The century and a half after 1750 was primarily associated with the process of urbanization (Weber, 1899; Law, 1967; Robson, 1973; Adams, 1978). In the mideighteenth century only London (population 675,000 in 1750) could claim to be a large urban centre. The metropolis outstripped the next largest towns by over half a million people with Edinburgh (57,000), Bristol (50,000), Norwich (36,000), Glasgow (32,000) and Newcastle (29,000) comprising the top five urban centres after London. By 1801, although the newer industrial cities of Manchester (89,000) and Liverpool (83,000) were now ranked second and third-and Bristol had sunk to seventh and Norwich eleventh in the urban hierarchy-only one third of the population of England and Wales and one fifth of the population of Scotland were classified as living in towns in the 1801 census. London (959,000) remained dominant as the only city with over 100,000 population. By 1851, however, over 50 per cent of the population of Britain lived in towns and ten cities had exceeded a population of 100,000. Proportionately, the first half of the nineteenth century saw the most rapid rates of urban growth throughout Britain. Although London continued to be at least five times as large as the next biggest city, by 1891 Manchester, Glasgow, Birmingham and Liverpool all exceeded half a million inhabitants, almost 40 per cent of the population of England and Wales lived in towns with over 100,000 inhabitants, and over 73 per cent of the British population lived in towns. By 1951 this had risen only marginally to 81 per cent, and the rate of growth for the largest towns had slowed markedly. However, almost 40 per cent of the British population now lived in cities of over half a million inhabitants, and Birmingham and Glasgow were both conurbations of over one million. Such urban growth had a massive impact on the lives of contemporaries and focused attention on the problems associated with urban living (Abrams and Wrigley, 1978; Corfield, 1982; Waller, 1983; Gordon and Dicks, 1983; Williamson, 1989).