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General history: Population and longevity

Pages xxxiv-lii

Magna Britannia: Volume 4, Cumberland. Originally published by T Cadell and W Davies, London, 1816.

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Table of contents

Population.

The population of this county at an early period varied greatly, it being at times almost depopulated by the ravages of war and pestilence. In 1421 we find the men of Cumberland representing to parliament that all the country within twenty miles of the borders had been so depopulated by war, pestilence, and emigration, that where formerly there were 100 able men, there were then scarcely ten (fn. n1). Carlisle appears to have been uncommonly populous in the fourteenth century, if we were to regard the number of houses burnt down in 1390, (1,500 in the three principal streets); yet we find that the number of lay persons upwards of fourteen years of age, (exclusive of paupers), in 1377, was only 678. The total number of persons then in the county of that description, was 10,841 (fn. n2). Mr. T. Denton estimates the total number of inhabitants in 1688, at 66,375. Many thousands have been added to the population of the county since that time by the growth of the now flourishing towns of Whitehaven, Maryport, and Workington, and the great increase of inhabitants caused by the flourishing state of the manufactories at Carlisle. The total number of inhabitants in the county in 1801 was 117,230; in 1811, 133,744, according to the returns made to parliament at those periods, making an increase during the space of ten years, supposing the enumeration to have been made at both periods with equal accuracy, of above 16,500 persons. It is certain that in a state of peace the healthiness of the climate, and its consequence, the great longevity of the inhabitants, must, whilst the county is free from pestilential infection, especially since the discovery and use of vaccine inoculation, occasion a rapid and great increase of population.

The following table will shew the state of population of each parish in 1688, 1801, and 1811.

