Further observations upon the Dublin Bills (Petty 1686)











Houses, Hearths, Baptisms,
And Burials in that


The Second Edition, Corrected and Enlarg'd.

Fellow of the Royal Society.


Printed for Mark Pardoe, at the Sign of
the Black Raven, over against Bed-
ford-House in the Strand. 1686.




In 1686 the Further Observations were prefixed to the Observations upon the Dublin Bills as issued in 1683, and the whole was put forward as a "second edition, corrected and enlarg'd." In fact, however, the original Observations of 1683 were not even reprinted in 1686, the left-over sheets being utilized, and the only change being the suppression of the 1683 title given at p. 479. The following four pages, therefore, include all that was ever added to the 1683 Observations.


The Stationer

to the



I Have not thought fit to make any Alteration of the first Edition, but have only added a New Table, with Observation upon it, placing the same in the front of what was before; which perhaps might have been as well placed after the like Table at the 8th Page of the first Edition.


PettyEcWritingsVol2 Pag496Table.png

Further Observations upon the Dublin Accompts of Baptisms and Burials, Houses and Hearths, viz.

THe Table hath been made for the Year 1682, wherein is to be noted, |2|

1. That the Houses which Anno 1671, were but 3850 are Anno 1682, 6025; but whether this difference is caused by the real encrease of Housing, or by fraud and defect in the former Accompts, is left to consideration. For the Burials or People have increased but from 1696, to 2263, according to which proportion, the 3850 Houses Anno 1671, should Anno 1682 have been but 5143, wherefore some fault may be suspected as aforesaid, when Farming the Hearth-mony was in agitation[2].

2. The Hearths have encreased according to the Burials, and ⅓ of the said increase more, viz. the Burials Anno 1671 were 1696, the ⅓ whereof is 563, which put together makes 2259, which is near the number of Burials Anno 1682. But the Hearths Anno 1671 were 17500, whereof the ⅓ is 5833, making in all but 23333; whereas the whole Hearths |3| Anno 1682 were 25369, viz. ⅓ and better of the said 5833 more.

3. The Housing were Anno 1671, but 3850, which if they had encreased Anno 1682 but according to the Burials, they had been but 5143, or according to the Hearths, had been but 5488, whereas they appear 6025, encreasing double to the Hearths. So as 'tis likely there hath been some errour in the said Account of the Housing, unless the new Housing be very small, and have but one Chimney apiece, and that ¼ part of them are untenanted. On the other hand, 'tis more likely that when 1696 dy'd per An. there were near 6000; for 6000 Houses at 8 Inhabitants per House, would make the number of the People to be 48 Thousand, and the number of 1696 that died according to the Rule of One out of 30, would have made the number of Inhabitants about 50 Thousand: For which reason I continue to |4| believe there was some Errour in the Accompt of 3850 Houses as aforesaid, and the rather because there is no ground from experience to think that in 11 year, the Houses in Dublin have encreased from 3850 to 6025.

Moreover, I rather think that the number of 6025 is yet short, because that number at 8 heads per House makes the Inhabitants to be but 48200; whereas the 2263 who died in the year 1682, according to the aforemention'd Rule of one dying out of 30 makes the number of People to be 67890; the Medium betwixt which number and 48200 is 58045, which is the best estimate I can make of that matter, which I hope Authority will ere long rectifie, by direct and exact Enquiries.

4. As to the Births, we say that Anno 1640, 1641, and 1642, at London, just before the Troubles in Religion began, the Births were 56 of the |5| Burials, by reason I suppose of the greaterness of Families in London above the Country, and the fewer Breeders, and not for want of Registring. Wherefore, deducting 16 of 2263, which is 377, there remains 1886 for the probable number of Births in Dublin for the year 1682; whereas but 912 are represented to have been Christen'd in that year, though 1023 were christened Anno 1671, when there died but 1696; which decreasing of the Christnings, and increasing of the Burials, shews the increase of Non-registering in the Legal Books, which must be the increase of Roman Catholicks at Dublin.

The scope of this whole Paper therefore is, Thaf the People of Dublin are rather 58000, than 32000[3]; and that the Dissenters, who do not Register their Baptisms, have encreased from 391 to 974: but of Dissenters, none |6| have increased but the Roman Catholicks, whose Numbers have encreased from about 2 to 5 in the said Years. The exacter Knowledge whereof, may also be better had from direct Enquiries.




  1. Image from a scan of the original work, not from The Economic Writings.
  2. In the years 1674—75. It appears that Petty had suggested to Essex certain reforms in the collection of the hearth money, for the farm of which he was one of the bidders. Fitzmaurice, 169, Capel Letters, pp. 399—418.
  3. Petty previously calculated 32000 inhabitants in Dublin. See p. 485.

This work was published before January 1, 1925, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.