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February 24, 1961 - Image 2

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1961-02-24

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

) THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Stone Discusses History
Of English Rural Estates

By BARBARA PASH
"The English country house is
a relic of a system that lasted for
440 years," Prof. Lawrence Stone
of the Princeton University In-
stitute for Advanced Studies said
yesterday at a lecture on the
"Sociology of the English Country
House."
There are two types of English
country houses, the display house
and the smaller, more modest
house of the country gentry, he
explained. Both types of houses
conform to certain standards,
namely location, size, and un-
fortification. These estates were
located in the country because
towns and cities were considered
places in which to make money,
but never to live.
"There was a steady flow of
money out of the towns and cities,
and into the land and the build-
ing of a house upon the land," he
said.
Monarch Visits
The size of the house was deter-
mined by the family. However, ac-
commodations for a large number
of servants were required for the
efficient management of the
household. The reigning monarch
would take the privilege of "visit-
ing" the country nobles in the
summer months. Since the main
source of financing these estates
came from politics, the monarch
was lavishly welcomed, as was his
accompaning retinue of hundreds
of courtiers.
The inhabitants of these houses
lived in the country the year
round. This presented many com-
plications, perhaps the most te-
dious of which was boredom.
Alleviate Boredom
To alleviate this boredom, there
was a development of rural sports,
for example bowls, fox hunting,
and billards. A long room was in-
troduced in many estates which
served as a recreation room. Im-
proved communications and the
introduction of the coach allowed
the family to visit their neighbors.
Holiday resorts developed in
Bath, which was reknowned for
its healthful waters, and in Lon-

don. With the advent of the "Lon-
don Season," many of the country
gentry were able to escape their
dreary abodes during the harsh
winter months.
Despite the influx of nobles into
London during the winter months,
after the Civil War in 1688, a
decentralization of the Crown's
powers spread much of the politi-
cal power to the hands of the
country nobility. The Crown was

PROF. LAWRENCE STONE
.. country houses

2

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poor, through lack of tax power,
and there was no incentive to live
at court. A moral reaction to the
scandals of court contributed to
the absence of gentry.
Psychological Need
"One of the major reasons for
building these houses was the
psychological need," Prof. Stone
said. Psychologically, the houses
were an outlet for assertions of
power by former politicians and
bored gentry. As a status symbol,
they played a great part in the
conflict between the "nouveau
riche" and the old rich.
"Those houses were the finan-
cial ruin of many of their build-
ers," he said. The principle source
of financing the construction of
country homes came from politics.
After 1870, the era of the coun-
try house passed. The reasons can
be traced to a higher income tax,
rental sag, a change in social
positions, and the higher cost of
servants.
SGC:
Name Six
T o Judie
Student Government Council
at its meeting Wednesday ap-
proved the following appointments
to Joint Judiciary Council for
one year terms ending February,
1962: Stuart T. Cleveland, Grad,
Richard M. Lyons, '62 Ph., Bar-
bara A. Morris ,'62, William G.
Phelps, '62 BAd, and Bruce S
Vanderporten, '64.
Samuel Bernstein, '62, was ap-
pointed for a one-semester term
ending in June.
The Council also moved to es-
tablish a selection committee
which will appoint representatives
to the National Conference on
Youth Service Abroad. The selec-
tion committee of five, which will
be chosen by the executive com-
mittee, will choose one delegate
and two alternates to the confer-
ence which wil be held Mar. 29-31
in Washington, D.C. The selec-
tions committee will be presented
for approval by the Council Mar.
1 and submit its recommendations
Mar. .
Interquadrangle P r e s id e n t
Thomas Moch, '62, was welcomed
to his first meeting by the Coun-
cil. Moch succeeds Dan Rosemer-
gy, '61 Ed, former IQC president.
Kerwin Sets
Religion Talk
Prof. Jerome G. Kerwin, chair-
man of the political science de-
partment and dean of students at
the University of Chicago, will
speak on the topic "Church and
State in America: Coexistence or
Cooperation?" at 8 p.m. today at
the Gabriel Richard Center, 331
Thompson Street.
The lecture is the second in the
series "Catholic Voices" sponsored
by the Newman Club.
Prof. Kerwin is a member of the
National Council of Christians and
Jews. He served as vice-president
of the Catholic Association for In-
ternational Peace and is presently
on the Board of Directors of the
Chicago Catholic Interracial Coun-
cil.

I

.Q"SiPtii'

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