Names of Places. Inhabited Houses. Families. Number of Inhabitants.
1801. 1811. 1801. 1811. 1688. 1801. 1811.
Addingham parish 585 602 550
viz. the townships of
Gamblesby 45 48 45 50 222 215
Glassonby 33 26 33 26 144 114
Hunsonby and Winskill 24 23 24 23 117 113
Little-Salkeld 21 21 24 24 119 108
Aikton parish 530 582 614
viz. the townships of
Aikton 37 42 37 44 185 201
Biglands and Gamelsby 30 33 31 33 151 156
Wampool 26 23 26 23 119 115
Wiggonby 32 31 33 32 127 142
Ainstable parish 85 81 90 81 360 444 431
Alston parish 316 461 713 1,013 555 3,626 5,079
Allhallows parish 30 33 31 33 150 173 179
Arlochden parish, including the townships of Frisington and Whillimore 77 81 77 81 430 354 438
Arthuret parish 600 2,418 2,693
viz. the townships of
Brackenhill 97 97 98 97 489 510
Lineside 34 35 36 35 197 219
Longtown 176 173 300 316 1,335 1,579
Netherby 64 59 77 67 397 385
Aspatria parish 630 770 919
viz. the townships of
Aspatria and Brayton 98 108 106 110 327 478
Hayton and Melay 34 40 34 40 174 192
Outerside and Allerby 50 47 51 48 269 249
Bassenthwaite parish 86 77 89 92 530 450 497
Beaumont parish 42 48 42 49 140 219 270
St. Bees parish, including Whitehaven and all its chapelries 3,345 13,246 16,520
viz. the townships of
St. Bees 87 93 88 98 409 425
Ennerdale and High-end 50 47 50 48 395 296 268
Eskdale and Wasdale-head 46 47 46 47 232 238
Hensingham 124 155 135 170 590 826
Kinneyside 36 36 37 36 172 209
Loweswater 68 77 68 77 294 336
Lowside Quarter 37 43 37 51 226 311
Preston Quarter 328 675 330 675 1,886 3,261
Rottington 6 5 9 6 48 52
Sandwith 48 59 48 62 180 283
Nether-Wasdale 28 33 28 33 137 159
Wheddicar 6 8 6 8 34 46
Whitehaven 1,776 1,940 2,403 2,373 1,110 8,742 10,106
Bewcastle parish 420 917 1,069
viz. the townships of
Bailey 47 59 47 59 281 311
Belbank 61 68 61 68 284 344
Bewcastle 36 35 36 40 173 198
Nixons 42 53 42 53 179 216
Bolton parish 630 695 975
viz. the townships of
Bolton-gate or Highside. 46 60 46 61 232 307
Bolton or Bolton-wood 92 119 97 119 463 668
Bootle parish 100 113 105 121 555 547 602
Bowness parish 830 825 907
viz. the townships of
Anthorn 34 36 34 36 170 161
Bowness 49 54 54 64 220 318
Drumburgh 61 63 65 63 299 299
Fingland 25 23 25 23 136 129
Brampton parish 630 2,125 2,543
viz. the townships of
Brampton 339 265 402 501 1,682 2,043
Easby 20 22 20 22 135 136
Naworth 58 66 58 66 308 364
St. Bride's parish, and Calder township 92 91 105 98 485 490 469
Bridekirk parish 1,020 1,410 1,552
viz. the townships of
Bridekirk 21 19 21 20 94 115
Great-Broughton 105 108 105 108 408 422
Little-Broughton 53 55 58 57 243 231
Dovenby 34 38 36 43 153 209
Papcastle 61 70 65 70 283 311
Ribton 10 8 10 8 47 51
Tallantire 36 35 36 37 182 213
Brigham parish, including the chapelries of Cockermouth and Lorton 2,870 5,234 5,588
viz. the townships of
Blindbothel 19 17 19 20 82 96
Brigham 62 65 62 67 238 277
Buttermere 16 20 16 22 74 109
Cockermouth 417 602 690 709 650 2,865 2,964
Eaglesfield 69 71 74 74 310 333
Embleton 57 66 57 66 292 338
Greysouthern 98 97 109 100 455 466
Mosser 22 21 22 22 101 111
Setmurthy 22 29 32 29 164 140
Whinfell 18 20 18 20 82 84
Chapelry of Lorton—
Brackenthwaite 23 25 23 25 136 144
Lorton 67 78 67 79 298 394
Wythop 23 24 23 24 137 132
Bromfield parish 1,110 1,586 1,808
viz. the townships of
Allonby and West-Newton 150 197 172 201 726 878
Blencogo 38 35 38 35 167 185
Bromfield 62 51 62 51 297 297
Dundraw 50 50 50 50 198 236
Langrigg and Mealrigg 38 44 38 44 198 212
Burgh upon Sands parish 240 780 668
viz. the townships of
Bousted-hill 13 13 15 13 84 65
Burgh upon Sands 44 48 43 48 180 216
Long-Burgh 23 22 24 22 106 111
Moorhouse 55 53 55 53 264 135 (fn. n3)
Westend 31 28 31 31 146 141
Caldbeck parish 955 1,171 1,436
viz. the townships of
Highgrave Quarter 44 53 47 53 239 267
Lowgrave Quarter 84 143 124 143 505 635
Half-Cliff Quarter 95 109 106 116 427 534
Camerton parish 340 633 811
viz. the townships of
Camerton 20 18 20 18 71 85
Seaton 129 165 132 174 562 726
Cross-Canonby parish 210 3,252 3,479
viz. the townships of
Birkby, Canonby, and Maryport 540 344 (fn. n4) 781 733 3,059 3,272
Crosby 39 38 41 41 193 207
Carlatton parish 7 7 7 7 50 51
Carlisle, including both parishes 5,060 10221 12,531
St. Cuthbert's parish, in the city and suburbs 2,420 3,661 4,899
viz. the townships of
Botchardgate 96 103 230 390 1,019 1,801
Botchardby 20 20 19 22 94 118
Brifco 44 55 44 55 224 306
English Street 317 380 520 611 2,324 2,674
St. Mary's parish, exclusively of the distant townships 2,640 6,560 7,632
viz. the townships or quarters of
Abbey Street 142 111 233 186 837 772
Caldewgate 218 389 460 637 1,990 2,669
Castle Street 113 114 182 200 1,075 890
Cumbersdale 54 85 68 86 382 462
Fisher Street 46 59 62 83 294 369
