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Female Servants in Early Modern England

ISBN13: 9780197267585
Published: March 2024
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £108.00

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What was it like to be a woman in service in early modern England?

Drawing on evidence recorded in church court testimony, Mansell excavates experiences of over a thousand female servants between 1532 and 1649. Intervening in histories of labour, gender, freedom, law, migration, youth, and community, Female Servants in Early Modern England rethinks traditional scholarship of servant institution. De-coupling 'household' and 'service', it highlights the importance of female servants' labour to the wider economy and their key role in broader social networks and communities, despite their high mobility. Moving beyond regulatory codes of service prescribed by law and conduct literature, Mansell reveals the varied experiences of these women in service, both fluid and contingent: in early modern England, service (and the freedoms it allowed) was in flux.

Legal History

2:Church Courts and their People
3:Tracing Lives
4:Time for Service

5:On the Move
6:Navigating Service
7:Working Lives

8:The Home and Beyond
9:Neighbours and Networks
10:Remembering Service