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Essex Through the Ages
Stuart Essex
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Life in Stuart Essex

Life for the majority of the population probably changed little over the period. Those who were up-and-coming merchants or newly-rich social climbers might find there were more opportunities to establish themselves, and others might decide to seek a new life in America, but for those who remained, the countryside offered the same work for the same reward.

Plague was still a threat, and in 1665 Colchester suffered an outbreak which resulted in the deaths of around 5,000 people, about a third of the population. This was most likely brought in by travellers from London.

Only the local gentry and those above them would have been aware of the great changes which took place in the governance of the country during the Stuart period.