|Little is known in detail of the chronology, magnitude and pattern
of migration prior to 1800. This thesis examines Anglican Marriage
Registers and the insight they can provide into past patterns of mobility
in a county of early industrial development.
After a discussion of the broad demographic context and a review of
previous studies using these data,. three related themes are developed. -
1. Consideration is given to the annual variation in the numbers
of marriages solemnised and to the contribution made by extraparochial
alliances to this-overall pattern in places of different socio-economic
structure and population size. This provides a temporal and structural
setting, within which to examine mobility.
2. The locational information recorded in the registers is used to
calculate marriage distances and the dimensions and orientation of
marriage horizons. The spatial patterns are subsequently integrated with
the temporal analysis and with the variety of additional evidence available
in the marriage registers to provide a fuller context for evaluating
the pattern. This provides an essentially descriptive overview of
marriage patterns, but does also yield some explanatory insights.
3. The problems of interpreting these data to give precise information
on migration paths are discussed and a model proposed in the light of the
empirical evidence. This reveals that the marriage data may be directly
related to sex-specific patterns of pre-marital mobility by a simple
manipulation, of the marriage record.
Throughout the study evidence is drawn from two sample populations.
The first covers five hundreds and boroughs in south Shropshire, while
the second sample is drawn from all rural parishes in Shropshire. Taken
together, these two data sets provide a picture of marriage and mobility
from, 1754-1810-which adds to existing understanding on this topic and
points to factors which appear to control the pattern.