Georgian Era

One Man’s Will in 1732

Although not a resident of Britain, one man’s will was published not only in America but also in British newspapers. The man was a Mr. Matthew A—-y and he reputedly died from causes related to “advanced Age.” For many years he worked as a bed-maker and sweeper at the local college in Cambridge, Massachusetts. As…

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Georgian Executions

In 1800, one person wrote that “a month doth not pass over in England without repeated executions; and there is scarcely a vagabond to be met with in the country who has not seen a fellow creature suspended from the gallows.” Georgian executions were plentiful enough that one person noted “it is shocking to think…

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Model of the Perfect Woman Georgian Style

Antoine Le Camus wrote Abdeker: or the Art of Preserving Beauty in 1754. It is half “oriental tale” and half recipe book filled with cosmetic recipes. In the book Camus claims that “the face is the chief Seat of Beauty.” But Camus also asserts “beauty is that Form of an entire body, which pleases every one…

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Execution of the Wrong Man in the Georgian Era

In 1727, in York, a waiter by the name of Thomas Geddely lived with a Mrs. Hannah Williams. Williams was well-to-do and owned a popular public-house. She also employed Geddely. Williams kept her money in her scrutoire (writing desk). One day she went to her scrutoire and discovered that it had been broken into and…

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Sharpers, Shopkeepers, and the Georgian Era

Francis Grose defined a sharper in his eighteenth century dictionary as, “A cheat, one that lives by his wits.” In fact, a sharper was a common term applied in the eighteenth century to describe a thief who used trickery to obtain possessions from their rightful owner. Many ordinary Georgians saw sharpers as romantic figures and…

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Historical Custom: The Flitch of Bacon Custom

Historical customs have long existed. For instance, in Scotland there has been a long tradition of wearing kilts, and the custom continued despite efforts to weaken Scottish support for the restoration of the James II of England by passing the Dress Act of 1746 that forbade “Highland Dress.” Another long-time custom is Lent — forty…

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What are Stables and Other Similar Associated Buildings?

By the 1800s, in the city, most houses were devoid of stables, whereas most country homes were equipped with one. Stables offered lodging for horses, protected them from the elements, and provided them with a ready food and water supply. Stables could also be detached or attached to a house depending on an owner’s preference,…

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What are Servant Bedrooms?

Besides the upper and under servant offices used by domestic staff to accomplish their jobs, there were special sleeping quarters allotted to servants. Such sleeping quarters consisted of Under-servant and Upper-servant Bedrooms and Stranger-servant Bedrooms. Under-servant Bedrooms: Male and female domestics had separate quarters for sleeping. Female domestics were usually provided with bedrooms either in…

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The Pirate, William Fly

William Fly was an English pirate with a short career and a short life. His life of piracy began in 1726 after he signed on to sail with Captain John Green to West Africa on the Elizabeth Snow. During the voyage Fly and Captain Green clashed several times, which then resulted in Fly conspiring with…

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What are Wash-houses and Laundry-Related Rooms?

Because eighteenth and nineteenth century houses generated lots of laundry, laundry facilities were an important part of any home. Sometimes laundry facilities were completely separate from a house and located near the Stables, but it was a chore to move the entire laundry of household to an area far from the house. One reason laundry…

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