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Seasonality and early modern towns: the timing of baptisms, marriages and burials in England, 1560-1750, with particular reference to towns

Seasonality and early modern towns: the timing of baptisms, marriages and burials in England, 1560-1750, with particular reference to towns

Greatorex, Irene (1992) Seasonality and early modern towns: the timing of baptisms, marriages and burials in England, 1560-1750, with particular reference to towns. PhD thesis, Thames Polytechnic.

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Abstract

The thesis examines the seasonality of baptisms, marriages and burials in early modern towns, and demonstrates that seasonality (which measures how the frequency of vital events varied through the year) is a useful method of examining aspects of social history.

Chapter 1 looks at the background to the use of the demographic tool of seasonality and suggests how seasonality may be able to address some of the concerns of urban historians.

Chapters 2 to 4 discuss the sources and methodology of the study, and the results are summarised in Chapter 5. The baptismal, burial and marriage seasonality patterns are described, and urban patterns are compared and contrasted with rural patterns.

The results are discussed in Chapter 6, which seeks to explain the seasonality patterns, and the similarities and differences between urban and rural patterns, by looking at the context in which they arise, principally living conditions and the prevalence of diseases, and working and leisure patterns. Chapter 7 looks more closely at the transition between urban and rural seasonality patterns.

Plague and intestinal disease, due to overcrowded and insanitary living conditions, created a divergent burial pattern in towns up to 1700. Otherwise, the urban and rural seasonality patterns of all events were basically similar in shape. The crucial distinction between urban and rural seasonality was in the much `flatter' patterns in towns, due largely to the more even and varied routines of urban occupations compared to farming, which was inherently seasonal in its labour demands. It is argued that population size was the significant factor in the development of urban seasonality, with small towns being transitional between the high seasonality of rural parishes and the low seasonality of larger towns.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: uk.bl.ethos.303910
Uncontrolled Keywords: history, early modern England, social history, seasonality
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
Pre-2014 Departments: Thames Polytechnic
Thames Polytechnic > School of Humanities
Last Modified: 26 Apr 2017 11:18
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/8655

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