'Two meane fellows grand projectors': the self-projection of Sir Arthur Ingram and Lionel Cranfield, Earl of Middlesex, 1600-1645, with particular reference to their houses

  • Rebecca Roberts

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Arthur Ingram and Lionel Cranfield were part of the early modern phenomenon of social mobility, rising from humble merchants to titled gentlemen in one generation. Cranfield, especially, reached significant heights in a matter of years. Despite the fact both men have merited biographies which chart their commercial and political careers, little attention has been paid to their lives outside of the political sphere leaving room for an analysis of their family and personal estates and the extent to which they utilised their houses in their self-projection. The originality of this thesis lies in its comparison of the two men which not only highlights their dependency on each other and mutual advertisement of each other’s image, but also opens up the question of regional disparity in house building as Ingram’s country estates were situated in Yorkshire whereas Cranfield’s were mainly close to London. The first chapter introduces the issues of social mobility, self-fashioning, and regionality, provides a literature review and explains the methodology employed. Chapter 2 looks at the careers and families of Ingram and Cranfield before examining the ways in which they furthered their ascent through the fashioning of their attire, education and learning, and social networks. The thesis then focuses on the houses of both men, with Chapters 3 and 4 considering how they built and styled their houses. Chapter 5 examines the craftsmen and materials employed by Ingram and Cranfield on their building programmes and in particular the geographical location of their houses. Chapter 6 discusses the way Ingram and Cranfield furnished their residences and how their households were related to the local community, particularly in terms of hospitality. The gardens and grounds that surrounded their houses are the subject of Chapter 7. The thesis concludes with an evaluation of the significance of Ingram’s and Cranfield’s houses in the self-projection of their image and how far the geographical location of their residences affected how successful this was.
Date of Award1 Jun 2012
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Teesside University
SupervisorDiana Newton (Supervisor), Anthony Pollard (Supervisor) & Adrian Green (Supervisor)

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