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'Introduction', London Inhabitants within the Walls 1695 (1966). URL: Date accessed: 21 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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I. The background and nature of the assessments

The object of this volume is to present an index to the names of individuals enumerated in the City (within the Walls) in connection with the 1694 Act (6 & 7 Wm. & M., c. 6). Such an index is clearly of the greatest value to historians, especially when used in conjunction with the original assessments and with other contemporary materials. But before discussing the uses and limitations of the information collected under the 1694 Act, it is necessary to explain what that Act prescribed. (fn. 1)

The official purpose of the 1694 Act was to provide revenue, for carrying on the war against France, by levying taxes upon burials, births and marriages and annual dues upon bachelors over 25 years of age and upon childless widowers. The Act came into force as from 1 May 1695, initially for a five- year period, but was later extended until 1 August 1706 (by 8 & 9 Wm. III, c. 20). How this particular means of raising revenue came to be proposed, is not known. Among Gregory King's papers there is a printed broadsheet entitled A probable calculation of the annual income to be raised by a tax on marriages, burials, and legacies, with a note in King's handwriting on the back — 'Fryth's Project of the Duty on Marriages, Births and Burials'. And after the Act had been passed, the Treasury received a petition from Richard Firth, claiming that he had (some six years earlier) suggested such taxes to the Duke of Shrewsbury, who had mentioned it to the King, and 'in this sessions it was accepted by the House of Commons; praying their bounty for his charge and pains'. The Treasury comment was: 'To be considered if there be any places to be disposed on this fond.' No other supporting evidence has so far been found. The references in the Journals of the House of Commons are entirely formal and give no indication of the proposers or of the arguments they had in mind. Various amendments to the Bill were made during its passage through the House. One was to exempt from the tax on bachelors fellows and students of Oxford and Cambridge, 'where, by the Statutes of their Colleges, they are to be displace, if they shall marry'. Another was concerned particularly with recording the deaths (and descent) of persons of quality. (fn. 2) But the Bill appears to have had an easy passage; introduced in the Committee on Ways and Means in February 1694/5, it was sent to the Lords on 8 April and their assent was notified on 12 April. Nevertheless, an aura of mystery still surrounds the Act. Three points arise, in particular.

First, the apparatus required for implementing the Act was quite formidable, involving nothing less than a complete enumeration of the population and a comprehensive system of vital registration. Because some of the taxes fell upon individuals with specified characteristics (childless widowers and bachelors above the age of 25 years) it was necessary to know the names of all such individuals. In addition, the taxes were graduated in accordance with the social status of the individual — and graduated in a complex way. For example, the tax on the burial of a 'common' person was 4 shillings. For a Duke the tax was £50 4s for himself, the same for a Duchess, £30 4s for the eldest son or his wife, and £25 4s for a younger son or his wife or for an unmarried daughter. And similar variations applied to the duties on births and marriages and to the annual taxes on bachelors and widowers (Table 1a and b). The Act came into force on 1 May 1695 and on or before that date the Assessors were supposed to furnish the Commissioners with complete lists of the population in their areas, specifying their names and surnames, estates, degrees, titles and qualifications and indicating the taxes and duties to which they were liable, or would be liable if a specified event occurred (that is, a marriage, birth or death). Moreover, these lists were to be brought up to date each year, being corrected in respect of the 'death change of quality or degree or removal of any person or persons or otherwise' (Sections XI and XVI). Lodgers and servants were to be included in the enumeration, for they were to be taxed at their place of residence (Section XXIV). A further complication was that in London the basis of the enumeration was the parish, in contrast to the more usual ward basis. This may well have involved substantial problems, especially in the recruitment of a large and separate body of Assessors and Collectors.

The parish basis was linked to the requirements for vital registration, for in order to prevent evasion it was necessary to improve the reliability and scope of the parochial system. A double check was provided. First, the scope of the parish register was widened to cover everyone married, buried, christened or born in a parish (Section XX), and stillbirths were to be notified (Section XXI). And persons in Holy Orders (and their substitutes) were instructed to keep accurate records of marriages and burials and of all persons 'christened or born', under penalty of a fine of £100 (Section XX). Secondly, a special responsibility was placed upon parents in respect of children born to them; it was their duty to notify the Collectors, within five days of the occurrence of the birth of a child, whether live or stillborn — and a stillbirth had to be attested by two or more persons (Section XXI). A similar duty was placed upon Quakers, Roman Catholics and Jews (and any other comparable individuals) to report their marriages to the Collectors within five days (Section LVII). And special arrangements were prescribed for 'the better preserving the Genealogies Descents and Alliances of the Nobility and Gentry'. Upon the death of any of them (anyone liable to a burial duty of 20 shillings or more), the person responsible for paying the duty had to provide the Collectors with a certificate showing the 'name surname quality office employment (if any) of such deceased person with the age time of death place of burial marriages and issue and the ages of such issue together with the names sirnames titles and qualities of the parents of such deceased persons. . .'. These certificates were to be sent to the Receiver-General or his deputies for transmission to the College of Arms, which institution was instructed to 'number schedule and digest the same in alphabetical order in Books to bee provided for that purpose' and to file the originals for public use (Section L).

Table 1a
Degrees, titles, qualifications and estates Duties on burials Duties on births Duties on marriages
Person deceased Wife or widow Eldest son or his wife Younger son or his wife or unmarried daughter Eldest son Younger son or daughter Person himself Eldest son Younger son
£ s d £ s d £ s d £ s d £ s d £ s d £ s d £ s d £ s d
A Duke 50 04 0 50 04 0 30 04 0 25 04 0 30 02 0 25 02 0 50 02 6 30 02 6 25 02 6
A Marquess 40 04 0 40 04 0 25 04 0 20 04 0 25 02 0 20 02 0 40 02 6 25 02 6 20 02 6
An Earl 30 04 0 30 04 0 20 04 0 15 04 0 20 02 0 15 02 0 30 02 6 20 02 6 15 02 6
A Viscount 25 04 0 25 04 0 17 14 0 13 10 8 17 12 0 13 08 8 25 02 6 17 12 6 13 09 2
A Baron 20 04 0 20 04 0 15 04 0 12 04 0 15 02 0 12 02 0 20 02 6 15 02 6 12 02 6
A Baronet 15 04 0 15 04 0 05 04 0 01 04 0 05 02 0 01 02 0 15 02 6 05 02 6 01 02 6
A Knight of the Bath 15 04 0 15 04 0 05 04 0 01 04 0 05 02 0 01 02 0 15 02 6 05 02 6 01 02 6
A Knight Bachelor 10 04 0 10 04 0 05 04 0 01 04 0 05 02 0 01 02 0 10 02 6 05 02 6 01 02 6
The King's Serjeant-at-law 20 04 0 10 04 0 01 04 0 01 04 0 01 02 0 01 02 0 20 02 6 01 02 6 01 02 6
Any other Serjeant-at-law 15 04 0 07 14 0 01 04 0 01 04 0 01 02 0 01 02 0 15 02 6 01 02 6 01 02 6
An Esq. or reputed Esq. 05 04 0 05 04 0 01 04 0 01 04 0 01 02 0 01 02 0 05 02 6 01 02 6 01 02 6
A Gentleman or so reputed 01 04 0 01 04 0 01 04 0 01 04 0 01 02 0 01 02 0 01 02 6 01 02 6 01 02 6
An Archbishop 50 04 0 10 04 0 01 04 0 01 04 0 01 02 0 01 02 0 50 02 6 01 02 6 01 02 6
A Bishop 20 04 0 05 04 0 01 04 0 01 04 0 01 02 0 01 02 0 20 02 6 01 02 6 01 02 6
A Dean 10 04 0 02 14 0 01 04 0 01 04 0 01 02 0 01 02 0 10 02 6 01 02 6 01 02 6
An Archdeacon 02 14 0 01 04 0 01 04 0 01 04 0 01 02 0 01 02 0 02 12 6 01 02 6 01 02 6
A Canon, or Prebendary 02 14 0 01 04 0 01 04 0 01 04 0 01 02 0 01 02 0 02 12 6 01 02 6 01 02 6
Dr of Divinity, Law, or Medicine 05 04 0 01 04 0 01 04 0 01 04 0 01 02 0 01 02 0 05 02 6 01 02 6 01 02 6
£600 personal estate or £50 p.a. 01 04 0 00 14 0 00 14 0 00 14 0 00 12 0 00 12 0 01 02 6 00 12 6 00 12 6
Every person not otherwise charged 00 04 0 00 04 0 00 04 0 00 04 0 00 02 0 00 02 0 00 02 6 00 02 6 00 02 6
Parish to pay for the burials of persons receiving alms, and their wives and children Persons receiving alms exempted Persons receiving alms exempted
Table 1b
Degrees, titles, qualifications and estates Duties payable yearly by bachelors above 25 years of age Duties payable yearly by childless widowers
The person himself Eldest son Younger son The person himself Eldest son Younger son
£ s d £ s d £ s d £ s d £ s d £ s d
A Duke 12 11 0 07 11 0 06 05 0 12 11 0 07 11 0 06 05 0
A Marquess 10 01 0 06 06 0 05 01 0 10 01 0 06 06 0 05 01 0
An Earl 07 11 0 05 01 0 03 16 0 07 11 0 05 01 0 03 16 0
A Viscount 06 06 0 04 08 6 03 07 8 06 06 0 04 08 6 03 07 8
A Baron 05 01 0 03 16 0 03 01 0 05 01 0 03 16 0 03 01 0
A Baronet 03 16 0 01 06 0 00 06 0 03 16 0 01 06 0 00 06 0
A Knight of the Bath 03 16 0 01 06 0 00 06 0 03 16 0 01 06 0 00 06 0
A Knight Bachelor 02 11 0 01 06 0 00 06 0 02 11 0 01 06 0 00 06 0
The King's Serjeant-at-law 05 01 0 00 06 0 00 06 0 05 01 0 00 06 0 00 06 0
Any other Serjeant-at-law 03 16 0 00 06 0 00 06 0 03 16 0 00 06 0 00 06 0
An Esq. or reputed Esq. 01 06 0 00 06 0 00 06 0 01 06 0 00 06 0 00 06 0
A Gentleman, or so reputed 00 06 0 00 06 0 00 06 0 00 06 0 00 06 0 00 06 0
An Archbishop 12 11 0 00 06 0 00 06 0 12 11 0 00 06 0 00 06 0
A Bishop 05 01 0 00 06 0 00 06 0 05 01 0 00 06 0 00 06 0
A Dean 02 11 0 00 06 0 00 06 0 02 11 0 00 06 0 00 06 0
An Archdeacon 00 13 6 00 06 0 00 06 0 00 13 6 00 06 0 00 06 0
A Canon, or Prebendary 00 13 6 00 06 0 00 06 0 00 13 6 00 06 0 00 06 0
Dr of Divinity, Law, or Medicine 01 06 0 00 06 0 00 06 0 01 06 0 00 06 0 00 06 0
£100 personal estate or £50 p.a. 00 06 0 00 03 6 00 03 6 00 06 0 00 03 6 00 03 6
Every person not otherwise charged 00 01 0 00 01 0 00 01 0 00 01 0 00 01 0 00 01 0
Fellows, students and scholars in Universities and persons receiving alms exempted Persons receiving alms exempted

