General history
Population and longevity


Institute of Historical Research



Daniel and Samuel Lysons

Year published




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'General history: Population and longevity', Magna Britannia: volume 4: Cumberland (1816), pp. XXXIV-LII. URL: Date accessed: 29 November 2014.


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The population of this county at an early period varied greatly, it being at times almost depopulated by the ravages of war and pestilence. In 1421 we find the men of Cumberland representing to parliament that all the country within twenty miles of the borders had been so depopulated by war, pestilence, and emigration, that where formerly there were 100 able men, there were then scarcely ten (fn. 1) . Carlisle appears to have been uncommonly populous in the fourteenth century, if we were to regard the number of houses burnt down in 1390, (1,500 in the three principal streets); yet we find that the number of lay persons upwards of fourteen years of age, (exclusive of paupers), in 1377, was only 678. The total number of persons then in the county of that description, was 10,841 (fn. 2) . Mr. T. Denton estimates the total number of inhabitants in 1688, at 66,375. Many thousands have been added to the population of the county since that time by the growth of the now flourishing towns of Whitehaven, Maryport, and Workington, and the great increase of inhabitants caused by the flourishing state of the manufactories at Carlisle. The total number of inhabitants in the county in 1801 was 117,230; in 1811, 133,744, according to the returns made to parliament at those periods, making an increase during the space of ten years, supposing the enumeration to have been made at both periods with equal accuracy, of above 16,500 persons. It is certain that in a state of peace the healthiness of the climate, and its consequence, the great longevity of the inhabitants, must, whilst the county is free from pestilential infection, especially since the discovery and use of vaccine inoculation, occasion a rapid and great increase of population.

The following table will shew the state of population of each parish in 1688, 1801, and 1811.

