GRAUNT, John. (1620-1674). Natural and political observations mentioned in a following index and made upon the bills of mortality...with reference to the government, religion, trade, growth, ayre, diseases, and the several changes of the said city. London: Tho: Roycroft, for John Martin, James Allestry, and Tho: Dicas, 1662.
4o (180 x 131mm). Woodcut headpiece, folding "Table of Casualties," fo (395 x 323mm), table of "Number of burials and christenings in the seven parishes [1636-1659]" cut in two and bound side-by-side (left-hand edge of first table slightly shaved, clean tear repaired without loss; both edges of second table shaved with loss of a letter or two in each line, that plate apparently cut down with loss of 4 lines [statistics for 1647 and 1648]). Modern red morocco, gilt-lettered spine, by Sangorski and Sutcliffe.
VERY RARE FIRST EDITION OF THE FOUNDATION OF DEMOGRAPHICS AND MEDICAL STATISTICS. Since the sixteenth century the parishes of London had compiled weekly Bills of Mortality, recording births and baptisms, and the age, sex, parish and apparent cause of death of all who died within the metropolis. Graunt, subjecting these records to careful study, created statistical tables and drew interesting deductions regarding demographics, epidemiology and social patterns. "He was the first to recognize the importance of vital statistics and the need for reducing them to order, which he found to be possible by mathematical calculation, leading to important conclusions on the social and economic conditions of the people....The application of critical scientific methods to medical and vital statistics, which underlies so much of modern government and ecomomics, can be traced back to John Graunt's remarkable book" (PMM). NLM/Krivatsy 4951; Wing G-1599; Wellcome III, p.150; Norman 933.