The Life of the People

John Graunt (1620-1674), Natural and Political Observations Made Upon
The Bills of Mortality, London: 1662

Some Conclusions from the "Bills of Mortality" (p. 9-15)

That about one third of all that were quick die under five years old, and about thirty six per Centum under six.

That some diseases, and Casualties keep a constant proportion, whereas some others are very irregular.

That not one Woman in an hundred dies in Child-bed, nor one of two hundred in her Labour.

There hath been in London within this age four times of great mortality, viz. Anno 1592, 1603, 1625, and 1638, whereof that of 1603 was the greatest.

Annis 1603, and 1625, about a fifth part of the whole died, and eight times more than were born.

That a fourth part more die of the Plague than are set down.

The Plague Anno 1603 lasted eight years, that in 1636 twelve years, but that in 1625 continued but one single year.

That Purples, small-Pox, and other malignant Diseases fore-run the Plague.

That as about l/5 part of the whole people died in the great Plague-years, so two other fifths fled.

That Plagues always come in with King's Reigns is most false.

That Autumn, or the Fall is the most unhealthfull season.

That in London there have been twelve burials for eleven Christnings.

That in the Country there have been contrary-wise, sixty-three Christnings for fifty-two Burials.

A supposition, that the people in, and about London, are a fifteenth part of the people of all England, and Wales.

That there are about six millions, and a half of people in England, and Wales.

That the people in the Country double by Procreation but in two hundred and eighty years, and in London in about seventy, as hereafter will be shown; the reason whereof is, that many of the breeders leave the Country, and that the breeders of London come from all parts of the
Country, such persons breeding in the Country almost onely, as were born there, but in London multitudes of others.

That about 6000 per Annum come up to London out of the Country.

That in London about three die yearly out of eleven Families.

That in London are more impediments of breeding than in the Country.

That there are fourteen Males for thirteen Females in London, and in the Country but fifteen Males for fourteen Females.

There being fourteen Males to thirteen Females, and Males being prolifique fourty years, and Females but twenty five, it follows that in effect there be 560 males to 325 Females.

The said inequality is reduced by the latter marriage of the males, and their imployment in wars, Sea-voiage, and Colonies.

Physicians have two Women Patients to one Man, and yet more Men die than Women.

There come yearly to dwell at London about 6000 Strangers out of the Country, which swells the Burials about 200 per Annum.

That every Wedding one with another produces four Children.

London not so healthfull now as heretofore.

     The Diseases, and Casualties this year being 1632

Abortive and Stilborn 445 
Aged 628
Ague  43
Apoplex, and Meagrom  17
Bloody flux 348
Bruised and Ulcers  28
Burst, and Rupture 9
Cancer, and Wolf  10
Canker 1
Childbed 171
Chrisomes, and Infants 2268
Colick, Stone, Strangury  55
Consumption 1756
Cut of Stone  5
Dead in the Street 6
Dropsie 267
Drowned 34
Executed and Prest to Death 18
Falling Sickness 7
Fever 1108
Fistula 13
Flocks, and Small Pox  531
French Pox 12
Gangrene  5
Gout  4
Bit with a mad dog 1
Grief  11
Jaundies 43
Jawfain 8
Impostume 74
Kil'd by several accidents 46
King's Evil  38
Lethargie  2
Made away themselves 15
Measles 80
Murthered 17
Palsie  25
Plague 8
Planet 13
Pleursie and Splees 86
Purples 38
Quinsie  7
Rising of the Lights 98
Scurvey  9
Suddenly 62
Surfet  86
Teeth  470
Thursh and Sore Mouth  40
Tympany  13
Tissick  34
Vomiting  1
Worms  27
Overlaid and starved 7

Disease definitions

Short Biography of John Graunt