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English county populations in the later eighteenth century -super-1

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  • E. A. WRIGLEY

Abstract

When directing the first English census John Rickman was intent not only on discovering the size of the population in 1801 but also on tracing past trends both nationally and for individual counties. He returned to the latter investigation on several later occasions, notably in the 1830s. There have been many subsequent attempts to improve upon his national estimates, but his estimates of county totals have continued to be used extensively, either unchanged or slightly modified. Rickman was aware that his estimates were subject to wide margins of error. For the later eighteenth century it is possible to produce new estimates which are probably substantially more accurate, taking advantage of the fact that after Hardwicke's Act (1753) the registration of marriages in Anglican parish registers, unlike that of baptisms and burials, was virtually complete. They show that the contrast between population growth rates in 'industrial' counties and those in which agriculture continued to predominate were significantly more marked than suggested by Rickman's estimates. The same exercise that produces county estimates also yields hundredal totals, which will in future allow a more refined account of relative growth and stagnation to be made. Copyright Economic History Society 2006.

Suggested Citation

  • E. A. Wrigley, 2007. "English county populations in the later eighteenth century -super-1," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 60(1), pages 35-69, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ehsrev:v:60:y:2007:i:1:p:35-69
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    File URL: http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1468-0289.2006.00355.x
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    Cited by:

    1. Theo Balderston, 2010. "The economics of abundance: coal and cotton in Lancashire and the world," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 63(3), pages 569-590, August.
    2. Clark, Gregory, 2010. "The Consumer Revolution: Turning Point in Human History, or Statistical Artifact?," MPRA Paper 25467, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. E. A. Wrigley, 2009. "Rickman revisited: the population growth rates of English counties in the early modern period -super-1," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 62(3), pages 711-735, August.
    4. Bruce M. S. Campbell, 2008. "Benchmarking medieval economic development: England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland, c.1290 -super-1," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 61(4), pages 896-945, November.
    5. Wallis, Patrick & Colson, Justin & Chilosi, David, 2016. "Puncturing the Malthus delusion: structural change in the British economy before the industrial revolution, 1500-1800," Economic History Working Papers 66816, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
    6. Thomas Barnebeck Andersen & Jeanet Bentzen & Carl-Johan Dalgaard & Paul Sharp, 2010. "Religious Orders and Growth through Cultural Change in Pre-Industrial England," DEGIT Conference Papers c015_036, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
    7. Nina Boberg‐Fazlić & Paul Sharp, 2017. "Does Welfare Spending Crowd Out Charitable Activity? Evidence from Historical England Under the Poor Laws," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 127(599), pages 50-83, February.
    8. Thomas Barnebeck Andersen & Jeanet Bentzen & Carl‐Johan Dalgaard & Paul Sharp, 2017. "Pre‐reformation Roots of the Protestant Ethic," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 127(604), pages 1756-1793, September.
    9. Gregory Clark & Joe Cummins & Brock Smith, 2010. "The Surprising Wealth of Pre-industrial England," Working Papers 1014, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.

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