British Population Growth, 1700–1850 by M. W. Flinn (auth.)

By M. W. Flinn (auth.)

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In such crises not only did mortality temporarily rise very high, but there were also temporary sharp drops in the number of marriages, of conceptions and of live births. One of the worst crises, brought on by harvest failure, was in Finland in 1696-7, when it is estimated that mortality over large parts of the country reduced the population by up to one-third. 1 Epidemic disease spread by invading armies reduced by almost one-half the population of a wide area of southern Jutland and Schleswig in 1659-60.

Jutikkala, 'The Great Finnish Famine in 1696-97', Scandinavian Economic History Review, Ill (1955). 2 A. Lassen, 'The Population of Denmark in 1660', Scandinavian Economic History Review, XIII (1965). a P. Goubert, Beauvais et le Beauvaisis de 1600 a 17}0 (Paris, 1960) I, chap. 3; J. -N. Biraben, 'Certain Demographic Characteristics of the Plague Epidemic in France, 1720-22', Daedalus (spring 1968). • T. C. 246-8. & A. Gooder, Plague and Enclosure: A Warwickshire Village in the Seventeenth Century (Coventry and North Warwickshire History 46 severe crises in the West Riding of Yorkshire in 1623 and 1643 (Drake, 1961-2, inset graphs).

This is unmistakable evidence of rising fertility in the later eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries; further studies of this kind will now, of course, be awaited with interest to see how far the Colyton pattern is indeed typical of that over the whole country. The Colyton 29 registers, moreover, permit the study of fertility to be carried much further back in time than merely the eighteenth century, and Wrigley has also shown that the rising fertility of the eighteenth century was in fact the second half of a cycle, in the other half of which fertility had fallen and the mean age at marriage risen.

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