Rickergate 106 133 211 244 801 997
Scotch Street 158 209 274 315 1,181 1,473
Distant townships of St. Cuthberts.
High-Blackwell 45 43 47 43 265 253
Low-Blackwell 32 29 25 32 105 149
Carleton 35 35 36 38 185 173
Haraby 8 7 8 8 47 58
Upperby 30 42 31 48 119 228
Distant townships in St. Mary's parish.
Middlesceugh and Brathwaite 36 34 36 35 176 167
Wreay 22 21 23 24 118 104
Castle-Carrock parish 47 52 54 53 360 252 307
Cleator parish 70 94 70 113 330 362 571
Corney parish 40 39 43 39 480 222 231
Croglin parish 46 53 46 54 345 169 234
Crosby parish 610 359 410
viz. the townships of
Brunstock 12 10 12 10 65 63
High-Crosby 16 19 16 20 102 134
Low-Crosby 20 33 20 36 156 161
Walby 7 8 7 8 36 52
Crosthwaite parish 1,560 3,063 3,656
viz. the townships of
Borrowdale 65 64 65 67 342 319
Braithwaite 57 43 57 46 282 205
St. John's, Castlerigg and Wythbourn 101 97 101 97 469 606
Keswick 290 352 296 356 1,350 1,683
Newlands and Portingscale 60 68 60 73 282 343
Thornthwaite 26 26 120
Under-Skiddaw 64 65 64 70 338 380
Cumrew parish 255 181 194
viz. the townships of
Cumrew-outside 10 14 10 14 63 68
Cumrew-inside 26 27 26 27 118 126
Cumwhitton parish 310 446 478
viz. the townships of
Cumwhitton and Moorthwaite 53 63 53 63 244 322
Northsceugh 41 28 41 29 202 156
Dacre parish 620 712 763
viz. the townships of
Dacre and Soulby 34 35 34 38 174 190
Newbigging and Great Blencowe 54 59 57 62 291 304
Stainton 51 53 52 56 247 269
Dalston parish 1,300 2,120 2,369
viz. the townships of
Buckabank 68 89 93 95 493 471
Cumdevock 51 62 59 62 283 315
Dalston 56 141 146 189 701 914
Hawksdale 52 65 66 69 321 376
Ivegill 19 24 24 24 116 109
Raughton and Gatesgill 44 42 44 44 206 184
Dean parish 620 678 752
viz. the townships of
Branthwaite 62 65 65 65 271 324
Dean 35 40 38 37 178 192
Ullock 48 52 50 52 229 236
Dearham parish 550 874 1,081
viz. the townships of
Dearham 91 96 94 96 403 443
Ellenborough and Unerigg 94 124 96 124 471 638
Over-Denton parish 15 16 16 16 275 85 94
Nether-Denton parish 46 47 46 49 245 258
Distington parish 147 173 149 188 410 724 910
Drigg parish 63 69 65 69 560 367 373
Edenhall parish 33 27 35 32 265 148 132
Egremont parish 319 329 329 340 1,410 1,515 1,556
Farlam parish 260 592 672
viz. the townships of
East-Farlam 83 82 84 82 430 505
West-Farlam 32 33 32 33 162 167
Flimby township 70 74 70 74 350 273 271
Gilcrux parish 47 51 54 55 220 249 276
Gosforth parish 630 652 685
viz. the townships of
High and Low Bolton 65 65 67 68 322 337
Gosforth 69 67 74 69 330 348
Greystock parish 2,510 2,151 2,132
viz. the townships of
Berrier and Murrah 22 21 22 22 136 120
Little-Blencow 13 13 13 13 68 49
Greystock 59 65 71 65 318 243
Hutton-John 3 3 3 3 19 16
Hutton-Roof 38 38 38 38 163 193
Hutton-Soil 44 48 54 53 233 228
Johnby 16 16 17 16 81 91
Matterdale 61 67 65 67 297 284
Motherby and Gill 20 22 20 22 78 78
Mungrisdale 34 39 35 39 160 202
Threlkeld 68 62 68 62 260 283
Water-Millock 64 65 67 68 338 345
Grinsdale parish 17 21 17 22 200 86 118
Hale parish 42 41 44 42 430 220 247
Harrington parish 406 (fn. n5)345 438 (fn. n5)383 485 1,357 1,621
Hayton parish 370 915 977
viz. the townships of
Faugh and Fenton 61 66 61 66 290 304
Hayton 79 91 79 92 376 436
Talkin 50 48 52 48 249 237
Hesket parish 1,235 1,285 1,206
viz. the townships of
Hesket, upper and lower 103 101 122 101 617 444
Pettrell-Crooks 60 66 60 66 349 423
Plumpton-Street and Cawthwaite 55 60 56 61 319 339
Holme-Cultram parish 2,345 2,187 2,438
viz. the townships of
Abbey-Holme or Abbey quarter 108 126 126 126 590 600
East-Waver quarter 79 76 79 77 371 393
Low quarter 113 115 113 115 637 767
St. Cuthbert's quarter 128 134 128 143 589 678
Hutton parish 45 47 45 47 285 200 236
St. John's parish 50 53 60 65 430 328 391
Ireby parish 540 358 399
viz. the townships of
High-Ireby 24 26 24 26 96 130
Low-Ireby 45 61 67 61 262 269
Irthington parish 640 870 911
viz. the townships of
Irthington 45 48 45 49 197 224
Leversdale 55 61 57 66 399 390
Newby 18 19 18 21 106 109
Newtown 32 35 32 37 168 188
Irton parish 86 90 90 90 515 466 490
Isel parish 415 276 378
viz. the townships of
Blinderake, Isel, and Redmain 45 48 45 51 188 233
Isel Old-park 13 14 14 14 88 84
Sunderland 12 15 61
Kingsmoor, (extra-parochial) 21 26 22 26 103 132
Kirk-Andrews on Eden parish 21 22 21 22 100 98 100
Kirk-Andrews on Esk parish 635 1,777 2,086
viz. the townships of
Middle Kirk-Andrews 124 84 124 129 573 600
Nether Kirk-Andrews 76 90 77 90 245 448
Moat 48 54 48 54 291 281
Nichol-forest 139 139 149 140 668 757
Kirk-Bampton parish 255 456 458
viz. the townships of
Kirk-Bampton 33 35 35 35 149 175
Little-Bampton 33 33 33 33 190 176
Oughterby 21 22 21 22 117 107
Kirk-Bride parish 56 60 56 60 340 249 258
