Filed under old newspapers

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

Ensuring Fresh Meat at Markets

The guild of butchers was one of the most important, and its members among the most respected, due to their importance in ensuring safe food but also they had to heft large animal carcasses, so they were also big strong men, not the sort you would want to mess with. But it seems the lack … Continue reading

Georgian Care for Mentally Ill

Before mental health services were established, it is generally assumed that people suffering mental illness were locked away as with Mrs Rochester, or put on display to e mocked at Bedlam. But in small communities, matters could be dealt with on a local level. There was a wider range of employment than today; everyone could … Continue reading

Old Love

This is a charming piece from the Illustrated Police News, 1892, a reminder that some people did see old bones, and were still active in the past. PASSING NOTES Last week in a little meeting-house just outside Feltham David Macnamara, pensioner, who served in the Inniskilling Dragoons nearly 60 years ago, and who, though in … Continue reading

Cure for Mysterious Male Illness

This is from the Illustrated Police News of November 1898: MEN WHO ARE WEAK Men who are weak, and tired of taking NAUSEOUS  and MYSTERIOUS Preparations to no GOOD PURPOSE ought to write to the Physician in confidence, and full particulars will be sent FREE As to how all cases of NERVOUS DEBILITY, LOSS OF … Continue reading

Civic Expenses

Bristol Corporation was infamous for spending money on celebrations, and its croneyism. When Manchester debated whether to elect its own MPs they gave corruption in Bristol as a reason not to. This is from Latimer’s Annals of Bristol for 1743: The mind of the Corporation was much exercised about this it by the attempt of … Continue reading

A Considerate Old Man?

There are lots of strange stories in my bulging file on wife selling, but this is one that seems to disprove any notions that those involved were ignorant or brutes.This is from The Stockton Mercury, July 1855: The antiquated and disgraceful farce of selling a wife has taken place at Thirsk within past few days. A … Continue reading

Cougar in Debt

Old newspapers sometimes comment on ancient customs, such as that if a woman married in a shift or undergarment, this freed her of any debt, hence her new husband would not be held responsible. I have seen this mocked a few times, but here seems to be a case where the minister acknowledged the tradition: … Continue reading

On Clapham Common

I love this from The Manchester Courier of 6 July 1906: “While on Clapham Common a correspondent says he saw 7 fox-terriers, each wearing a different coloured sun bonnet, gravely following their master. “

Wife Sells Husband

I have been trawling the British news archives and this might be  a first. In Cumberland Pacquet & Ware’s Whitehaven Advertiser of 22 August 1815 they claim a woman sold her husband with a halter round his neck at Dewsbury market. She got oy 4s 6d for him!