Names of Places.Inhabited Houses.Families.Number of Inhabitants.
Addingham parish585602550
viz. the townships of
Hunsonby and Winskill24232423117113
Aikton parish530582614
viz. the townships of
Biglands and Gamelsby30333133151156
Ainstable parish85819081360444431
Alston parish3164617131,0135553,6265,079
Allhallows parish30333133150173179
Arlochden parish, including the townships of Frisington and Whillimore77817781430354438
Arthuret parish6002,4182,693
viz. the townships of
Aspatria parish630770919
viz. the townships of
Aspatria and Brayton98108106110327478
Hayton and Melay34403440174192
Outerside and Allerby50475148269249
Bassenthwaite parish86778992530450497
Beaumont parish42484249140219270
St. Bees parish, including Whitehaven and all its chapelries3,34513,24616,520
viz. the townships of
St. Bees87938898409425
Ennerdale and High-end50475048395296268
Eskdale and Wasdale-head46474647232238
Lowside Quarter37433751226311
Preston Quarter3286753306751,8863,261
Bewcastle parish4209171,069
viz. the townships of
Bolton parish630695975
viz. the townships of
Bolton-gate or Highside.46604661232307
Bolton or Bolton-wood9211997119463668
Bootle parish100113105121555547602
Bowness parish830825907
viz. the townships of
Brampton parish6302,1252,543
viz. the townships of
St. Bride's parish, and Calder township929110598485490469
Bridekirk parish1,0201,4101,552
viz. the townships of
Brigham parish, including the chapelries of Cockermouth and Lorton2,8705,2345,588
viz. the townships of
Chapelry of Lorton—
Bromfield parish1,1101,5861,808
viz. the townships of
Allonby and West-Newton150197172201726878
Langrigg and Mealrigg38443844198212
Burgh upon Sands parish240780668
viz. the townships of
Burgh upon Sands44484348180216
Moorhouse55535553264135 (fn. 3)
Caldbeck parish9551,1711,436
viz. the townships of
Highgrave Quarter44534753239267
Lowgrave Quarter84143124143505635
Half-Cliff Quarter95109106116427534
Camerton parish340633811
viz. the townships of
Cross-Canonby parish2103,2523,479
viz. the townships of
Birkby, Canonby, and Maryport540344 (fn. 4) 7817333,0593,272
Carlatton parish77775051
Carlisle, including both parishes5,0601022112,531
St. Cuthbert's parish, in the city and suburbs2,4203,6614,899
viz. the townships of
English Street3173805206112,3242,674
St. Mary's parish, exclusively of the distant townships2,6406,5607,632
viz. the townships or quarters of
Abbey Street142111233186837772
Castle Street1131141822001,075890
Fisher Street46596283294369
Scotch Street1582092743151,1811,473
Distant townships of St. Cuthberts.
Distant townships in St. Mary's parish.
Middlesceugh and Brathwaite36343635176167
Castle-Carrock parish47525453360252307
Cleator parish709470113330362571
Corney parish40394339480222231
Croglin parish46534654345169234
Crosby parish610359410
viz. the townships of
Crosthwaite parish1,5603,0633,656
viz. the townships of
St. John's, Castlerigg and Wythbourn1019710197469606
Newlands and Portingscale60686073282343
Cumrew parish255181194
viz. the townships of
Cumwhitton parish310446478
viz. the townships of
Cumwhitton and Moorthwaite53635363244322
Dacre parish620712763
viz. the townships of
Dacre and Soulby34353438174190
Newbigging and Great Blencowe54595762291304
Dalston parish1,3002,1202,369
viz. the townships of
Raughton and Gatesgill44424444206184
Dean parish620678752
viz. the townships of
Dearham parish5508741,081
viz. the townships of
Ellenborough and Unerigg9412496124471638
Over-Denton parish151616162758594
Nether-Denton parish46474649245258
Distington parish147173149188410724910
Drigg parish63696569560367373
Edenhall parish33273532265148132
Egremont parish3193293293401,4101,5151,556
Farlam parish260592672
viz. the townships of
Flimby township70747074350273271
Gilcrux parish47515455220249276
Gosforth parish630652685
viz. the townships of
High and Low Bolton65656768322337
Greystock parish2,5102,1512,132
viz. the townships of
Berrier and Murrah22212222136120
Motherby and Gill202220227878
Grinsdale parish1721172220086118
Hale parish42414442430220247
Harrington parish406 (fn. 5) 345438 (fn. 5) 3834851,3571,621
Hayton parish370915977
viz. the townships of
Faugh and Fenton61666166290304
Hesket parish1,2351,2851,206
viz. the townships of
Hesket, upper and lower103101122101617444
Plumpton-Street and Cawthwaite55605661319339
Holme-Cultram parish2,3452,1872,438
viz. the townships of
Abbey-Holme or Abbey quarter108126126126590600
East-Waver quarter79767977371393
Low quarter113115113115637767
St. Cuthbert's quarter128134128143589678
Hutton parish45474547285200236
St. John's parish50536065430328391
Ireby parish540358399
viz. the townships of
Irthington parish640870911
viz. the townships of
Irton parish86909090515466490
Isel parish415276378
viz. the townships of
Blinderake, Isel, and Redmain45484551188233
Isel Old-park131414148884
Kingsmoor, (extra-parochial)21262226103132
Kirk-Andrews on Eden parish2122212210098100
Kirk-Andrews on Esk parish6351,7772,086
viz. the townships of
Middle Kirk-Andrews12484124129573600
Nether Kirk-Andrews76907790245448
Kirk-Bampton parish255456458
viz. the townships of
Kirk-Bride parish56605660340249258
Kirkland parish600631608
viz. the townships of
Kirkland and Blencairn38383838188172
Kirk-Linton parish4501,5731,522
viz. the townships of
Kirk-Oswald parish620910945
viz. the townships of
Lamplugh parish710535532
viz. the townships of
Lanercost parish5851,2431,335
viz. the townships of
Waterhead and Banks42634263234343
Langwathby parish42464248215226206
Lazonby parish435526578
viz. the townships of
Melmerby parish44454549270223240
Millom parish9001,5021,625
viz. the townships of
Birker and Awsthwaite1820182098109
Thwaites and Chapel-Sunken995910260523334
Moresby parish545731881
viz. the townships of
Muncaster parish6010465110620248591
Newton parish260220219
viz. the townships of
Orton parish340378422
viz. the townships of
Ousby parish47475547365253249
Penrith parish6728981,3503,8014,328
viz. the townships of (fn. 6)
Middlegate and Sandgate2942941,191
Nether-end bridge and Carleton173186943
Town and Plumpton-head117174786
Plumbland parish58496351410330237
Ponsonby parish1321132137578147
Renwick parish38533853265201277
Rockliffe parish330518588
viz. the townships of
Great-Salkeld parish58625962345285289
Scaleby parish340468557
viz. the townships of
Sebergham parish495742781
viz. the townships of
Sebergham-castle or High Sebergham968710297434474
Sebergham-church, or Low Sebergham55566566308307
Skelton parish615729756
viz. the townships of
Castle-Sowerby parish705938974
viz. the townships of
Stocklewath-bound (fn. 7) 3939191
Stanwix parish4451,2741,435
viz. the townships of
Stapleton parish310736911
viz. the townships of
Thursby parish535409440
viz. the townships of
High and Low-Thursby60646067242272
Whinow or Crofton-Quarter121112116958
Torpenhow parish1,030782824
viz. the townships of
Bowaldeth and Snittlegarth131513155565
Blennerhasset and Kirkland43454345204195
Bothil and Threapland62797281313302
Torpenhow with Whitrigg48535255210262
Uldale parish51545557520284279
Waberthwaite parish22202320375122114
Walton parish345421417
viz. the townships of
Warwick parish225453401
viz. the townships of
Westward parish6109181,002
viz. the townships of
Brocklebank and Stoneraise85968598434475
Rosley and Woodside11193111101484527
Wetheral parish5151,5771,601
viz. the townships of
Whicham parish42454348445235261
Whitbeck parish30363338435180191
Wigton parish1,2503,3574,051
viz. the townships of
Waverton high and low88898889375409
Workington parish9456,4406,533
viz. the townships of