Kirkland parish 600 631 608
viz. the townships of
Culgaith 51 56 57 56 254 236
Kirkland and Blencairn 38 38 38 38 188 172
Skirwith 36 47 41 50 189 200
Kirk-Linton parish 450 1,573 1,522
viz. the townships of
Hethersgill 71 132 71 132 665 692
Middle-Linton 75 77 76 77 389 294
West-Linton 110 109 110 109 519 526
Kirk-Oswald parish 620 910 945
viz. the townships of
Kirk-Oswald 139 116 148 143 634 636
Staffol 55 49 55 53 276 309
Lamplugh parish 710 535 532
viz. the townships of
Kelton 26 26 26 26 135 144
Lamplugh 21 27 21 27 117 139
Murton 30 26 30 26 139 122
Winder 24 21 24 21 144 127
Lanercost parish 585 1,243 1,335
viz. the townships of
Askerton 82 80 82 80 356 433
Burtholm 58 33 59 33 279 202
Kingwater 73 55 73 58 374 357
Waterhead and Banks 42 63 42 63 234 343
Langwathby parish 42 46 42 48 215 226 206
Lazonby parish 435 526 578
viz. the townships of
Lazonby 70 69 70 79 320 384
Plumpton-wall 40 37 40 40 206 194
Melmerby parish 44 45 45 49 270 223 240
Millom parish 900 1,502 1,625
viz. the townships of
Birker and Awsthwaite 18 20 18 20 98 109
Millom 125 171 128 191 589 884
Thwaites and Chapel-Sunken 99 59 102 60 523 334
Ulpha 55 57 55 57 292 298
Moresby parish 545 731 881
viz. the townships of
Moresby 83 87 83 90 371 409
Parton 92 100 96 117 360 472
Muncaster parish 60 104 65 110 620 248 591
Newton parish 260 220 219
viz. the townships of
Newton 22 24 22 24 128 115
Catterlen 20 20 20 20 92 104
Orton parish 340 378 422
viz. the townships of
Baldwin-holme 34 42 35 42 205 217
Orton 39 38 41 41 173 205
Ousby parish 47 47 55 47 365 253 249
Penrith parish 672 898 1,350 3,801 4,328
viz. the townships of (fn. n6)
Burrowgate 281 281 809
Dockwray 67 146 599
Middlegate and Sandgate 294 294 1,191
Nether-end bridge and Carleton 173 186 943
Town and Plumpton-head 117 174 786
Plumbland parish 58 49 63 51 410 330 237
Ponsonby parish 13 21 13 21 375 78 147
Renwick parish 38 53 38 53 265 201 277
Rockliffe parish 330 518 588
viz. the townships of
Rockliffe-church 47 55 47 55 222 250
Rockliffe-castle 61 61 63 61 296 338
Great-Salkeld parish 58 62 59 62 345 285 289
Scaleby parish 340 468 557
viz. the townships of
East-Scaleby 40 39 40 39 211 229
West-Scaleby 46 61 46 61 257 328
Sebergham parish 495 742 781
viz. the townships of
Sebergham-castle or High Sebergham 96 87 102 97 434 474
Sebergham-church, or Low Sebergham 55 56 65 66 308 307
Skelton parish 615 729 756
viz. the townships of
Lamonby 43 43 43 43 244 236
Skelton 61 61 61 61 270 285
Unthank 37 38 37 39 215 235
Castle-Sowerby parish 705 938 974
viz. the townships of
Bustabeck 76 42 80 42 423 226
How-bound 44 42 47 47 254 255
Row-bound 18 19 22 19 104 102
Southernby-bound 27 27 28 35 157 200
Stocklewath-bound (fn. n7) 39 39 191
Stanwix parish 445 1,274 1,435
viz. the townships of
Cargo 48 50 49 51 237 243
Etterby 10 10 10 10 49 51
Houghton 52 50 53 53 226 243
Linstock 36 29 36 29 167 192
Rickerby 12 17 17 17 85 108
Stainton 13 14 13 15 63 64
Stanwix 36 82 84 84 337 400
Tarraby 24 19 27 29 110 134
Stapleton parish 310 736 911
viz. the townships of
Belbank 12 19 17 19 109 120
Solport 52 53 52 53 259 277
Stapleton 32 74 30 74 239 377
Trough 24 20 24 31 129 137
Thursby parish 535 409 440
viz. the townships of
Parton 17 19 19 19 98 110
High and Low-Thursby 60 64 60 67 242 272
Whinow or Crofton-Quarter 12 11 12 11 69 58
Torpenhow parish 1,030 782 824
viz. the townships of
Bowaldeth and Snittlegarth 13 15 13 15 55 65
Blennerhasset and Kirkland 43 45 43 45 204 195
Bothil and Threapland 62 79 72 81 313 302
Torpenhow with Whitrigg 48 53 52 55 210 262
Uldale parish 51 54 55 57 520 284 279
Waberthwaite parish 22 20 23 20 375 122 114
Walton parish 345 421 417
viz. the townships of
High-Walton 21 25 24 25 14 161
Low-Walton 56 49 58 49 276 256
Warwick parish 225 453 401
viz. the townships of
Aglionby 21 16 21 17 92 73
Little-Corby 20 22 21 22 120 114
Warwick 44 50 44 52 241 214
Westward parish 610 918 1,002
viz. the townships of
Brocklebank and Stoneraise 85 96 85 98 434 475
Rosley and Woodside 111 93 111 101 484 527
Wetheral parish 515 1,577 1,601
viz. the townships of
Great-Corby 72 68 73 68 344 326
Cumwhinton 76 85 79 87 365 429
Scotby 52 65 56 65 275 293
Warwick-bridge 40 48 40 48 217 204
Wetheral 73 67 73 71 376 349
Whicham parish 42 45 43 48 445 235 261
Whitbeck parish 30 36 33 38 435 180 191
Wigton parish 1,250 3,357 4,051
viz. the townships of
Oulton 60 70 63 70 294 321
Waverton high and low 88 89 88 89 375 409
Wigton 562 620 620 738 2,450 2,977
Woodside 68 83 69 83 238 344
Workington parish 945 6,440 6,533
viz. the townships of
Great-Clifton 59 57 62 57 268 228
Little-Clifton 47 47 47 47 166 193
Stainburn 27 28 30 28 137 140
Winscales 26 29 28 29 153 165
Workington 1,160 1,059 1,375 1,489 5,716 5,807

