Farming and Society in North Lincolnshire

May 2018
21 black and white, 2 line illustrations
232 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Publications of the Lincoln Record Society: Occasional Series
ISBN: 9781910653050
Format: Hardback
Lincoln Record Society
BISAC HIS015000, HIS037030

Farming and Society in North Lincolnshire

The Dixons of Holton-le-Moor, 1741-1906

Richard Olney

Engaging account of the fortunes of a farming family during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
"Proputty, proputty, proputty": Tennyson's "Northern Farmer, New Style" could hear the word in the rhythm of his horse's hooves as he cantered between his fields. The Dixon family built up their estate in Holton-le-Moor, between Market Rasen and Caistor, from a minor purchase in 1741 to the point where they owned the whole parish, with a fine house, a governess for their daughters, and a phaeton in which to ride out. But despite these marks of status, they remained working farmers well into the Victorian era. Even more remarkably, they created and preserved a comprehensive archive, including farming accounts, diaries and correspondence. Dr Richard Olney has known this archive for nearly fifty years, first uncovering the documentary riches at Holton Hall (where manuscripts from the loft had to be lowered in baskets to the study below) and subsequently cataloguing the entire collection in the Lincolnshire Archives. In this book he creates a vivid portrait of the building up of a farming estate over several generations, revealing the introduction of agricultural improvements, the use of canals and, later, railways to access wider markets, and the place of "the middling sort" in nineteenth-century English rural society.

Richard Olney was an archivist at the Lincolnshire Archives Office from 1969 to 1975, and an Assistant Keeper with the Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts from 1976 to 2003. His publications include Lincolnshire Politics 1832-1885 (Oxford 1973) and Rural Society and County Government in Nineteenth-Century Lincolnshire (History of Lincolnshire Committee 1979).

Table of Contents

The Rural Context
The Grazier: William Dixon (1697-1781)
The Tenant Farmer: Thomas Dixon (1729-1798)
The Old-Style Farmer: William Dixon (1756-1824)
William Dixon (1756-1824) as Philosopher and Philanthropist
The Man of Business: Thomas John Dixon (1785-1871), the Early Years
The Man of Property: Thomas John Dixon, the Later Years
The Ladies of Holton 1871-1906
Farming and Landowning
Class and Community
Appendix 1: The Dixon Archive
Appendix 2: Genealogical tables
Principal Sources

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