Having observed during our visit to Cumberland, in the early part of our progress, numerous instances of longevity recorded on the gravestones, and understanding that it was the generally received opinion, that the inhabitants of this county were remarkably long-lived, during the remainder of our journey we resolved to make more particular inquiries on the subject. On examining some of the parish registers, we found that in consequence of an official recommendation from the archdeacon about the year 1771, the ages of all persons buried within the diocese of Carlisle had from that time been specified. This circumstance was peculiarly favourable to the inquiry, and wherever we had an opportunity, particularly in the towns, we made notes of the total number of burials, and the number of persons buried who had attained the age of fourscore, and those who had attained the more advanced age of 90, and upwards. Since our return we have been favoured with similar notes from other parishes in that diocese. We had quitted that part of the county which is in the diocese of Chester before we commenced these enquiries, but have since learnt, that the ages had been specified in many of the registers of that part of the county several years before they were entered in those of the diocese of Carlisle. The clergy of Whitehaven, Workington, Egremont, and some of the smaller parishes in the diocese of Chester, have favoured us with notes from their registers. The result of our enquiries on this subject, contained in the following tables, will be found to justify most fully, the prevailing opinion of the longevity of the inhabitants of Cumberland.

In the parish of Egremont, in which the population appears to have been nearly stationary for the last ten years (consisting of about 1550 persons) we can ascertain with certainty, that about one in 42 have died annually. It is not easy to make calculations of this kind with any degree of accuracy, both on account of the fluctuation of population, and the difficulty of procuring the number of deaths among the dissenters, where they have cemeteries. The favourable circumstance of the ages having been specified in the parish-registers, affords a facility of ascertaining most satisfactorily, in a very large given number of deaths, the proportion of those persons who have attained to the age of 80, 90, &c.; and the result is very curious and remarkable (fn. 8) . The present population of each parish in which the calculation has been made, is annexed in the ensuing table.