Longevity.

Having observed during our visit to Cumberland, in the early part of our progress, numerous instances of longevity recorded on the gravestones, and understanding that it was the generally received opinion, that the inhabitants of this county were remarkably long-lived, during the remainder of our journey we resolved to make more particular inquiries on the subject. On examining some of the parish registers, we found that in consequence of an official recommendation from the archdeacon about the year 1771, the ages of all persons buried within the diocese of Carlisle had from that time been specified. This circumstance was peculiarly favourable to the inquiry, and wherever we had an opportunity, particularly in the towns, we made notes of the total number of burials, and the number of persons buried who had attained the age of fourscore, and those who had attained the more advanced age of 90, and upwards. Since our return we have been favoured with similar notes from other parishes in that diocese. We had quitted that part of the county which is in the diocese of Chester before we commenced these enquiries, but have since learnt, that the ages had been specified in many of the registers of that part of the county several years before they were entered in those of the diocese of Carlisle. The clergy of Whitehaven, Workington, Egremont, and some of the smaller parishes in the diocese of Chester, have favoured us with notes from their registers. The result of our enquiries on this subject, contained in the following tables, will be found to justify most fully, the prevailing opinion of the longevity of the inhabitants of Cumberland.

In the parish of Egremont, in which the population appears to have been nearly stationary for the last ten years (consisting of about 1550 persons) we can ascertain with certainty, that about one in 42 have died annually. It is not easy to make calculations of this kind with any degree of accuracy, both on account of the fluctuation of population, and the difficulty of procuring the number of deaths among the dissenters, where they have cemeteries. The favourable circumstance of the ages having been specified in the parish-registers, affords a facility of ascertaining most satisfactorily, in a very large given number of deaths, the proportion of those persons who have attained to the age of 80, 90, &c.; and the result is very curious and remarkable (fn. n8). The present population of each parish in which the calculation has been made, is annexed in the ensuing table.

Parishes. Population in 1811. Aged from 80 to 89 inclusive. Aged from 90 to 99 inclusive.
Arlochden 438 One in six About one in forty.
Arthuret including Longtown 2,693 One in ten One in fifty-two.
Aspatria 919 Rather more than one in six About one in thirty-nine.
St. Bees, exclusive of Whitehaven and other chapelries 2,152 One in six One in twenty-six.
Whitehaven Population of the three chapelries 10,106
Chapelry of St. Nicholas One in eleven One in sixty-three.
Chapelry of the Holy Trinity One in fifteen(1752—1814 (fn. n9)) One in a hundred.
Chapelry of St. James One in nineteen One in one hundred and eight.
Bewcastle 1,069 One in six (1771—1808) One in twenty-seven
Bootle 602 About one in six One in forty-two.
Bowness 907 Rather more than one in six (1771—1808) About one in thirty-two.
Brampton 2,543 One in seventeen (1771—1808 One in seventy-five.
Brigham About one in nine
Cockermouth chapelry 2,964 About one in ten One in sixty-two.
Bromfield 1,808 About one in five and a half One in fifty-five.
Carlisle.
St. Mary's parish 7,632 One in fourteen (1771—1808) One in eighty-four.
St. Cuthbert's parish 4,899 One in twelve One in sixty-two.
Castle-Carrock 307 Nearly one in four One in thirty-three.
Crosthwaite 3,656 One in ten (1771—1808) One in forty-three.
Cumrew 194 About one in four About one in twenty.
Cumwhitton 478 About one in five About one in twenty-seven.
Dalston 2,369 One in eight One in seventy-one.
Dean 752 One in nine (1751—1814) One in forty-seven.
Nether-Denton 258 One in four and a half One in twenty-two.
Distington 910 About one in six (1784—1814 About one in thirty-one.
Egremont 1,556 One in ten (1805—1814) About one in fifty-eight.
Isel 378 One in five and a half (1790—1813) One in twenty-six.
Kirk-Andrews on Esk 2,086 One in seven (1783—1808) One in thirty-five.
Kirk-Linton 1,522 One in forty-one (1777—1814.)
Kirk-Oswald 945 One in six (1773—1808) One in fifty-one.
Moresby 881 About one in nine About one in forty-nine.
Penrith 4,328 About one in eleven One in eighty-four.
Torpenhow 824 About one in six About one in thirty-two.
Water-melock chapelry about 350 About one in four and a half About one in forty.
Whitbeck 191 Rather more than one in five About one in eleven.
Wigton 4,051 About one in eight About one in forty-nine.
Workington 6,533 About one in thirteen About one in one hundred and sixteen.

The following remarkable instances of longevity, are chiefly taken from the registers of burials in the several parishes; and it may be observed, that where so many of the inhabitants live to the age of fourscore, and even to that of ninety and upwards, these instances of still more protracted age are likely to be well attested; in some cases we had an opportunity of ascertaining their accuracy.

