# Natural and Political Observations Made upon the Bills of Mortality (Graunt 1676)/Chapter 1

Natural and Political

OBSERVATIONS, &c.

Chap. I.

Of the Bills of Mortality, their beginning, and progress.[1]

THE first of the continued Weekly Bills of Mortality extant at the Parish Clerks Hall[2], begins the Twenty ninth of December 1603, being the first year of King James his Reign; since when a weekly Accompt hath been kept there of Burials and Christnings. It is true, There were Bills || before, viz. for the Years 1592, -93, -94; but so interrupted since, that I could not depend upon the sufficiency of them, rather relying upon those Accompts, which have been kept since in order, as to all the uses I shall make of them.

2. I believe, that the rise of keeping these Accompts was taken from the Plague: for the said Bills (for ought appears) first began in the said year 1592, being a time of great Mortality; and, after some disuse, were resumed again in the year 1603, after the great Plague then happening likewise[3].

3. These Bills were printed and published, not only every Week on Thursdays, but also a general Accompt of the whole Year was given in upon the Thursday before Christmas-day: which said general Accompts have been presented in the several manners following, viz. from the Year 1603, to the Year 1624, inclusive, according to the Pattern here inserted[4].

1623. 1624.

The general Bill for the whole Year, of all the Burials and Christnings, as well within the City of London, and the Liberties thereof, as in the Nine out Parishes adjoyning to the City, with the Pest-house be-|3|longing to the same: from Thursday the 18. of December 1623, to Thursday the 16. of December, 1624, according to the Report made to the King's most Excellent Majesty by the Company of the Parish-Clerks of London.

 BUried this Year in the Fourscore and seventeenParishes of London within the Walls, ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle {\left.{\begin{matrix}\ \\\ \end{matrix}}\right\}\,}}$ 3386 Whereof of the Plague, ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle {\left.{\begin{matrix}\ \end{matrix}}\right\}\,}}$ 1 Buried this Year in the Sixteen Parishes of London,⁠and the Pesthouse, being within the Liberties, andwithout the Walls, ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle {\left.{\begin{matrix}\ \\\\\ \ \end{matrix}}\right\}\,}}$ 5924 Whereof, of the Plague, ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle {\left.{\begin{matrix}\ \end{matrix}}\right\}\,}}$ 5 The whole Sum of all the Burials in London, andthe Liberties thereof, is this Year ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle {\left.{\begin{matrix}\ \\\ \end{matrix}}\right\}\,}}$ 9310 Whereof, of the Plague, ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle {\left.{\begin{matrix}\ \end{matrix}}\right\}\,}}$ 6 Buried of the Plague without the Liberties, inMiddlesex and Surrey, this whole Year, ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle {\left.{\begin{matrix}\ \\\ \end{matrix}}\right\}\,}}$ 0 Christened in London, and the Liberties thereof,this Year; ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle {\left.{\begin{matrix}\ \\\ \end{matrix}}\right\}\,}}$ 6368 Buried this Year in the Nine out-Parishes, ad-joyning to London, and out of the Freedom, ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle {\left.{\begin{matrix}\ \\\ \end{matrix}}\right\}\,}}$ 2900 Whereof, of the Plague, ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle {\left.{\begin{matrix}\ \end{matrix}}\right\}\,}}$ 5 |4| The Total of all the Burials in the places afore-said is ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle {\left.{\begin{matrix}\ \\\ \end{matrix}}\right\}\,}}$ 12210 Whereof, of the Plague, ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle {\left.{\begin{matrix}\ \end{matrix}}\right\}\,}}$ 11 Christened in all the aforesaid places this Year, ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle {\left.{\begin{matrix}\ \end{matrix}}\right\}\,}}$ 8299 Parishes clear of the Plague, ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle {\left.{\begin{matrix}\ \end{matrix}}\right\}\,}}$ 116 Parishes that have been Infected this Year, ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle {\left.{\begin{matrix}\ \end{matrix}}\right\}\,}}$ 6

4. In the Year 1625, every Parish was particularized[5], as in this following Bill: where note, That this next year of Plague caused the Augmentation, and Correction of the Bills; as the former year of Plague did the very being of them.