Parishes.Population in 1811.Aged from 80 to 89 inclusive.Aged from 90 to 99 inclusive.
Arlochden438One in sixAbout one in forty.
Arthuret including Longtown2,693One in tenOne in fifty-two.
Aspatria919Rather more than one in sixAbout one in thirty-nine.
St. Bees, exclusive of Whitehaven and other chapelries2,152One in sixOne in twenty-six.
WhitehavenPopulation of the three chapelries 10,106
Chapelry of St. NicholasOne in elevenOne in sixty-three.
Chapelry of the Holy TrinityOne in fifteen(1752—1814 (fn. 9) )One in a hundred.
Chapelry of St. JamesOne in nineteenOne in one hundred and eight.
Bewcastle1,069One in six (1771—1808)One in twenty-seven
Bootle602About one in sixOne in forty-two.
Bowness907Rather more than one in six (1771—1808)About one in thirty-two.
Brampton2,543One in seventeen (1771—1808One in seventy-five.
BrighamAbout one in nine
Cockermouth chapelry2,964About one in tenOne in sixty-two.
Bromfield1,808About one in five and a halfOne in fifty-five.
St. Mary's parish7,632One in fourteen (1771—1808)One in eighty-four.
St. Cuthbert's parish4,899One in twelveOne in sixty-two.
Castle-Carrock307Nearly one in fourOne in thirty-three.
Crosthwaite3,656One in ten (1771—1808)One in forty-three.
Cumrew194About one in fourAbout one in twenty.
Cumwhitton478About one in fiveAbout one in twenty-seven.
Dalston2,369One in eightOne in seventy-one.
Dean752One in nine (1751—1814)One in forty-seven.
Nether-Denton258One in four and a halfOne in twenty-two.
Distington910About one in six (1784—1814About one in thirty-one.
Egremont1,556One in ten (1805—1814)About one in fifty-eight.
Isel378One in five and a half (1790—1813)One in twenty-six.
Kirk-Andrews on Esk2,086One in seven (1783—1808)One in thirty-five.
Kirk-Linton1,522One in forty-one (1777—1814.)
Kirk-Oswald945One in six (1773—1808)One in fifty-one.
Moresby881About one in nineAbout one in forty-nine.
Penrith4,328About one in elevenOne in eighty-four.
Torpenhow824About one in sixAbout one in thirty-two.
Water-melock chapelryabout 350About one in four and a halfAbout one in forty.
Whitbeck191Rather more than one in fiveAbout one in eleven.
Wigton4,051About one in eightAbout one in forty-nine.
Workington6,533About one in thirteenAbout one in one hundred and sixteen.

The following remarkable instances of longevity, are chiefly taken from the registers of burials in the several parishes; and it may be observed, that where so many of the inhabitants live to the age of fourscore, and even to that of ninety and upwards, these instances of still more protracted age are likely to be well attested; in some cases we had an opportunity of ascertaining their accuracy.

