Chapter

Social History, 1540–1642 Rich and Poor Move Further Apart

Glanmor Williams

in Renewal and Reformation

Published in print January 1993 | ISBN: 9780192852779
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191670558 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780192852779.003.0017

Series: History of Wales

Social History, 1540–1642 Rich and Poor Move Further Apart

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Population in Wales grew substantially during this period. A number of Welsh towns seem to have benefited disproportionately from the growth in population due to freedom from plague and other epidemic diseases, and may be the tendency to marry younger to increase the child-bearing span of the wife and the number of children born. The structure of the social order was unaltered at that period. Inflation threatened all ranks of society with the prospect of seeing their income savagely eroded. Most of the population, however, fell within the less fortunate. In spite of the widening social cleavage, there was very little sign of a war between rich and poor, even if the gap in the standard of living between privileged and unprivileged in terms of housing, dress and diet had widened.

Keywords: population; plague; epidemic diseases; inflation; income; housing; dress; diet

Chapter.  11061 words. 

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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