It is clear from the Act that a great deal of thought had been given to creating a system which — at least in theory — would provide a full range of demographic statistics. Moreover, later amending legislation attempted to deal with the technical defects which became visible in practice. Thus it was not made completely explicit in the original Act that all births were to be covered by the parish register. Under 7 & 8 Wm. III, c. 35, therefore, it was made clear that the parents 'of every Child which shall be att any time born after the said Day and Yeare & during the continuance of the said Act' had to notify, within five days, the Rector, Vicar or other appropriate person (Section IV). And when individuals were buried in a parish different from that in which they had normally lived, the notification of death was to be sent to their parish of last residence (Section VI). A second amending Act (9 Wm. III, c. 32) endeavoured, among other provisions, to ensure more detailed and reliable entries in the registers (Section III). To prevent people from evading their taxes by moving away from the parish in which they were liable for payment, arrangements were made for the taxes to be levied in the parish to which they had migrated (Section V).

Provisions and stipulations of the kind do not, of course, mean that the Acts were effectively enforced. They were not. Evidence of defects will be discussed later and in any case the defects were recognised and in part condoned by an Act of Indemnity (4 & 5 Anne, c. 23). What is important to emphasise here, however, is that the legislation envisaged and attempted to create a statistical system without precedent in Britain. A complete enumeration was involved, with an indication of marital condition; no subsequent complete census was taken here until 1801 and marital condition was not included in British decennial censuses until 1851. Registration of births was to take place in five days (as compared with forty-two days under our present system), and deaths were to be transferred back to the last place of residence, a provision which was not included in our present system of civil registration until the present century, and the lack of which before that time complicates the problem of calculating local death-rates. As for the special register of the vital statistics of the nobility and gentry, nothing comparable was provided subsequently by official action; the various private publications, used by Holdings-worth in his studies of the demography of the British peerage, are neither as full nor as reliable as the proposed official register might have been. (fn. 3) Given all this, and given also the fact that the 1694 Act was initially implemented for only five years (and was renewed only for a further five years) there is every reason to ask whether the main purpose of the Act was fiscal, or whether there was at least a parallel objective of collecting reliable statistics on the population of the kingdom. Unfortunately, no clear and documented answer can now be given. The one direct reference so far found is in an eighteenth-century pamphlet, concerned with the 1753 census proposal. The anonymous author wrote: 'As you know I am now very aged, I remember when Numbering the People in King William's Time was attempted with the greatest Care imaginable. Mr. Lock, Sir Isaac Newton, and other great and curious Men were then alive. And to render the Thing effectual, it was thought that giving the Government a Poll-Tax would make the Matter be carefully executed.' (fn. 4) Though this is only a feather's weight of testimony, the statement is not implausible. (fn. 5) Political arithmetic was certainly in the air. Graunt's Observations had been given a very favourable reception; it had been reprinted several times and, even so, was reported by John Aubrey to be 'now very scarce'. The Royal Society had in the 1660s set on foot a direct survey of agricultural practice. A contemporary writer had argued that the population of England had probably been generally underestimated. As to the actual number, he proposed to reserve his judgment until 'some such accurate Survey hath been made thereof, as I have heard Sir W.P. that Mathematical States-man wish for'. But he nevertheless was prepared to assert as highly probable 'that the Total of the number of the people here will upon any actual view hereafter to be made by publick Authority, appear considerably greater than any cautious Calculators have made it'. (fn. 6) None of this is conclusive. But it does at least suggest that in England — as in France — there was at the least some expressed and informed interest in 'numbering the people'.

The second main point in the mystery — and this tends in some degree to reinforce the first — relates to the fiscal objective as such. How much revenue was it hoped to raise and how much was raised in reality? When the Bill was passing through the House of Commons a clause was proposed enabling the Bank of England to lend 'above' £1,200,000 on the anticipated proceeds of the Act. (fn. 7) But the clause was withdrawn, and the Act itself provided (in Section LI) that loans of up to £650,000 at not more than 8 per cent interest might be raised upon the credit of the Act. Gregory King estimated the probable yield at a lower figure. Allowing for 'omissions, frauds and insolvent', as well as for those 'excus'd by receiveing alms', and covering both the ordinary rates of tax and the surtaxes on persons of quality, he put the annual yield at about £81,050. (fn. 8) That is already a low figure both as compared with other taxes and in relation to the great apparatus set up under the Act. And in practice the Act proved to be still less profitable. That it was likely to be unpopular is implied in Davenant's attack on it, as a 'Fine upon the Marriage-Bed', involving 'a very grievous Burthen upon the poorer Sort, whose Numbers compose the Strength and Wealth of any Nation.' (fn. 9) Waters, writing about the 1694 Act assessments for the parish of Melbourne, Derbyshire, stated — though without providing evidence — that 'the tax was so unpopular that the local authorities took pains to destroy the machinery for levying it.' (fn. 10) But there is evidence in the Calendar of Treasury Books; of alleged fraud on the part of one collector; of the omission to send duplicate assessments for various places to the Receivers-General; and of the failure of various agents to make any payments in respect of the duties. (fn. 11) As late as 1698 there was a reprimand to the Receiver-General for London, Middlesex and Westminster, as concerning the 'great neglects. . . in not examining the produce and duplicates of the Duties . . . and in failing to afford the receipts of the same as directed ... and that thereby the amount of said Duties has fallen considerably short of what might be reasonably expected'. (fn. 12) And in the town of Newark, the initial assessment required by the Act was met with violent opposition. 'William Wynne, another of the said Surveyors, endeavouring to make a survey of the town on Tuesday the 12th inst., the common people of the town got together in a tumultuous and disorderly manner, and with stones, dirt, and other things foret the said officer from his duty...' (fn. 13) It is not surprising that the tax yield was low. In September 1696 the annual yield was estimated at £50,000. (fn. 14) The shortfall in general was acknowledged in the Deficiency Act of 1698 (8 & 9 Wm. III, c. 20). (fn. 15) And the final Act of Indemnity (4 & 5 Anne, c. 23) recognised that the clergy had not always kept accurate accounts of the vital events in their parishes — thus depriving the collectors of a reliable check on their own lists of persons from whom taxes were due.

The third point concerns the statistical surveys produced as a result of the 1694 Act. The mystery occurs here because so few of the returns appear to have survived — or, at least, to have been located and identified. Waters, in keeping with his views on the general antagonism to the Act, wrote — again without citing his evidence — that it was 'not to be wondered at if these lists of inhabitants were generally destroyed as soon as the Taxation Act expired, and the few which have been preserved are commonly found in the hands of laymen'. (fn. 16) Since Waters's time more returns have been located, mostly in county archives. The returns for London still constitute the largest set so far located; they cover eighty of the ninety-seven parishes within the Walls and thirteen parishes without the Walls. (fn. 17) But additional returns have been found for the following places: Derbyshire, township of Darley; Devon, fragments of a parish near Clyst St Mary (unconfirmed); Dorset, Lyme Regis; Kent, New Romney and Wingham division; Leicester, Rothley parish and three parishes of Leicester city; Lincolnshire, wapentake of Candleshoe; Shropshire, Shrewsbury; Southampton; Somerset, Bristol; Staffordshire, Bilston; Warwickshire, Fenny Compton; Westminster, St Margaret's parish (incomplete); Westmorland (group of parishes); and Wiltshire (group of parishes). (fn. 18) The number is small — remarkably so when it is remembered that several copies of the assessments were required, including copies for the central Government. Moreover, the assessments were supposed to be revised annually, thus increasing the number of copies. But even fewer of the revised assessments have been found. (fn. 19) For London, for example, the Guildhall collection contains no revised assessments; the only examples known were located by Mr P. E. Jones among the Additional Manuscripts in the British Museum — a copy in the handwriting of Gregory King of the 1696 assessments for the parishes of St Benet and St Peter, Paul's Wharf. (fn. 20) Yet though the total number of returns extant is small, their distribution over the country suggests that the assessments were, as the Act required, undertaken on a national scale, and it is by no means improbable that further copies will be found in future, especially because there is now a more widespread and informed interest in the demographic history of England. (fn. 21) It is, however, unlikely that any remains will be found of the special register for the nobility and the gentry prescribed by the Act. Inquiries at the College of Arms have revealed no trace and it is, in fact, possible that the register was never actually compiled. The heralds were given no incentive, for the compilation was supposed to be done without payment — scarcely encouraging to individuals who, if Gregory King's experience was at all typical, were heavily dependent upon outside fees to supplement their small official income.