Date.Parish or Chapelry.Names, &c.Age.
1664. May 5.WigtonJohn Dand, of Warebridge108
1666. Jan. 14.ArthuretRobert Browneabout 110
1668. Feb. 15.ArthuretJohn Story100
— Dec. 2.ArthuretGeorge Graham102
1669. JuneArthuretJemet Browne, widowabout 106
1671. Nov. 4.ArthuretJohn Baylie105
1675. Dec. 19.ArthuretSybil Lattemer, of Holme, widow100
1678. Jan. 30.WigtonWilliam Rook, of Akehead100
1680.DacreRichard Green114
1685.DearhamMrs. Margaret Dykes106
1686. Nov. 26.DearhamAnne Barwysabove 100
1701. May 19.BridekirkThomas Fearon, of Tallantire112
1713. Mar. 20.CockermouthMargaret Santon103
1716. Feb. 9.GreystockHenry Winder, senior, of Hutton Soil (died of a dropsy)101
1717. Feb. 2.HarringtonJane Hodgson, widow114
1718. Dec. 17.St. Nicholas, WhitehavenWilliam Crosthwaite104
1726. Jan. 19.AspatriaWilliam Sibson, of Hayton107
1727. Feb. 12.Kirk-AndrewsJames Robson, of Dyke-side103
1742. April 14.GreystockMargaret Hodgson108
1743.WhichamJohn Hunter103
1745. Oct. 12.BootleThomas Dickenson, a poor man112
1746. Mar. 22.LoweswaterThomas Jackson, of Soskel, yeoman100
— Oct. 10.BootleMary Singleton, widow110
1747.DearhamJane Bell100
1748. July 3.GreystockMargaret Robinson, of Mungrisdale, widow100
1753. Mar. 11.Trinity, WhitehavenCharles Thompson, of Hensingham, tinker103
— Dec. 16.St. Mary, CarlisleThe Rev. George Braithwaite110
1757. June 18.LoweswaterMary Bragg, of Thackthwaite, widow101
— June 24.Trinity, WhitehavenJane Park, widow100
1758. Jan. 27.Kirk-BamptonJohn Norman100
— May 15.DrigMargaret Fell105
1759. Mar. 8.GreystockJohn Bristoe, of Mungrisdale101
1760. Aug. 10.ThursbyMatilda Reed (fn. 10) 105
1761. April 11.CockermouthElizabeth Atkinson, widow100
— Sept. 27.St. Nicholas, WhitehavenMargaret Grisdale, widow107
1762. Jan. 21.Castle-SowerbyThomas Nixon, of Newlands108
MoresbySarah Crosthwaite, widow107
1763. May 4.DalstonMrs. Mary Nicolson (fn. 11) , widow105
— Sept. 29.LoweswaterFrances Musgrave, of Lanesend, widow100
1765. Mar. 7.AspatriaThomas Holiday101
1766. Mar. 6.MaryportJohn Thornthwat, miller (fn. 12) 100
1768.CorneyMark Noble113
1769. Mar. 9.St. Nicholas, WhitehavenPeter M'Gee104
1771. July 23.WigtonGeorge M'Farland103
1772. Aug. 20.AspatriaWilliam Nicholson100
— Oct. 22.St. Mary, CarlisleHonor Edgar, widow100
— Dec. 13.PenrithJames Bell113
1773. April 26.PenrithJane Martin, pauper108
— July 8.CumwhittonJohn Armstrong, of Fellend101
— Aug. 6.RockcliffeJane Bell, widow101
1774. Mar. 21.LangwathbyJonathan Wilson100
— Nov. 15.Trinity, WhitehavenHenry Dixon100
1775. Feb. 5.CumwhittonAlexander M'Leod107
1776. April 16.St. Cuthbert, CarlisleElizabeth, widow of Joseph Winder100
1777. Sept. 18.WetheralElizabeth Brady, of Great-Corby, pauper104
1778. Jan. 2.LanercostSarah, widow of the Rev. Thomas Fawcett, late curate103
— Jan. 16.PenrithGeorge Simpson, shoemaker102
— Mar. 8.St. Mary, CarlisleJohn Langhorn, of Blackwell102
— Oct. 10.Kirk-LintonJane Snodwin, widow100
— Nov. 1.Kirk-Andrews on EdenThomas Robson (fn. 13) 101
— Nov. 19.PenrithElizabeth Greenhow, spinster100
ButtermereJane Wood106
1779. Jan. 19.CrosbyJane Dalton, widow101
— Sept. 7.ArlochdenThomas Thompson, of Heathgill, labourer102
— Dec. 4.Nether-DentonGeorge Carruthers of Chapel-burn, late parish clerk of Farlam102
1780. April 4.St. Mary, CarlisleMrs. Margaret Yeats, widow102
— Aug. 7.St. Mary, CarlisleEleanor Eliot, of Newtown, widow100
— Aug. 29.LanercostMargaret Robson, widow100
EgremontElizabeth Glencross100
1782. Feb. 12.St. Cuthbert, CarlisleCatherine, widow of Rowland Thompson101
— Mar. 20.GosforthIsabella Skelton, widow100
— Nov. 1.Kirk-BamptonCatherine Hewson, widow100
1783. Dec. 31.Water-MelockJames Brown, carpenter102
1784. Feb. 16.BewcastleElizabeth Routledge, widow102
1785. Jan. 5.ArlochdenThomas Elliot, of Workington, pauper104
1786. Jan. 23.LanercostElizabeth Inman, widow101
— April 30.LanercostAnne Crowe, of Sandhill, widow105
— July 3.St. Mary, CarlisleAndrew Young, pauper105
— Nov. 4.HesketSarah, widow of John Nixon, yeoman107
— Nov. 15.ScalebyHugh James101
UlphaIsaac Carleton107
1787. April 11.Burgh on SandsRobert Mayson, of Bowsted-hill101
— April 11.ThursbyJane Reave100
— Oct. 7.HarringtonMargaret Carlisle100
— Dec. 3.RockliffeMary Hewitt (fn. 14) , widow100
1788. Mar. 13.StapletonCatherine Rutherford102
1789. Feb. 15.FarlamAnn Brougham, widow106
— Nov. 7.Kirk-BamptonJohn Robinson, of Little-Bampton100
1790. Jan. 8.BramptonJames Martin101
— Nov. 19.MaryportJoseph Peel (fn. 15) , mariner106
CorneyWilliam Troughton102
1791. Jan. 31.LangwathbySarah Vart100
— Feb. 25.Kirk-Andrews on EskAlexander Ewart104
MoresbySarah Gibson102
MillomDavid Claide102
1793. June 20.MaryportJohn Milliken, tinker112
1794. May 14.St. Mary, CarlisleJeremiah Johnson, pauper100
TorpenhowMary Robinson104
1795. Jan. 7.ArthuretMary Johnson, widow100
— April 12.St. Cuthbert, CarlisleWilliam Skelton, weaver106
— May 12.RockliffeJames Grear, cooperUpwards of 100 (fn. 16)
PonsonbyMary Satterthwaite, pauper102
1796.UlphaThomas Jackson (fn. 17) 103
1797. Mar. 5.Nether-DentonAnne Hutton102
— June 30.FarlamJonah Walker100
1797. Nov. 22.SeberghamDuncan Robinson (fn. 18) , of Warnell-fell100
1798. April 22.DalstonHannah Gate, widow, of Gatesgill101
1800. Aug. 11.DistingtonAnne Wilson101
WhitehavenSarah Miller, Quaker101
1801. Jan. 26.Trinity, WhitehavenJohn Hannah, mariner101
— April 8.FarlamJohn Miniers, of Brackenside100
1802. Oct. 16.HarringtonMary Creavy, widow102
— Dec. 29.WigtonMargaret M'Call, widow101
1803. Mar. 29.KirklintonJohn Carruthers, senior100
— July 8.GreystockIsaac Noble, of Berrier100
— Aug. 21.St. Cuthbert, CarlisleBridget, widow of George Bowman102
MoresbyJohn M'Whey103
1804. June 1.St. Cuthbert, CarlisleJane, widow of Thomas Jameson, late of Mellerby100
— Nov. 12.KirklintonEleanor Moffat, of Broomhill104
1805. Feb. 2.SeberghamThomas Wilkinson, of Currigg104
— Feb. 13.St. James, WhitehavenAnn Brownrigg, widow102
— June 11.Trinity, WhitehavenWilliam Woodburn, shoemaker100
— Aug. 5.St. James, WhitehavenWilliam Welsh, tinker105
— Oct. 28.St. BrideMary Steel, widow100
— Nov. 27.Trinity, WhitehavenSarah Young100
1806. Dec. 8.KirklintonAnne Sawyer, widow103
1807. April 28.CrosthwaiteHannah Wilson (fn. 19) , widow102
— Aug. 4.LoweswaterMr. John Mirehouse (fn. 20) , of Miresyke101
— Dec. 30.St. Nicholas, WhitehavenJohn Brown101
1808. May 7.HarringtonElizabeth Tolson, widow102
1810. June 22.StapletonWilliam Melichan106
St. Nicholas, WhitehavenMary Laycock100
WhichamMargaret Biggins102
1811. Jan. 26.WigtonElizabeth Furness, widow102
— Nov. 26.CleatorFrancis Forster, miller105
St. Nicholas, WhitehavenOlivia Grears104
1812. July 24.PenrithJohn Ireland100
— Nov. 23.Raughton-headTamar Strong103
LortonSarah Wilson, of Armiside100
1813. Mar. 13.StapletonArchibald Green101
— May 6.Elizabeth Bell, widow105
1814. Feb. 24.KirklintonJohn Milliken, of Mount106
BromfieldMrs. Elizabeth Barwis, widow of John Barwis, Esq. of Langrigg-hall100
KeswickMrs. Margaret Threlfall, mother of Mrs. Wood, at the Queen's Head, (buried at Urswick, Lancashire)105

