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Essex Through the Ages
Tudor Essex
  Life in Tudor Essex
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Life in Tudor Essex

Tudor citizens probably saw little change in their situation from the end of the medieval period, though there was certainly greater stability in the country. The middle class, of men who had often made money in trade, continued to grow and saw more impact on the countryside as they built their own extensive houses.

For Richard Rich at least, one of the upwardly mobile "new men", the dissolution was a blessing and a great opportunity. He managed to gain at least 100 manors in Essex while administering the monastic "spoils", and built himself a mansion in the ruins of Leez Priory.

However, even the dissolution of the monasteries probably had little impact on the ordinary people of Tudor Essex, meaning little more than a change in land owners, and leaving the landscape itself largely undisturbed.