The Blount Family in the long Sixteenth century

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


This thesis is an extended case study of the lives, attitudes, actions and concerns of one gentry family – the Blounts of the West Midlands –from the second half of the fifteenth century to the early years of the seventeenth, described as the long sixteenth century. As well as looking at a family who are of interest in their own right, this thesis also sheds light on local, political, legal, religious, family and social aspects of the period, providing information on ties of local obligation, religious identity, political loyalties, the workings of kinship networks and some of the transformations unfolding in early modern society. The thesis takes a thematic approach, looking first at the family’s economic background and local political role, with aspects of gentility, landownership and the offices of sheriff and justice of the peace considered. The family’s role in the law courts as judges, litigants and defendants is then considered, as well as their role in parliament, their military involvement and their participation in patronage networks. Finally, the Blounts’ religious role is considered, both in the early Reformation period and as a primarily Catholic family in the Elizabethan period. In particular, the family’s continuing ability to hold government and local offices are discussed, along with the fact that their Catholicism was widely recognised. This study of the Blounts can be situated within the wide range of gentry studies relating to the period. The many ways in which the Blounts interacted with their environment has meant that this study has ramifications for an historical understanding of many different areas.
Date of Award1 Jun 2019
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • King's College London
SupervisorHannah Dawson (Supervisor) & Laura Gowing (Supervisor)

Cite this