1624. 1625.

A general, or great Bill for this Year, of the whole number of Burials, which have been buried of all Diseases, and also of the Plague in every Parish within the City of London, and the Liberties thereof; as also in the Nine out Parishes adjoyning to the said City; with the Pest-house belonging to the same: from Thursday the 16. day of December, 1624, to Thursday the 15. day of December, 1625. according to the Report |5| made to the King's most Excellent Majesty by the Company of Parish Clerks of London.

 LONDON, Bur. Plag. ALbanes in Woodstreet 188 78 Alhallows Barking 397 263 Alhallows Breadstreet 34 14 Alhallows the Great 442 302 Alhallows Hony-lane 18 8 Alhallows the Less 259 205 Alhallows in Lombard-street 86 44 Alhallows Stainings 183 138 Alhallows the Wall 301 155 Alphage Cripple-gate 240 190 Andrew-Hubbard 146 101 Andrews Undershaft 219 149 Andrews by Wardrobe 373 191 Anns at Aldersgate 196 128 Anns Black-Fryers 336 215 Antholins Parish[6] 62 31 Austins Parish[7] 72 40 Bartholomew at the Exchange 52 24 Bennets Fink[8] 108 57 Bennets Grace Church 48 14 Bennets at Pauls Wharf 226 131 Bennets Shearhog 24 8 Botolphs Billings-gate 99 66 Christ's-Church Parish 611 371 |6| Christophers Parish 48 28 Clements by Eastcheap 87 72 Diony's Back-Church 99 59 Dunstans in the East 335 225 Edmunds Lumbardstreet 78 49 Ethelborow in Bishops-gate 205 101 St. Faiths 89 45 St. Fosters[9] in Foster-lane 149 102 Gabriel Fen-Church 71 54 George Botolphs-lane 30 19 Gregories by Pauls 296 196 Hellens in Bishops-gate street 136 71 James by Garlick-hith 180 109 John Baptist 122 79 John Evangelist 7 0 John Zacharies 143 97 James Dukes-place 310 154 Katherine Colemanstreet 26 175 Katherine Cree-Church 886 373 Lawrence in the Jewry 91 55 Lawrence Pountney 206 127 Leonards Eastcheap 55 26 Leonards Foster-lane 292 209 Magnus Parish by the Bridge 137 85 Margarets Lothbury 114 64 Margarets Moses 37 25 Margarets new Fishstreet 123 82 Margarets Pattons 77 50 |7| Mary Ab-Church 98 58 Mary Aldermanbury 126 79 Mary Aldermary 92 54 Mary le Bow 35 19 Mary Bothaw 22 14 Mary Coal-Church 26 11 Mary at the Hill 152 84 Mary Mounthaw 76 58 Mary Sommerset 270 192 Mary Stainings 70 44 Mary Woolchurch 58 35 Mary Woolnoth 82 50 Martins Ironmonger-lane 25 18 Martins at Ludgate 254 164 Martins Orgars 88 47 Martins Outwich 60 30 Martins in the Vintry 339 208 Matthew Friday-street 24 11 Maudlins in Milk-street 401 23 Maudlins Old-fish-street 225 142 Michael Bassishaw 199 139 Michael Cornhill 159 79 Michael Crooked lane 144 91 Michael Queen-hith 215 157 Michael in the Quern 53 30 Michael in the Royal 111 61 Michael in Wood-street 189 68 Mildreds Bread-street 60 44 |8| Mildreds Poultrey 94 45 Nicholas Acons 33 13 Nicholas Coal-Abby 87 67 Nicholas Olaves 70 43 Olaves in Hart-street 266 195 Olaves in the Jewry 43 25 Olaves in Silver-street 274 103 Pancras by Soper-lane 17 8 Peters in Cheap 68 44 Peters in Cornhill 318 78 Peters at Pauls Wharf 97 68 Peters Poor in Broad-street 52 27 Stevens in Coalman-street 506 350 Stevens in Walbrook 25 13 Swithins at London-stone 99 60 Thomas Apostles 141 107 Trinity Parish 148 87
 ⁠ Buried within the 97 Parishes within the Wallsof all Diseases ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle {\left.{\begin{matrix}\ \\\ \end{matrix}}\right\}\,}}$ 14340 Whereof of the Plague ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle {\left.{\begin{matrix}\ \end{matrix}}\right\}\,}}$ 9197 |9|

