Crisis in Lancashire: A survey of the 1720's Demographic Crisis

Edwards, Elizabeth M (2009) Crisis in Lancashire: A survey of the 1720's Demographic Crisis. Doctoral thesis, UCLAN.

[thumbnail of Thesis document]
PDF (Thesis document) - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike.



This thesis examines a suspected demographic crisis in Lancashire in the latter years of the 1720s utilising evidence from a wide selection of parish registers and a number of contemporary accounts. Lancashire has proved to be an excellent county to study this crisis given its diverse topographic and economic characteristics, and a division of the county into four regions enhances the understanding of the incidence of crisis. Previously this crisis had been unexplored in Lancashire, with the regional studies conducted in the midlands and to the east of the country. Glimpses of crisis were evident in the forewords of the transcriptions of the parish registers by the Lancashire Parish Register Society and from contemporary accounts. Thus a full study of the parish registers would enhance the knowledge of the crisis in Lancashire. During the undertaking of this study an article considering the experience of the Lancashire crisis was published, which has provided a number of suppositions which this study explores in greater detail.

In considering the data provided by the parish registers, the study explores a number of observations; a subsistence caused by harvest failures and disease, with the countryside being greatly affected. That the experience of crisis was socially selective in which the older members of the community formed the majority of the burials and that the poor and vulnerable were hardest hit Consideration of the experience of crisis is best explored through the review of one community that recorded exceptionally high levels of modality and had not only detailed registers but a record of the poor accounts.

Repository Staff Only: item control page