Article 1120

Title of the article



Mitrofanov Vladimir Petrovich, Doctor of historical sciences, professor, sub-department of general history and social sciences, Penza State University (40, Krasnaya street, Penza, Russia), E-mail: 

Index UDK

942.055; 316.485.2; 81.2 




Background. The research topic is relevant due to the fact that in Russian historiography until now has not conducted an analysis of the dynamics of agrarian legislation in England of the Tudor era (1485–1603). A special study of this legislation will make it possible to better understand the mechanisms of the economic and social policy of the absolute monarchy in the era of the decay of feudalism and the genesis of capitalism. The purpose of the work is based on the results of a study of domestic and English historians of agrarian legislation of the early Tudors to trace the further development of agrarian legislation in the middle and second half of the XVI century.
Materials and methods. When fulfilling the tasks in the context of the dialectical method of cognition, using analysis and synthesis, a study was carried out of the content of parliamentary statutes in relation to enclosures, royal proclamations and other sources, as well as special literature of domestic and English-speaking authors. This approach allowed us to trace the dynamics of the agrarian legislation of the English monarchs of the Tudor dynasty.
Results. The content of parliamentary statutes and royal proclamations on containment of enclosures was investigated, which allowed to determine both the reasons for their substantial changes and the changes themselves, as well as to determine their social consequences for the English village of the early Modern period.
Conclusions. Parliamentary statutes, royal proclamations regarding enclosures were generally aimed at restricting landlords from the conversion of arable land to peasants with their subsequent eviction. They contained provisions prescribing the conversion of pastures to arable land, limiting the size of manorial housekeeping, farms, the number of sheep, etc. The latest Elizabethan agrarian laws were more detailed, including a number of new points that reflected the agrarian realities in the country. The cabinet of Elizabeth I Tudor begins to realize the need for economic methods of regulating the enclosure process, but also the need to preserve and develop sheep husbandry. This determined the preservation of loopholes in the laws for fencers. It was this, and not only their poor performance by local officials, as was previously believed, that caused the process of enclosing peasant lands with the evacuation of the peasants themselves, to continue. At the same time, agricultural legislation restrained the pace of this process. It encouraged landlords more often to resort to legal methods of evicting peasants, in particular, by increasing fain, as well as conclude fencing agreements with their peasants. All these factors contributed to the transition from a system of open fields to a separate system of husbandry parts’ the peasantry and the creation of economic conditions for the spread of farming, and hence the transition to capitalist methods of management. 

Key words

Tudors, statutes, proclamations, enclosures, peasants, landlords, arable land, pastures 


 Download PDF


1. Statutes of The Realm of England: in 10 vol. Ed. by A. Luders, T. E. Tomplins. London, 1818, vol. III, 1032 p.
2. Statutes of The Realm of England: in 10 vol. Ed. by A. Luders, T. E. Tomplins. London, 1819, vol. IV, 1275 p.
3. Tudor Royal Proclamations: in 2 vol. Ed. by P. L. Hughes, J. F. Larkin. New-Haven; London: Yale University Press, 1964, vol. I, 642 p.
4. Mitrofanov V. P. Krest'yane i gosudarstvo v Anglii. 1550–1640 gg.: dis. d-ra ist. nauk [Peasants and the state in England. 1550–1640: dissertation to apply for the degree of the doctor of historical sciences]. Penza, 2001, 392 p. [In Russian]
5. Calendar of the proceedings in Chancery, in the Reigns of Queen Elizabeth: in 3 vol. London, 1830, vol. II, 527 p.
6. Overton M. Explorations in Historical Geography. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984, pp. 118–139.
7. Overton M. Agricultural Revolution in England: The Transformation of The Agrarian Economy, 1500–1850. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996, 257 p.
8. Thirsk J. The Agrarian History of England and Wales: in 6 vol. Vol. IV. 1500–1640. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1967, pp. 200–255.
9. Tawney R. H. Agrarian Problem in the 16-th Century. London; New York: Longmans, Green and Co, 1913, 438 p.
10. Mitrofanov V. P. Istoriya. Obshchestvo. Politika [History. Society. Policy]. 2017, no. 1 (1), pp. 198–207. [In Russian]
11. Mitrofanov V. P. Izvestiya Samarskogo nauchnogo tsentra RAN [Proceedings of the Samara Scientific Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences]. 2009, vol. 11, no. 6, pp. 213–215. [In Russian]
12. Mitrofanov V. P. Krest'yane i gosudarstvo v Anglii (1550–1640 gg.). Sotsial'no-ekonomicheskaya istoriya, agrarnaya politika Tyudorov i Styuartov [Peasants and the state in England (1550–1640). Social and economic history, agrarian policy of the Tudors and Stuarts]. Saarbrucken: Lambert Academic Publishing, 2011, 368 p. [In Russian]
13. Semenov V. F. Ogorazhivaniya i krest'yanskie dvizheniya v Anglii XVI veka [Enclosures and peasant movements in England of XVI century]. Moscow; Leningrad: AN SSSR, 1949, 372 p. [In Russian]
14. Savin A. N. Angliyskaya sekulyarizatsiya [English secularization]. Moscow: Kushnerev i Ko, 1906, 489 p. [In Russian]
15. Calendar of the proceedings in Chancery, in the Reigns of Queen Elizabeth: in 3 vol. London, 1827, vol. I, 565 p.
16. Calendar of the proceedings in Chancery, in the Reigns of Queen Elizabeth: in 3 vol. London, 1832, vol. III, 398 p.
17. Kerridge E. Agrarian Problems In The Sixteenth Century and After. London: Allen and Unwin, 1969, 216 p.
18. Gras N. S. The Evolution of English Corn Market. From The 12-th to 18-th centuries. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1915, 498 p.
19. Mitrofanov V. P. Novaya i noveyshaya istoriya [Modern and contemporary history]. 2014, no. 6, pp. 32–44. [In Russian]
20. D’Ewes. A Compleat Journal of The Votes, Speeches and Debates, Both of The House of Lords and House of Commons Throughout The Whole Reign of Queen Elizabeth, of glorious memory. London, 1693, 689 p.
21. Great Britain. Privy Council. Acts of The Privy Council of England: in 32 vol. Ed. by J. R. Dasent. London: H. M. Stationery Office, 1904, vol. XXVIII, 708 p.
22. Vinokurova M. V. Mir angliyskogo manora (po zemel'nym opisyam Lankashira i Uiltshira toroy poloviny XVI – nachala XVII veka) [The world of the English manor (according to the land records of Lancashire and Wiltshire of the second half of the XVI – the beginning of the XVII century)]. Moscow: Nauka, 2004, 493 p. [In Russian] 


Дата создания: 26.05.2020 12:03
Дата обновления: 26.05.2020 19:34