Tag Archives: social history

This time it’s the gabby cabby

By coincidence another cab-related case from 1862 that I just had to share. This time it seems as if the boot is on the other foot. There is more than a hint of irony that after driving like a crazy … Continue reading

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It’s the rich wot gets the pleasure

And the poor knew their place. This is the story from the Bow St Magistrate’s Court in 1862. It’s the tale of a cheapo toff who was embarrassed when a short-changed cabby chased him and shouted at him in the … Continue reading

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“CHILD FOUND”

  You have to wonder what was the eventual fate of this unfortunate baby girl — though perhaps being given up was the best that could have happened to her, given the alternative that parents often chose. Infanticide followed by … Continue reading

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Body shaming is not new

A poignant tale from 1798…

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The piratical eyes of the magnetic healer

Leamington is a quiet little spa town in Warwickshire near Stratford upon Avon. In the late 1880s it is not difficult to envisage how very Jane Austen it still must have been, with its Pump Room and all, though visitor … Continue reading

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Lock Up Your Daughters

I’d like to introduce you to Thomas Napper and his nemesis, Ferdinand Philip Fischel Strousberg. Their story is at the creepier end of plots labelled ‘psychological drama,’ but it was real life and publicly played out in England during the … Continue reading

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Looking for a new hobby?

There’s a Brit named Tom Jackson who buys picture postcards — mostly from the sixties and seventies — from garage sales, thrift shops and car boot events. He then puts the picture postcards into the ether via Facebook with just … Continue reading

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Jemmy Wood the banker’s banker

He was not what you’d call a looker. In profile Jemmy Wood bore a passing resemblance to Mr Punch following a good lunch – but James Wood esq, ‘the eccentric banker, merchant and draper’ of the city of Gloucester, England … Continue reading

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“She rode to town on her own horse”

Just a further thought on the “scandalous practice of wife selling” from the previous story. This idea of an auction was not any brutalising suttee of a marriage where women were subjugated by gnarly unreconstructed men who had tired of the old … Continue reading

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The end of an un-civil partnership

A note of a dubious anniversary from Robert Chambers, writing in his 1869 Book of Days, though history is full of these quasi-divorces throughout the 19th century. Usually they were surprisingly amicable affairs based on village common sense when a marriage … Continue reading

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