Sunday, November 18, 2012

Black death

We always look back and wonder about the motivations behind picking up from a known situation and venturing, whole heartily, into something new. Much has been written about the religious and political factors which we'll get to at some point.

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And, there are reasons for looking back as we can try to discover origins of Thomas and Margaret. As an aside, that Thomas was referred to as Mr. Gardner at a meeting in London (ca 1629 -- see Hubbard or Perley, for the exact year) speaks much.

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R.H. Britnell
The Commercialisation of English Society, 1000-1500
The economic influence will be important, to boot. And, there is much to look at in this regard. Britnell in his The Commercialisation of English Society, 1000-1500 (Manchester Medieval Studies, 1996, Manchester University Press ND) takes a deep look at this 500-year period. Toward the latter part, workers were allowed to move between cities (as opposed to the law that forbade movement - consequences were dire - if caught outside one's parish, one could get whipped, lose an ear, or be executed).

One reason for moving might have been to join a group of free men, according to Britnell. On seeing that, I thought of my remark about Thomas not needing to join. There is a lot to discuss there.

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However, a real factor that is not talked about much, and there were outbreaks in the 1600s and 1700s, was the black death. Britnell's table shows the size of the English economy at three different times. What stands out is the drop in population between 1300 and 1470. A lot of this was from the plague.

A plague in Weymouth, England says that the plague entered England in 1348 through its port and killed up to fifty percent of the population. By the way, 1470 would be about the time of the start of Thomas' grandfather's life.

Any look back that connects us to Thomas' or Margaret's ancestry, and any of the other 1000s of immigrants, would run into its influence on the populace.

Remarks:

11/18/2012 --

Modified: 11/18/2012

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