picking (Shire publns, 1982)
There are many others on the Kentish hop industry & hopping in Kent
generally, especially covering the 19th and early 20th century.
B. Keith-Lucas: Parish Affairs- the Government of Kent under
George III (Kent Co Libraries, 1986)
A. Darby - Journey through the Weald. (Robert Hale 1986)
M. Winstanley: Life in Kent at the Turn of the Century
(Dawson & son, Folkestone 1978)
R. K. I. Quested: The Isle of Thanet Farming Community- an
Agrarian History of easternmost Kent: outlines from early times to
1993. (Wye College Press, 1996) This work has since been updated
Hobsbawn & Rude: Captain Swing (Lawrence & Wishart 1969).
Reprinted more recently in paperback, and is probably still in
print. (Origins of the "Swing" Riots were in Kent).
The Kent Archives Service also sells its own info pack on the Swing
disturbances, available from CKS, CCA, EKAC etc and perhaps larger
B. Reay: The Last Rising of the Agricultural Labourers - Rural
Life & Protest in 19th Century England (Clarendon Press, Oxford
1990). Despite its title, this book is primarily about the "Sir
William Courtney affair" of 1838 and is the best & most scholarly
offering on the so-called "Battle of Bossenden Wood", including
research on some of the families involved in the rural areas between
Canterbury & Faversham and the conditions in which they lived.
Howitt: Rural Life in England (London 1838, Irish Univ press
A. Armstrong: Farmworker - A Social & Economic History,
1770-1980 (Batsford 1988)
J & B Hammond: The Village Labourer (Longmans 1911).
Continually reprinted, probably still in print in paperback Contains
large section on the "Swing" disturbances of 1830. Authors were
G & K Fussell: The English Countryman-His Life & Work from Tudor
Times to the Victorian Age. (1955, Orbis 1981).
J. Clarke: The Price of Progress- Cobbett's England 1780-1835
Chambers & Mingay: The Agricultural Revolution 1750-1880 (Batsford
1966, etc etc).
W. Cobbett: Rural Rides (1830 Penguin paperbacks etc., always
in print). Includes Kentish part of his travels.
W. Cobbett: The English Gardener (1829. OUP 1980). Probably
still in print.
F. Huggett: A Day in the Life of a Victorian Farmworker (Allen & Unwin 1972, several reprints). Unwin's Victorian Day
series. Basic reconstruction of a farmworker's day, originally
intended for schools and local history students but a very good
introduction & a popular publication.
R. Jeffries: Landscape & Labour (Moonraker 1979)
R. Jeffries: The Toilers of the Field ( Longmans 1892, Future
1981). Jeffries' work tends to remain in print. Most books by him
appear to be compilations of individual essays he published in late
Victorian times about contemporary rural life as he saw it.
Compelling descriptions from first hand knowledge. Mostly involving
Sussex and further west.