Essex Records Office to present lecture on William Barnard
History / Wed 9th Nov 2022 pm30 03:35pm
WILLIAM Barnard (1775-1852) farmed in Harlow for over 50 years from 1798. The first few years of his farming life coincided with a period of intense pressure on agriculture as a series of poor harvest and war with France created turmoil in the home market. Food prices rose alarmingly and there was trouble throughout the country because people couldn’t afford the high costs of feeding themselves.
It was also a period of agricultural expansion and experimentation as farmers responded to higher prices by increasing the area of land under cultivation along with trying new crops and agricultural techniques.
This has been considered an era of ‘Agricultural Revolution’, one of several suggested by historians. Fortunately for us William Barnard recorded the events he lived through in a diary that survives at ERO for the years 1807-23. Join us to share in the ups and downs of William Barnard’s farming life as he did battle with the elements, the land and the economy.
Neil Wiffen has worked at ERO since 2000. He has long been interested in the agricultural history of the county which he puts down to coming from a long line of agricultural labourers in the Halstead area. He is currently undertaking a PhD at the University of East Anglia looking at agriculture during the Napoleonic War and is using William Barnard’s incredible interesting diary within his research.
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