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dc.contributor.authorSwaffield, Jeanetteen
dc.date.accessioned2019-02-15T14:23:54Z
dc.date.available2019-02-15T14:23:54Z
dc.date.issued2009en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1842/34146
dc.description.abstracten
dc.description.abstractThe English population question in the long eighteenth century is explored and investigated further by using the results from the demography available from the 30 year study by the Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure, together with an understanding of the impact of ergot contamination of diet on female fertility.en
dc.description.abstractThe hypothesis presented is that the staple rye diet at the end of the seventeenth century was contaminated with ergot which acted as a contraceptive and abortive agent and in addition could have had an influence on both the survival of women and children if given accidentally or deliberately during labour. Within this thesis it is argued that when the ingestion of ergot on rye was reduced within the diet from around the third decade of eighteenth century onwards this would have removed or released these fertility constraints and therefore it would have allowed women to become more fertile, while improved midwifery practice curtailed the negative effects of ergot ingestion during childbirth. These findings and their timing closely parallel the demographic changes reported by the Cambridge Research Group. Sufficient accumulated circumstantial evidence was found to support the hypothesis to suggest that ergot could have been a factor in both the fertility changes during the long eighteenth century and the perinatal mortality rate. The conclusions of this thesis need to be taken forward in additional local parish research by others to further substantiate these findings.en
dc.publisherThe University of Edinburghen
dc.relation.ispartofAnnexe Thesis Digitisation Project 2019 Block 22en
dc.relation.isreferencedbyAlready catalogueden
dc.titleErgot usage and contamination of foodstuffs in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and its possible implication in the population changes in Englanden
dc.typeThesis or Dissertationen
dc.type.qualificationlevelDoctoralen
dc.type.qualificationnamePhD Doctor of Philosophyen


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