Tagged with Bristol

Paupers Riot 1830

Paupers Riot 1830

Here’s another horror story from Bristol’s past which serves as a warning of where we may be heading. The 1840s was a time of massive social upheaval across Europe, echoing the previous century’s ‘hungry forties’, but the problems were soaring in the 1830s. In Bristol, trade declines, so many workers were reduced to pauperism and … Continue reading

Dressing for Travel

This is from the Virginia Gazette, 8 June 1769 showing how people tried to transport money in safety. Or perhaps this was a lifestyle choice. “Bristol, May 17. A few nights ago among the passengers that were gong in the large stage from Bath to London, were two supposed females, that had taken outside places; … Continue reading

Drugs and Poetry

As I repeatedly discover in my researches, there is nothing much that is new in our modern world. Before teenagers were invented, poets were the young rebels, and the connection between scientist Davey with poets Southey and Coleridge in Bristol had them off their faces on Nitrous Oxide, or laughing gas, all in the name … Continue reading

A Great Storm 1476

Here’s an account of a storm, which caused immense damage. The population of the city was much lower than today of course, so I wonder at the number of people drowned. Couldn’t they escape to higher ground, of which Bristol has plenty? Or did it hit so fast they were caught out. If it hit … Continue reading

Not Shopping the Competition

This is again from the Bath Journal of November 1773: “WE are assured from indisputable authority that the managers of the summer theatre in Bristol were not in any ways instrumental in procuring the commitment of Messrs. Kennedy and Booth to the Newgate of that city, for performing plays in teh Coopers Hall contrary to … Continue reading

Mariners’ Church

Mariners’ Church

England has traditionally been protected by its wooden walls, so the ultimate soldiers of these islands are, if you like, its mariners. So, men who go to sea have a special place in all our hearts, so I have a special interest in their welfare. The mariners church in Bristol was built as a welfare … Continue reading

English Rivers

English Rivers

That last post made me want to add a few points on the use of rivers. All early towns in England had problems with excrement in the streets – not just human, emptied out of windows, but also, until the invention of the motorcar, the streets were filthy, with animals as the main source of … Continue reading

Wool Versus Cotton

For many centuries, England’s religious houses and then merchants were wealthy from the production of wool and then woolen cloth. But colonial expansion into warmer climates in the 18th century, wool was too heavy, and people, especially women, began to prefer the lighter fabrics such as linen (made from local flax) and cotton, grown in the Americas. For … Continue reading

Capital Punishment in Bristol

Capital punishment was widely used in earlier centuries, as a deterrent to others – which clearly didn’t work, but also because the law was meant to be seen to have force. There was also an element of display involved, as having stocks, ducking stools in action was a constant reminder for people to behave.  Or … Continue reading

A Gentleman Highwayman

Here’s an account of a famous highwayman and the lengths the various authorities went to to deal with him. “On 28th January, 1767, a man calling himself Hickson, and living at Frenchay in the style of a country gentleman, was arrested near Lawford’s Gate, on suspicion of having committed several capital offences. The man’s story, … Continue reading