Category: Social History

‘Poor as this place is, it is still a home’ –

A weaver's room in Spitalfields.

Our Victorian city dwellers moved frequently. After moving house myself I wondered why they moved and what gave them a sense of belonging? How did they find stability moving from lodging house to lodging house? And how did the lack of personal objects hinder memories?

The Coachman’s Story: who were they?

Painting of a stage coach

The original role of the coachman took many guises. He may have worked on the stagecoach, the mail coach, for a doctor, for other professionals, or for families of the middling sort, and of course for the upper classes. It Read more…

Agricultural Labourers: stepping out from the shadows

Ploughing 20th century photo

Three decades or so ago, many family historians would have felt a tinge of disappointment to discover their ancestors were agricultural labourers. Possibly because those working within the farming industry of the 18th, 19th and to some extent the early Read more…

Unmarried mothers and illegitimacy in the 20th century

Much has been written about illegitimacy in the nineteenth and eighteenth centuries, but were things any different for the single mother in the early to mid-twentieth century? Yes and no might be the answer to that question. In the twentieth Read more…