The education and training of gentry sons in early-modern England
Patrick Wallis () and
Economic History Working Papers from London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History
This paper explores the education and training received by the sons of the English gentry in the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Using information from the herald’s visitations of four counties, it offers quantitative evidence of the proportion of gentry children who entered university, spent time at one of the inns of court or became apprentices in London. We show that over the period there was little change in the educational destinations of gentry sons: university and apprenticeship absorbed roughly equal proportions; the inns of court slightly less. We also show that a son’s position in the birth order had a very strong influence on the kind of education he received. Eldest sons were much more likely to go to university or one of the inns of court. Younger sons were much more likely to become apprentices in London – as we show, trade clearly was an acceptable career for the gentry. There is little sign of a change in the status of different educational choices in this period. Our findings confirm some traditional assumptions about the importance of birth order and normative expectations in determining the life-courses of gentry children in the seventeenth century: historians should not over-state the autonomy of elite children in deciding their futures.
JEL-codes: N0 I2 O52 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 29 pages
References: Add references at CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (7) Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/27958/ Open access version. (application/pdf)
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:ehl:wpaper:27958
Access Statistics for this paper
More papers in Economic History Working Papers from London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History LSE, Dept. of Economic History Houghton Street London, WC2A 2AE, U.K.. Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by LSERO Manager on behalf of EH Dept. ().