Front Page Titles (by Subject) [CHAPTER IV]: Concerning the Late Rebellion. - The Economic Writings of Sir William Petty, vol. 1
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
Also in the Library:
[CHAPTER IV]: Concerning the Late Rebellion. - Sir William Petty, The Economic Writings of Sir William Petty, vol. 1 
The Economic Writings of Sir William Petty, together with The Observations upon Bills of Mortality, more probably by Captain John Graunt, ed. Charles Henry Hull (Cambridge University Press, 1899), 2 vols.
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The text is in the public domain.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
Concerning the Late Rebellion.
THE number of the People being now Anno 1672 about 1100,000. and Anno 1652. about 850 M. because I1 conceive that 80 M. of them have in 20 years encreased by Generation 70 M. by return of banished and expelled English; as also by the access of new ones, 80 M. of New Scots, and 20 M. of returned Irish, being all 250 M.
Now if it could be known what number2 of people were in Ireland, Ann. 1641. then the difference between the said number, and 850, adding unto it the encrease by Generation, in 11 years will shew the destruction of people made by the Wars, viz. by the Sword, Plague, and Famine occasioned thereby.
I find, by comparing superfluous and spare Oxen, Sheep, Butter and Beef, that ‖ there was exported above ⅓ more Ann. 1664. than in 1641. which shews there were ⅓ more of people, viz. 1466,000; Out of which Sum take what were left Ann. 1652. there will remain 616,000. destroyed by the Rebellion.
Whereas the present proportion of the British is as 3 to 11; But before the Wars the proportion was less, viz. as 2 to 11. and then it follows that the number of British slain in 11 years was 112 thousand Souls; of which I guess ⅔ to have perished by War, Plague and Famine1 . So as it follows that 37,000 were massacred in the first year of Tumults: So as those who think 154,000 were so destroyed, ought to review the grounds of their Opinion2 .
It follows also, that about 504 M. of the Irish perished, and were wasted by the Sword, Plague, Famine, Hardship and Banishment, between the 23 of October 1641. and the same day 1652.
Wherefore those who say, That not ⅛ of them remained at the end of the Wars, must also review their opinions; there being by this Computation near ⅔ of them; which Opinion I also submit.‖
Anno 1650. there were before the great Plague, above one Million of People, viz. 2½ more than in London Anno 1665. But in that there year died in London by account 97,000 people, but really were 110 M.
So as subtracting 412 M. 500 dying of the Plague, and 37 Massacred English, it follows that 167 M. died in 11 years by the Sword and Famine, and other Hardships. Which I think not incredible; for supposing ½ the Number, viz. 87 M. died in 11 years, of Famine and Cold, Transportation to Spain and Barbadoes, &c. it not hard to believe, that the other 87 M. perished by the Sword, when the British had Armies of near 40 M. Men, and the Irish of near double, sometimes2 on Foot.
Corn was then at 50 s. per Barrel, which is now, and 1641. under 12.
Wherefore the effects of the Rebellion were these in pecuniary value, viz.
And the 20 years Rent of all the Lands forfeited, by reason of the said Rebellion, viz. since the year 1652, to 1673. hath not fully defray'd the Charge of the English Army in Ireland for the said time; nor doth the said Rents at this day do the same with ½ as much more, or above 100 M. 1. per An. more
And the Adventurers after 10 years being out of their Principal Money, which now ought to be double by its Interest, they sold their Advantures for under 10 s. per 1. Ann. 1652. in open and free Market.
The Number of Landed Irish-Papists, or Freeholders before the Wars, was about 3000; whereof, as appears by 800 Judgments of the Court of Claims, which fate Ann. 1663. upon the Innocence and Effects of the Irish, there were not above part or 400 guilty of the Rebellion, unto each of whom I allow 20 Followers, which would have made up an Army of 8000: But by the 49 Officers account, the British Army before 1649. must have been about 40 M. men; upon whom the said 8000 Nocent Irish so ‖ prevail'd, as that the Peace ended in the Articles of 1648. By which the Irish were made at least equal Partners with His Majesty in the Government of Ireland; which sheweth, that the Irish were men of admirable Success and Courage: Unless we should rather think, that the said Court of Claims were abused by their Perjuries and Forgeries, which one would think, that a Nation, who caus'd the destruction of so many thousand Lives, for the sake of God and Religion, should not be so guilty of.
The Estates of the Irish before the Wars, was double to that of the English; but the number and natural force of the Irish quintuple to that of the English.
The Cause of the War was a desire of the Romists, to recover the Church-Revenue, worth about 110 M. 1. per Ann. and of the Common Irish, to get all the Englishmens Estates; and of the 10 or 12 Grandees of Ireland, to get the Empire of the whole. But upon the Playing of this Game or Match upon so great odds, the English won and have (among, and besides other Pretences) a Gamester's Right at least to their Estates. But as for the Bloodshed in the Contest, God best knows who did occasion it.‖
Another punctuation may be suggested, VIZ. ‘I conceive that 80 M. of them have in 20 years encreased by Generation, 70 M. by return of banished and expelled English as also by the access of new ones, 80 M. of New Scots, and 20 M. of returned Irish, being [in] all 250 M.’
Cox, ‘If in anno 52 there were 850000 inhabitants, 130000 were Eng 20000 Scots & 700000 Ir: & in anno 72: 1100000 of all sorts y° Ir have encreasd 60000: y° Eng 100000 and y° Scots 80000: it will follow by y° same rule of proportion viz yt they encrease a 25th every x year by generation yt in ann 1687 they are as followeth.
But if to this be added yt in these 15 years (sic) last past, at least 35000 Eng. have come from Engld and the plantations to settle in Ir, & yt 42500 Scotts have come in y° same time, & yt at least 60000 Ir have in yt time gone to Clergy War Service Travail &c. then at this day there will be found in Ireland—Ir 800000 Eng 250000 Scotts 150000 and soe y° Ir are but just double y° Number of y° brittish.’ Cox arrives at the distribution of population in 1652 by assuming that the 80000 increase by generation is confined to the Irish. Petty returns to his calculation in the Dialogue appended to the Treatise of Ireland.
Cox, ‘If y° Ir in 1641 were to y° Eng as 11 to 2. & in all 1466000: then the Ir were 1199450 and ye Eng were 266550: and since it is notorious yt 100000 Eng did not survive ye first year of ye wars, I cannot find any error in their Calculaction yt say 166550 Brittish were massacred yt yeare, and I am sure if there be any difficulty in proving yt Assertion, it will be in yt part of it yt says there were 266550 Brittish in Ir in 1641.
S, ‘double the number sometimes.’