Thomas Cromwell was Vicar General to Henry V111, when in 1538 he ordered that parish churches keep records of baptisms, marriages and burials. These volumes are an essential source for local history and genealogy, but are more than just names, they are a unique data bank. One aspect of community growth is at what rate it grew, what glitches different events put into the process, and what seasonal changes can be inferred.
Population is a subject that produces many debates as to how accurately it can be simulated. Historian W G Hoskins took the simple method of multiplying ten years of baptisms by three to achieve a good approximation of the actual population figure. In practice this value did not account for minor fluctuations, but was sufficient to measure changes and align with the more recent census records, as shown on the attached chart.