Thomas Hardy and farm turnover in the 1830s

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Joined: 28 Oct 2017, 12:33

Thomas Hardy and farm turnover in the 1830s

Post by christophern » 26 Jan 2018, 08:39

Hi. I'm helping an academic friend who is currently editing a collection of Thomas Hardy's 'Wessex Tales'. In the short story, 'Interlopers At the Knap', Hardy writes of one character: 'He was a large farmer. His turnover, as it is called, was probably thirty thousand pounds a year.'

The story is set in Dorset in the 1830s. Hardy does not give the acreage of the farm, but he writes that the farmer 'had a great many draught cows, a great many milch cows, and of sheep a multitude.' Even so, £30,000 a year seems to me a very high figure; it approximates to £800,000 in today's values.

Is this a plausible figure? Would anyone know if information exists on the turnover of farms (either farms in general or farms in particular) in Dorset in the 1830s?

Thank you!


Alan Wadsworth
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Joined: 26 Jun 2017, 11:04

Re: Thomas Hardy and farm turnover in the 1830s

Post by Alan Wadsworth » 26 Jan 2018, 21:34


have you tried searching for farm diaries or farm accounts in Dorset, either at



Dorset Record Office

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