Thesis: David Michael Riley, ‘Families and their property in early modern England: a study of four communities on the Yorkshire Ouse, 1660-1760 (1990)

Riley’s thesis focuses upon four parishes, Cawood, Riccall, Selby and Wistow during the period 1660-1760. His second chapter includes an interesting section on the river trade and its crucial role in the pre-industrial economy. (pp.79-86)

The Ouse, he highlights, was a vital artery which allowed for the transportation of commodities such as coal and grain across Yorkshire. In 1732 the river Ouse produced approx £600 in tolls, which would mean it saw the passage of 20,000 tons of cargo. The main ports on the Ouse in this period were York and Selby, with smaller ports at Cawood, Boroughbridge, Tadcaster, Snaith and Howden also playing a role in this river trade. Selby especially benefited from the boom of the cloth industry in Yorkshire. We do however see a decline in this trade following the construction of the Aire and Calder Navigation in 1698, which gave a more direct link to the Humber.

For more information please read, David Michael Riley’s “Families and their property in early modern England: a study of four communities on the Yorkshire Ouse, 1660-1760” (1990) available in the National Railway Museum Library as an ebook.

Access status
National Railway Museum Library
Thesis, 268 pages.
  • Decade