Eshott Hall, a local version of a five-bay gentleman’s house, was probably built around 1700 twelve miles from Alnwick in Northumberland.1 The Carr family had owned Eshott since the first part of the seventeenth century; the Georgia-born Thomas Carr, who had served as an army officer and Customs official, inherited the estate in 1770 and moved to England to take up his inheritance.2 Despite his American roots, Carr had little trouble fitting into provincial society. Gregarious and outgoing, he served as a JP and was elected High Sheriff in 1778. But, constantly in need of money and recklessly extravagant, Carr became a living caricature of the dissolute gentry, including multiple wives around the Atlantic world.3


Eighteenth Century Social Mobility Custom Official House Form Architectural History 
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  1. 2.
    R. E. Carr, The History of the Family of Carr of Dunston Hill, Co. Durham, 3 vols (London, 1893–1899), vol. 3, 64.Google Scholar
  2. 7.
    L. E. Klein, ‘Politeness for Plebes: Consumption and Social Identity in Early Eighteenth-Century England’, in A. Bermingham and J. Brewer, (eds), The Consumption of Culture 1600–1800: Image, Object, Text (London, 1995), 362–382, 364;Google Scholar
  3. P. J. Corfield, ‘The Rivals: Landed and Other Gentlemen’, in N. Harte and R. Quinault, (eds), Land and Society in Britain, 1700–1914 (Manchester, 1996), 1–33, 21.Google Scholar
  4. 8.
    L. E. Klein, ‘Politeness and the Interpretation of the British Eighteenth Century’, The Historical Journal, vol. 45, no. 4 (December 2002), 869–898, 896.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 9.
    N. Landsman, Prom Colonials to Provincials: American Thought and Culture 1680–1760 (Cornell, 1997).Google Scholar
  6. 10.
    Several historians, especially Amanda Vickery have made efforts along these lines recently, for example, A. Vickery, Behind Closed Doors: At Home in Georgian England (New Haven and London, 2009).Google Scholar
  7. 11.
    C. Carson, ‘The Consumer Revolution in Colonial America: Why Demand?’ in C. Carson, R. Hollman, and P. J. Albert, Of Consuming Interest: The Style of Life in the Eighteenth Century (Charlottesville, 1994), 691.Google Scholar
  8. 13.
    K. Yokota, Unbecoming British: How Revolutionary America Became a Post-colonial Nation (Oxford, 2011).Google Scholar
  9. 14.
    A. Vickery, Gentleman’s Daughter: Women’s Lives in Georgian England (New Haven and London, 1998), 13–14.Google Scholar
  10. 16.
    L. Stone and J. F. Stone, An Open Elite? England 1540–1880 (Oxford, abridged edition, 1995), x;CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. see also, P. Gauci, The Politics of Trade: The Overseas Merchant in State and Society, 1660–1720 (Oxford, 2001), 90–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 17.
    See, for example, D. Hancock, Citizens of the World: London Merchants and the Integration of the British Atlantic community, 1735–1785 (Cambridge, 1995). Hancock recognized that ‘for every merchant building fabulous piles, there were at least three merchants who lit Isaac Ware’s generic description of the gentleman’, 343.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Stephen Hague 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Rowan UniversityUSA

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