Adam Matthew Digital launches Early Modern England: Society, Culture and Everyday Life

14 May 2020

Published product

Adam Matthew Digital has today announced the publication of Early Modern England, a collection of primary sources that looks at two centuries of everyday, political, religious, working, trading and administrative life in England between 1500 and 1700.

The resource provides scholars and researchers with a way to learn about the lives and experiences of ordinary people and more prominent individuals through their correspondence, administrative records, wills, court records, annotated books, manuscripts and objects. The collection is sourced from seven different archives and libraries including The British Library, Lambeth Palace Library and Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. 

A particular highlight of the collection can be found in the records of legal proceedings which reveal the lives of ordinary people in their own words through witness statements and depositions. As written records of ordinary people rarely survive, legal documents are one of the few ways their lives and experiences have been preserved through time.

Early Modern England is a collection that looks at the lived experience of those existing through what many historians consider the start of a new era of economic, artistic, social, religious, intellectual and political changeThe collection offers a way of understanding the era through the day-to-day lives of a cross-section of society rather than studying the great events of the time.”

I’m especially excited about the inclusion of court records which are one of the few types of sources we have that provide real detail about the lives of everyday people in England during this time. There’s much to learn from them about family life, employment, economic conditions, law and order, women’s history, and health.”

Felix Barnes, Publishing Manager, Adam Matthew Digital

The collection also boasts a strong emphasis on material culture. It features hundreds of objects from everyday life, as well as a video essay from Dr Tara Hamling, Reader in Early Modern Studies, University of Birmingham, providing guidance and allowing students to better understand how to study material culture.

The documents within the resource cover an array of topics relating to England during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuriesAlthough a key focus of the collection is on everyday life, the resource also includes volumes of correspondence from more prominent families covering topics such as governance, politics, monarchy, relations between landowners and tenants, war, politics and relations with England’s neighbours. 

To find out more, or to arrange a free trial, visit the Adam Matthew Digital website: