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Agricultural depression in England, 1873-96: skills transfer and the 'Redeeming Scots'

British Agricultural History Society
Publication Date
  • Da Great Britain
  • Hc Economic History And Conditions
  • S Agriculture (General)
  • Agricultural Science


This article considers whether the migration of Scottish farmers to East Anglia constitutes evidence that English agriculture failed to respond effectively to changed market conditions in the later nineteenth century. In received accounts of the agricultural depression, enlightened, adaptable, and hard-working Scottish farmers are contrasted with local agriculturalists who, until the Scots demonstrated that survival lay in producing milk for London, were allegedly reluctant to abandon cereal growing. Using detailed evidence from 39 Essex parishes, the magnitude and timing of farmer-migration, and the transfer of skills, are examined in the context of claims that English agriculture 'failed'.

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