chapter  4
32 Pages

PA R ISH , M ANO R, AN D LA N D

The study of population changes is of fundamental importance in any local history. In non-urban communities especially it may be the master-key to the history of the community over several centuries. The great majority of English parishes were for many centuries more or less self-contained communities, producing nearly all their material requirements within their own boundaries. The financial history of a town has been recommended as a distinct branch of historical enquiry for a retired accountant, so the study of the subject of public health, epidemics and diseases, may be commended to any historically-minded medical man. The Report of the Poor Law Commissioners on the Sanitary Condition of the Labouring Population, and the report of the Royal Commission on the State of Large Towns and Populous Districts with Minutes of Evidence and Appendices. It is difficult to arrive at reasonably accurate population figures during the medieval period.