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The Thames as a Barrier in the Eighteenth Century

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Analysis of marriage registers, apprentice records, wills and insurance policies demonstrates that in the eighteenth century, the Thames, downstream from the Tower of London, was a major barrier to the development of strong business and marriage links between the residents on the north bank in Stepney, and those on the south bank in Surrey and Kent. Possible reasons for our findings are examined in the context of London's growth, migration patterns and business opportunities. The importance of Sun Fire Office insurance policies, in examining personal and commercial links between places far apart is emphasised. Suggestions are made for future research.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2018

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  • Local Population Studies was first published in 1968, and since then it has focused on presenting cutting-edge research in local, population and social history. It is published twice a year online and in print by the Local Population Studies Society, with the support of the University of Oxford. For information about how to become a member of the LPSS, and for freely available back issues from 1968 to 2010, please visit
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