The end of border warfare brought acceleration of change in farming, as economic development during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries saw older patterns of agriculture, with emphasis on subsistence, transformed by more commercial priorities. Transition of clan leaders into respectable gen­ try was paralleled by transformation of followers into respectable farming folk. Older communal conventions, which had determined and regulated farming practices and the nature of local communities, were increasingly swept aside. Agriculture was reorganized into a new pattern of unitary farms, reflecting more commercialism and individualism in rural life. Change occurred at varying rates in different districts. In general, the North East, with its larger urban population and more developed patterns of trade, was more readily transformed. Even in the eighteenth century, more isolated areas, especially in Cumbria, remained tied to an essentially medieval pat­ tern. In the late eighteenth century, the manorial court at Croglin in east Cumberland could still fine a tenant for the innovation of growing winter wheat in the common field ‘contrary to ancient custom’. Such customary restrictions hindered efforts of landowners and tenants to increase farming profitability. (Dilley 1972, 60)

Even before 1603 new commercial priorities were evident in efforts of north­ ern landowners to increase rent income. Existing tenurial patterns reflected the desire of local leaders to ensure a supply of fighting men. Obligations involved in border defence were recognized in the system of border tenant right which established tenures characterized by low rents and rights of inher­ itance in return for military service. In order to buttress border security,

the Crown had defended these arrangements in dangerous years, criticizing attempts by landlords to raise income by tightening tenurial conditions. After 1603, conditions had changed and a group of Cumberland gentry told James I in 1604 that they wanted ‘to be at lybertye to use our Landes to our most profytt and Comoditie as others in other parties of England being of the like Case do’.