 Bur. Plag. Andrews in Holborn 2190 1636 Bartholomew the Great 516 360 Bartholomew the Less 111 65 Brides Parish 1481 1031 Botolph Algate 2573 1653 Bridewel Precinct 213 152 Botolphs Bishops-gate 2334 714 Botolphs Alders-gate 578 307 Dunstans the West 860 642 Georges Southwark 1608 912 Giles Cripplegate 3988 2338 Olaves in Southwark 3689 2609 Saviours in Southwark 2746 1671 Sepulchres Parish 3425 2420 Thomas in Southwark 335 277 Trinity in the Minories 131 87 At the Pesthouse 194 189 Buried in the 16 Parishes without the Walls, standing part within the Liberties, and part without, in Middlesex, and Surrey, and at the Pest-house, ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle {\left.{\begin{matrix}\ \\\\\ \\\ \ \end{matrix}}\right\}\,}}$ 26972 Whereof, of the Plague ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle {\left.{\begin{matrix}\ \end{matrix}}\right\}\,}}$ 17153 |10|

Buried in the Nine out Parishes.

 Bur. Pl. Clements Temple-bar 1284 755 Giles in the Fields 1333 947 James at Clarken-well 1191 903 Katherins by the Tower 998 744 Leonards in Shoreditch 1995 1407 Martins in the Fields 1470 973 Mary White-chapel 3305 2272 Magdalens Bermondsey 1127 889 Savoy Parish 250 176 Buried in the Nine out Parishes, in Middlesex and Surrey, ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle {\left.{\begin{matrix}\ \\\\\ \ \end{matrix}}\right\}\,}}$ 12953 Whereof of the Plague, ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle {\left.{\begin{matrix}\ \end{matrix}}\right\}\,}}$ 9067 The Total of all the Burials of all Diseases, within the Walls, without the Walls, in the Liberties, in Middlesex and Surrey: with the Nine out Parishes, and the Pest-house, ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle {\left.{\begin{matrix}\ \\\\\ \\\ \ \end{matrix}}\right\}\,}}$ 54265 Whereof, Buried of the Plague, this present year, is ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle {\left.{\begin{matrix}\ \end{matrix}}\right\}\,}}$ 35417 Christnings this present year, is ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle {\left.{\begin{matrix}\ \end{matrix}}\right\}\,}}$ 6983 Parishes clear this year, is ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle {\left.{\begin{matrix}\ \end{matrix}}\right\}\,}}$ 1 Parishes infected this year, is ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle {\left.{\begin{matrix}\ \end{matrix}}\right\}\,}}$ 121 |11|

5. In the Year 1626, the City of Westminster, in imitation of London, was inserted. The gross Accompt of the Burials and Christenings, with distinction of the Plague being only taken notice of therein; the fifth, or last Canton, or Linedspace, of the said Bill, being varied into the form following, viz.

 In Westminster this Year ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle {\left\{{\begin{matrix}\ \\\\\ \ \end{matrix}}\right.}}$ Buried 471 Plague 13 Christnings 361

6. In the Year 1629, an Accompt of the Diseases and Casualties, whereof any dyed, together with the distinction of Males and Females, making the sixth Canton of the Bill, was added in manner following.[10]

The Canton of Casualties; and of the Bill for the Year 1632, being of the same form with that of 1629. |12|

The Diseases and Casualties this Year, being 1632.

