London Life in the XVIIIth Century

By M. Dorothy George | Go to book overview

NOTES TO CHAPTER I, LIFE AND
DEATH IN LONDON
(1)
Heberden, "On the Mortality of London", Medical Transactions of the College of Physicians, iv. p. 103. For the history of the Bills of Mortality and discussions as to their defects and omissions see C. H. Hull, The Economic Writings of Sir William Petty, 1899, i. pp. lxxx-xci; Maitland, Hist. of London, 1756, ii. p. 740 ff.; Ogle, "Inquiry into the Trustworthiness of the Old Bills of Mortality", "Journal of the Statistical Society," LV. p. 437 ff.; Christie, Some Account of the Company of Parish Clerks, 1893. For the actual variations between the Bills and the parish registers see Appendix I, B. Whether the Bills (and also the registers) became more or less defective as time went on is a matter of controversy; Price wrote in 1780, the Bills "are indeed defective, but in consequence of a great decrease of dissenters, they are less so than they used to be." Essay on Population, p. 60. Lysons found in 1795 that an excess of baptisms over burials at Bethnal Green was "to be attributed to some private burial grounds where the fees are somewhat lower than in that belonging to the parish." Environs . . ., ii. p. 37. Malcolm attributed a decrease in burials in Whitechapel after 1783 to "a number of cheap burying grounds"; Jews certainly increased in the eastern parishes. Londinium Redivivum, iii. p. 230, etc.
(2)
"Sir J. Niokolls" (Dangeul), Remarks on the Advantages and Disadvantages of France and Great Britain in regard to Commerce . . ., 1754, p. 188.
(3)
C. Morris, Observations on the past Growth and present State of London, 1751, p. 106.
(4)
Price, Observations on . . . the Population . . . ( Appendix to Morgan's Assurances, p. 274). This curious interpretation of luxury is illustrated by his account of the population of Birmingham:
"A.D. 170015,042inhabitants,6 toa house.
175023,688"5 7/16"
177030,804"5 1/9"

"In this account we see the gradual progress of luxury at Birmingham, the houses having increased so much faster than the people." Ibid.

In 1783 Price estimated that the populations of England and Wales had decreased by a million and a half since the Revolution, "the inhabitants of the cottages thrown down in the country fly to London, there to be corrupted and perish." Observations on Reversionary Payments, ed. of 1783, Supplement II. p. 256. "In London those who used to live plain must now live high, those who used to walk must now be carried. This is the reason of the increase of consumption in London and not an increase of the inhabitants, for the number of inhabitants is certainly. (if any regard is due to the Bills) less now than it was thirty years ago." Ibid. p. 257 n. His arguments were based partly on the burials in the Bills, partly on the returns of houses for the window tax (see note 42, Chapter II.) and inhabited house duty. See Essay on the Population of England and Wales, 1780.

(5)
POPULATION RETURNS.
1631 1695 1700 1750 1801 1811
1. City within the Walls71,02980,190139,30087,00078,00057,700
2. City without the Walls40,579164,45069,00057,00056,30068,000
(includ
ing the
3. The Borough (the five parishesof Borough)
old Soutwark)18,660100,00094,70098,70075,000
4. Westminster113,520130,000152,000165,000168,000
5. The out-parishes of Middlesex
and Surrey
169,400226,900258,900379,000518,700
6.The five parishes not included in
the Bills
9,15022,350123,000162,000
Total for the Metropolis527,560674,350676,250900,0001,050,000
Population of England and Wales5,475,0006,467,0009,168,000,10,488,000

-329-

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