Filed under women’s rights

How Old and Ugly Were Witches?

I have always worried at the bad images we have of witches, especially those who were punished for their ‘crimes’. The image of an ugly, isolated old woman just doesn’t seem to fit many of the cases, in particular the famous Pendle witches. The old hags seem more cartoon characters. Many pamphlets and ballads were … Continue reading

Cycling Feminist Socialists

Yet again, I have to admit to not being interested in sport, but this article from Sunday’s Observer concerns, or rather, is triggered by Adam Yates who is close to being crowned best young rider in the Tour de France. He is a member of the Bury Clarion Club, which is a part of a … Continue reading

Cats Scapegoated in Divorces

I am fascinated by this – in the USA there was en epidemic of divorces in which the reason given was a cat – or several. Of course there was a good reason for it. I am also intrigued that such a God fearing nation would allow divorce in 1848 at all.

A Poisoner Burned At The Stake

Burning a woman alive is generally associated with witches, but they were more commonly hanged in England. But it was the punishment for a woman killing her husband, who as a superior creature was deemed an act of treason rather than mere murder. This is a letter from ‘Ivelchester’ [ie Ilchester] published in the Bristol … Continue reading

Polygamy In Britain

Here’s an article from yesterday’s i paper that I never thought I would read: a British man has set up a website to promote polygamy in these islands, even though this is illegal. Azad Chaiwala, the founder of and is on a quest to normalise having more than just one wife. The 33-year-old … Continue reading

More Blue Plaques to Women

Blue plaques are placed on buildings historically associated with famous people. This is from Monday’s i paper: It is “wrong” that so few blue heritage plaques are dedicated to women and there should be increased recognition of the female contribution to history, the chairman of English Heritage has said. Only 13% of London’s blue plaques – … Continue reading

Restrictions on Wife Sales

Here’s another piece of the article on wife sales in The Review of Behavioural Economics 2014 in which it raises an interesting point relating to wives being willing to be sold. I thought it was purely to do with the nature of the commercial contract, but the authors suggest another aspect which ties in with … Continue reading

Economics of Wife Sales

Another diversion in my research into English wife selling. This is from The Review of Behavioural Economics and is an interesting piece, but I wonder if the authors have ever been in a relationship, as most people would know such matters are far more complex than they suggest here:  We argue that wife sales were an institutional … Continue reading

Clandestine Marriages

A bit of historical romance to celebrate International Women’s Day, from the wonderful Highways & Byways series: One of the famous images of 18th century England, often repeated in cheap novels was the young heiress inveigled by an unscrupulous seducer to flee with him to be married at Gretna Green, pursued by relatives attempting to … Continue reading