cotton wool…

as in… I have a head stuffed with it. Or so it feels… as a result I’ve really struggled to get very much of Coward’s book done today. I did finish the Preface and got slightly less than halfway through the first part, so not too bad. But I’m not sure how much of it I’ve taken in.

One bit did make me laugh. The first part of Coward’s book is a sort of overview of the period 1603-1640, from social, economic, religious, political perspectives. In a section dealing with the straitigraphy of society, Coward notes that the peerage assessed their own incomes for tax purposes in this period, and landlords who weren’t peers, were assessed by their mates. As Del Boy would have put it: “Cushty!”. One example given was that of Sir Timothy Hutton of Marske. His real income was £1,077 in 1606, £1,095 in 1625, but between those two years he was assessed on an income of £20 per year and during that same time, his subsidiary period was just £64.¹

If you listen verrrry carefully you may just hear some city fat cats gnawing out their liver in jealousy… that thought alone makes me happy 🙂

On that note, I think I will call it a week. I did get other stuff done today – some job hunting, some emails, but nothing earthshaking. I will take the weekend off and focus on packing off this cold so that next week I can hit the books with renewed vigour… I hope!

[¹ J. T. Cliffe, Yorkshire Gentry from the Reformation to the Civil War (1969), pp. 139-40, in B. Coward, The Stuart Age, 1603-1714 (3rd edn, London, 2003), p. 50.]

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