A summary of everyday life in Tudor and Stuart times

In 1696, Gregory King published The State and Condition of England, in which he described the population of England and Wales.

He divided the population into the following categories:

Chart showing how society was broken down in Tudor and Stuart times.
GroupPeople
Lords and squires154,000
Clergy, lawyers and scholars202,000
Government employees, soldiers176,000
Property-owners1,730,000
Labourers and servants1,275,000
Paupers and poor1,300,000
Skilled craftsmen240,000
Merchants, shopkeepers and seamen394,000
Vagrants30,000

He analysed the population by numbers and by income.

He divided the hierarchy into 'interests', eg owning land and trading. Into each group he put both the rich and poor, eg seamen earning £14 a year alongside merchants earning £400. This is because he thought they had more in common with each other than a seaman might have with, say, a farm labourer.

The people of England had not yet learnt to think in terms of social 'class' and still grouped people on their loyalty to their lord.