From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.


Another Essay.

We have thus pretty well found out in what Number of Years (viz. in about 40,) The People of London are about the Eleventh part of all England and Wales. that the City of London hath doubled, and the present Number of Inhabitants to be about 670 Thousand. We must now also endeavour the same for the whole Territory of England and Wales. In Order whereunto, we |11|

First say, That the Assessment of London is about an Eleventh part of the whole Territory[1], and therefore, that the People of the whole may well be Eleven times that of London, viz. about 7 Millions, 369 Thousand Souls; with which Account that of the Poll-money, Hearth-money[2], and the Bishops late Numbring of the Communicants[3], do pretty well agree; The people of England about 7 Millions and 400 thousand. wherefore, although the said Number of 7 Millions, 369 Thousand, be not (as it cannot be) a demonstrated Truth, yet it will serve for a good Supposition, which is as much as we want at present.

As for the time in which the People double, it is yet
  1. By 31 Charles II., c. 1. (1679), the last assessment before Petty wrote, London paid £2145 15s. 8d., Middlesex, including Westminster, £1520 5s., Surrey, including Southwark £798 10s. 1d., in all £4464 10s. 9d. or little more than one eighth the monthly assessment of £34410 9s. 6d. But the proportion of London proper, which was the basis of Petty's earlier calculation (Verbum Sap., p. 107, note) now fell to less than one sixteenth. On the proportion of London in different assessments see Thorold Rogers, Economic Interpretation of History, 145—156.
  2. The hearth money was imposed by 14 Charles II. c. 10. By 15 Charles II. c. 13 it was enacted that whereas the revenue from hearth money had "beene much obstructed for want of true and just Accompts under the hands of the respective Occupiers of Houses Edifices Lodgings and Chambers as by the said Act is required," therefore the account should be verified upon visitation by the constable. He should make out "a Booke or Roll fairely written wherein shall be Two Columnes, The one containing the Names of the persons and the number of Hearthes and Stoves in their respective Possessions that are chargeable by the said Act, and the otner the Names of the persons... not chargeable." This roll was to be transmitted to the high constable, then to the Justices of the peace, then to the Clerk of the peace, who should " within Two Moneths engrosse in Parchment a true Duplicate of the said Booke or Roll, which being signed by him, and by two Justices of the Peace at least of the respective County and places aforesaid shall be transmitted within one Moneth after such Engrossment into his Majestie's Courts of Exchequer."
  3. In Stowe MS. 322 at the British Museum, ff. 89—90, is contained the following memorandum: