Transactions of the Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire

‘The Tymes Being Soe Hard With Poore People’: Poverty and the Economic Crisis of 1672–76 in Lancashire

Transactions of the Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire (2013), 162, (1), 49–69.

Abstract

In the 1670s, the North West of England was hit by dearth and trade depression, touched off by harvest failure and the Third Dutch War (1672–74). This article reconstructs the causes and course of the crisis, and its impact on the region’s poor. Focusing on petitions for poor relief to Quarter Sessions, but also using the small number of surviving overseers’ accounts, it shows that the crisis hit the poor hard. But it did not touch off any demographic crisis, and the county’s burial registers show that, however severe the economic breakdown, it did not develop into a famine.

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Author details

Healey, Jonathan