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bills of mortality

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The written records maintained in medieval parish registers in England of baptisms and deaths, containing a statement of the cause of death, used in early vital statistical analyses, notably by the English merchant and amateur scientist John Graunt (1620–1674), who is often described as the founding father of vital statistics. Similar church-based vital records were established about the same time, in the 15th or early 16th century, in Sweden and France. All such parish records are a valuable resource in studies of historical demography.

Subjects: History

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