chapter  11
26 Pages

THE HOM ES OF FAM IL Y NAM ES

One of the most deeply rooted and false ideas about English social history is that the majority of our population were rooted to the soil in one place until quite recent times. Those who have attempted to study the genealogy of a particular family, especially of the farming or labouring class, will know how false this notion is. It is rare to get a run of a hundred years in one parish for one family. There is good reason to believe that this mobility of both town and rural populations was marked as far back as the twelfth century. The numerous towns which grew up in that period must have recruited their early population largely from the surrounding countryside.