Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

Lifespans of the European Elite, 800–1800

  • Neil Cummins (a1)
Abstract

I analyze the adult age at death of 115,650 European nobles from 800 to 1800. Longevity began increasing long before 1800 and the Industrial Revolution, with marked increases around 1400 and again around 1650. Declines in violent deaths from battle contributed to some of this increase, but the majority must reflect other changes in individual behavior. There are historic spatial contours to European elite mortality; Northwest Europe achieved greater adult lifespans than the rest of Europe even by 1000 ad.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Lifespans of the European Elite, 800–1800
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Lifespans of the European Elite, 800–1800
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Lifespans of the European Elite, 800–1800
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
Footnotes
Hide All

I thank Greg Clark, Morgan Kelly, Alan Fernihough, Cormac Ó Gráda, five anonymous referees, and Ann Carlos, the editor of this Journal, for valuable suggestions. This research would have been impossible without the incredible genealogical labors of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints.

Footnotes
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Daron Acemoglu and Johnson Simon . “Disease and Development: The Effect of Life Expectancy on Economic Growth.Journal of Political Economy 115, no. 6 (2007): 925–85.

Guido Alfani and E. Murphy Tommy . “Plague and Other Lethal Epidemics of the Pre-Industrial World.Journal of Economic History 77, no. 1 (2017): 314–43.

Hugh A. Chipman , I. George Edward , E. McCulloch Robert , et al. “BART: Bayesian Additive Regression Trees.The Annals of Applied Statistics 4, no. 1 (2010): 266–98.

Gregory Clark . “The Condition of the Working Class in England, 1209–2004.Journal of Political Economy 113, no. 6 (2005): 1307–40.

Neil Cummins , Kelly Morgan , and ÓGráda. Cormac Living Standards and Plague in London, 1560–1665.Economic History Review 69, no. 1 (2016): 334.

Sharon N. Dewitte The Effect of Sex on Risk of Mortality During the Black Death in London, AD. 13491350American Journal of Physical Anthropology 139, no. 2 (2009): 222–34.

William Doyle . Aristocracy: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2010.

Manuel Eisner . “Long-Term Historical Trends in Violent Crime.Crime and Justice 30 (2003): 83–142.

Alison P. Galvani , and Novembre John . “The Evolutionary History of the CCR5Δ32 HIV-Resistance Mutation.Microbes and Infection 7, no. 2 (2005): 302–9.

Donald P. Green , and L. Kern Holger . “Modeling Heterogeneous Treatment Effects in Survey Experiments with Bayesian Additive Regression Trees.Public Opinion Quarterly 76, no. 3 (2012): 491–511.

Ted R. Gurr Historical Trends in Violent Crime: A Critical Review of the Evidence.Crime and Justice 3 (1981): 295353.

Stephanie Haensch , Bianucci Michel Signoli Raffaella , et al. “Distinct Clones of Yersinia Pestis Caused the Black Death.Plos Pathogens 6, no. 10 (2010): E1001134. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1001134

Louis Henry . “Fécondité Des Mariages Dans Le Quart Sud-Ouest De La France, De 1720 ‘A 1829.Annales. Histoire, Sciences Sociales 27, no. 3 (1972): 612–40.

Louis Henry Fécondité Des Mariages Dans Le Quart Sud-Est De La France De 1670 A 1829.Population (French Edition) 33, no. 4/5 (1978): 855–83.

Louis Henry and Houdaille Jacques . “Fécondité Des Mariages Dans Le Quart Nord-Ouest De La France De 1670 A 1829.Population (French Edition) 28, no. 4/5 (1973): 873924.

Thomas H. Hollingsworth A Demographic Study of the British Ducal Families.Population Studies 11, no. 1 (1957): 426.

Thomas H. Hollingsworth A Note on the Mediaeval Longevity of the Secular Peerage 1350–1500.Population Studies 29, no.1 (1975): 155–59.

Thomas H. Hollingsworth Mortality in the British Peerage Families Since 1600.Population (French Edition) (1977): 323–52.

Jacques Houdaille . “Fécondité Des Mariages Dans Le Quart Nord-Est De La France De 1670 A 1829.In Annales De Demographie Historique, 341392. Société de Démographie Historique, 1976.

Sheila Ryan Johansson . “Medics, Monarchs and Mortality, 1600–1800: Origins of the Knowledge-Driven Health Transition in Europe.SSRN Electronic Journal 85, 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1661453.

Morgan Kelly , and ÓGráda Cormac . “Living Standards and Mortality Since the Middle Ages.Economic History Review 67, no. 2 (2014): 358–81.

Claude Levy and Henry Louis . “Ducs Et Pairs Sous l'Ancien Régime. Caractéristiques Démographiques D'une Caste.Population (French Edition) (1960): 807–30.

Didier Raoult , Aboudharam Gérard , Crubézy Eric , et al. “Molecular Identification by ‘Suicide PCR’ of Yersinia Pestis as the Agent of Medieval Black Death.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 97, no. 23 (2000): 12800–803.

Verena J. Schuenemann Bos Kirsten , Dewitte Sharon , et al. “Targeted Enrichment of Ancient Pathogens Yielding the pPCP1 Plasmid of Yersinia Pestis from Victims of the Black Death.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 108, no. 38 (2011): E746–E752.

Anton Sebastian , ed. Dates in Medicine: A Chronological Record of Medical Progress over Three Millennia. New York: The Parthenon Publishing Group, 2000.

Nico Voigtländer , and Voth Hans-Joachim . “How the West ‘Invented’ Fertility Restriction.American Economic Review 103, no. 6 (2013): 2227–64.

Edward A. Wrigley , S. Davies Ros , E. Oeppen James , et al. English Population History from Family Reconstitution, 1580–1837. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

The Journal of Economic History
  • ISSN: 0022-0507
  • EISSN: 1471-6372
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-economic-history
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×
Type Description Title
PDF
Supplementary Materials

Cummins supplementary material
Appendix

 PDF (784 KB)
784 KB

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 192
Total number of PDF views: 495 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 1766 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 12th June 2017 - 24th September 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.