Annotated bibliography of works related to the London Bills of Mortality
Compiled in conjunction with the spring 2018 symposium organized by Vanessa Harding and Kristin Heitman, The London Bills of Mortality, this bibliography contextualizes the parish-by-parish reporting of deaths.
Secondary Readings and Other Resources
Kristin Heitman produced "Of Counts and Causes: The Emergence of the London Bills of Morality" for the Folger's research blog, The Collation.
Angus, John, “Old and New Bills of Mortality; Movement of the Population; Deaths and Fatal Diseases in London During the Last Fourteen Years,” Journal of the Statistical Society of London, 17.2 (1854), 117-42.
Archer, Ian, The Pursuit of Stability: Social Relations in Elizabethan London (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2003).
Archer, Ian, “Social networks in Restoration London: The evidence of Samuel Pepys' diary,” in Communities in Early Modern England: Networks, Place, Rhetoric, ed. by Alexandra Shepard and Phil Withington, (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2000), pp. 76-94.
Berry, Herbert, “A London Plague Bill for 1592, Crich, and Goodwyffe Hurde,” English Literary Renaissance, 25.1 (1995), 3-25.
Biller, Peter, The Measure of Multitude: Population in Medieval Thought (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000).
Brett-James, Norman G., “The London bills of mortality in the 17th century,” Transactions of the London and Middlesex Archaeological Society, 6.2 (1930), 284-309.
Channing, Walter, “Bills of Mortality,” New England Journal of Medicine and Surgery, 15.3 (1826), 225-34.
Christie, James, Some account of parish clerks, more especially of the Ancient Fraternity (Bretherne and Sisterne) of S. Nicholas, now known as the Worshipful Company of Parish Clerks (London: privately published, 1893) <https://archive.org/details/cu31924029343302>
Cipolla, C. M., “The ‘Bills of Mortality’ of Florence,” Population Studies, 32.3 (1978), 543-548.
Clark, Oswald, “The Ancient Office of Parish Clerk and the Parish Clerks Company of London,” Ecclesiastical Law Journal, 8.38 (2006), 307-322.
Deringer, William, Calculated Values: Finance, Politics, and the Quantitative Age (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 2018) [introduction].
Dobson, Mary J., Contours of Death and Disease in Early Modern England (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2003).
Forbes, Thomas R., Chronicle from Aldgate: Life and Death in Shakespeare’s London (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1971).
Forbes, Thomas R., “By What Disease or Casualty: The Changing Face of Death in London,” Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences, 31.4 (1976), 395-420; in Health, Medicine and Mortality in the Sixteenth Century, ed. by Charles Webster (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1979), pp. 117-139.
Forbes, Thomas R., “The searchers,” Bulletin of the New York Medical Academy of Medicine, 50.9 (1974), 1031-1038.
Greenberg, Stephen, “Plague, the Printing Press, and Public Health in Seventeenth-Century London,” The Huntington Library Quarterly, 67.4 (2004), 508-527.
Griffiths, Paul, “Secrecy and Authority in Late Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-Century London,” The Historical Journal, 40.4 (1997), 925-951.
Griffiths, Paul, “Local Arithmetic: Information Cultures in Early Modern England,” in Remaking English Society: Social Relations and Social Change in Early Modern England, ed. by Steve Handle, Alexandra Shepard, and John Walter (Suffolk: Boydell Press 2013), pp. 113-134.
Hamlin, Christopher, “Predisposing Causes and Public Health in Early Nineteenth-Century Medical Thought,” Social History of Medicine, 5.1 (1992), 43-70.
Harness, Deborah E., “A View from the Streets: Women and Medical Work in Elizabethan London,” Bulletin of the History of Medicine, 82.1 (2008), 52-85.
Heitman, Kristin, “Of counts and causes: The emergence of the London Bills of Mortality,” The Collation: Research and Exploration at The Folger, 13 March, 2018 < https://collation.folger.edu/2018/03/counts-causes-london-bills-mortality/>.
Henry, Wanda S., “Women Searchers of the Dead in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century London,” Social History of Medicine, 29.3 (2016), 445-466.
Hess, Volker and J. Andrew Mendelsohn, “Case and Series: Medical Knowledge and Paper Technology, 1600-1900,” History of Science, 48.1 (2010), 287-314.
Historical Manuscripts Commission, “Table of mortality [for unnamed town, possibly Manchester, 30 June-7 July 1625],” in 14th Report, Appendix P1 IV (1894) ‘The Manuscripts of Lord Kenyon,’ Lancashire Archives, ref. DDKE/acc. 7840 HMC/76.
Jenner, Mark S.R., “Plague on a Page: Lord Have Mercy Upon Us in Early Modern London,” Seventeenth Century, 27.3 (2012), 255-286.
Kreager, Philip, “Death and Method: The Rhetorical Space of 17th-century Vital Measure¬¬ment,” Clio Medica, 67.1 (2002), 1-35; in The Road to Medical Statistics, ed. by Eileen Magnello and Anne Hardy (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2002), pp. 1-36.
Kreager, Philip, “Aristotle and Open Population Thinking,” Population and Development Review, 34.4 (2008), 599-629.
