The 17th Century Research Group

Photo:Front cover of the group's major publication

Front cover of the group's major publication

Hertfordshire Publications

Introduction

By Pat Howe

The group was formed in the early 1990s to research the urban history of St Albans between 1650 and 1700. Society member, the late JT Smith, an acknowledged authority on vernacular architecture, led the group as we tackled various aspects of the town’s social, religious and political history.

Our book, St Albans 1650-1700, published in 2003, garnered critical acclaim as an innovative and exemplary study of the social structure of a small town in 17th century England.

One of the benefits arising from this project is our research database which is a directory of names of people living in St Albans in the 17th century. It was developed to help address a key objective, namely to estimate the size of the town’s population at that time. The methodology for this involved reconstructing the town’s population by drawing up an extensive set of family trees. Each individual has a text file in which information relating to that person is collated as and when it comes to hand. This bank of information has enabled us to write on a number of topics relating to the social structure of the town at that time. Some of these have been published, others used to give talks to local groups. (See below for details).

We are currently focused on transcribing 17th century probate documents relating to St Albans with the intention of publishing the first tranche of results sometime around 2019. This is an extensive project. If you are interested in joining our group or have related research questions, do contact Pat Howe. Click here for our contacts page.

Publications by the St Albans 17th Century Research Group

(Copies of all of these are available in the Society's Library)

  • 'Growth in the population of St Albans from the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries', N. Alvey, The Local Historian, Volume 30, Issue 3 (August, 2000), pp.150-159
  • 'Identifying Nonconformity in Late-Seventeenth Century St Albans', P. Howe, Local Population Studies, No. 68, (Spring, 2002), pp.9-25
  • 'St Albans 1650-1700: A thoroughfare town and its people', J.T. Smith & M.A. North (editors), Hertfordshire Publications, (2003)
  • 'The Pemberton Almshouses', C. Ellis & P. Howe, St Albans & Hertfordshire Architectural & Archaeological Society (2004)
  • 'Francis Combe of Hemel Hempstead: New light on a man of learning', S. Beare & P. Howe, Hertfordshire Past and Present, Series 3, Issue 6, (Autumn 2005), pp.17-23
  • 'Lydia Hope’s inventory of paintings and the art collection of Charles I', S. Beare, Hertfordshire Past and Present, Series 3, Issue 16, (Spring 2010), pp.3-12
  • 'Social Welfare in St Peter’s, St Albans, 1663-1680', P. Howe & P. Nellist, Hertfordshire Archaeology and History, Volume 16, (2010), pp.81-96
  • 'Interpreting seventeenth-century probate documents: John Carter, master carpenter in St Albans', J. Harris & P. Howe, Local Population Studies, No. 86, (Spring 2011), pp.66-83

Index of St Albans occupations, 14-19th centuries
Index of St Albans occupations, 14-19th centuries (1743k)
Compiled by the late Pauline Christophers

Parliamentary electors for St Albans - 1689/90
Parliamentary electors for St Albans - 1689/90 (67k)
Transcript of poll book

Protestation Returns for St Albans - 1641-2
Protestation Returns for St Albans - 1641-2 (90k)
Transcript of the return

A List of 17th century primary sources
A List of 17th century primary sources (76k)
Categories of sources used by the Group in our research

This page was added by Jonathan Mein on 13/01/2013.

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