Glossop Heritage Trust

Growth of the Population of Glossopdale Between 1680 and 1820.

This article is based on a paper produced by the Glossop and District Historical Society, which merged with Glossop Heritage Trust in 2013.

In order to estimate the total population of the 7 Townships about 1680 we can use figures from the Easter Books:
No. of Households
No. of Communicants
Glossop 42 114
Hadfield 27 58
Padfield 23 67
Whitfield 32 80
Dinting 21 50
Chunal 11 31
Simmondley 19 53
  175 453

We need have no doubt that the total population of the 7 townships around 1680 was contained in approximately 175 households. And it is equally reliable to suppose that this number of households contained about 453 persons of 16 years or over. But the Easter Books give no evidence whatever for the number of persons under 16 years of age, This substantial part of the community has to be estimated. But how?

We can only resort to rule-of-thumb method, and begin by attempting to break down the known population still further, viz.:
Widowers: Indicated where the household contains 1 married person and x unmarried persons the householder being a man. (Of course it is possible that the householder may be one of the unmarried persons and the widower a boarder.)
Widows: Clearly indicated in most cases, e.g Widows Harrison, Newton and Bennett in Chunal.
Separate married Persons: Indicated where there is an odd number of married persons in one household; e.g. in the household of John Haigh of Chunal there are 3 persons who have been married, at least one of whom is a separate married person who could be a widow or widower.
Man and Wife Pairs: Indicated where there are two or more married persons in a household two of whom are taken to be a basic man-and-wife pair.
Bachelors: Indicated in households where all communicants are unmarried, and the household listed under a masculine name.
Spinsters or Bachelors: Indicated in households of more than 1 communicant, and where all are unmarried.
Other unmarried persons: All unmarried communicants not accounted for under other headings. Most of these would be children over 16 living with one or both parents.

Such Rule-of-Thumb Method would produce the following Table for the 7 Townships:
  Households Communicants Widowers Widows Separates Man & Wife Pairs Bachelors Spinsters or Bachelors Other unmarried persons
Glossop 42 114 5 5   31 1 1 40
Hadfield 27 58 5 4 1 17 1   13
Padfield 23 67 2 1 1 19 1   22
Whitfield 32 80 3 5 2 22 2 2 23
Dinting 21 50 2 2 2 15 2   13
Chunal 1131   3   8     12
Simmondley 19 53 1   2 16 2 1 13
  175 453 18 20 9 128 9 4 136

Call the Man and Wife Pairs x, and the Other Unmarried Persons y.
Attribute 5 live births to each Man and Wife Pair, thus 5x; but subtract from this product the number of Other Unmarried Persons: thus 5x – y.
Most of these Other Unmarried Persons are likely to have been children over 16, living with their parents and thus already occupying a proportion of the 5 live births allocated to each Man and Wife Pair.
The rest of the categories: Widowers, Widows, Separates, Bachelors, Spinsters or Bachelors; would not normally be expected to have under-16s living with them.
Thus, the formula 5x - y is intended to give an estimate of the under 16s in the community.
Much criticism may attach to this method, but it seems to be the best that can be done.

For the individual townships the 5x - y formula would give the number of persons under the age of 16 years for each of the townships as:
Glossop 5(31) - 40 = 115
Hadfield 5(17) - 13 = 72
Padfield 5(19) - 22 = 73
Whitfield 5(22) - 23 = 87
Dinting 5(15) - 13 = 62
Chunal 5(8) - 12 = 28
Simmondley 5(16) - 13 = 67

With these values inserted in the original table we get the following estimate of total population for the 7 Townships, c 1680:
  No of Households No of Communicants Estimated No under 16 yo Estimated Total Population
Glossop 42 114 115 229
Hadfield 27 58 72 130
Padfield 23 67 73 140
Whitfield 32 80 87 167
Dinting 21 50 62 112
Chunal 11 31 28 59
Simmondley 19 53 67120
  175 453 504 957

So, we have an estimated population of 957 persons in 7 townships about the year 1680. If we graft on to this similar data for Chisworth and Ludworth c 1695: Chisworth would contain 87 persons and Ludworth 71. And if we make an outright guess for Charlesworth of 120 persons, we reach an estimated total population for the Manor of Glossop of 1235 people, during the period 1680-1700.

However much criticism attaches to this as a piece of statistical reasoning, it is at least an attempt to estimate the population of Glossopdale a century before the first Census was taken, and from the best evidence available for making such an estimate. The first Census of 1801 found 3,625 persons in the ten townships. Which, if our estimate for about 1690 is reliable, would mean a three-fold increase in a century which saw Glossopdale transformed into a textile manufacturing region, particularly after 1780.

Pursuing this further, we might mention that the Rev. Christopher Howe, Vicar of Glossop from 1793, remarked in the 1820s that the population of Glossop had tripled in his time, which by then was 30 years. We do not know what he meant by “Glossop”, but the population of the ten townships in 1821 (via the Census) was 6,212. So, if Mr. Howe was right, the population in (about) 1790 would be about 2,000.

Population in the Ten Townships of Glossopdale 1690-1820:

Population chart

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Page last updated: 16 September 2018.
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