The Earls Colne database was constructed by a team at the University of Cambridge between 1972 and 2002. It contains a large part of the surviving records of an English parish over the period 1380-1854. There is a full, permanent, archival, version stored at the University of Cambridge Library. This consists of about 800MB of data. There are background published and unpublished papers relating to the project.

There is also a compressed, word-indexed version created using Microsoft HTML Help. It can be downloaded from this web-site. It only works for PC computers (thus not for Apple Mac) and is 80 MB.

If you have any comments on the database, or would like to obtain a hard copy on CD-ROM which will work with Mac OS X or higher, please contact Sarah Harrison at

A visit to Earls Colne in Essex, in August 2006 Alan Macfarlane discusses the origins of English individualism and the reconstruction of the history of an English village. Also wider reflections on China, Japan, feudalism, capitalism, peasantry, property and other matters. Questions put by Kenong Guan and filmed by Xiaoxiao Yan