Spies, debt and the well-spent penny: accounting and the Lisle agricultural estates 1533–1540

Frances Miley, Andrew READ

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    5 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The Lisle family was one of the wealthiest families in England during the early Tudor period. Its wealth came primarily from agricultural estates. This research examines the family’s accounting during the period 1533–1540. We examine the family’s use of correspondence to an extensive network of spies, called privy friends, to secure allegiances, obtain information and help the family increase its agricultural landholdings. We also examine the use of correspondence to facilitate cash flow through strategies to manage indebtedness. While the family’s agricultural holdings ensured its continuing wealth, the management of indebtedness, gifts and payments to privy friends were important for wealth accumulation. The strategies used by the Lisle family were responses to a turbulent, uncertain and ever-shifting political environment. We conclude that Tudor manorial estate accounting systems included both financial accounts and correspondence and that both must be considered when analysing the role of accounting information in single-entry accounting systems.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)83-105
    Number of pages23
    JournalAccounting History Review
    Volume26
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2016

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    Spies
    Estate
    Debt
    Wealth
    Indebtedness
    Accounting systems
    England
    Allegiance
    Gift
    Landholding
    Holdings
    Wealth accumulation
    Cash flow
    Payment
    Political environment
    Accounting information

    Cite this

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    abstract = "The Lisle family was one of the wealthiest families in England during the early Tudor period. Its wealth came primarily from agricultural estates. This research examines the family’s accounting during the period 1533–1540. We examine the family’s use of correspondence to an extensive network of spies, called privy friends, to secure allegiances, obtain information and help the family increase its agricultural landholdings. We also examine the use of correspondence to facilitate cash flow through strategies to manage indebtedness. While the family’s agricultural holdings ensured its continuing wealth, the management of indebtedness, gifts and payments to privy friends were important for wealth accumulation. The strategies used by the Lisle family were responses to a turbulent, uncertain and ever-shifting political environment. We conclude that Tudor manorial estate accounting systems included both financial accounts and correspondence and that both must be considered when analysing the role of accounting information in single-entry accounting systems.",
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    Spies, debt and the well-spent penny: accounting and the Lisle agricultural estates 1533–1540. / Miley, Frances; READ, Andrew.

    In: Accounting History Review, Vol. 26, No. 2, 2016, p. 83-105.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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    AU - READ, Andrew

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    AB - The Lisle family was one of the wealthiest families in England during the early Tudor period. Its wealth came primarily from agricultural estates. This research examines the family’s accounting during the period 1533–1540. We examine the family’s use of correspondence to an extensive network of spies, called privy friends, to secure allegiances, obtain information and help the family increase its agricultural landholdings. We also examine the use of correspondence to facilitate cash flow through strategies to manage indebtedness. While the family’s agricultural holdings ensured its continuing wealth, the management of indebtedness, gifts and payments to privy friends were important for wealth accumulation. The strategies used by the Lisle family were responses to a turbulent, uncertain and ever-shifting political environment. We conclude that Tudor manorial estate accounting systems included both financial accounts and correspondence and that both must be considered when analysing the role of accounting information in single-entry accounting systems.

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