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Glassworks, Paper Mills and Fish Ponds
Sources of Income for the Lords of the Manor
1500–1648

At the end of the Middle Ages the prices of agricultural produce began to fall, and the feudal rents collected by the lords of the manor in the form of revenue for services provided and taxes paid by the peasantry fell with them. In order to maintain their incomes or to increase them again they began from the fifteenth century to get increasingly involved in providing produce for their local and regional markets. In addition to selling agricultural produce, the lords of the manor derived their income from newly established business enterprises, for which they drew increasingly on the services of their ‘subjects’. Important types of such productive enterprises included cattle and fish farming, breweries and taverns as well as paper mills, glassworks and sawmills.

 

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