One further question may also be raised here, namely that concerning the part played by Gregory King, both in relation to the 1694 Act itself and to the analysis of the statistics which it furnished. The question arises because of the wide use made of those statistics by King in his Observations and in his various manuscript journals and other notes, and also because his sole publication in the field of political arithmetic was a broadsheet which summarises the various rates of tax imposed by the Act. (fn. 22) However, there is no evidence which links him with the drafting or initiation of the Act. His only clear association lies in his appointment as one of the Commissioners for the City of London, but that is unlikely to be significant, since more than 300 Commissioners were appointed and it cannot have been too easy to find suitable people. (fn. 23) In any case, the 1694 Act simply took over the list of Commissioners who had been appointed under 6 & 7 Wm. & M., c. 3, an Act relating to the duties of tonnage and poundage. In the analysis of the resultant statistics, however, King's link was obviously much closer. Indeed, without access to those statistics — which were not published — his demographic studies could not have been carried out. Nevertheless, as has been shown elsewhere, King had only a very limited access to the statistics, and even for the City of London his plan for collecting data for every parish was not realised. Though he prepared a table covering all the parishes, the details were supplied for only thirteen of the ninety-seven parishes within the Walls, for five parishes without the Walls, and for seven parishes beyond, in the eastern districts of London. (fn. 24) Neither his data for London nor his collection of statistics for other towns and villages would suggest that he was empowered to demand information, but rather that he had useful friends and acquaintances in various parts of the country. Access to the assessments for the London parishes may have been obtained in that way, though his appointment as a Commissioner must presumably have been of some assistance. A purely personal element may also have been involved in the case of the assessments for the two London parishes, of which he himself made detailed copies, for one of them — St Benet, Paul's Wharf — is the parish in which the Herald's Office was situated, and he and his wife and their three servants appear in the enumeration. (fn. 25) In sum, therefore, though King made most effective use of the data he was able to obtain as a result of the 1694 Act, his association with that Act, except as one of very many Commissioners, remains unproven.

As for the statistics in general, those now in existence are both variable and imperfect. Quite substantial differences are found between the form and detail of the assessments in different parts of the country. In one case — Bristol — forms with printed headings were used. In another — New Romney — the nobility and gentry were listed first, as if in order of status, with the remainder of the population following. In some cases a clear separation of different houses is visible, one house being divided from another by a line drawn on the assessment. In other cases, the names follow each other without a break; families can still be distinguished, but not houses. The assessments for London are in general the most informative and complete and the houses, which are nearly always distinguishable, appear to be arranged in some street order. Two assessments actually note street names (nos. 17 and 57). Several give substantial information on occupations (e.g., nos. 15, 23, 39, 42, 45, 61, 66, 70, 71), that for St Mary le Bow (no. 62) listing the occupation of almost every inhabitant. Servants are almost invariably shown, and usually lodgers, too, while bachelors and widowers are shown separately in most assessments. The social status of individuals — that is, status defined in terms of the graduated taxes and duties — is specified and, in contrast to New Romney, those who were liable for surtax were not grouped together but enumerated as they occurred. The assessments took longer to prepare than was envisaged by the statutory requirement (not surprisingly, since not more than fourteen days were allowed) and the actual period of enumeration was not identical for the different parishes. (fn. 26) But underneath the variations there are strong common features, and this applies, though in somewhat lesser degree, to the returns for other parts of the country. That there were omissions is clear, and some of those for London will be examined later. Nevertheless, the impression left on studying the material as a whole is that no other demographic data of comparable detail and quality were collected by the government until well into the nineteenth century. (fn. 27)

II. The assessments for the City of London

A general description of the assessments for the City of London (within the Walls) has already been given. (fn. 28) The purpose of this part of the introduction is to comment on the ways in which the basic material can be used, to present a few examples of demographic analyses, and to examine some of the limitations of the original data.

The index itself is, of course, primarily a 'search' instrument. In essence it is a directory, covering eighty of the ninety-seven parishes within the Walls, giving the name (and the sex can almost invariably be inferred) of every person enumerated in 1695. In addition, the index records whether the individual was married, widowed, or unmarried and, if an unmarried man, whether he was a bachelor above the age of 25 years. Children are sometimes so designated and usually servants and apprentices. Because the 1694 Act provided for graduated taxes, the index records social status, at least in the sense that it shows whether a surtax was paid and in respect of which of the middle-or upper-class categories designated in Gregory King's broadsheet (Tables 1a and b). The index is so arranged as to show families. The wife and children of a man are listed next to his name. Thus, Joshua Bagshaw is shown as having a wife and two unmarried daughters. John Baber, with a wife and a son and daughter, is also shown to have had personal estate worth not less than £600. Households as such are not shown, save implicitly when they consist only of a nuclear family of parents (or parent) and children. How much more detail is reported depends upon the particular assessment in which the individuals originally appeared. Most of the surveyors did not go beyond the formal requirements of the Act, but in several cases occupations were ascertained. The assessment which is most complete in that respect is for St Mary le Bow, and an extract is shown in Table 2. The occupation of almost every relevant person is given in that assessment, and the schedule of duties and taxes states what sums would be due if the specified event were to occur. Husbands were responsible for payment of the tax on births if their wives bore children; bridegrooms were responsible for the marriage tax; surviving relatives were liable for the burial tax. (fn. 29) The extract reveals that the attorney at law was classed as a person with a personal estate of at least £600 or real estate valued at not less than £50 per year. He was not a Doctor of Law, or he would have been liable to a higher rate of tax, and he was neither a gentleman nor 'one so reputed'. No bachelor above the age of 25 years is recorded, and no childless widower. The entry for Edward Harris suggests that he was under 25, though of marriageable age, whereas Richard Peters was a child. But though that might be a reasonable inference here, it would not necessarily be equally reasonable in respect of other assessments. In some assessments all unmarried individuals were shown as liable to the marriage tax, whatever their age, and some so listed must have been children. Bachelors above the age of 25, however, appear to have been ascertained and are recorded as such. The term 'servant' requires some caution in interpretation. Often a more specific term is used, such as maidservant or footboy or nurse, and the domestic roles are then confirmed. But 'servant' as such may mean no more than that the head of the household stood in loco parentis; and the term might cover apprentices or assistants as well as servants in the modern sense. (fn. 30)

Table 2
Their Names Qualities Occasional Payments Bachelors and widowers
Burials Births Marriages
John Baptist Peters attorney at law £1. 4. 0 12/-
Martha Peters his wife 14/-
Richard Peters his eldest son 14/-
Martha Peters his daughters 14/-
Frances Peters 14/-
Edward Harris his clerk 14/- 12/6
Ann Lillistone his maidservant 4/-
John Whitwham his footboy 4/-
William Ramsey tailor 4/- 2/-
Margarett Ramsey his wife 4/-
Sarah Ramsey his daughters 4/-
Elizabeth Ramsey 4/-
Susanna Weston a chandler woman 4/-
John Harris blacksmith 4/- 2/-
Elizabeth Harris his wife 4/-
Mary Harris his daughter 4/-
Daniell Littleford his apprentice 4/-
Margarett Potter an inmate 4/-
Thomas Potter her child 4/-
James Anderson apothecary 4/- 2/-
Honour Anderson his wife 4/-

Used as a directory, the index is of unique service to historians of seventeenth-century London, providing a check on the location and status of almost 60,000 individuals. The value of the list would be still greater when used in combination with other contemporary materials, such as the London returns under the 1692 poll tax, which constitute a roster of the occupations of the London population. Matching is difficult, for the poll-tax returns are on a ward basis. But the task is not impossible, and the comparison of the occupations in the parish of St Mary le Bow with those for the appropriate precinct in the poll-tax return suggests a very close similarity in occupational description when the same individual can be identified in both documents. It also suggests that the poll-tax return records actual occupations and not simply formal guild designations. For many purposes the index will need to be used in conjunction with the original assessments under the 1694 Act. And for demographers and social historians it is the territorial and household groupings of individuals in those assessments which would be of the most immediate interest, and understandably so, since it is in such a form that the material would throw most light upon the structure of the largest urban community in seventeenth-century Britain.

