Abstract and Keywords
The London family and household were shaped by many interacting factors in the period 1550–1640: the growth of the metropolitan population through migration, the prevalence of apprenticeship and domestic service, comparatively late marriage, the practice of wet-nursing, and high infant and child mortality. Widowhood and remarriage were common, leading to blended families and step-relationships. The rising cost of living, especially property values, encouraged the subdivision of houses, individual mobility, and temporary lodging arrangements. But in many respects family and household, embedded in networks of neighbourly sociability and support, were resilient and able to accommodate change. Plentiful contemporary evidence testifies to the warmth and enduring nature of relationships within and beyond their bounds, and family and household remained a keystone of early modern London society.
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