The most extraordinary instance of longevity in a native of Cumberland is that of John Taylor, born at Garragill, in the parish of Aldston-moor, a parish by no means remarkable for the long lives of its inhabitants, the greater part of whom are labourers in the lead-mines. Taylor had been employed in these mines from his childhood; he went below ground at eleven years of age, and was fourteen or fifteen at the time of the great solar eclipse, called in the North Mirk Monday, which happened March 29th, 1652. From that time till 1752, except for two years, during which he was employed in the mint at Edinburgh, he wrought in the mines at Aldston, at Blackhall in the bishopric of Durham, and in various parts of Scotland. In the year 1767, an account of him was sent to Dr. Lyttelton, Bishop of Carlisle, by Mr. J. Walker of Moffat, and communicated to the Society of Antiquaries; he was then living in the neighbourhood of Moffat, near the Leadhills mines, in which he had been employed several years. Upon applying to the Rev. Alexander Johnson, minister of Moffat, he informed us, that John Taylor's residence was in the parish of Crawford; that as no regular register of burials was kept in that parish, the exact date of his death could not be ascertained, but that according to the best information that he could procure, it happened some time in the year 1772. John Taylor married when he was between sixty and seventy, and had nine children by his wife, who died in 1758: two of his sons were living at Lead-hills in 1767 (fn. 21) : at the time of his decease he must have been 135 years of age.

