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By Carlo M. Cipolla
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Additional resources for The Fontana Economic History of Europe, vol. 4, part 1: The Emergence of Industrial Societies
176-8). ' 41 proportion of farm servants could have intensified the existing pattern of seasonality, but could not have shifted the location of the peaks in marriage within the year, from one season to the other. The annual hiring dates of servants were not arbitrary; they located themselves in the slack season following the peak in the work year, as discussed above. Martinmas (in November), not Michaelmas, was the hiring time in arable parts of the north, with the area's later harvests. 69 But the problem of the variation in the intensity of the marriage peak with the incidence of farm service remains.
The years between 1539 and 1639 were divided into three sets. The first, late Rogationtide, set includes the eleven years in which seven days or fewer of May but fifteen or more of June were in Rogationtide (Easter having fallen between 20 and 25 April); the second set, early Rogationtide, includes the sixty-seven years in which fifteen or more May days but only seven or fewer June days were in Rogationtide (Easter, 22 March-12 April). The ratio between May and June marriages was examined in the two extreme sets (the intermediate set, the remaining twenty-three years, was ignored).
Over time, the incidence of remarriage fell. 71 Beccles, Suffolk, provides one of those fragments. 69 70 71 Kussmaul, 'Statute Sessions'. Hicks, e d . , Parish Register of Brandsburton. Wrigley a n d Schofield, Population History of England, p p . 258-9. 42 A general view of the rural economy of England The underlying number of events in the parish is large (365 weddings of single grooms, 146 of widowed grooms in 1661-1700, and 259 single, 173 widowed in 1568-1640), but Beccles would not have been my first choice as a test, from the point of view of this study.