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Title: Taking the measure : a demographic-based study of non-metropolitan Surrey, c.1550-1750
Author: Jones, Susan Rosamund
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2020
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This thesis offers an exploration in a sub-regional context of early modern England’s interconnected demographic and economic systems, revealing some of the patchwork of local experiences which made up the national picture. The study’s findings contribute to a number of discussions. It challenges or develops aspects of some current narratives including on the changing balance between pastoral and arable agriculture, on the 1550s and 1590s mortality crises and on differing patterns of male and female mortality. It also re-emphasises geographical characteristics of migration, though expanding understanding of the origins of London apprentices. Taking a parish-level framework of analysis, it considers non-metropolitan Surrey (the majority of the historical county of Surrey excluding only those parishes which were in practice subsumed within Surrey’s neighbour, London) between the mid-sixteenth and the mid-eighteenth centuries. A mainly rural area with a varied terrain it contained several small or modestly-sized towns and a certain amount of industrial activity. Consideration is given to its population levels, its agriculture and other aspects of its economy, the mobility of its people and their patterns of mortality both in normal times and in periods of crisis. Finding both temporal and spatial similarities and differences between parishes and broader localities, significant influences identified include its towns, transport routes, proximity to London, soils and landscapes. Methodologically, the study provides an innovative extension to previous studies. Taking a ‘big data’ approach, it uses large datasets of quantitative sources including parish registers, poor law records, apprenticeship records and probate documents supplemented by a variety of qualitative sources. It explores the direct evidence these sources contain and also the indirect, unwitting, evidence parish registers provide, showing how together such sources can be used to examine the demographic and economic lives of people across a wide area and over a considerable period of time, an approach with widespread applicability.
Supervisor: Healey, Jonathan Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: demographic history ; local history ; agricultural history ; early modern history