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Victorian farmers : On the social scale, the Victorian farmer was between the landowner, for the majority of farmers were tenants, and the labourer.

A Devon farmer on horseback
A Devon farmer, c.1900, poses for the camera.

The Victorian farmer presided over farming as it was going through a period of great change. Wooden implements gave way to ones made from iron, and mechanisation reduced the number of labourers the farmer need employ. Victorian farmers ranged from those enjoying life styles similar to their landlords to those earning a meagre living. The former operated more as a manager, whilst the latter would more often than not work side by side with his staff. The Victorian farmer was central to rural society. He paid rents to the landlord, paid tithes, employed many landless labourers and provided much custom for local tradesman and shopkeepers.

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Victorian farmers



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The Museum of English Rural Life, University of Reading, UK.
Email: merl@reading.ac.uk Telephone: 0118 378 8660