The material was indeed employed in that way in the classic paper by P. E. Jones and A. V. Judges. (fn. 31) Its analysis provided a new estimate of the total population of the City of London in 1695 (almost 70,000 for the ninety-seven parishes within the Walls and almost 54,000 for the thirteen parishes without the Walls) and a test of the completeness of parochial registration in that community. The comparison of the 1695 population with that enumerated at the 1801 census suggests a relatively early centrifugal movement of population from the urban centre — a movement which became characteristic of urban communities during the nineteenth century. (fn. 32) The use of the material for the individual parishes is still more revealing. Leaving aside the estimated birth- and death-rates (for reasons which will be discussed later), particular interest lies in the relative 'social status' of the different parts of the City, indicated by calculating the proportion of 'substantial householders' in each parish. The results of some of the calculations are given in Table 3. 'Substantial householders' are defined as those liable to surtax under the 1694 Act — that is, individuals with a personal estate worth not less than £600 or real estate worth not less than £50 per year, together with certain strictly named categories of persons — as shown in Table 1a and b. The category so defined must have been very much the upper part of society in respect of income and status; for the eighty parishes, the proportion amounted to approximately 27 per cent. (fn. 33) Table 3 gives the results only for two groups of parishes — those with the highest and those with the lowest proportions of 'substantial householders', but the degree of differentiation within the whole group of eighty parishes is displayed in the accompanying maps. The table and maps taken together give a picture of quite considerable social articulation. Thus there are three areas with high proportions of substantial households — a major area (covering five contiguous parishes, namely, Allhallows, Bread Street; St John the Evangelist; St Martin, Ironmonger Lane; St Mary le Bow; St Matthew, Friday Street), and two secondary areas. Between the latter two areas is a band of apparently lower status. But generally the proportions of substantial households are higher near the centre and decline towards the periphery, being especially low in the parishes outside the Walls (with the exception of St Dunstan in the west). This kind of gradient is in contrast to that found in the modern city, in which the centrifugal movement of population has occurred particularly among the middle classes. The 1695 pattern is more characteristic of the pre-industrial city in Europe and also of the Latin American cities built or taken over by the Spanish conquistadors. The pattern broke down under the impact of industrialisation and with improved urban transport. In London the older pattern was still visible in 1831, though some outside areas (St Martin-in-the-Fields and Hanover Square, Westminster) were showing high values of real property per head of the population. By 1851 considerable changes had already occurred, the districts with the highest indices of socio-economic status being St James, Westminster; Hanover Square; Hampstead; Kensington; St Martin-in-the-Fields; and the Strand. (fn. 34)

It is, of course, true that the situation is complicated by the wide variation in the total populations of the individual parish units — from 152 people in St John the Evangelist (with high social status) to 2,782 in St Anne, Blackfriars (with low social status). But even so, it is of interest that in St John some forty-eight of the eighty households were 'substantial', whereas even with the very much larger population in St Anne there were only about four such households out of a total of 373. A relationship between social status and population per house is also suggested by the run of the data in Table 3. The areas with higher proportions of 'substantial householders' appear to have very slightly larger ratios. The relationship is far from close, but it appears more evident if St Anne, Blackfriars, is removed from the lower half of the table. And to do so may not be entirely unjustifiable, for that parish contains a number of extremely densely peopled houses — eighteen containing fifteen or more persons, out of a total of 380 households. An examination of the assessments for some of these very large groups shows that they contain several households. (fn. 35) They may be semi-institutional, but it has not so far been possible to confirm that from other contemporary information. A slightly different way of looking at social status variations will be mentioned subsequently.

Map showing parish boundaries within and without the Walls.

Figure 1: Map showing parish boundaries within and without the Walls.
Based on the London Topographical Society's map showing parish boundaries prior to the Union of Parishes Act, 1907. The heavy line marks the boundary of the City within the Walls. The northern portion of St Stephen Coleman Street, no. 93, extends beyond the Wall into Moorfields. For names of parishes, see pp. xli-xlii.

Map showing parishes by proportion (per cent) of 'substantial households' in each parish.

Figure 2: Map showing parishes by proportion (per cent) of 'substantial households' in each parish.
Based on the data given in P. E. Jones and A. V. Judges, op. cit., Table 3. Both maps prepared and drawn by Mrs E. Wilson, Geography Department, London School of Economics.

Table 3
Parish % of 'substantial householders' Total population No. of inhabited houses Persons per house
2 Allhallows, Bread Street 60.0 512 80 6.4
25 St Botolph, Billingsgate 65.5 350 55 6.4
40 St John the Evangelist 60.9 152 23 6.6
53 St Martin, Ironmonger Lane 53.8 254 39 6.5
62 St Mary le Bow 53.8 669 106 6.3
72 St Matthew, Friday Street 69.6 285 46 6.2
2,222 349 6.4
7 Allhallows, London Wall 9.7 1,551 278 5.6
15 St Andrew by the Wardrobe 6.6 505 106 4.8
16 St Anne, Aldersgate 9.7 852 145 5.9
17 St Anne, Blackfriars 1.1 2,782 373 7.5
37 St James, Duke's Place 7.8 925 152 6.1
47 St Leonard, Foster Lane 4.0 995 149 6.7
68 St Mary, Somerset 6.0 641 117 5.5
69 St Mary, Staining 7.3 283 41 6.9
8,534 1,361 6.3
excluding St Anne, Blackfriars 2,782 373 7.5
5,752 988 5.8
* The table covers all parishes in which 50 per cent or more of the households were 'substantial' and also all those in which less than 10 per cent were 'substantial'.

In their analysis, Jones and Judges were concerned with certain general features of London structure and with some comparisons with the estimates of Gregory King. But the assessments also permit a more detailed study of the internal structure of the parishes, and the remainder of this section will concentrate mainly upon the results of such a study. The work involved is rather tedious and there was not sufficient time to cover more than a small sample of parishes. Later, it is hoped, the analysis will be extended to the eighty parishes for which assessments are available; but for the movement the discussion will be largely restricted to the results obtained for only ten parishes. These ten were not chosen to be truly representative of the total group, but rather to provide a comparison between parishes with differing proportions of 'substantial householders'. This criterion was used because it seemed possible that — as is often the case in present-day urban communities — a relationship between social status and other characteristics might be found. Hence of the ten parishes, three were chosen from the group with the lowest proportion of 'substantial households', three from the middle range, and four from the highest (with 60 per cent or more of such households). The information extracted for these parishes is summarised in Tables 4 and 5.

One point may be seen immediately in Table 4, namely the use of a slightly different index of 'social status' from that in the study by Jones and Judges. The index in column (3) in the table is based not only on householders but on all persons (householders, their kin and other relevant household members) liable to surtax. This index actually yields a narrower absolute range of difference, but one which is perhaps somewhat more realistic, for it takes into account the fact that though surtax households may be large, a sizeable element will consist of servants not liable to higher rates of tax. And it is clear from column (6) that, in general, parishes with higher proportions of surtax payers have more servants per household, whatever the meaning of servant may be. That the data on lodgers are poor may be seen from column (8); in very few of the parishes was there sufficient detail to present a consistent listing of lodgers. Before considering more closely the nature and variation of some of the indices and ratios in Table 4, it is desirable to see what evidence can be found in respect of the general reliability of the results.

It must be emphasised that there is little in the way of direct and incontrovertible evidence. Jones and Judges scrutinised the material and, where possible, compared it with assessments under the 1666 hearth tax, the 1673 eighteen months' tax and the 1678 poll. They concluded that 'the 1695 assessment was, almost throughout the City, conducted with more diligence and with fuller results than was usual in the period.' (fn. 36) This evaluation must carry considerable weight, though it would be useful to have it in quantitative form — for example, in terms of a comparison of the numbers of households noted in connection with each of the taxes. But so far as a direct check is concerned, only two examples have been found, namely those in Gregory King's copy (it is dated 1 May 1696) of the 1696 assessment for St Benet, Paul's Wharf, and St Peter, Paul's Wharf. In both cases there appears to have been something comparable to a 'post-enumeration survey', undertaken perhaps by King himself or at his instigation. Noted on his copy, in the margins and at the end, are the names of individuals or families who he believed might have been omitted from the original count. King himself attempted to assess the accuracy of the enumeration, but his estimates contain two errors. First, his totals were not quite correct (that is, accepting the data given in his copy); and secondly, his method of correcting the enumeration was based upon assumptions regarding the relative death-rate in the two parishes. (fn. 37) The specific indications of omissions and of 'double-counting' are summarised, together with the uncorrected assessment material, in Table 6. The data suggest a net undercount of about 5 per cent of persons in St Benet and of about 9 per cent in St Peter, Paul's Wharf. King's final 'adjusted' figures (total populations of 845 and 390 respectively) would yield an omission rate (in relation to the final population) of 20 and 7 per cent respectively, or about 15 per cent for the two parishes combined. To compare this with the allowance which King made in his Observations for London as a whole, (fn. 38) the omissions have to be expressed as a percentage of the initial enumeration total. The rate for the two parishes would then be almost 19 per cent, in contrast to the 10 per cent which King finally suggested for the area of London and the Bills of Mortality. The equivalent rate, based only on the initial indications of under – and overenumeration in King's copy of the assess – ments, would be about 7 per cent. King's ultimate estimate thus lies between the two extremes and is perhaps not too wild a guess at the overall situation. Equally, a rate of 10 per cent on the initial figure is far from being a 'wildly excessive' one for the first detailed enumeration conducted in this country. The 1801 census was certainly imperfect, and even now no ad hoc census is likely to achieve complete accuracy. Nevertheless, the omissions need to be taken into account and it would be worth making an attempt to draw upon other contemporary materials in testing the degree of incompleteness both in London and elsewhere.

