Deaths in Leeds 1764 - 1772


In 1997 I discovered that Leeds University had a School of Continuing Education in Springfield Mount and that it had a number of courses that caught my interest. One unexpected one was in Family History, something I wasn't interested in but the explanation that it would go into depth on what records still exist, when and why they were created, what information they contain and where to find them seemed like a good introduction to taking history courses. The second module was concerned with topics like migration, education and mortality. My thanks to Janet Dunne for 2 fascinating years.

These pages are the result of my choosing to write an essay entitled "Select examples to illustrate the occurrence of “crisis mortality” and present explanations for this."

This coincided with my getting an OCR program and having 1 volume of the Thoresby Societies transcripts of Leeds Parish Register burials on hand. This particular volume had causes of death from January 1764 which would be perfect for my purposes. I therefore scanned the relevant years, OCR'd the images and created a database. It actually finished with some deaths from measles, quite a cliffhanger for someone looking for a crisis, so I had to get the next volume to see what came next. As with most cliffhangers there was nothing dramatic but I processed the next burial register too. It would appear that the registrar who so meticulously recorded causes of death moved to St. Johns in 1772 so I only had 9 years of data.

I like data and the first results had me wondering WHY? Was there something, apart from disease, causing the fluctuations in the graphs.


I had the whole of the Christmas holidays to find out.

My essay was the right length but I ended up with the 7 Appendices on the following pages.

If you are only interested in the people buried then go straight to Burials 1764-72 which is a straight list in date order.

If, like me, you are interested in what could have influenced the figures then enjoy looking at all the pages. Lots of graphs comparing everything I could think of at the time. All the sources I used are listed in the Referencess section.

Bear in mind that I wrote this 20 years ago and new things could well have come to light by now. Please let me know if you are aware of anything that could be added.

There was insufficient data to draw any conclusions but I think it gives a snapshot of what life was like in Leeds from 1764-1772.

I became a member of the Thoresby Society less than a year after this assignment.


Sue Alexander
March 2019

The menu is on the left and you can follow the pages by clicking on Next at the bottom of each page.

The Burials file is large, so make take a while to download depending on your internet connection, but you can search it using Ctrl - F.

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