Filed under children

St Thomas’s Old Operating Theatre

St Thomas’s Old Operating Theatre

This is a wonderful, haunting but small museum, a place that should make you fall down and give thanks to whoever you believe in that modern medicine exists. It’s in the attic to provide maximum light for operations. Everything is so small, especially the operating table which I doubt would be long enough for me. … Continue reading

Medieaval Selfie Stick?

Here’s a very strangely modern image It’s part of a medieval manuscript: At first I thought it was a joke, but it is in the museum of anthropology in Cambridge, a display on children in history, so look closer: The boys are playing on hobby horses, so playing at jousting, with their poles. What seems … Continue reading

Smallpox in Hampshire 1774

Smallpox is a disease which caused lots of fatalities but inoculation against was discovered in the 18th century, so fear of it has long since faded. This is from the Hampshire Chronicle of March 1774: We hear that the small-pox is broke out at Bishops Waltham, a dread of which distemper has induced many of … Continue reading

Master Percy Praises The Lever Museum

Master Percy Praises The Lever Museum

Eighteenth century England produced a lot of child proteges who were often put on display by their partents and guardians in a way that to modern eyes seems like exploitation, but for families of humble birth could provide a welcome income. Some went on to achieve well deserved success such as the future President of … Continue reading

Social Mobility by English Rock Stars

The music business has long been seen as a means for poor people to make a living, but in the late 1960s/early 70s there were some truly stellar rises by the few fortunate enough to become famous.  The following snippets come from Dominic Sandbrook’s book The Great British Dream Factory: Bill Wyman had grown up in … Continue reading

A Strolling Woman Thief

This is from the Newcastle Chronicle, august 1766. I thought children were taken to the fields during harvest, but maybe it was a long walk for them. Hard to imagine this woman could not be found: On Wednesday afternoon, whilst Mr Francis Holmer, farmer, at the Nag’s Head, near Plausworth, in the road from Durham … Continue reading

A Child Drowned in Norfolk, 1772

This comes from the diary of William Youell of Great Yarmouth, a document in the Norwich Record Office: 9 June The poor girl Quinton taken up this day, her tongue was rolled in her mouth swelled as big as any fish and her Eyes started out of her head, that a great many people believe … Continue reading

A Local Witch

This comes from Joseph Ashby of Tysoe 1859-1919, a real goldmine of  first person details. This is unusual as it shows the boys misbehaving, but also the old woman treating them with what seems to be benign indifference. Was this sort of behaviour so commonplace at the time? Or did she know they meant no … Continue reading

A School Inspection

There have been a lot of changes in British education in recent years, all of course in the name of so-called improvement, but often more to do with saving money or removing their control from local councils. This is what it used to be like to have an annual inspection, from the early to mid … Continue reading