Table 4
Parish % of substantial households Total population % of total population liable to surtax No. of houses Persons per house Servants per house 'Children' per house Lodgers per house Servants plus apprentices per house
(1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9)
17 St Anne, Blackfriars 1.1 2,829 0.2 380 7.44 0.62 1.17 3.73 0.69
47 St Leonard, Foster Lane 4.0 998 2.1 149 6.99 0.68 1.25 1.13
68 St Mary, Somerset 6.0 646 3.4 117 5.52 0.53 1.22
76 St Michael, Queenhithe 18.1 715 9.7 144 4.97 0.31 1.00
81 St Mildred, Poultry 46.7 556 23.6 77 7.22 2.17 1.22 1.96
23 St Benet, Paul's Wharf 45.0 562 23.7 120 4.68 1.23 0.95
25 St Botolph, Billingagate 65.5 350 36.9 55 6.36 2.18 0.96
40 St John the Evangelist 60.9 152 37.2 23 6.61 2.74 1.57 0.22
2 Allhallows, Bread Street 60.0 512 37.7 74 6.92 2.46 1.32
72 St Matthew, Friday Street 69.6 285 39.6 46 6.20 1.63 0.76 1.83
Cols. (1) From Jones and Judges, op. cit., Table 3.
(3)Persons liable to surtax as % of total population. (As the Act specifies, such persons include the dependants of surtax payers.)
(6) All types of servant stated in the assessments.
(7) All children of heads of households, of whatever age.
(8) 'Lodgers' stated as such in the assessments. In most assessments the information was far from clear and the ratios have thus been omitted.
(9) Apprentices are specified in the assessments for only three of the ten parishes. But without further study it would be very unsafe to conclude that the remaining parishes had no apprentices.
Table 5
Parish Males - Marital condition (%) Females - Marital condition (%)
under 25 Single 25 and over Total Single Married Widowed Single Married Widowed No.of males No.of females Ratio M/100F
(1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10) (11)
17 St Anne, Blackfriars 45.0 9.7 54.7 42.6 2.7 47.9 41.6 10.5 1,398 1,431 98
47 St Leonerd, Foster Lane 48.9 10.3 59.2 36.8 4.0 55.6 38.0 6.4 503 487 103
68 St Mary, Somerset 49.9 3.1 53.0 45.5 1.5 49.8 45.2 5.0 323 323 100
76 St Michael, Queenhithe 54.9 4.6 59.5 39.6 0.9 64.6 33.1 2.3 328 387 85
81 St Mildred, Poultry 56.8 13.7 70.5 27.7 1.8 67.4 26.3 6.3 271 285 95
23 St Benet, Paul's Wharf 45.5 14.6 60.1 38.8 1.1 58.2 35.8 6.0 268 285 94
25 St Botolph, Billingsgate 50.8 14.8 65.6 30.8 3.6 68.5 28.7 2.8 169 181 93
40 St John the Evangelist 65.5 10.7 76.2 23.8 69.1 29.4 1.5 84 68 124
2 Allhallows, Bread Street 56.8 16.2 73.0 25.5 1.5 71.9 26.1 2.0 259 253 102
72 St Matthew, Friday Street 52.8 18.5 71.3 26.0 2.7 75.5 23.0 1.4 146 139 105
London, 1851 Census 50.5 10.1 60.6 36.1 3.3 58.6 32.6 8.8 88
Cols. (1) Not liable to marriage tax and not liable to bachelor tax.
(2) Specified as liable to bachelor tax.
(9) and (10) Numbers of individuals whose sex was evident from the data in the assessment.

To return to the assessments, one of the questions upon which they are informative is 'household structure'. But the information is not unequivocal, and various questions arise, to which definitive answers cannot be given at present. In the Jones and Judges summary for the eighty parishes within the Walls, the relevant statistics are described as relating to 'inhabited houses' and the listings in the assessments certainly appear to confirm this. (fn. 39) It is within the houses that the problems lie, in respect of the number, size and composition of households. For in present-day classification, a household is defined as consisting of individuals who share a common board, whether or not they are kin. A lodger who provides his own food and does not eat at the common table is treated as a 'single-person household', and this is justified, especially in relation to the estimation of housing needs. But the assessments naturally given no indication as to what constitutes a 'lodger'; he may be a boarder, but he may equally be a self-contained unit, of the kind often referred to in Victorian novels in accounts of middle-class bachelors. Further, servants are sometimes noted in association with a particular family group with a house. Not infrequently, however, they are simply put together in a group at the end of the listing of the inhabitants of a house, and it is then impossible to say how many belong to each of which household units within the house. 'Parish children' are sometimes treated in the same way, and 'inmates', too. And in the case of 'inmates' or 'poor women', they may presumably have been either lodgers or boarders. Analysis of household structure thus involves a certain amount of guessing — in some cases, a good deal. Nevertheless, some tentative results are of interest, and a few examples will be given.

Table 6
Parish Assessment Double counting Omissions Corrected totals Net omissions as % of corrected totals King's final adjusted estimates
No.of houses Total population Houses Persons Houses Persons Houses Persons Houses Persons Persons
(1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10) (11)
23 St Benet, Paul's Wharf 160 676 2 6 43 158 713 5 845
91 St peter, Paul's Wharf 68 363 1 11 15 45 82 397 17 9 390
(3) and (4) Double counting: two families were recorded twice in the same assessment. One family (or, rather, house) was enumerated in both parishes, because the house overlapped the boundary.
(5) and (6) In most cases King lists either the names or the characteristics of the individuals he considered had been omitted from the return. In allowing for omissions, the upper limit of King's indications has been accepted.

It is easier to distinguish the initial nuclear household in a house than accurately to separate the other sub-units. To show what happens when this relatively simple analysis is done, the first fifty houses in the assessment for St Mary le Bow were examined. On the Jones and Judges list almost 54 per cent of the householders were 'substantial', and the assessment shows a good number of merchants — linen drapers, mercers, drugsters, bone-sellers, and unspecified merchants — as well as apothecaries, cutlers, corn-chandlers and professional people, such as attorneys, and also a 'surgeon of His Majesty's household', Thomas Gardiner. (fn. 40) In the fifty houses the total population amounted to 323, the numbers per house ranging from one to fourteen and the average number being 6.46. Taking the nuclear households only, the upper limit of size is reduced to nine and the average falls to 4.58 persons per household. The population in the sub-units is ninety-four — almost a third of the total — and contributes an average of 1.88 persons per house. There are some genuinely large households. For example, the household of nine persons consists of John Smith, a victualler, his wife, two sons, an apprentice, two boys (with unspecified roles), and two maidservants. There is, in addition, an 'inmate', Mary Tompson, and the size of the household would be ten if she boarded with John Smith's family. On the other hand, some of the houses contain several units, or what appear to be such. The house with the largest number of inhabitants — fourteen — is an example. The nuclear household appears to consist of John Bakewell, a book-keeper, his wife and three daughters. There is a maidservant in the house; it is not clear to whom she 'belongs', but it seems rather as if she is attached to the second unit, consisting of Joseph Lawrenson, a beltmaker, his wife, a son and an apprentice. The third unit contains James Rawlins, gentleman and widower, together with a nurse and her daughter — though the latter two may perhaps have been a separate unit. Finally, there is a pensioner, Elizabeth Howard, whose attachment to any unit is not specified. Thus the house may have contained three, four or five units, and the mean household size would have varied accordingly. The still more complicated case of the house in St Anne, Blackfriars, has already been mentioned. Containing twenty-seven people, it appears to consist of seven units, the largest being that of one of the 'lodgers' — a husband and wife and four children. (fn. 41)

In King's copy of the 1696 assessment for St Benet, Paul's Wharf, the apparent division into households greatly reduces the complexity of the structure. So far as some of the wealthier households are concerned, the division may have been prompted by the nature of these dwellings. In the page reproduced from the assessment (Plate II), the households in the Herald's Office have a simple structure — presumably because the families were listed as they were living, in separate apartments. This is also the case of the households in Doctor's Commons, recorded in the same assessment. Various legal officials were originally lodged there — including the Judge of the High Court of Admiralty, the Dean of the Arches, the Commissioners Delegate, the Vicar-General and the Master of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury. (fn. 42) When it was rebuilt after the Great Fire the building appears to have been used in a similar way and in 1696 it contained the following households:

Table 7
1Dr Stephen Waller, his wife, a son and four servants.
2Dr John Harwood and one other person (male).
3Dr William Oldys, his wife and five servants.
4Dr Henry Newton, his wife, three children and five servants.
5Dr George Brampton, his wife, a daughter and three servants.
6Sir Thomas Pinfold, his son, another man (a bachelor above 25 years of age, with personal estate worth £600 or more or real estate of at least £50 per year) and two servants.
7Sir Charles Hedges, his wife, and another man (a bachelor, paying tax at the lowest rate).
8Simon Gentree, a bachelor (paying the lowest rate of tax).
9Robert Constable, a proctor (and a bachelor), and his servant.
10Dr Thomas Lane (a bachelor, but exempt from tax — presumably because of a Fellowship) and his servant.
11Dr Fisher Littleton and his servant.
12Dr Henry Fauconbridge and his servant (according to King, his wife and an additional servant should have been reported).
13Dr William King.
14Godfrey Lee, a proctor, and his clerk.
15Sir Richard Raines.
16Dr William Clements.
17John Plaidwell, a proctor, his wife, a child and four servants.
18Edward Parr, senior, a proctor (and apparently a bachelor), and Edward Parr, junior also a bachelor).
19Clare Wright and two daughters.
20Dr George Oxinden (according to King, the younger son of a baronet; his wife should thus have been liable for a higher tax than was listed), his wife, two children and five servants.
21Robert Bargrave, a proctor, his wife, a child and seven servants.

The households, which appear to be relatively simple nuclear units, range in size from one to ten persons, with an average of 4.2 (excluding the single- person households, the average is five).

