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

Miley, Frances Myfanwy and Read, Andrew Farley (2016) Spies, debt and the well-spent penny: accounting and the Lisle agricultural estates 1533-1540. Accounting History Review, 26 (2). pp. 83-105. ISSN 2155-2851

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The Lisle family was one of the wealthiest families in England during the early Tudor period. Their wealth came primarily from agricultural estates. This research examines the family’s accounting during the period 1533 to 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 land-holdings. 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.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Agriculture, Charge and discharge accounting, Debt management, Lisle family, Privy friends, Tudor accounting, Wealth management
Schools and Departments: University of Sussex Business School > Business and Management
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5001 Business > HF5601 Accounting. Bookkeeping
Depositing User: Frances Miley
Date Deposited: 08 May 2017 10:13
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2023 15:30
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/67725

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