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About the Cambridge Group

The Cambridge Group for the History of Population & Social Structure was founded in 1964. In the fifty years since then, members of the Group have made a spectacular series of discipline-transforming contributions to social science history. These include work on historical demography and household structure, on the interdependence of these elements with welfare systems, and on occupational structure.

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The occupational structure of Britain 1379-1911

This research program directed by Leigh Shaw-Taylor and Tony Wrigley aims ultimately to reconstruct the evolution of the occupational structure of Britain from the late medieval period down to the early twentieth century. The project has been designated as a British Academy Research project since 2007 (renewed for a further five years in 2016).

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Historical epidemiology and determinants of mortality

Infectious disease mortality is a major cause of death in historical populations, but the age, social status and gender of those most susceptible has shifted markedly over time and between regions. Urbanisation and population growth have led to altered geographies of mortality. Our research makes use of demographic sources such as population listings, parish registers and the Census to investigate the changing pattern of mortality in Britain from the medieval period to the early 20th century.

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Welfare, economy and society

Welfare systems both past and present rely upon a combination of support supplied by kin and charity, either legally enforced or voluntary. This research theme is concerned with exploring the demographic, legal and economic underpinnings of past welfare regimes in order to throw light on the different strategies which societies have adopted to support their most vulnerable members. More broadly, this research theme encompasses the economic and social implications of demographic change.

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Sebastian Keibek wins new researcher's prize at the Economic History Society Conference

18th April, 2016

 

Congratulations to Sebastian Keibek, a PhD student at CAMPOP, who was joint winner of the new researcher's prize at the Economic History Society 2016 Annual Conference, held on 1-3 April at Robinson College, Cambridge. The title of Sebastian's paper was: 'The regional and national male occupational structure of England and Wales, 1600-1820'.

Eve Also Delved: Gendering Economic History

5th January, 2016

 

The Ellen McArthur lectures in economic history, to be held at the Law Faculty at 5pm on 23rd & 24th February and 1st & 2nd March 2016, will be given by Professor Jane Humphries, University of Oxford.

Women from all times and regions will be seen about their daily lives, at work and at home, in these 4 lectures. New sources will be used to reconstruct and analyze their many productive contributions to their families and communities. Snapshots in time and micro studies underpin a more general account which can then be related to the grand narratives of British economic history. Jane Humphries will argue that we need to acknowledge the productive activities of women and children to build not only a more complete but a more correct economic history.

Journeys that show John was our king of the road

10th June, 2015

 

The Times features a full-page article ('Journeys that show John was our king of the road', 10th June 2015) about research undertaken by members of the Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure.

Max Satchell and Ellen Potter used GIS to map the locations of John, Henry III, and Edward I from place and date clauses of thousands of royal letters and charters from 1199 to 1305. This created extremely detailed itineraries, enabling the day to day movements of each king to be reconstructed. By tracking the movements of King John and his successors through England and Wales it is possible to learn a great deal about medieval transport and travel.

New book on Population, Welfare and Economic Change in Britain published

19th February, 2015

 

A new book edited by Chris Briggs, P.M. Kitson and S.J. Thompson has been published: Population, Welfare and Economic Change in Britain, 1290-1834 (Boydell & Brewer, 2014). This book grew out of a conference on 'Population, economy and welfare, c.1200-2000' held in Cambridge in 2011.

Sebastian Keibek awarded JRF at Queen's College, Cambridge

19th February, 2015

 

Many congratulations to Sebastian Keibek, a PhD student at CAMPOP, who has been awarded a Junior Research Fellowship at Queen's College, Cambridge, starting on 1 October 2015.

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  • 25th January 2017:
    The Suffolk clothier in the age of Henry VII. Details…
  • 8th February 2017:
    Travelling to town: medieval peasants in the urban marketplace. Details…
  • 22nd February 2017:
    The role of pragmatic literacy in estate management. Details…