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The first edition of Graunt's Observations upon the Bills of Mortality[1] was published between 25 January, 1662, the date of the first epistle dedicatory, and 5 February, 1662, when Graunt presented fifty copies to the Royal Society to be distributed among its members[2]. In the world outside Gresham College as well as among the Fellows of the Royal Society, Graunt's work soon attracted attention. Pepys bought a copy at Westminster Hall, the 24 March,[3] and the book proved so widely successful that a second edition was called for before the close of the year. With the return of the plague in the early summer of 1665, interest in the Observations revived. On the twentieth of June, at the same meeting at which the Council of the Royal Society recommended the Society to intermit their public weekly meetings until the present sickness should cease, it also ordered "that upon a report of Sir William Petty of his having perused the additions of Mr Graunt to his Observations upon the Bills of Mortality, the president be desired to license the reprinting of that book, together with such additions".[4] As the 4 July is the latest date in the "table shewing how many died weekly," it is probable that the new edition appeared before the 11 July. It certainly appeared before the 25 July, on which day Brouncker sent to Pepys[5] a copy of the book, "new printed and enlarged." The enlargement of this third edition was effected chiefly by the addition of the appendix, the tables for Tiverton and Cranbrook, and the "table shewing how many died weekly"; the other changes, which are slight, are noted, in this reprint, where they occur. A "fourth impression," reprinted from the third, soon appeared at Oxford. The latest date in the weekly table of this edition is the 26 September,

  1. See Bibliography
  2. Birch, i. 75.
  3. Diary ii. 209-210.
  4. Birch, ii. 57.
  5. Diary, v. 24.