Date. Parish or Chapelry. Names, &c. Age.
1664. May 5. Wigton John Dand, of Warebridge 108
1666. Jan. 14. Arthuret Robert Browne about 110
1668. Feb. 15. Arthuret John Story 100
— Dec. 2. Arthuret George Graham 102
1669. June Arthuret Jemet Browne, widow about 106
1671. Nov. 4. Arthuret John Baylie 105
1675. Dec. 19. Arthuret Sybil Lattemer, of Holme, widow 100
1678. Jan. 30. Wigton William Rook, of Akehead 100
1680. Dacre Richard Green 114
1685. Dearham Mrs. Margaret Dykes 106
1686. Nov. 26. Dearham Anne Barwys above 100
1701. May 19. Bridekirk Thomas Fearon, of Tallantire 112
1713. Mar. 20. Cockermouth Margaret Santon 103
1716. Feb. 9. Greystock Henry Winder, senior, of Hutton Soil (died of a dropsy) 101
1717. Feb. 2. Harrington Jane Hodgson, widow 114
1718. Dec. 17. St. Nicholas, Whitehaven William Crosthwaite 104
1726. Jan. 19. Aspatria William Sibson, of Hayton 107
1727. Feb. 12. Kirk-Andrews James Robson, of Dyke-side 103
1742. April 14. Greystock Margaret Hodgson 108
1743. Whicham John Hunter 103
1745. Oct. 12. Bootle Thomas Dickenson, a poor man 112
1746. Mar. 22. Loweswater Thomas Jackson, of Soskel, yeoman 100
— Oct. 10. Bootle Mary Singleton, widow 110
1747. Dearham Jane Bell 100
1748. July 3. Greystock Margaret Robinson, of Mungrisdale, widow 100
1753. Mar. 11. Trinity, Whitehaven Charles Thompson, of Hensingham, tinker 103
— Dec. 16. St. Mary, Carlisle The Rev. George Braithwaite 110
1757. June 18. Loweswater Mary Bragg, of Thackthwaite, widow 101
— June 24. Trinity, Whitehaven Jane Park, widow 100
1758. Jan. 27. Kirk-Bampton John Norman 100
— May 15. Drig Margaret Fell 105
1759. Mar. 8. Greystock John Bristoe, of Mungrisdale 101
1760. Aug. 10. Thursby Matilda Reed (fn. n10) 105
1761. April 11. Cockermouth Elizabeth Atkinson, widow 100
— Sept. 27. St. Nicholas, Whitehaven Margaret Grisdale, widow 107
1762. Jan. 21. Castle-Sowerby Thomas Nixon, of Newlands 108
Moresby Sarah Crosthwaite, widow 107
1763. May 4. Dalston Mrs. Mary Nicolson (fn. n11), widow 105
— Sept. 29. Loweswater Frances Musgrave, of Lanesend, widow 100
1765. Mar. 7. Aspatria Thomas Holiday 101
1766. Mar. 6. Maryport John Thornthwat, miller (fn. n12) 100
1768. Corney Mark Noble 113
1769. Mar. 9. St. Nicholas, Whitehaven Peter M'Gee 104
1771. July 23. Wigton George M'Farland 103
1772. Aug. 20. Aspatria William Nicholson 100
— Oct. 22. St. Mary, Carlisle Honor Edgar, widow 100
— Dec. 13. Penrith James Bell 113
1773. April 26. Penrith Jane Martin, pauper 108
— July 8. Cumwhitton John Armstrong, of Fellend 101
— Aug. 6. Rockcliffe Jane Bell, widow 101
1774. Mar. 21. Langwathby Jonathan Wilson 100
— Nov. 15. Trinity, Whitehaven Henry Dixon 100
1775. Feb. 5. Cumwhitton Alexander M'Leod 107
1776. April 16. St. Cuthbert, Carlisle Elizabeth, widow of Joseph Winder 100
1777. Sept. 18. Wetheral Elizabeth Brady, of Great-Corby, pauper 104
1778. Jan. 2. Lanercost Sarah, widow of the Rev. Thomas Fawcett, late curate 103
— Jan. 16. Penrith George Simpson, shoemaker 102
— Mar. 8. St. Mary, Carlisle John Langhorn, of Blackwell 102
— Oct. 10. Kirk-Linton Jane Snodwin, widow 100
— Nov. 1. Kirk-Andrews on Eden Thomas Robson (fn. n13) 101
— Nov. 19. Penrith Elizabeth Greenhow, spinster 100
Buttermere Jane Wood 106
1779. Jan. 19. Crosby Jane Dalton, widow 101
— Sept. 7. Arlochden Thomas Thompson, of Heathgill, labourer 102
— Dec. 4. Nether-Denton George Carruthers of Chapel-burn, late parish clerk of Farlam 102
1780. April 4. St. Mary, Carlisle Mrs. Margaret Yeats, widow 102
— Aug. 7. St. Mary, Carlisle Eleanor Eliot, of Newtown, widow 100
— Aug. 29. Lanercost Margaret Robson, widow 100
Egremont Elizabeth Glencross 100
1782. Feb. 12. St. Cuthbert, Carlisle Catherine, widow of Rowland Thompson 101
— Mar. 20. Gosforth Isabella Skelton, widow 100
— Nov. 1. Kirk-Bampton Catherine Hewson, widow 100
1783. Dec. 31. Water-Melock James Brown, carpenter 102
1784. Feb. 16. Bewcastle Elizabeth Routledge, widow 102
1785. Jan. 5. Arlochden Thomas Elliot, of Workington, pauper 104
1786. Jan. 23. Lanercost Elizabeth Inman, widow 101
— April 30. Lanercost Anne Crowe, of Sandhill, widow 105
— July 3. St. Mary, Carlisle Andrew Young, pauper 105
— Nov. 4. Hesket Sarah, widow of John Nixon, yeoman 107
— Nov. 15. Scaleby Hugh James 101
Ulpha Isaac Carleton 107
1787. April 11. Burgh on Sands Robert Mayson, of Bowsted-hill 101
— April 11. Thursby Jane Reave 100
— Oct. 7. Harrington Margaret Carlisle 100
— Dec. 3. Rockliffe Mary Hewitt (fn. n14), widow 100
1788. Mar. 13. Stapleton Catherine Rutherford 102
1789. Feb. 15. Farlam Ann Brougham, widow 106
— Nov. 7. Kirk-Bampton John Robinson, of Little-Bampton 100
1790. Jan. 8. Brampton James Martin 101
— Nov. 19. Maryport Joseph Peel (fn. n15), mariner 106
Corney William Troughton 102
1791. Jan. 31. Langwathby Sarah Vart 100
— Feb. 25. Kirk-Andrews on Esk Alexander Ewart 104
Moresby Sarah Gibson 102
Millom David Claide 102
1793. June 20. Maryport John Milliken, tinker 112
1794. May 14. St. Mary, Carlisle Jeremiah Johnson, pauper 100
Torpenhow Mary Robinson 104
1795. Jan. 7. Arthuret Mary Johnson, widow 100
— April 12. St. Cuthbert, Carlisle William Skelton, weaver 106
— May 12. Rockliffe James Grear, cooper Upwards of 100 (fn. n16)
Ponsonby Mary Satterthwaite, pauper 102
1796. Ulpha Thomas Jackson (fn. n17) 103
1797. Mar. 5. Nether-Denton Anne Hutton 102
— June 30. Farlam Jonah Walker 100
1797. Nov. 22. Sebergham Duncan Robinson (fn. n18), of Warnell-fell 100
1798. April 22. Dalston Hannah Gate, widow, of Gatesgill 101
1800. Aug. 11. Distington Anne Wilson 101
Whitehaven Sarah Miller, Quaker 101
1801. Jan. 26. Trinity, Whitehaven John Hannah, mariner 101
— April 8. Farlam John Miniers, of Brackenside 100
1802. Oct. 16. Harrington Mary Creavy, widow 102
— Dec. 29. Wigton Margaret M'Call, widow 101
1803. Mar. 29. Kirklinton John Carruthers, senior 100
— July 8. Greystock Isaac Noble, of Berrier 100
— Aug. 21. St. Cuthbert, Carlisle Bridget, widow of George Bowman 102
Moresby John M'Whey 103
1804. June 1. St. Cuthbert, Carlisle Jane, widow of Thomas Jameson, late of Mellerby 100
— Nov. 12. Kirklinton Eleanor Moffat, of Broomhill 104
1805. Feb. 2. Sebergham Thomas Wilkinson, of Currigg 104
— Feb. 13. St. James, Whitehaven Ann Brownrigg, widow 102
— June 11. Trinity, Whitehaven William Woodburn, shoemaker 100
— Aug. 5. St. James, Whitehaven William Welsh, tinker 105
— Oct. 28. St. Bride Mary Steel, widow 100
— Nov. 27. Trinity, Whitehaven Sarah Young 100
1806. Dec. 8. Kirklinton Anne Sawyer, widow 103
1807. April 28. Crosthwaite Hannah Wilson (fn. n19), widow 102
— Aug. 4. Loweswater Mr. John Mirehouse (fn. n20), of Miresyke 101
— Dec. 30. St. Nicholas, Whitehaven John Brown 101
1808. May 7. Harrington Elizabeth Tolson, widow 102
1810. June 22. Stapleton William Melichan 106
St. Nicholas, Whitehaven Mary Laycock 100
Whicham Margaret Biggins 102
1811. Jan. 26. Wigton Elizabeth Furness, widow 102
— Nov. 26. Cleator Francis Forster, miller 105
St. Nicholas, Whitehaven Olivia Grears 104
1812. July 24. Penrith John Ireland 100
— Nov. 23. Raughton-head Tamar Strong 103
Lorton Sarah Wilson, of Armiside 100
1813. Mar. 13. Stapleton Archibald Green 101
— May 6. Elizabeth Bell, widow 105
1814. Feb. 24. Kirklinton John Milliken, of Mount 106
Bromfield Mrs. Elizabeth Barwis, widow of John Barwis, Esq. of Langrigg-hall 100
Keswick Mrs. Margaret Threlfall, mother of Mrs. Wood, at the Queen's Head, (buried at Urswick, Lancashire) 105