 ABortive and Stilborn ⁠ 415 Affrighted 1 Aged 628 Ague 43 Apoplex and Meagrim 17 Bit with a mad Dog 1 Bleeding 3 Bloody flux, Scowring, and flux, 343 Bruised, Issues, Sores, and Ulcers, ⁠ 28 Burnt and Scalded 5 Burst and Rupture 9 Cancer and Wolf 10 Canker 1 Childbed 171 Chrisomes and Infants 2268 Cold and Cough 55 Colick, Stone, and Strangury 56 Consumption 1797 Convulsion 241 Cut of the Stone 5 Dead in the street, and starved 6 Dropsie and Swelling 267 Drowned 4 Executed and Prest to death 38 |13| Falling Sickness 17 Fever 1108 Fistula 13 Flox and Small Pox 531 French Pox 12 Gangrene 5 Gout 4 Grief 11 Jaundies 43 Jaw-fain 78 Imposthume 44 Kill'd by several accidents 6 King's Evil 38 Lethargy 2 Livergrown 87 Lunatick 5 Made away themselves 15 Measles 80 Murthered 7 Overlaid, and starved at Nurse 7 Palsie 25 Piles 1 Plague 8 Planet 13 Pleuresie and Spleen 36 Purples and Spotted Fever ⁠ 38 Quinsie 7 Rising of the Lights 98 Sciatica 1 |14| Scurvy and Itch 9 Suddenly 62 Surfet 86 Swine Pox 6 Teeth 470 Thrush and Sore-mouth 40 Tympany 13 Tissick 34 Vomiting 1 Worms 27
 ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle {\left\{{\begin{matrix}\ \\\\\ \ \end{matrix}}\right.}}$ Males 4994 ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle {\left.{\begin{matrix}\ \\\\\ \ \end{matrix}}\right\}\,}}$ ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle {\left\{{\begin{matrix}\ \\\\\ \ \end{matrix}}\right.}}$ Males 4932 Christned Females⁠ 4590 Buried Females⁠ 4603 In all 9584 In all 9535 Whereof, of the Plague 8
 Increased in the Burials in the 122 Parishes, and atthe Pest-house this year ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle {\left.{\begin{matrix}\ \\\ \end{matrix}}\right\}\,}}$ 993[11] Decreased of the Plague in the 122 Parishes, and atthe Pest-house this year ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle {\left.{\begin{matrix}\ \\\ \end{matrix}}\right\}\,}}$ 662[12]

7. In the Year 1636, the Accompt of the Burials and Christnings, in the Parishes of Islington, Lambeth, Stepney, Newington, Hackney, and Redriff were added[13] in the manner following, making a seventh Canton, viz. |15|

 In Margarets Westminster ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle {\left\{{\begin{matrix}\ \\\\\ \ \end{matrix}}\right.}}$ Christned ⁠ 440 Buried 890 Plague 0 Islington⁠ ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle {\left\{{\begin{matrix}\ \\\\\ \ \end{matrix}}\right.}}$ Christned ⁠ 36 Buried 113 Plague 0 Lambeth ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle {\left\{{\begin{matrix}\ \\\\\ \ \end{matrix}}\right.}}$ Christned 132 Buried 220 Plague 0 Stepney ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle {\left\{{\begin{matrix}\ \\\\\ \ \end{matrix}}\right.}}$ Christned 892 Buried 1486 Plague 0 Newington ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle {\left\{{\begin{matrix}\ \\\\\ \ \end{matrix}}\right.}}$ Christned 99 Buried 181 Plague 0 Hackney ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle {\left\{{\begin{matrix}\ \\\\\ \ \end{matrix}}\right.}}$ Christned 30 Buried 91 Plague 0 Redriff ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle {\left\{{\begin{matrix}\ \\\\\ \ \end{matrix}}\right.}}$ Christned 16 Buried 48 Plague 0
 ⁠ The Total of all the Burials in the seven last Parishes this Year ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle {\left.{\begin{matrix}\ \\\ \end{matrix}}\right\}\,}}$ 2958 Whereof of the Plague, ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle {\left.{\begin{matrix}\ \end{matrix}}\right\}\,}}$ 0 The Total of all the Christnings, ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle {\left.{\begin{matrix}\ \end{matrix}}\right\}\,}}$ 1645 |16 |

8. Covent-Garden being made a Parish[14], the Nine out (16) Parishes were called the Ten out Parishes, the which in former years were but Eight.

