'Success to the Shropshire Chamber of Agriculture': a reappraisal of the role of chambers of agriculture in Britain during the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries

James P. Bowen
2023 Rural History  
The central and associated county or district chambers of agriculture have attracted little attention from historians. Their origins have been attributed to the perceived lack of a national coordinating body for agriculture highlighted by the 1865–7 cattle plague. This article based on the records of the Shropshire Chamber of Agriculture, newspapers and printed histories reconsiders their role. Members were initially drawn from landowning society and larger tenant farmers, although membership
more » ... dened with the growth of rival organisations. Activities included lectures, talks and debates on agricultural subjects, visits to farms, factories and the county agricultural college and farm institute, dinners and social occasions at which those interested in agriculture could meet. By foregrounding the people and politics of the chambers of agriculture, it is argued they need to be incorporated more fully into the historiography of agricultural and rural politics of Britain during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
doi:10.1017/s095679332200022x fatcat:ah62n5wbtzcgji3gftzsxlf5dm