The number of persons in Cumberland (fn. 22) , whose ages have been from 90 to 99 inclusive, since the ages have been noted in the parish registers, is above 1,120; of these about one-fourth have attained or exceeded the age of 95. In the parish of Bewcastle, where the average number of burials is about sixteen, and the population about 1,070, there occurred, within the space of forty years, three persons of 95 years of age, five of 97, one of 98, and one of 99, besides those of 100 years of age or upwards, noticed in the table. Generally speaking, the inhabitants of Cumberland, who live to this protracted age, are healthy and strong, capable of performing the functions of their several stations, and even of partaking of the amusements of life, almost to its close. Elston Cowman, a farmer of Distington, who died in 1814, at the age of 98, was appointed collector of the property-tax at 90, and executed the office ably and faithfully for some years. Thomas Elliot, a poor man, who died at Arlochden, in 1785, at the age of 104, was seen by our correspondent, at Arlochden fair, whither he had walked some miles, stripped of his coat, hat, &c. dancing and singing with great glee. John Taylor, before spoken of, worked in the mines till he was about 115. Some instances of remarkable contemporary longevity, may be here noticed: William Bowman, of Dearham, who died in 1800, at the age of 87, and his wife, who survived him, and died at the age of 91, lived together 64 years. Anthony and Isabella Walker, who died at the ages of 82 and 84, lived together as man and wife in the same house 61 years: Elizabeth the daughter of Anthony Walker married Henry Bacon, and she and her husband lived 62 years in the same house as man and wife, dying at the ages of 96 and 82. Mr. John Mirehouse of Miresyke, in Loweswater, who died in 1771, at the age of 92, and his wife, who died in 1776, at the age of 97, lived more than 68 years together. Mr. Wright, the late curate of Matterdale, died at the age of 85; his wife, who survived him, at 92. In Moresby church-yard is a memorial for Robert Steele, aged 90, and Jane his wife, aged 95. John Robinson, of Little-Bampton, died in 1789, aged 100; his wife in 1791, aged 91. The Rev. Thomas Jefferson, who died in 1768, at the age of 95, was minister of Cockermouth 68 years. The Rev. George Braithwaite, who died curate of St. Mary's, Carlisle, in 1753, at the age of 110, is said to have been a member of the cathedral for upwards of 100 years, having first become a member of the establishment as a chorister.

