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A historical demography of the rolvenden hundred with reference to population genetics

Hill, Alan William David (1984) A historical demography of the rolvenden hundred with reference to population genetics. Masters thesis, Durham University.



This thesis studies some aspects of the demographic history of the Rolvenden Hundred in the Weald of Kent during the period 1560-1980, and attempts to assess the factors affecting population change in the region over that period. Research into the regions historical background revealed a number of key variables which may have influenced the course of historical demography. The established views of several Kentish authorities, together with material derived from the Anglican parish registers provided the basic approach to this study. The study starts with a general introduction to the population history of the region. Particular interest is devoted to folk movements of the Anglo-Saxon period who settled in Kent during the early fifth century. It appears to have been their descendants who were so successful in developing the soils of the Weald for agriculture. Their drove roads determined the orientation of inter-parish movement at much later dates in history. The main section of the work is concerned with the populations adaptive responses to changing socio-economic conditions. It is argued that the pioneering settlers within the Weald were peculiarly well adapted in terms of genetic 'fitness' and had presumably earlier evolved such genetic traits due to natural selection. The consequences of their failure to adapt to the demands of a market economy forms the basis for later discussion, with particular emphasis upon epidemic cycles acting as a vehicle for natural selection. The parameters of this study were of necessity limited, many possible avenues of further investigation are highlighted in the last chapter. Some statistical material was found to differ considerably from other contemporary studies. No positive conclusions can be drawn at this stage; the object of this study was primarily to provide a basis for future personal fieldwork in this region.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Science
Thesis Date:1984
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:15 Jul 2013 14:43

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