The frequency of the nuclear, two-generation household has recently been stressed by Peter Laslett as constituting the reality of seventeenth-century England, in contrast to romantic notions regarding the role of the extended family, whether of three generations or of parallel kin (several adult brothers and sisters, for example). (fn. 43) A certain amount of information on this question can be obtained from the assessments for London, though by no means as much as would be required to give a definitive answer. Two types of information can, however, be provided. First, there is the kind summarised in Table 8, which shows the cumulative frequency of the numbers of persons per house. In St Anne, Blackfriars, for example, 223 of the total of 380 houses had not more than seven persons per house. Houses with not more than six persons constituted almost half of all the houses in the parish. These figures relate to houses, and not to households; even so, they suggest that relatively small households must have been fairly common. Secondly, it is possible to estimate the frequency of nuclear households — even without attempting to split up the multiple households which are found in many houses. It will be assumed that wherever kin is specified in a house (other than in a direct two- generation relationship), there is some form of extended household, even if the kin were living in entirely separate and self-contained accommodation within the house. This would yield a low estimate of the frequency of nuclear households and would compensate for cases in which there were kin, though this was not evident from either the description or the surnames. (fn. 44) A degree of guesswork is still inevitable, but not a high degree, for the analysis is concerned only with the composition of the initial (main) household in a house and its relationship to other individuals in the same house, not with the number or structure of the other household units. The broad results of such an analysis for three parishes are summarised in Table 9, in which the nuclear household is defined as consisting of two generations, headed by both parents or by one parent, and regardless of the rest of the population in the house, provided only that it does not contain individuals who are related in some other degree (such as brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles) to the nuclear household. There is no doubt as to the dominance of that type of household in all three parishes, even though they cover the whole social status range (as may be seen in Table 4). It might be expected that in St Matthew, Friday Street, at the top of the status scale, households with other kin in addition to the two-generation kind would be more important than in either St Anne or St Mildred, and the run of the figures certainly suggests this. But the numbers of houses in St Matthew are too small for the results to be significant in any realistic sense. Apart from this kind of variation between parishes, the general dominance of the two-generation household (or the relative absence of three-generation households) is what would be expected from the probable demographic situation in the period. For given high mortality and a not very low age at marriage, together with a high fertility, three-generation households could scarcely constitute a very large proportion of all households, even supposing that other types of kin or non-kin households did not exist. Relatively few parents would live sufficiently long to become grandparents when the expectation of life at birth was only around twenty-five or thirty years. Mortality would have had to fall quite substantially before the ratio of surviving parents to their adult (and married) children became much more than a third. Theoretically, the possibility of three-generation households would be very much higher when, with low mortality, fertility had also fallen very considerably. But in societies with that combination of fertility and mortality, social and economic factors have intervened between demographic possibility and household reality. (fn. 45)

Table 8
Number of persons per house (cumulative)
Parish No of. houses Number of houses with up to the specified number of persons
3 4 5 6 7 All
17 St Anne, Blackfriars 380 43 94 143 185 223 380
47 St Leonard, Foster Lane 149 26 41 62 77 98 149
68 St Mary, Somerset 117 23 37 66 80 95 117
76 St Michael, Queenhithe 144 39 68 94 109 124 144
81 St Mildred, Poultry 77 8 19 27 33 43 77
23 St Benet, Paul's Wharf 120 46 64 82 96 104 120
25 St Botolph, Billingsgate 55 8 15 26 32 37 55
40 St John the Evangelist 23 3 4 8 15 17 23
2 Allhallows, Bread Street 74 5 14 26 32 46 74
72 St Matthew, Friday Street 46 9 19 23 29 32 46
Table 9
Kin or non-kin population structure in the houses Parish
St Anne, Blackfriars St Mildred, Poultry St Matthew, Friday Street
(1) (2) (3)
(a) Nuclear household, with or without servants and/or lodgers (husband and wife; husband, wife and children; widow or widower and children) 326 60 22
(b) Nuclear household (with or without servants and/or lodgers), plus other kin 18 8 5
(c) Widow or widower (with or without servants and/or lodgers) 17 2 2
(d) Same as (c), plus kin (not own children) 2 1
(e) Bachelor or spinster (with or without lodgers and/or servants) 11 2 11
(f) Same as (e), plus kin 5 2 4
(g) Brothers or sisters 1 3 1
Total no. of houses 380 77 46

One point not so far discussed is the general population structure as it appears from the analysis of the assessment for the ten parishes. Unfortunately, relatively little can be said, for as Table 4 shows, the information collected under the 1694 Act does not permit any analysis of age structure. Even for males, it is not the division into 'under 25 years' and '25 years and over' which is specified, but only that division for the single male population. Marital condition is shown, and there appears to be a fairly systematic relationship between the proportion of 'never-married' persons (that is, single) and the social status of the parish; parishes with the largest proportions of 'substantial households' have the higher percentages of single men and women. This in turn is linked to the higher frequency of servants (and apprentices) in such parishes, for those designated as servants in the assessments are almost all single. The parish of St Mary le Bow may be taken as an example. According to Jones and Judges, its total population was 669 and almost 54 per cent of its households were substantial; it was thus fairly high up in the social-status scale. The assessment for the parish lists 144 servants (including eighteen male), of whom only two were married (both men). Similarly, seventy apprentices were listed (including two girls, apprenticed to a barber), all of whom were unmarried. There were thus eighty-six males and 128 females, only two of the total being married. Apprentices and servants together constituted almost 32 per cent of the total population of the parish, a very sizeable fraction. (fn. 46) Clearly, this affected the marital structure. Nevertheless, even the existence of large numbers of unmarried young workers did not appear to produce an 'abnormal' distribution in respect of marital condition, that is, not very different from that in London in the nineteenth century. Since the age structure is not given, it is impossible to select a strictly comparable population or to apply marriage rates to each age group to arrive at total numbers of married persons. But a perhaps not too grossly inappropriate comparison is attempted in the bottom row of Table 5, using the marital structure of the population of London in 1851 as the yardstick — chosen because both fertility and mortality were high at that time. (fn. 47) The proportions of single, married and widowed for London at that time appear to be at about the midway point in the sample of ten parishes — not startlingly different from the situation at the end of the seventeenth century, and generally in support of the view that the age at marriage then was already at a 'modern' level.

One further question will be considered in this introduction, namely the reliability of the birth- and burial-rates as derived from the Collectors' returns under the 1694 Act. Such rates — expressed in terms of births or burials per thousand total population — are given by Jones and Judges for each of the eighty parishes. For the sample of ten parishes examined here it would be possible to calculate marital fertility rates, by relating births to the numbers of women recorded as married in the assessments. There are, however, two reasons for not doing so at present. First, the populations in the ten parishes are small and the rates would therefore not be very meaningful. It would be more satisfactory to wait until the data for a much larger number of parishes are available. Secondly, the estimated numbers of births and burials used by Jones and Judges — derived from the Collectors' annual reurns — are subject to defects, some of which can be corrected by a more detailed study of the material. An indication of how this might be done, and with what results, may be obtained by using two parishes as examples: St Matthew, Friday Street, and St Mildred, Poultry.

In their study Jones and Judges compare the births and burials reported by the collectors under the 1694 Act with the christenings and burials published in the Bills of Mortality, of which John Graunt made such magnificent use. The comparison shows that the collectors report much larger numbers of births than the Bills of Mortality; but that the Bills report rather more burials than the collectors. Jones and Judges were not convinced that either source was fully reliable — and least of all the parish clerks' returns of christenings. The data for the two parishes referred to suggest that no single source is satisfactory, and that by using two sources a closer approximation to reality can be obtained.

The method used in examining the records was to work from the collectors' returns to the parish registers, (fn. 48) and similarly to work from the parish registers to the collectors' returns. Both records list names (and occasionally some other characteristics) and events and individuals in each record were 'matched' as far as the information permitted. Some doubtful cases remain, but in general this 'matching' could be done quite effectively. For each parish, and for births and burials separately, Table 10 shows the numbers of events reported in both sets of records; in the registers but not in the returns; and in the returns but not in the registers. It would not be unreasonable to argue that, at the moment, a much better approximation to the 'true' numbers would be obtained by taking the total of the three categories. But some allowance should also be made for the births and burials which completely escaped recording — that is, which were not reported in either the parish registers or in the collectors' returns. Since there is no independent evidence on this — at least at present — the allowance has to be made on a probability basis, assuming that the chances of escaping entry in the different sets of records are independent of each other. The allowance is shown in Table 10 under the rubric of 'double exclusions'. (fn. 49) The final estimates of 'true' numbers of births and burials are used in producing the ratios in Table 11 — ratios indicating the factor by which the numbers recorded in the parish registers or in the collectors' returns would have to be multiplied to allow for 'under-registration'. The basic numbers are, of course, extremely small and no reliance can be placed upon the precise levels of the results given in the table. 'Nevertheless, the ratios appear to confirm, for both parishes, the differential incompleteness of the two sets of records as between births and burials. The collectors' returns are more comprehensive than the parish registers so far as births are concerned, but very much less comprehensive in respect of burials. This may be the result of the provision that, though births to people receiving alms were exempt from tax (an entry in the collectors' returns would thus be desirable), tax had to be paid on all burials, the parish having to pay the tax for people receiving alms (the parish register would thus be the primary source of information on burials). How far the under-reporting suggested in Tables 10 and 11 applied to other parishes cannot be ascertained until the records for those parishes have been examined. And it would be worth extending the study to such other areas in the country as also have similar records, for it may then be possible to obtain a useful measure of the completeness of parish registration in England at the end of the seventeenth century.

Table 10
St Matthew, Friday Street, 1696/9 (3 yrs) St Mildred, Poultry, 1696/9 (3 yrs)
A. Births
1 In both parish registers and collectors' returns 20 33
2 In collectors' returns only 8 9
3 In parish registers only 6 4
4 Double exclusion estimate 2 1
Total 36* 47*
B. Deaths
1 In both parish registers and collectors' returns 23 33
2 In collectors' returns only 10 9
3 In parish registers only 23 32
4 Double exclusion estimate 10 9
Total 66 † 83 ‡
* Includes foundlings, but excludes late baptisms (adult baptisms).
† Excludes burials of individuals reported as not belonging to the parish (so reported in accordance with the 1694 Act).
‡ Excludes the burials of ten prisoners (prisoners are not included in the assessments).
Table 11
St Matthew, Friday Street St Mildred, Poultry
Nos Ratios Nos Ratios
A. Births
Parish register 26 1.38 37 1.27
Collectors' returns 28 1.29 42 1.12
'True' total 36 47
B. Burials
Parish register 46 1.43 65 1.28
Collectors' returns 33 2.00 42 1.98
'True' total 66 83

A fuller exploration of the data for London itself would in any case be justifiable, for there is a wealth of ancillary materials. The use of these, together with the assessments, would yield a detailed picture of the social structure of a major urban community a generation or two before the beginnings of the new industrial era. The present introduction is only a preface to that further work — to be followed, it is hoped, by more substantial publications in the future.

