Thomas Malthus was born not far from where I was, in Surrey, though somewhat earlier. He was born in 1776.
His main claim to fame nowadays is his Essay on the Principle of Population
He noted that most animals and plants had more offspring than necessary to replenish the population, and that natural means controlled the growth. In the case of people, this would cause exponential growth of the population, and productive agriculture could grow only in arthmetic progression. War and famine were the most likely means to control this growth difference.
As Bob Parks remarks… His simple reasoning was dismissed by the mathematically challenged, and still is.