Catalogue

UK Data Service data catalogue record for:

Life in the Suburbs: Health, Domesticity and Status in Early Modern London, 1523-1720

Title details

SN: 7244
Title: Life in the Suburbs: Health, Domesticity and Status in Early Modern London, 1523-1720
Persistent identifier: 10.5255/UKDA-SN-7244-1
Depositor: Merry, M., University of London. Institute of Historical Research. Centre for Metropolitan History
Principal investigator(s): Davies, M., University of London. Institute of Historical Research. Centre for Metropolitan History
Harding, V., Birkbeck College, University of London
Smith, R., University of Cambridge. Department of Geography
Sponsor(s): Economic and Social Research Council
Grant number: RES-062-23-1260
Other acknowledgements: Merry, M., Centre for Metropolitan History, Institute of Historical Research, School of Advanced Study, University of London
Baker, P., Centre for Metropolitan History, Institute of Historical Research, School of Advanced Study, University of London
Latham, M., Centre for Metropolitan History, Institute of Historical Research, School of Advanced Study, University of London
Newton, G., The Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge

Subject Categories

Local history - History
Population history - History
Social history - History
Urban history - History

Abstract

This project investigated the character and development of London's eastern suburb by examining the life of the inhabitants of the extra-mural parishes of St Botolph Aldgate and Holy Trinity Minories from c.1550-c.1700. Covering just under 80 acres running south from the parish of St Botolph Bishopsgate to the Thames, this area experienced a population explosion during the early modern period, from c.3,500 inhabitants in 1540, over 11,000 by 1650, to nearly 20,000 by 1700. The area offers a population with a unique range of social and economic experiences which allow the greatest possible scope for studying suburban living in early modern London. Moreover, it also offers an unprecedented array of sources, including parish registers, records of poor relief, numerous taxation and household listings, and the observations of the parish clerks of St Botolph.

The project had three main aims. The first involves a full family reconstitution and demographic analysis of the area's parish registers - the largest reconstitution yet attempted from English registers. Relevant issues here are seasonality of mortality across the period, and the impact of maternal feeding practices. The second area of research involved study of the status, wealth and arrangement of the domestic units within the two parishes. Major themes here concern the levels of poverty and overseas immigration, the impact of London's growth on existing social structures and whether communities of wealth congregated in different areas of the suburb. Finally, the third project strand concerned the topographical development of the area, specifically the expansion of its housing stock. Subjects of interest here included the residence patterns and spatial characteristics of the population, variables such as housing quality and amenity, and rental values.
Main Topics:
The datasets in this collection are composed of data created from sources that fall into four categories:

1. The parish registers of St Botolph Aldgate and Holy Trinity Minories
2. Parochial records from the vestry of St Botolph Aldgate
3. Lists of inhabitants from local and national taxation records
4. Records of ownership and conveyance of properties within the parish of St Botolph Aldgate

Two principal approaches were taken to creating the data from sources in groups 1-3. For the parish register material, data was entered into a relational database, whilst for the parish records and lists of inhabitants 'semi-structured' transcriptions were made. These latter comprise verbatim transcriptions with core information – usually relating to named individuals or payments made and received – organised in a tabular structure, sometimes with (clearly identified) added analytical apparatus. In all cases all material has followed the original orthography. These source-specific datasets were subsequently processed and reconfigured for various research strands as required. The current data collection contains the pre-processed transcripts, subjected to editing and cleaning

Coverage, universe, methodology

Time period: 01 January 1523 - 31 December 1720
Dates of fieldwork: 01 June 2008 - 31 May 2011
Country: England
Geography: London
Spatial units: Parishes (Civil)
Observation units: Individuals
Families/households
Kind of data: Textual data
Numeric data
Alpha/numeric data
Image
Universe: Subnational
Individuals, taxation assessments, vital events in two Middlesex parishes
Time dimensions: Time Series
Sampling procedures: No sampling (total universe)
Method of data collection: Transcription of existing materials
Weighting: No Weighting Used

Keywords

ALDGATECITY OF LONDON (LONDON BOROUGH)DEMOGRAPHIC STATISTICS
PARISH RECORDSPROPERTY, OWNERSHIP AND TENURESOCIAL HISTORY
SOCIAL STATUSSOCIAL STRUCTURESTEPNEY (GREATER LONDON)
TOWER HAMLETS LONDON BOROUGH

Administrative and access information

Date of release:
First edition: 10 April 2013
Copyright: Copyright M. Davies
Access conditions: The depositor has specified that registration is required and standard conditions of use apply. The depositor may be informed about usage. See terms and conditions for further information.
Available to all users based in HE/FE institutions, for not-for-profit educational and research purposes only.
Availability: UK Data Service
Contact: Get in touch

Documentation

TitleFile NameSize (KB)
Study documentation (portable data format) guide.pdf 1015
Study information and citation UKDA_Study_7244_Information.htm 21
READ File read7244.txt 1

Related studies:

People in Place: Families, Households, and Housing in London, 1550-1720 (SN 5791)

Publications

By principal investigator(s):
Merry, M. and Baker, P. (2009) 'For the house her self and one servant: Family and Household in Late Seventeenth-century London', The London Journal, 34(3), pp. 205-232

Newton, G. (2011) 'Infant Mortality Variations, Feeding Practices and Social Status in London between 1550 and 1750', Social History of Medicine 24(2), pp. 260–280

Newton, G. (2011) 'Recent developments in making family reconstitutions', Local Population Studies, 87, pp. 84-89

Baker, P. and Merry M. (2012) ''The poore lost a good Frend and the parish a good Neighbour': the lives of the poor and their supporters in London's eastern suburb, c.1583–c.1679', in M. Davies and J.A. Galloway (eds) London and Beyond: Essays in Honour of Derek Keene London: Institute of Historical Research, pp. 155-180

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