Tagged with famines

Food Riots

I’ve been interested in this 18th century topic for a long time but always thought it was about food shortages, missing the fact that they were often aimed at stopping food – i.e. local grain – from being shipped out of the country, a matter encouraged by bounties brought in in the 17th century when … Continue reading

Grumbling Tummies

Another piece of Bristol history from the 17th century: “About this time was a considerable dearth: different Calendars place it in different ears, in 1520, 21 and 1524. “There was such a scarcity of corn, that wheat was at 4s and 8d a bushel; and bread was made of acorns and fern roots; by reason … Continue reading

Let Them Eat Fur????

Let Them Eat Fur????

The 1760s were a dire time for food supplies in England, especially in the south where reliance was on wheat which was more portable than potatoes in the north. But  it is not clear  the relative roles of food production and speculation played. There were food riots, farmers who hoarded or overcharged for corn and … Continue reading

Underweight Bread

Selling bread that was below the legal minimum weight was taken very seriously in the city of London. The punishment for the frist offence was to be dragged through the city with the offending loaf around the person’s neck. Second Offence was to be put in the pillory for an hour. This may not sound … Continue reading

Dovecotes

Dovecotes

These structures were homes for doves, originally built by monks to provide themselves with fresh meat through the winter. But they were long a source of dispute with their peasant tenants, as the birds lived off the grain from their fields, so on top of their normal tithes to the church, they were being indirectly … Continue reading

Feeding the City

Feeding the City

The 1760s brought peace to England, and in Bristol shipping was released from the hazards of French raiders, trade with the colonies was booming. Plans were being made for the construction of clean wide stone houses. But with the opening up of trade came a change in food supply. The necessities of life, especially wheat … Continue reading

Feeding Bristol

Feeding Bristol

I grew up thinking that Australia was founded because England couldn’t feed itself, which always seemed odd – how could a green island have famines when a desert island did not? I now know it was not about ability, but about economics. As the charity The Hunger Project used to state, there has never been … Continue reading

England’s Famine Mills

England’s Famine Mills

Near Bristol’s famous Suspension Bridge is an insignificant-looking stone tower Few people know it played an important role in one of England’s most desperate times. Eighteenth century England was a time of massive social and economic upheaval. The country was often at war, depriving the country regions of manpower to bring in harvests. Money from … Continue reading