The year 1650 in England was a time of great change for its people. Just 11 short months earlier Charles I was beheaded in the Palace of Whitehall. Oliver Cromwell had just subjugated the Irish in a bloodbath that would stay long in their memory and was on his way to put down the Scots who had sided with Charles II. This huge change in their social system led to a period of euphoria for the peasantry, which in turn let to a “Baby Boom” in 1651.
During the 17th century the population of England and Wales grew steadily. It was about 4 million in 1600 and it grew to about 5 1/2 million by 1700. England also became steadily richer. Trade and commerce grew and grew. By the late 17th century trade was an increasingly important part of the English economy. Meanwhile industries such as glass, brick making, iron and coal mining expanded rapidly.