Georgian Era

How House Stewards Cheated Their Masters

House stewards were at the pinnacle when it came to the hierarchy of servants and were often the chief butler. In large and wealthy household, like those of Madame Récamier, Princess Charlotte of Wales, Consuelo Vanderbilt, the Princess Hélène, of Orléans or Warren Hastings, house stewards were hired to handle the domestic affairs of the…

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Dorton Spa (Chalybeate Spa) and Its Healthy Waters

The Dorton Spa, sometimes called the Chalybeate Spa or Chalybeate Springs, was located in Dorton, Buckinghamshire, about twelve miles east of Oxford. It came into being after rumors circulated about the health benefits of the springs and the miraculous cures supposedly affected from bathing or drinking the water. The claims began hundreds of years ago…

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Hysteria in the Georgian Era

Hysteria was a catch-all term given to sufferers who were readily excited, highly nervous, or emotionally distressed. Georgian doctors claimed hysteria was brought on because of surprise created by joy, grief, fear, etc., and doctors also asserted it affected people early in life — primarily between the age of puberty and thirty-five. Eighteenth century doctors…

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Humorous Clauses Proposed for The Marriage Act of 1753

The Marriage Act of 1753 was enacted to require a formal ceremony of marriage because clandestine marriages achieved by crossing over the Scottish border caused disputes as to their validity. One newspaper proposed some humorous clauses be added to the Marriage Act and here they are in their entirety. When two young thoughtless fools, having…

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Roof Collapse on York Street in 1832

Some building controls were put in place throughout Britain by the 1700s, and, by the mid-1800s, builders had to submit plans for any new buildings or alterations. However, this did not mean that landlords or builders followed the law. It also did not mean that surveyors who checked such things had any authority to insist…

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Typography Terminology and Meanings in the Georgian Era

Printing Terminology has always been interesting and in some cases amusing. It seems that long ago, as “a joke, or for the purpose of irritating, compositors were called asses by the pressmen…[or in some cases] galley slaves, an expression…used jocularly in England and America.” Apparently, many typography words were also related to the animal kingdom.…

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The Eccentric Mr. Martin Van Butchell

Not many people are willing to put a dead spouse on display, but that’s exactly what the eccentric Mr. Martin Van Butchell did. When he began life he was not necessarily eccentric as he developed an interest in medicine from a early age and began healing patients. He studied under Doctor William Hunter, a Scottish…

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Cosmetics of the Georgian and Regency Eras

Any kind of spot or imperfection, known as “the cruel ravages of unsparing time,”[1] were not only disagreeable but also something every Georgian and Regency woman wanted to avoid, disguise, or repair. In order to accomplish this, the most important and indispensable part of a woman’s toilette was her skin care products, referred to as…

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Matthias Buchinger – The Wonderful Little Man of Nuremberg

Matthias Buchinger was “little more than the trunk of a man,”[1] but he was also dexterous, talented, and capable, which is why he became known as “the wonderful little man of Nuremberg.” He was born in Ansbach, Germany, on 2 June (or perhaps 3) 1674, without hands, feet, or thighs and was the youngest of…

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