9. In the Year 1660, the last-mentioned ten Parishes, with Westminster, Islington, Lambeth, Stepney, Newington, Hackney, and Redriff, are entred under two Divisions, viz. the one containing the Twelve Parishes lying in Middlesex and Surrey, and the other the Five Parishes within the City and Liberties of Westminster, viz. St. Clement Danes, St. Paul's Covent-Garden, St. Martin's in the Fields, St. Mary-Savoy, and St. Margaret's Westminster.

10. We have hitherto described the several steps whereby the Bills of Mortality are come up to their present state; we come next to shew how they are made and composed, which is in this manner, viz. When any one dies, then, either by tolling, or ringing of a Bell, or by bespeaking of a Grave of the Sexton, the same is known to the Searchers, corresponding with the said Sexton.

11. The Searchers hereupon (who are ancient Matrons, sworn to their Office) repair to the place where the dead Corps lies, and by view of the same, and by other enquiries, they examine by what Disease or Ca-|17|sualty the Corps died. Hereupon they make their Report to the Parish Clerk, and he, every Tuesday night, carries in an Accompt of all the Burials and Christnings happening that Week, to the Clerk of the Hall. On Wednesday the general Accompt is made up and printed, and on Thursday published and dispersed to the several Families who will pay four Shillings per Annum for them.

12. Memorandum, That although the general yearly Bills have been set out in the several varieties aforementioned, yet the Original Entries in the Hall-books were as exact in the very first year, as to all particulars, as now; and the specifying of Casualties and Diseases was probably more.

1. On the history of the London bills of mortality see the Introduction.
2. Maitland, writing before 1739, could not find the part of the Parish Clerks' register for the years before 1664. He records that "the Company are of the opinion that the same was lent to Mr Graunt, to enable him to write his Natural and Political Observations, and by some accident never returned." History of London, II. 738.
3. Graunt's conjecture of a connection between the Plague and the origin of the bills is confirmed by their earlier history. Cf. Introduction, also Creighton, Epidemics, i. 294—295, Ogle in Jour. of the Stat. Soc. lv. 438.
4. A printed weekly bill for 5—12 November, 1607, a ms. weekly bill for 10—17 August, 1609, and a blank form for a weekly bill with printed date of 1610 are preserved at the Record Office. State Papers, Dom., James I., xxviii. 89; xlvii. 85—86; lviii. 102. All vary in unimportant particulars from the pattern of a yearly bill which Graunt gives. The bill of 1607 lacks the entry of those buried of the plague without the liberties in Middlesex and Surrey, the bill of 1609, though it gives them does not include them in its total burials, while the form for a bill dated 1610 both includes them in its total and also omits to enter separately "the whole sum of all the burials in London and the liberties thereof." The ms. bill of 1609 is further peculiar in that it consists of two independent parts. The second part is devoted to the nine out parishes enumerated by Graunt on p. 341 below. These parishes the bill locates "in Westminster," and the first part omits their figures in making up the total of burials.
5. In the weekly bills, at least, every parish was particularized as early as 1532. See Introduction.
6. Properly St Anthony.
7. Properly St Augustin.
8. Properly St Benedict.
9. Otherwise St Vedast.
10. The diseases and casualties were reported to the Parish Clerks as early as 1604. Bell, London's Remembrancer, unpaged, Graunt, p. 346. Upon the back of the weekly bill for 5—12 November, 1607, the deaths due to each of twenty-one causes are enumerated in MS., and in the bill for 10—17 August, 1609, similar information is given, likewise in MS., for the parishes severally, e.g.:
"Katharines Creechurch. pla. 1 crisom 1 small pox 2 fever 1 5 1." The last two figures occupy the columns uniformly reserved for total burials and for burials of the plague respectively.
11. This should be 973 to correspond with the tables at pp. 408 and 411, since both of them put the total burials for 1631 at 8562.
12. Probably a misprint for 266, which the first edition had. The plague burials, according to the table, p. 408 were 274 in 1631 and 8 in 1632.
13. In the bill for 21 April, see table, p. 426.
14. The Act erecting the parish of St Paul, Covent Garden, passed the House of Commons 7 January, 1645. Commons' Journal, iv. 398.