Surveying the People

Kevin Schürer and Tom Arkell (eds), Surveying the People: the Interpretation and Use of Document Sources for the Study of Population in the Later Seventeenth Century (Oxford, 1992). £5 including postage and packing

£5.00 (including postage and packing)

This book examines four key sources for the study of population in the later seventeenth century: the assessments and/or returns for the Hearth Tax, the Compton Census, Poll Taxes and the Marriage Duty Act. It provides details of the legislative background and administrative framework for these important sources and discusses some of the main problems involved in their use and interpretation. Individual chapters illustrate how the surviving documents can be applied to illuminate research issues, including the social structure of the City of London, the household composition of King’s Lynn, the distribution of nonconformity in Devon and critiques of the work of Geoffrey King.


Tom Arkell and Kevin Schürer, ‘Introduction’, pp. 1-5.

Peter Laslett, ‘Natural and political observations on the population of late seventeenth-century England: reflections on the work of Gregory King and John Graunt’, pp. 6-30.

‘Hearth Tax and Compton Census: introducing the documents’, pp. 31-7.

Tom Arkell, ‘Printed instructions for administering the Hearth Tax’, pp. 38-64.

Chris Husbands, ‘Hearths, wealth and occupations: an exploration of the Hearth Tax in the later seventeenth century’, pp. 65-77.

Anne Whiteman, ‘The Compton Census of 1676’, pp. 78-96.

Tom Arkell, ‘A method for estimating population totals from the Compton Census returns’, pp. 97-116.

Peter Jackson, ‘Nonconformity and the Compton Census in late seventeenth-century Devon’, pp. 117-29.

‘Poll Taxes and the Marriage Duty Act: introducing the documents’, pp. 130-41.

Tom Arkell, ‘An examination of the Poll Taxes of the later seventeenth century, the Marriage Duty Act and Gregory King’, pp. 142-80.

James Alexander, ‘The City revealed: an analysis of the 1692 Poll Tax and the 1693 4s. Aid in London’, pp. 181-200.

Sheila Cooper, ‘Household form and composition in King’s Lynn: a reconstruction based on the Poll Taxes of 1689-1702’, pp. 201-21.

Jeremy Boulton, ‘The Marriage Duty Act and parochial registration in London, 1695-1706’, pp. 222-52.

Kevin Schürer, ‘Variations in household structure in the late seventeenth century: toward a regional analysis’, pp. 253-78.

Accumulated bibliography

Name Index

Subject Index

Place Index

To order this book, please contact the Editor of Local Population Studies, Dr Andrew Hinde, 8 Anstey Mill Lane, Alton, Hampshire GU34 2QP ( OR