III. Description of the assessments for the City of London (within the Walls) (fn. 50)

The eighty surviving assessments vary greatly in size (the largest, no. 77, measuring 19 1/2 × 14 1/2 in., and the smallest, no. 13, measuring 8 × 11 1/2 in.), and in the number of pages (no. 40 with three folios written on one side only and no. 17 with 131 pages). Each assessment is separately bound in a modern semi-stiff buckram cover. Some are stitched along the left-hand edge, others at the head. A number have recently been repaired. Apart from the assessments which are lacking altogether (nos. 10 and 82 – 97) (fn. 51) three are imperfect: no. 78 lacks f. 1 ; in nos. 37 and 41 the lower part of the last (?) folio has been cut off (f. 21 and f. 10 respectively), but the missing portions probably contained only the signatures of the Assessors and Commissioners and a note of the collectors appointed.

Who actually wrote the copies of the surviving assessments is not known, although the 1694 Act provided for payment to Commissioners' clerks for this work (Section XIV). It is, perhaps, worth nothing that several assessments are written in the same hand (e.g. nos. 3 and 5; nos, 4 and 24; nos. 6, 31, 36, and 56; nos. 14 and 43; nos. 15, 23, 35, and 66; nos. 18 and 60; nos. 25, 34, 46, 51, 52, and 64; nos. 27, 55, 75; nos. 44 and 65; nos. 57 and 78; nos. 67 and 76). The assessments are all signed (except nos. 37 and 41, which are imperfect) by the Assessors, usually, but not always inhabitants of the parish, and generally by three Commissioners as laid down by the Act.

The assessments purport to list the inhabitants of each parish on 1 May 1695. However, the Act left the surveyors little time for their work. The Commissioners were instructed by the Act (Section XI) to meet on or before 30 April 1695. The Assessors then appointed were to appear before the Commissioners within ten days so that the latter could explain how the assessments were to be made. The assessments were to be returned to the Commissioners before 13 May (Section XII), whereupon three Commissioners would issue warrants for collection. With so little time to carry out this work, it is not surprising to find that only one parish appears to have been assessed within the prescribed period (no. 32). Most of the assessments appear to have been completed later in May, June or July, while one (no. 80) was not signed by the Commissioners until 2 August. How far a serious attempt was made to ascertain the exact population of the parish on 1 May 1695 as opposed to the population at the date on which the assessments were made, is difficult to say. The preambles of most of the assessments state that they refer to the inhabitants on 1 May and in several instances persons are entered as deceased since that date, while in two parishes births and burials between 1 May and the date of making the assessment have been separately noted (nos. 11 and 59).