Kreager, Philip, “The Emergence of Population” in Reproduction: From Antiquity to the Present, ed. by Nick Hopwood, Rebecca Fleming, and Lauren Kassell (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, in publication 2018).
Kuriyama, Shigehisa, The Expressiveness of the Body and the Divergence of Greek and Chinese Medicine (Brooklyn: Zone Books, 2002).
McCormick, Ted, “Population: Modes of Seventeenth-Century Demographic Thought,” in Mercantilism Reimagined: Political Economy in Early Modern Britain and Its Empire, ed. by Philip J. Stern and Carl Wennerlind (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), pp. 25-45.
McCormick, Ted, “Who Were the Pre-Malthusians?,” in New Perspectives on Malthus, ed. by Robert Mayhew (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2016), pp. 25-51.
Monteyne, Joseph, The Printed Image in Early Modern London: Urban Space, Visual Representa¬tion, and Social Exchange (Farnham: Ashgate Publishing, 2007) [esp. 73-112].
Munkhoff, Richelle, “Searchers of the Dead: Authority, Marginality, and the Interpretation of Plague in England, 1574-1665,” Gender & History, 11.1 (1999), 1-29.
Munkhoff, Richelle, “Reckoning Death: Women Searchers and the Bills of Mortality in Early Modern London,” in Rhetorics of Bodily Disease and Health in Medieval and Early Modern England, ed. by Jennifer C. Vaught (London: Routledge, 2010).
Munkhoff, Richelle, “Poor women and parish public health in sixteenth-century London,” Renaissance Studies, 28.4 (2014), 579-596.
Otis, Jessica, “‘Set Them to the Ciphering Schoole’: Reading, Writing, and Arithmetical Education, circa 1540-1700,’ Journal of British Studies, 56.3 (2017), 453-482.
Pelling, Margaret, “Far too many women? John Graunt, the sex ratio, and the cultural determ-ination of number in seventeenth-century England,” The Historical Journal, 59.3 (2016), 695-719.
Pelling, Margaret, “John Graunt, the Hartlib circle and child mortality in mid-seventeenth-century London,” Continuity and Change, 31.3 (2016), 335-359.
Robertson, James C., “Reckoning with London: Interpreting the Bills of Mortality before John Graunt,” Urban History, 23.3 (1996), 325-50.
Rusnock, Andrea, Vital Accounts: Quantifying Health and Population in Eighteenth-Century England and France (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2002)
Short, Thomas, New Observations…on City, Town and Country Bills of Mortality (London: privately published, 1750; London: Farnborough, 1973).
Siena, Kevin, “Searchers of the Dead in Long Eighteenth-Century London,” in Worth and Repute: Valuing Gender in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe, ed. by Kim Kippen and Lori Woods (Toronto: Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies, 2011), pp. 123-52.
Siena, Kevin, “Pliable Bodies: The Moral Biology of Health and Disease,” in A Cultural History of the Human Body in the Age of Enlightenment, ed. by Carole Reeves (Berg, 2010), pp. 33-52.
Slack, Paul, “William Petty, the multiplication of mankind, and demographic discourse in seventeenth-century England,” The Historical Journal, 61.2 (2018), 301-325.
Slack, Paul, “Government and Information in Seventeenth-Century England,” Past and Present 184.3 (2004), 33-68.
Slauter, Will, “WRITE UP YOUR DEAD: The bills of mortality and the London plague of 1665,” Media History, 17.1 (2011), 1-15.
Spence, Craig, “An analysis of non-pathological deaths from the weekly Bills of Mortality: London, 1662-90” (MA dissertation, University of London, 1990).
Sullivan, Erin, “Physical and Spiritual Illness: Narrative Appropriations of the Bills of Mortality,” in Representing the Plague in Early Modern London, ed. by Rebecca Totaro and Earnest B. Gilman (London: Routledge, 2011), pp. 76-94.
Sutherland, Ian, “Parish registers and the London Bills of Mortality,” Journal of the Society of Archivists, 4.1 (1970), 65.
Totaro, Rebecca, Meteorology and Physiology in Early Modern Culture: Earthquakes, Human Identity, and Textual Representation (London: Routledge, 2017).
Totaro, Rebecca, The Plague in Print: Essential Elizabethan Sources, 1558-1603 (Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press 2010).
Totaro, Rebecca and Ernest B. Gilman, eds., Representing the Plague in Early Modern England, London: Routledge 2011).
Totaro, Rebecca, Suffering in Paradise: The Bubonic Plague in English Literature from More to Milton (Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press 2005).
Walford, Cornelius, “Early bills of mortality,” Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 7 (1878), 212-48.
Webster, Charles, The Great Instauration: Science, Medicine and Reform 1626-1660 (London: Duckworth, 1975; Oxford: Peter Lang, 2002)
Wilson, F.P., The Plague in Shakespeare’s London (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1927).
Wrightson, Keith, Ralph Tailor’s Summer: A Scrivener, His City and the Plague (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2011).
Worshipful Company of Parish Clerks, London Bills of Mortality, 1701-1829, ed. by Paul Laxton (Cambridge, UK: Chadwyck-Healey, 1984 [Bodleian Libraries, microfiche].
Download the PDF of Supplemental Readings here.