DescriptionConference talk: "Valuing Land and its Produce in Early Modern Scotland"
This paper constructs a framework for how values were attached to all types of agricultural produce and other use-values from agricultural land in Scotland in the period c.1500-1750. It first outlines the different types of people involved: farmer, farm worker, landlord, merchant, miller, tax collector, etc. It then takes each product-type in turn, and asks: what was its valuation process, and how far was this commercial? Agricultural products were valued at different stages: standing crops, grain after harvesting and after milling, dairy products, animal carcases, etc. Other types of product and use-value from land are discussed, as are valuations of farmers’ capital – livestock, tools, etc – and landlords’ capital – buildings, dykes, etc. Rents are disaggregated into their incommensurable components – mainly money, produce and unpaid labour services. Teinds (tithes) resembled a second take of rent, but were formally a tax. Many of these values, especially earlier in the period, were set by custom or regulatory bodies, not markets. And many items were consumed directly, or shared or bartered, rather than being formally valued. The resulting framework should be important for understanding and contextualising agricultural productivity. It also makes a small contribution to some big debates on the nature of market systems.
|Period||10 Sep 2019 → 13 Sep 2019|
|Degree of Recognition||International|