History of Early Actresses

Professional theatre had to be recreated after the Restoration of the monarchy in 1660, for during the Interregnum period most forms of theatre had ceased, Oliver Cromwell and his Puritan government had closed theatres in 1642. The first actress appeared on the London stage in 1660.  Subsequently, Charles II issued a royal warrant in 1662 stating that henceforth ‘women rather than boy actors were to play … Continue reading History of Early Actresses

Mayflower Passenger Pilgrim Father William Mullins Lived Here

On a trip to Dorking, Surrey, I came across this plaque commemorating the home of Pilgrim Father William Mullins. He lived at 58 West Street and it is the only surviving home of a Pilgrim Father. The building dates from the late sixteenth century. Mullins bought it with a mortgage in 1612 and sold it in 1619. He ran a successful shoe shop and was … Continue reading Mayflower Passenger Pilgrim Father William Mullins Lived Here

The Replacement Kings

Kings Henry VIII, Charles I and George V ruled over England and Wales, and later Scotland and Ireland, during times of momentous change for the country. But they were all second sons and not trained for kingship from birth. Their elder brothers had predeceased their fathers, Kings Henry VII, James I and VI and Edward VII, meaning they replaced their brothers in the royal line … Continue reading The Replacement Kings

Witchcraft, Petty Treason and Poisoner? Women on Trial at the Old Bailey, London

The Proceedings of the Old Bailey Online is a fantastic resource for historians and it is one I return to time and again. I’ve used it as a basis for the study of poisoning crimes in nineteenth-century London and for various assignments that needed the bolstering of a primary source or two. It’s a fascinating insight into centuries of crime in London; the crimes that … Continue reading Witchcraft, Petty Treason and Poisoner? Women on Trial at the Old Bailey, London

Infanticide in the Early Modern Period: Account for the Relatively Low Conviction Rate in Cases of New-born Child Murder in England

In the early modern period, there was a huge stigma attached to having a child born outside of marriage. The distress and shame of the unmarried mothers-to-be would sometimes manifest itself in a mania, which led the new mother to murder her baby during birth. Not all women showed signs of mental illness; some babies were murdered with deliberate violence. However, not all women were … Continue reading Infanticide in the Early Modern Period: Account for the Relatively Low Conviction Rate in Cases of New-born Child Murder in England