The most extraordinary instance of longevity in a native of Cumberland is that of John Taylor, born at Garragill, in the parish of Aldston-moor, a parish by no means remarkable for the long lives of its inhabitants, the greater part of whom are labourers in the lead-mines. Taylor had been employed in these mines from his childhood; he went below ground at eleven years of age, and was fourteen or fifteen at the time of the great solar eclipse, called in the North Mirk Monday, which happened March 29th, 1652. From that time till 1752, except for two years, during which he was employed in the mint at Edinburgh, he wrought in the mines at Aldston, at Blackhall in the bishopric of Durham, and in various parts of Scotland. In the year 1767, an account of him was sent to Dr. Lyttelton, Bishop of Carlisle, by Mr. J. Walker of Moffat, and communicated to the Society of Antiquaries; he was then living in the neighbourhood of Moffat, near the Leadhills mines, in which he had been employed several years. Upon applying to the Rev. Alexander Johnson, minister of Moffat, he informed us, that John Taylor's residence was in the parish of Crawford; that as no regular register of burials was kept in that parish, the exact date of his death could not be ascertained, but that according to the best information that he could procure, it happened some time in the year 1772. John Taylor married when he was between sixty and seventy, and had nine children by his wife, who died in 1758: two of his sons were living at Lead-hills in 1767 (fn. n21): at the time of his decease he must have been 135 years of age.

The number of persons in Cumberland (fn. n22), whose ages have been from 90 to 99 inclusive, since the ages have been noted in the parish registers, is above 1,120; of these about one-fourth have attained or exceeded the age of 95. In the parish of Bewcastle, where the average number of burials is about sixteen, and the population about 1,070, there occurred, within the space of forty years, three persons of 95 years of age, five of 97, one of 98, and one of 99, besides those of 100 years of age or upwards, noticed in the table. Generally speaking, the inhabitants of Cumberland, who live to this protracted age, are healthy and strong, capable of performing the functions of their several stations, and even of partaking of the amusements of life, almost to its close. Elston Cowman, a farmer of Distington, who died in 1814, at the age of 98, was appointed collector of the property-tax at 90, and executed the office ably and faithfully for some years. Thomas Elliot, a poor man, who died at Arlochden, in 1785, at the age of 104, was seen by our correspondent, at Arlochden fair, whither he had walked some miles, stripped of his coat, hat, &c. dancing and singing with great glee. John Taylor, before spoken of, worked in the mines till he was about 115. Some instances of remarkable contemporary longevity, may be here noticed: William Bowman, of Dearham, who died in 1800, at the age of 87, and his wife, who survived him, and died at the age of 91, lived together 64 years. Anthony and Isabella Walker, who died at the ages of 82 and 84, lived together as man and wife in the same house 61 years: Elizabeth the daughter of Anthony Walker married Henry Bacon, and she and her husband lived 62 years in the same house as man and wife, dying at the ages of 96 and 82. Mr. John Mirehouse of Miresyke, in Loweswater, who died in 1771, at the age of 92, and his wife, who died in 1776, at the age of 97, lived more than 68 years together. Mr. Wright, the late curate of Matterdale, died at the age of 85; his wife, who survived him, at 92. In Moresby church-yard is a memorial for Robert Steele, aged 90, and Jane his wife, aged 95. John Robinson, of Little-Bampton, died in 1789, aged 100; his wife in 1791, aged 91. The Rev. Thomas Jefferson, who died in 1768, at the age of 95, was minister of Cockermouth 68 years. The Rev. George Braithwaite, who died curate of St. Mary's, Carlisle, in 1753, at the age of 110, is said to have been a member of the cathedral for upwards of 100 years, having first become a member of the establishment as a chorister.

