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Industrialisation and identity in Shropshire: the Brookes of Madeley, 1544-1646

Belford, Paul (2015) Industrialisation and identity in Shropshire: the Brookes of Madeley, 1544-1646. PhD thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

The nature and extent of industrialisation in the Ironbridge Gorge during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries is investigated. Three generations of the Brooke family made changes to the landscape, buildings, and industrial infrastructure of the Manor of Madeley in the period between the dissolution of the monasteries and the English Civil War. The Brookes developed coal mining, ironworking and steelmaking on their estate, and further afield; they introduced innovative technology and eventually operated one of the largest ironmaking concerns in the country. The wealth they created enabled the development of their country house and associated designed landscapes. The Brooke family were Catholics, and at times actively resistant to the Protestant hegemony. This thesis examines the role that their Catholicism played in informing the actions that they undertook, and the extent to which it was part of their social and cultural identity. The material evidence of the landscape and buildings, the archaeology of the industrial installations, and the documentary evidence for their social, political and religious networks are examined. The ways in which the three generations negotiated the complexities of a rapidly-changing society suggests that identities were nuanced and shifting: variously and simultaneously the Brookes were gentry, industrialists, Catholics, courtiers and political actors. Some aspects of these identities are reflected in the archaeological record, but many are not; an interdisciplinary approach is therefore adopted to enable some of the more intangible aspects of the Brookes’ identity to be revealed.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of York > Archaeology (York)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.680626
Depositing User: Mr Paul Belford
Date Deposited: 29 Feb 2016 11:59
Last Modified: 24 Jul 2018 15:21
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/12011

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