Front Page Titles (by Subject) The FIFTH ESSAY. Concerning Holland and the rest of the United Provinces. - The Economic Writings of Sir William Petty, vol. 2
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The FIFTH ESSAY. Concerning Holland and the rest of the United Provinces. - Sir William Petty, The Economic Writings of Sir William Petty, vol. 2 
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.
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The FIFTH ESSAY.
SInce the close of this Paper, it hath been objected from Holland, That what hath been said of the number of Houses and People in London is not like to be true; for that if it were, then London would be the ⅔ of the whole Province of Holland. To which is answered, That London is the ⅔ of all Holland and more, that Province having not a Million and 44 thousand Inhabitants (whereof 696 m. is the ⅔) nor above 800 ‖ thousand, as we have credibly and often heard; for suppose Amsterdam hath, as we have elsewhere noted1 187 thousand, the seven next great Cities at 30 thousand each one with another 210 thousand, the 10 next at 15 thousand each 150 thousand, the 10 smallest at 6 thousand each 60 thousand, in all the 28 walled Cities and Towns of Holland 607 thousand, in the Dorps and Villages 193 thousand, which is about one Head for every 4 Acres of Land; whereas in England there is 8 Acres for every Head, without the Cities and Market Towns.
Now, suppose London having 116 thousand Families, should have 7 Heads in each, the medium between Monsr. Auzout and Grant's ‖ reckonings, the total of the People would be 812 thousand, or if we reckon that there dies one out of 34 (the Medium between 30 and 37 above mentioned2 ) the total of the People would be 34 times 23212, viz. 789208, the Medium between which number, and the above 812 thousand is 800604, somewhat exceeding 800 thousand, the supposed number of Holland1 .
Farthermore, I say that upon former searches into the Peopling of the World, I never found that in any Countrey (not in China it self) there was more than one Man to every English Acre of Land (many Territories passing for well peopled, where there is but one Man for ten ‖ such acres) I found by measuring Holland and West-Frizia, alias North-Holland, upon the best Maps, that it contained but as many such Acres as London doth of People, viz. about 696 thousand Acres; I therefore venture to pronounce (till better informed) That the People of London are as many as those of Holland, or at least above ⅔ of the same; which is enough to disable the Objection above mentioned; nor is there any need to strain up London from 696 thousand to 800 thousand, though competent reasons have been given to that purpose, and though the Authour of the excellent Map of London, set forth Anno 1682, reckoned the People thereof (as by the said Map2 appears) to be 1200 ‖ thousand, even when he thought the Houses of the same to be but 85 thousand.
The worthy person who makes this objection in the same Letter also saith,
1. That the Province of Holland, hath as many People as the other 6 United Provinces together, and as the whole Kingdom of England, and double to the City of Paris and its Suburbs; that is to say, 2 millions of Souls1 . 2. He says that in London and Amsterdam, and other trading Cities, there are 10 Heads to every Family, and that in Amsterdam there are not 22 thousand Families. 3. He excepteth against the Register alledged by Monsr. Auzout, which ‖ makes 23223 Houses and above 80 thousand Families to be in Paris, as also against the Register alledged by Petty, making 105315 Houses to be in London, with a tenth part of the same to be of Families more than Houses, and probably will except against the Register of 11632 Houses to be in all England, that number giving at 6⅓ Heads to each Family, about 7 millions of People, upon all which we remark as followeth, viz.
1. That if Paris doth contain but 488 thousand Souls, that then all Holland containeth but the double of that number, or 976 thousand, wherefore London containing 696 thousand Souls, hath above ⅔ of all Holland by 46 thousand. ‖
2. If Paris containeth half as many People as there are in all England, it must contain 3 millions and a half of Souls, or above 7 times 488 thousand, and because there do not die 20 thousand per an. out of Paris, there must die but one out of 175, whereas Monsr. Auzout thinks that there dies one out of 25, and there must live 149 Heads in every House of Paris mentioned in the Register, but there must be scarce 2 Heads in every House of England, all which we think fit to be reconsidered.
I must as an English Man take notice of one point more, which is, ‖ that these Assertions do reflect upon the Empire of England, for that it is said, that England hath but 2 millions of Inhabitants, and it might as well have been added, that Scotland and Ireland, with the Islands of Man, Jearsey and Gearnsey have but ⅖ of the same number, or 800 thousand more, or that all the King of England's Subjects in Europe are but 2 millions and 800 thousand Souls, whereas he saith, that the Subjects of the 7 United Provinces are 4 Millions. To which we answer, That the Subjects of the said 7 Provinces, are by this Objectour's own shewing, but the Quadruple of Paris, or 1932 thousand1 Souls, Paris containing but 488000, as afore hath been prov'd, and we do here affirm that England ‖ hath 7 millions of People, and that Scotland, Ireland, with the Islands of Man, Fearsey and Gearnsey, hath ⅖ of the said number, or 2 millions 800 thousand more, in all 9 millions 800 thousand; whereas by the Objectour's doctrine, if the 7 Provinces have 1932 thousand People, the King of England's Territories should have but of the same number, viz. 1351 thousand whereas we say 9800 thousand, as aforesaid, which difference is so gross as that it deserves to be thus reflected upon.
To conclude, we expect from the concerned Critiques of the World, that they would prove, ‖
1. That Holland and West-Frizia, and the 28 Towns and Cities thereof, hath more People than London alone.
2. That any 3 the best Cities of France, any 2 of all Christendom, or any one of the World, hath the same, or better Housing, and more foreign Trade than London, even in the year that King James the Second came to the Empire thereof.
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