It is natural to inquire into the causes which have occasioned the prevalence of longevity in some counties and districts more than in others; but such inquiries do not appear to produce any satisfactory result. It is generally supposed that the climate of the northern counties is favourable to longevity, but, as we have already observed, the district most remarkable for longevity in Cornwall is the southern coast. In Cumberland it seems to be confined to no particular district: the parishes which border on the Fells on the east side of the county, are rather more remarkable for longevity than those on the western coast; but there is little difference except in the large towns. We could obtain no conclusion with respect to the diet and habits of the long-lived inhabitants of this county; as far as we had an opportunity of making the inquiry, some were abstemious, some intemperate. John Taylor, whose employment was frequently by night in the mines, ate heartily at any hour of the day or night, and drank freely: the most remarkable circumstance of his habits was the little sleep he took, which was so little, that his life was half as long again as that of any other person of the same age.

Footnotes

  • n1. Rot. Parl.
  • n2. Subsidy Roll. See Archæol. vol. vii.
  • n3. This number appears evidently to be erroneous.
  • n4. This includes only rated houses.
  • n5. There is evidently some mistake in these numbers, as given in the population abstract, the number of inhabitants having been greater in 1811 than in 1801.
  • n6. The townships are not specified in the return of 1801.
  • n7. This must have been included in Bustabeck, in the return of 1801.
  • n8. The general average proportion of those who attain the age of eighty, is said to be one in thirty-two; and in London, one in forty. See the General History of Cornwall, p. xlviii.
  • n9. During eleven years of this period, more than one-third of the persons buried at Trinity chapel, died of the small-pox.
  • n10. Her age is thus recorded on her tombstone, but in the register of burials she is said to have been 107 years of age; she survived her husband 46 years.
  • n11. Widow of John Nicolson, Esq. of Hawksdale, who died in 1727. Mrs. Margaret Nicolson, (probably her daughter,) recorded on the same monument, died in 1793, at the age of 96.
  • n12. His epitaph in the chapel yard is as follows: "Here are deposited the remains of John Thornthwat, late HONEST MILLER of Netherhall mill, being ONE of a HUNDRED years of age; he departed this life Mar. 6, 1766."
  • n13. This man died in the same house in which he was born; his son died at the age of 93, and his two daughters, unmarried, at the respective ages of 79 and 86, all in the same house.
  • n14. William Hewitt died in 1769, aged 87; Mary, his wife, in 1787, aged 100. (Epitaph.)
  • n15. His epitaph is as follows: "Joseph Peel, born at Bank-end Feb. 2, 1684; he lived in the reign of eight princes; viz. King Charles II., King James II., King William III., Queen Mary, Queen Anne, and three King Georges; aged 106 years 10 months, and was buried Nov. 16, 1790." — "Annos cvi. natus, tot enim vixit Josephus Peel; ita ferebat duo quæ maxima putantur opera, paupertatem & senectutem, ut eis pæne delectari videretur." There is a portrait of this old sailor at Netherhall, the seat of Humphrey Senhouse, Esq. with whose ancestor he lived as servant when a boy. He went to sea at 17, and was in the voyage with Captain Stradling, when Alexander Selkirk was left at Juan Fernandes in 1744. He had acquired a small estate, but was in his old age reduced to poverty by his children; he dined at Netherhall on his 100th birth day, which he had previously ascertained by examining the register. This poor man died in consequence of a remarkable accident; of the bruises which he received by a fall from his horse; the horse having started at being annoyed by the claws of a cat, which he had been employed to carry some miles in a basket.
  • n16. The account in Hutchinson states him to have been 107.
  • n17. Six of Thomas Jackson's children are living, the eldest of whom is 91, the next 89, the others from 84 to 76.
  • n18. An old soldier, a native of the Highlands of Scotland; he fought under the Duke of Marlborough; against the rebels, in 1715 and 1745; and in most of the actions in Flanders during the reign of George II. (Hutchinson II. 424.)
  • n19. She lived 75 years in the family of the late Governor Stephenson, under five successive masters, and during the latter part of her life had an annuity allowed her, by her last master Rowland Stephenson, Esq. (See Gent. Mag.)
  • n20. His father died in 1771, at the age of 92; his mother in 1776, at the age of 97; having lived together more than 68 years. On entering his 100th year, he gave an entertainment to thirty or forty of his friends, put on a new coat on the occasion, and spent the day with the greatest cheerfulness and gaiety.
  • n21. Archæalogia, vol. I. p. 231–233.
  • n22. The number of which our notes express the exact age is 753; of these, 191 were 95 years of age or upwards; of the remainder, we only know that their ages were from 90 to 99 inclusive; but dividing the number in the same proportion, those who have attained the age of 95 will be about one-fourth.