Category Archives: Population

Why was the Church of England under pressure in 1830?

The Church of England found itself in an uncomfortable position at the turn of the nineteenth century and was especially slow to recognise the significance of the changes taking place in the population structure of the country. [1] It had … Continue reading

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Adult migration in British Empire 1600-1960

Migration was an integral part of the political process through which British identity, the British state and the British Empire were constructed. Although the notion of imperial Britain may not have been well received in Scotland, Wales and Ireland in … Continue reading

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Child and youth migration in British Empire 1600-1960

Child migration played an important role in emigration as early as 1617 when the Virginia Company considered sending ‘vagrant’ children to the Americas. Although a hundred children were sent in 1619, question about its legality were not resolved until early … Continue reading

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Fertility

Fertility levels had already stabilised by the 1830s.[1] The lower marriage age that had contributed to the increased natural growth of the early industrial revolution gave way after the depressed 1820s and 1830s to later marriage, a slight increase in … Continue reading

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Mortality

Levels of mortality changed little between the 1820s and the 1870s after which they moved hesitantly downwards to the turn of the century. There were three major factors influencing health and mortality. First, socio-economic forces such as rising real wages … Continue reading

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Malthus

In 1803, Thomas Robert Malthus (1766-1834) published a second edition of his An Essay on the Principles of Population, a work that had been first published anonymously five years earlier.[1] The main tenets of his argument were radically opposed to … Continue reading

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Infanticide: a case study

In West London, on the evening of 1 September 1856, a grisly discovery was made. The bodies of newborn twins were found wrapped in a bloodstained petticoat and chemise in the front garden of a house at Pentridge Villas, Notting … Continue reading

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Population growth: comings and goings

Mobility and migration, both internal and international were important in Britain’s growing population. Four aspects of migration are of particular significance.  First, there was massive emigration from the outer rural periphery, especially the west of Ireland and the Scottish Highlands … Continue reading

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Population growth: why?

  Between 1831 and 1911 Britain’s population continued to grow steadily. Source 1: Population 1831-1911 (in millions)   Census England and Wales Scotland Ireland 1801 8.89 1.61 7.54 1831 13.90 2.36 7.77 1841 15.91 2.63 8.18 1851 17.93 2.89 6.55 … Continue reading

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Population growth: Malthusian ideas and sources

What happened to Britain’s population during the nineteenth century? [1].  In 1803 Thomas Robert Malthus [1766-1834] published a second edition of his An Essay on the Principles of Population, a work that had been first published anonymously five years earlier[2]. … Continue reading

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