1 Unless otherwise specified, the references to the Act and its modifications are those given in D. V. Glass, 'Two papers on Gregory King', in D. V. Glass and D. E. C. Eversley, Population in history (London, 1965).
2 Journals of the House of Commons, vol. 11, pp. 294-5.
3 See T. H. Hollingsworth, The demography of the British peerage, supplement to Population studies, Nov. 1964.
4 A letter to a Member of Parliament, on the registering and numbering the people of Great Britain (London, 1753), p. 7.
5 J. S. Burn, The history of parish registers in England, 2nd edn. (London, 1862), p. 111, n. 1, says that the 1694 Act was passed in part because of a petition from the College of Arms in 1693, praying Parliament to enact legislation which would allow them to register full details regarding the vital events of the nobility and the gentry. Instead of accepting the petition as such, its proposals were incorporated in a Money Bill, thus raising revenue at the same time. But this would only apply to Section L of the 1694 Act — the very section which was not, as far as is known, ever implemented.
6 [Anon], A discourse of the growth of England in populousness and trade since the Reformation. . . (London, 1689), p, 116. This was the second edition of [Sir Peter Pett], The happy future state of England... (London, 1688).
7 5 April 1695, Journals of the House of Commons, vol. 11, p. 295.
8 G. E. Barnett (ed), Two tracts by Gregory King (Baltimore, 1936), pp. 43-4.
9 [C. Davenant], An essay upon the probable methods of making a people gainers in the ballance of Trade (London, 1699), pp. 32-3.
10 1 R. E. Chester Waters, 'A statutory list of the inhabitants of Melbourne, Derbyshire, in 1695', Journal of the Derbyshire Archaeological and Natural History Society, vol. VII, Jan. 1885, pp. 1-30.
11 Cal. of Treasury Books (18 May 1698), vol. XIII, p. 339; (26 May 1696), vol. XI, p. 155; (6 Jan. 1696), vol. X, pt. iii, p. 1276.
12 Ibid., vol. XIII, pp. 449-50. For other references to neglects, deficiencies or frauds, 1698-1701, see, for example vol. XIII, pp. 268, 337; vol. XIV, p. 177; vol. XV, p. 307; vol. XVI, p. 181; and especially a letter of 22 Sept. 1698 to Col. Nanny, M.P., Co. Merioneth, stating that the Act had not been put into execution in his county for the years 1695 and 1696, vol. XIV, p. 127.
13 25 Oct. 1697, Ibid., vol. XIII, p. 133.
14 Ibid., vol. XI, p. 322.
15 According to S. Dowell, A history of taxation and taxes in England, vol. 2 (London, 1965, reprint), pp. 46-7, the yield during the first five years was £258,094 — or rather less than £52,000 per year — and 'comparatively little' afterwards. Dowell adds a somewhat curious comment on the effect of the Act: 'It may be noted that the tax on marriages had the pernicious effect of increasing the number of marriages by irresponsible persons unfit for the solemnity.'
16 Waters, op. cit., p. 5.
17 See the list on pp. xli-xlii and in P. E. Jones and A. V. Judges, 'London population in the late seventeenth century', Economic History Review, vol. VI, Oct. 1935, pp. 58-62.
18 Inquiries among county and city archivists in 1963 yielded references to returns for these additional areas. The return for Fenny Compton has been analysed by P. Styles, University of Birmingham Historical Journal, vol. 3, no. 1, 1951, pp. 33-51. I was informed by Mr Peter Laslett of the existence of the returns for Westmorland and Wiltshire.
19 The most complete set of annual revisions is that for the town and port of New Romney, covering every year from 1695 to 1706. Candleshoe has a complete return for 1706 and incomplete returns for 1701, 1704 and 1705. Southampton has returns for four parishes for 1695; eight for 1696; and eight for 1697. Lyme Regis has returns for 1701, 1702 and 1703. Leicester City has returns for three years for St Mary's parish, but single-year returns for St Martin's and St Margaret's. Fenny Compton has a single return for 1698.
20 B.M. Add. Ms. 32645, ff. 4-11v. See Plate II.
21 Evidence of a still wider spread of the assessments in various parts of the country is to be found in the Cal. of Treasury Books and in the list of places (outside of London) for which Gregory King was able to obtain at least the statistics of total population. Those places include Norwhich (totals for 1695 and 1696), Exeter, Gloucester, Brentwood, Barnet and Sevenoaks. King's data for Lichfield, though possibly collected by the surveyors responsible for the assessments, were far more detailed and comprehensive than the Act required (see Glass, op. cit., p. 177). Incidentally, there is one type of document referred to occasionally in Cal. of Treasury Books, e.g. vol. XIII, p. 299, which might be of considerable interest — namely 'printed books for the surveyors of the Duties on Marriages & c., and on Houses, for their instructions, and keeping accounts'. But so far I have not found any examples of such books.
22 See Table 1a and b which is based on King's broadsheet. A more extensive digest was issued under the title of [Anon.], An abstract of the Act... for granting to His Majesty certain duties upon marriages, births, burials, and upon batchelours and widowers... [London, 1695].
23 Two other heralds were among the Commissioners for London — Sir Thomas St George, Garter King of Arms, and Henry Dethick, Richmond Herald.
24 The eastern parishes covered Stepney, Hackney, Wapping, Shoreditch, Whitechapel and Shadwell, together with St Katherine's (the Tower). The list is given in Glass, op. cit., p. 175.
25 See Plates I and II. This must surely be the earliest census to enumerate a demographer!
26 See p. xxxviii.
27 The early periodic censuses (1801 and 1811) were not as detailed, and it was not until 1841 that, using a householder's schedule, the name of every person enumerated was listed. (The earlier censuses were 'tallies'.) The 1694 Act specified such a nominal listing, and it was carried out in all the assessments I have seen.
28 For additional details see p. xxxviii.
29 Paupers — persons receiving alms — were exempt from the taxes on births and marriages, and from the duties on bachelors above the age of 25 and on childless widowers. In the case of the burials of such persons (and also of their wives and children) the burial tax had to be paid by the parish.
30 Comparable ambiguities may apply to the meaning of 'lodger'.
31 P. E. Jones and A. V. Judges, 'London population in the late seventeenth century', Economic History Review, vol. VI, Oct. 1935, pp. 45-63.
32 It might be argued — though it would scarcely be possible to verify — that there were more omissions in the assessments made under the 1694 Act than in the 1801 census, since the latter had no tax objective. But if this were true, the movement of population from the City between the two dates would then be still greater than the uncorrected figures suggest.
33 This estimate is based upon the data in Table 3 of the article by Jones and Judges, equating 'households' and 'inhabited houses'. (For the meaning of 'household', see the subsequent discussion.)
34 The indicators used for 1831 are the assessed values of real property in 1815 or 1828, Comparative account of the population of Great Britain in the years 1801, 1811, 1821, and 1831,... as required by the Population Act of 1830 (London, 1831), pp. 161-6. For 1851, the indices are based on data on occupations and are taken from D. V. Glass, 'Fertility and economic status in London', Eugenics Review, July 1938. Of course, there was at the same time (in the mid-nineteenth century) a sizeable fraction of the working-class population living in or near the centre of London — constrained by the inability to pay for what was then costly transport, and living in extremely overcrowded conditions, especially in Holborn and Finsbury. See, for example, T. C. Barker and M. Robbins, A history of London transport, vol. 1 (London, 1963), ch. 1.
35 Including six with twenty or more persons. This analysis is based upon the original assessment for the parish, and I have looked at the composition of the largest group containing twenty-seven persons (no. 17.5). It is not clear whether this group represents a 'house', an 'institution', or some other type of unit. Certainly, there appear to be seven sub-units. The first, headed by the 'householder', Timothy Cary, consists of Cary and his wife, a son and two servants. The remaining six sub-units consist of lodgers and their families, viz: Rachel Lomax, widow, and her two sons; Thomas Ross, his wife and three sons; Benjamin Paris, his wife, two sons and two daughters; George Briggs, his wife and three daughters; Francis Arix and his wife; and Martha Mills, a singleton lodger. Other very large groups were in Printing House Lane, Swan Alley, Ireland Yard and Shoemaker Row (the assessment for St Anne, Blackfriars, is one of the two which give street names). Mr P. E. Jones has told me that the 1692 poll tax confirms the existence of these large groups in Shoemaker Row and that the sub-units are equally distinguished as lodgers in that tax list. In analysing the original assessments, somewhat different numbers were found as compared with those reported by Jones and Judges. But the differences are fairly small and do not affect the results in any serious way. Some of the discrepancies, for a sample of parishes, will be seen in Table 4 in respect of total populations and numbers of households.
36 P. E. Jones and A. V. Judges. op. cit., p. 48.
37 Further, his death-rates were based initially on the deaths given in the parish registers — not likely to be correct. He then 'adjusted' the death-rates to accord with what he thought the 'true' rates should be. He referred to St Benet as the 'poorer' parish, and 'that it is also fuller of Inmates or Lodgers which Lodgers are generally omitted in the Assessment'. He used his 'adjusted' death-rates to arrive at 'corrected' populations for the two parishes, namely 828 for St Benet and 385 for St Peter. He further modified these figures (in two stages) to arrive at ultimate estimates of 845 and 390 respectively (B.M. Add. Ms. 32645, ff. 6, 11 v.). It is of some interest to note that throughout his journals and other manuscripts whenever King cited births and burials they were derived (though later often 'corrected') from the parish registers and not from the collectors' returns under the 1694 Act. The main reason is no doubt that all the pertinent King manuscripts seen so far date from 1695 and 1696 — at which time it is unlikely that King would have had copies of the returns. His main work — Observations — was completed by mid – 1696, only a year after the Act had come into force. Whether King continued seriously to work on demographic questions after 1696 is not known. His replies to Harley's comments on his Observations (see Glass, op. cit., pp. 191 – 2) are dated the end of May 1697, and he then indicated that he had been collecting additional material. Some latter material does exist — two local enumerations undertaken in 1698. But no subsequent journals have come to light.
38 G. E. Barnett (ed.), Two tracts by Gregory King, p. 18.
39 This does not, however, seem to be so in King's copy of the assessment for St Benet, Paul's Wharf. Not only are there very few lodgers — King commented on that — but there are no multiple households of the kind evident in other assessments. The Herald's Office, for example, is shown as containing six distinct units. This suggests that the assessment in question designates 'households' rather than houses.
40 The St Mary le Bow assessment (no. 62) was chosen because of its detail on occupations. The assessment also distinguishes the Cheapside precinct.
41 There are also difficulties in treating individual, apparently unattached persons found in a house. In some cases they may well have been living with the family — for example, a merchant's son living with an attorney's family — both for convenience and comfort and as part of their induction into adulthood. In a situation in which apprenticeship was a standard means of acquiring a livelihood, this lodging with a middle-class family may have been an informal kind of apprenticeship.
42 P. Cunningham, A handbook for London, vol. 1 (London, 1849), pp. 263 – 4. Sec also T. F. Reddaway, The rebuilding of London after the Great Fire (London, 1951), pp. 262 – 4; also pp. 264 – 6 for the College of Arms. Henry St George, who contributed towards the cost of rebuilding the College, was still living there in 1696 — with his wife, a relative and four servants.
43 P. Laslett. The world we have lost (London, 1965), p. 236; and P. Laslett, 'New light on the history of the English family', The Listener, 17 Feb. 1966, pp. 233 – 4.
44 To attempt to allocate the people in a house to separate units would require information — which is not available — on internal living arrangements. Though assumptions can be made and can produce results which, as in the earlier discussion, may be interesting by way of example, to apply such assumptions to the whole of a parish or to a series of parishes, would be rather dangerous.
45 An illustration of the influence of mortality and fertility on the possible frequency of three-generation families can be obtained by adapting a calculation given in United Nations, The aging of populations, New York, 1956, pp. 74 – 5, and using the U.N. model life tables, United Nations, Methods for population projections by sex and age (New York, 1956), pp. 76 – 7. Assume that couples marry at 24 (husband and wife the same age), have six live births and bear all their children at age 30. Assume that all surviving children marry and have their first child at age 25. These assumptions are, of course, greatly oversimplified, but they will illustrate the question at issue, namely what would be the ratio of surviving parents to surviving children by the time those parents become grandparents. The probability of 2, 1, or 0 parents surviving is given by (p + q)2, where p is the probability of surviving from age 30 to age 55 (by which time they first become grandparents). The probability of the children surviving to have their own first children – i.e. the probability of various numbers from 6 to 0 surviving from each family — is given by (p + q)6, where p is the probability of living to age 25. (In the calculations the life table used is level 10 — expectation of life at birth of 25 years, perhaps not too greatly different from what might have obtained in London in the 1690s). Then of 1,000 sets of parents, the survivors at age 55 would be 223 couples and 498 singletons (994 individuals in all). Of the 1,000 sets of six children, the survivors to age 25 would be 2,625. If parents are treated as collectives (i.e. two are equivalent to one so far as living in a three-generation family is concerned) then if all parents lived with surviving children the proportion of three-generation families would be 27 per cent. If parental couples are split and distributed among the children, the proportion would be 38 per cent. These proportions would increase if mortality fell. But the major increase would occur if fertility were greatly reduced. Of course, life is not like that and even in strongly familial societies not all parents live with their surviving adult children and their grandchildren. But even if they did, the three-generation family would not (save when fertility is relatively low) be the dominant form. It is unfortunate that the analysis of household structure in Britain, as contained in the census reports until very recently, does not make it possible to estimate how many households are of the nuclear type (two-generation family, with or without servants). One of the very few household classifications which provides such an estimate is that of R. Glass in The social background of a plan: a study of Middlesbrough (London, 1948). This classification, which was designed to show the existence of 'concealed' or 'potential' households, distinguished one-family (one- or two-generation) from other single-household units. The application of the classification to sample survey data for Middlesbrough established the dominant role of the one-family household there — 75 per cent of all households in the town. When the 1 per cent sample tabulations of the 1951 census of Great Britain were organised (the first census in Britain to attempt a relatively detailed analysis of household structure) the Middlesbrough classification was adopted by the General Register Office, but in a compressed and modified form, and the 'one-family' type was replaced by the 'primary-family unit', However, this may include 'near relatives of the head or head's spouse' and brothers or sisters (under the age of 16) of the head or head's spouse. The tabulations showed the 'primary-family unit' as the dominant type (12.5 million out of a total of 14.5 million private households in Britain). An estimate of the number of one- or two-generation, single-family households can be obtained (the data do not make it possible to see if the figures are completely comparable, but they are sufficiently close for the present purpose) by taking only those primary-family units which contained no near relatives, and excluding units headed by a bachelor or spinster. The total number is 10.9 million out of a total of 14.5 million private households, or about 75 per cent, the same proportion as in Middlesbrough. See Census 1951, Great Britain, One per cent sample tables, pt. II (London, 1952), pp. 182 – 7.
46 I have included two 'boys' (so designated) and one 'black boy' among the male servants. None of the apprentices is shown as liable to the marriage tax — presumably because, while apprentices, they were not supposed to marry. A few 'nurses' were included among the servants; they are shown in the assessment as unmarried (and are not described as widows).
47 In 1841 the expectation of life at birth was about thirty-five years for males and thirtyeight for females. It is doubtful if there had been much change by 1851. The term 'abnormal' is used only in comparison with London at a later date. By comparison with rural areas, however, the existence of large numbers of unmarried servants and apprentices would, of course, create an 'abnormal' situation.
48 The Bills of Mortality could not be used, for they are simply statistical summaries; individuals are not identified, as they are in the other two sets of records.
49 The estimate is arrived at in the following way — the burials in St Mildred, Poultry, being used as an example. Table 11 shows, for that parish, 33 burials in both sets of records, 32 in the parish register only, and 9 in the collectors' returns only. If X is the number escaping both sets of records, x/9 = 32/33, and x is 9, to the nearest whole number.
50 Supplied by the Hon. general Editor.
51 See list of parishes on pp. xli – xlii.