People in Place: families, households and housing in early modern London

This project examines the crucial role of family and household in the social and economic transformations that took place in London in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Population growth, immigration, urbanisation, and commercialisation produced new patterns of sociability, gender relations, employment, and domestic lifestyle. The family was central to all these developments, but has been little studied in detail. The project will reconstruct and analyse the dense matrix of families, households, properties, and buildings in sample areas of the capital, and trace their evolution over time, gaining new insights into social structures and the agents and circumstances of change. The project's main practical objective is to create a database or set of linked database tables relating to properties, reconstituted families, households and householders for two sample areas (Cheapside and St Botolph Aldgate), for specific moments in the period c.1540-1710, and to undertake a complementary study of the parish of Clerkenwell developed around a complete family reconstitution of the parish for the same period.

Principal investigator
Dr Vanessa Harding; Matthew Davies; richard smith; Mark Merry
Principal project staff
Dr Vanessa Harding; Dr Matthew Davies; Professor Richard Smith
Start date
Wednesday, October 1, 2003
Completion date
Wednesday, November 1, 2006
Source material
1. Parish Registers (Guildhall Library, London; London Metropolitan Archive) 2. Nominative sources (taxation assessments etc.) (The National Archive; GL; Corporation of London Records Office; LMA) 3. Wills and personal papers (GL; TNA) 4. Property histories for Cheapside and Aldgate (Centre for Metropolitan History - see British History Online ) 5. Records of property holding (GL; other repositories) Information from these sources has been variously transcribed, abstracted or encoded within the database for use both qualitatively and quantitatively.