As we enter the autumn of this strange year, most children are now back at school, many wearing some form of regulation uniform. Here we look at the evolution of school uniform – a neat standardised set of clothes aimed at setting basic standards of appearance, fostering an esprit de corps and representing their institution.
As a child, growing up in 1970s Jersey, I used to enjoy the Friday afternoon school activity of what I remember being grandly called ‘Island Field Studies’. This was when a bunch of schoolboys were loaded onto an old coach, hired by our school for the purposes, and transported off to one part or another of the island of Jersey to take a look at some ancient dolmen (burial site) or fortification. We then had to try to map what we had seen in our exercise books. I don’t think that my cartographical skills were that good, but it is to this period in my life that I believe saw the beginning of my fascination with maps and charts.
To paraphrase Jane Austen, it is a truth universally acknowledged that women have always made up a minority of offenders, particularly when it comes to more serious crime. Yet recently, when I was researching a case in the Liverpool Record Office, I realised that women in Liverpool in the 1840s, at least, were rather well represented in the criminal record.</p> <p>Using the Calendar of Prisoners, which detailed men and women being held in the house of correction while waiting to be tried, it is clear that women in the early Victorian city were not just frequently named as being charged with misdemeanours – they were also recorded many times as having been charged with a felony, the more serious type of offending. The records show not only who these women were, but also the scale of previous offending some had undertaken. These were not necessarily young, innocent women who had been inveigled into committing crime by men – as some believed. However, they were often bruised by their upbringing and experiences, with sometimes extensive histories of criminal offending.
History is not always fair to the working classes, who have often been written about and judged through a lens of officialdom and the middle and upper classes. The so-called match girls of the 19th century also had their public image influenced by Hans Christian Andersen’s 1845 story ‘The Little Match Girl’. In reality, females who made matches and matchboxes were a mixture of girls and women. Like Andersen’s fictional character, they did live a hard life, but unlike her they typically had family and neighbourly networks to rely on. Many were Irish or of Irish heritage.</p> <p>Quakers William Bryant and Francis May went into partnership in 1843 with a grocery shop in Tooley Street, London. A few years later they decided to import matches from Sweden to sell in the shop. This part of the business became so successful that in 1861 they formed the Bryant and May company to manufacture matches. A factory was built in Bow, East London, on the site of an old candle factory.
TheGenealogist has doubled the number of tithe maps available on its unique Map Explorer service. This tool, which can help researchers find an ancestor’s land and view how the landscape changed over time, has been augmented by the addition of georeferenced tithe maps for Cheshire, Dorset, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lancashire, Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Staffordshire and Yorkshire West Riding. The total number of maps in this release is 3,655, with 6,972 tithe maps in total available here. Map Explorer has over four million viewable records indicated by map pins which can be displayed on a variety of maps from historical periods up to the modern day.
Our regular column now launches a new mini-series covering materials: the natural substances and manufactures that have made up our tangible world ever since humans began sourcing and transforming products for practical use and enjoyment. We begin here with leather – one of man’s earliest and most important discoveries.
For several centuries Hampshire’s county town of Winchester was a more important settlement than London. In Roman times, as Venta, it became the capital of the Belgae in Britain. After the Romans, Hampshire emerged as the centre of what was to become the most powerful kingdom in Britain, the Kingdom of Wessex.
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