By Richard Dennis
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Extra info for A Social Geography of England and Wales
6). Trees surrounded the new Georgian squares to the west of the City and the royal parks and surrounding open fields provided a markedly rustic fringe. In pre-industrial England gilds were distinctly urban institutions which existed to organize manufacturing and trading activities, guarantee quality, control prices and safeguard privileges, especially to protect each member's share in the total business of the town or the gild's particular occupation. Indeed in some towns there were several and sometimes many gilds which served the interests of specialist groups.
5. Growth of London from medieval times to 1 785. schemes on the estates of west London. In their place came the poor, but to quote Clark's (1972) words "London was the graveyard of pauper England" (p. 36). J. W. Archenholz (1794) captured the contrast most clearly. "The East End, especially along the shores of the Thames, consists of old houses, the streets there are narrow, dark and ill-paved, inhabited by sailors and other workmen. . " As the traders left the East End their place was taken by refugees.
Throughout pre-industrial times most boroughs and even cathedral cities contained fewer than 5,000 residents. Taking a different kind of definition, Gregory King estimated that England's market towns and provincial cities contained about 870,000 people in 1688 (16 per cent of the total). A further 4,100,000 people (74 per cent) were country folk and the remaining 530,000 (10 per cent) were Londoners. London was a giant, with the next most populous cities (Bristol, Norwich and York) housing only 25—30,000 people apiece.