It is natural to inquire into the causes which have occasioned the prevalence of longevity in some counties and districts more than in others; but such inquiries do not appear to produce any satisfactory result. It is generally supposed that the climate of the northern counties is favourable to longevity, but, as we have already observed, the district most remarkable for longevity in Cornwall is the southern coast. In Cumberland it seems to be confined to no particular district: the parishes which border on the Fells on the east side of the county, are rather more remarkable for longevity than those on the western coast; but there is little difference except in the large towns. We could obtain no conclusion with respect to the diet and habits of the long-lived inhabitants of this county; as far as we had an opportunity of making the inquiry, some were abstemious, some intemperate. John Taylor, whose employment was frequently by night in the mines, ate heartily at any hour of the day or night, and drank freely: the most remarkable circumstance of his habits was the little sleep he took, which was so little, that his life was half as long again as that of any other person of the same age.


1 Rot. Parl.
2 Subsidy Roll. See Archæol. vol. vii.
3 This number appears evidently to be erroneous.
4 This includes only rated houses.
5 There is evidently some mistake in these numbers, as given in the population abstract, the number of inhabitants having been greater in 1811 than in 1801.
6 The townships are not specified in the return of 1801.
7 This must have been included in Bustabeck, in the return of 1801.
8 The general average proportion of those who attain the age of eighty, is said to be one in thirty-two; and in London, one in forty. See the General History of Cornwall, p. xlviii.
9 During eleven years of this period, more than one-third of the persons buried at Trinity chapel, died of the small-pox.
10 Her age is thus recorded on her tombstone, but in the register of burials she is said to have been 107 years of age; she survived her husband 46 years.
11 Widow of John Nicolson, Esq. of Hawksdale, who died in 1727. Mrs. Margaret Nicolson, (probably her daughter,) recorded on the same monument, died in 1793, at the age of 96.
12 His epitaph in the chapel yard is as follows: "Here are deposited the remains of John Thornthwat, late HONEST MILLER of Netherhall mill, being ONE of a HUNDRED years of age; he departed this life Mar. 6, 1766."
13 This man died in the same house in which he was born; his son died at the age of 93, and his two daughters, unmarried, at the respective ages of 79 and 86, all in the same house.
14 William Hewitt died in 1769, aged 87; Mary, his wife, in 1787, aged 100. (Epitaph.)
15 His epitaph is as follows: "Joseph Peel, born at Bank-end Feb. 2, 1684; he lived in the reign of eight princes; viz. King Charles II., King James II., King William III., Queen Mary, Queen Anne, and three King Georges; aged 106 years 10 months, and was buried Nov. 16, 1790." — "Annos cvi. natus, tot enim vixit Josephus Peel; ita ferebat duo quæ maxima putantur opera, paupertatem & senectutem, ut eis pæne delectari videretur." There is a portrait of this old sailor at Netherhall, the seat of Humphrey Senhouse, Esq. with whose ancestor he lived as servant when a boy. He went to sea at 17, and was in the voyage with Captain Stradling, when Alexander Selkirk was left at Juan Fernandes in 1744. He had acquired a small estate, but was in his old age reduced to poverty by his children; he dined at Netherhall on his 100th birth day, which he had previously ascertained by examining the register. This poor man died in consequence of a remarkable accident; of the bruises which he received by a fall from his horse; the horse having started at being annoyed by the claws of a cat, which he had been employed to carry some miles in a basket.
16 The account in Hutchinson states him to have been 107.
17 Six of Thomas Jackson's children are living, the eldest of whom is 91, the next 89, the others from 84 to 76.
18 An old soldier, a native of the Highlands of Scotland; he fought under the Duke of Marlborough; against the rebels, in 1715 and 1745; and in most of the actions in Flanders during the reign of George II. (Hutchinson II. 424.)
19 She lived 75 years in the family of the late Governor Stephenson, under five successive masters, and during the latter part of her life had an annuity allowed her, by her last master Rowland Stephenson, Esq. (See Gent. Mag.)
20 His father died in 1771, at the age of 92; his mother in 1776, at the age of 97; having lived together more than 68 years. On entering his 100th year, he gave an entertainment to thirty or forty of his friends, put on a new coat on the occasion, and spent the day with the greatest cheerfulness and gaiety.
21 Archæalogia, vol. I. p. 231–233.
22 The number of which our notes express the exact age is 753; of these, 191 were 95 years of age or upwards; of the remainder, we only know that their ages were from 90 to 99 inclusive; but dividing the number in the same proportion, those who have attained the age of 95 will be about one-fourth.