Posted in August 2015

Women ‘Churched’

When Redland Parish church opened on the outskirts of Bristol, locals no longer faced a long trudge to their local church at westbury-on-Trym, which most of them had just not bothered with. So the church had a big backlog of baptisms, and a ritual for women, called ‘churching’ which I understood to be prayers for … Continue reading


The Civil War and Women’s Rights

The English Civil War was hard on women. In addition to the usual strains of helping run businesses and constant childbirth and childrearing, they had to cope with absent men – 1/4 of them fought in the war. Many of them built barricades and gave money to the battle, but they were treated as they … Continue reading

Petition by Quaker Women

Today’s Quakers are a peaceful lot, so it is hard to see in them the founders of their group, the angry, disrespectful women who made the Leveller women took almost tame. They submitted a petition to parliament in 1659, 3 columns with 7,000 names, objecting to the  forced payment of tithes to maintain what they … Continue reading

Englishwomen and Anglicanism

Women are traditionally the defenders of home and religion, but only if the religion was what worked for them. This is from Stevie Davis, Unbridled Spirits: In the 1930s, a farmer’s wife named Waspe protesting against tithes set her beehive on the baiiiiff. Tithes, against which Quaker men and women resisters had gone to prison in … Continue reading

A Real Scold’s Bridle

These metal frames are often mentioned in 17th and even 18th century England and though not called this are held up as examples of brutality towards slaves. They were always used on women, sometimes called the brank, and this is the only account I’ve found. this comes from Stevie Davies’ Unbridled Spirits: The brank was … Continue reading

Revolution and Women

The 17th century in Britain seems to have been a time when women were demanding rights and making a lot of noise and trouble. This is again from Stevie Davies Unbridled Spirits: At the Restoration, as the second Charles rode to his coronation, the conduits on the streets ran with wine. Charles’ procession passed beneath … Continue reading

Animal Espionage

Back in the Middle Ages, animals were put on trial for causing all sorts of mayhem. It seems the world of espionage is heading back to the past. This is an article from last Friday’s i newspaper, Deep Under cover: Israeli ‘spy dolphin’ is captured: Hamas naval commanders claimed to have intercepted the latest advance … Continue reading

A Kale Wife ‘Loses it’ and Starts a Revolution

Luther claimed that women were meant to be still, hence he didn’t get much support in Britain, where women expect to be seen and heard. This is from Unbridled Spirits by Stevie Davies: Jenny Geddes became a national legend when, on Sunday 23 July 1637, she expressed Scottish Presbyterian outrage a the imposition of the Anglican … Continue reading