Lead has been mined in Britain since ancient times – archaeologists have found evidence of Roman lead mining in Somerset’s Mendip hills. Galena (lead ore) was also exploited in Cumberland, Derbyshire, Devonshire, Durham, North Wales, Westmorland and Yorkshire. After being refined or smelted, lead was incredibly versatile; it was made into sheets, pipes, and lead-shot.
The Illustrated London News for 30 January 1864 indignantly refers to “The Great Scandal Case" of George Victor Townley, convicted of the cold blooded murder of Miss Elizabeth Caroline Goodwin. I immediately wondered what the circumstances were that had so affronted the gentlemen of the press? We are used to the fourth estate today taking a stance over a matter of justice – especially when they believe it will be popular with their readers and it seems it was just the same in the past.
For those researching Scottish land ownership, there may be quite a learning curve in understanding the processes at play in Scotland in comparison to those found elsewhere within Britain. Whilst some records from north of the border are online, such as the Scottish Landowner Records 1872-73 collection at TheGenealogist (www.thegenealogist.co.uk), and valuation rolls from 1855-1925 on ScotlandsPeople (www.scotlands</p> <p>people.gov.uk), the actual concept of historic ‘ownership’ in Scotland is one that is not quite as straightforward as it may seem.
From the late 18th century onwards, increased commercial activity, better rates of literacy, expanding intellectual curiosity and the more complex bureaucratic demands of the State meant that writing for official purposes became an everyday part of the lives of more and more people. In 1840, the Penny Post was introduced. As well as vastly reducing the cost of posting a letter, this brought in a new concept. Now, the sender of the letter rather than the receiver paid for the postage. The result was an upsurge in letter-writing (the number of letters sent quadrupled in the next decade alone). Now it became common to acknowledge gifts, commiserate or congratulate on the life events of friends and family and to share news and ideas by letter (and soon after, by way of the mass-produced greetings card). Writing for personal purposes as well as writing for business purposes was to keep the Victorian Post Office very busy indeed.
Trousers have featured prominently in the male wardrobe for about 200 years. These bifurcated garments originated in the 18th century as comfortable, practical garments for working men, being adopted by some labourers, soldiers and especially sailors, whose wide ankle-length ‘trowsers’ were also called ‘slops’; otherwise the vast majority of men wore elegant knee-breeches or calf-length pantaloons. Close-fitting trousers ending above the ankle were introduced c1807 as a casual summer style and by 1817 these had lengthened to the shoe and were usually worn with straps beneath the foot. Meanwhile, wider trousers known as ‘Cossacks’, gathered at the waist and ankles, were also fashionable until the early 1820s.
The history of limited companies in the UK really begins during the Industrial Revolution, which led to the founding of myriad new businesses, all of which, it became clear, needed a legal framework around which to set up and operate. It was also realised that in order for ‘ordinary’ people to set up businesses these needed to be legally declared corporate entities, separate from their owners: in other words, incorporated. This means that a limited company has its own legal identity and has limited liability – its owners are not personally liable for debts and its finances are kept separate from personal money. It is run by a board of directors, profit after tax being shared among shareholders, ie those who own shares.
We most often think of the Victorian female offender in her most archetypal and stereotypical roles; the polite lady shoplifter, stowing all manner of valuables beneath her voluminous crinolines, the tragic street waif of Dickensian fiction or the vicious femme fatale who wreaked her terrible revenge with copious poison. Yet the stories in popular novels and the ‘Penny Dreadfuls’ of the day have passed down to us only half the story of these women and their crimes. From the everyday street scuffles and pocket pickings of crowded slums, to the sensational trials that dominated national headlines; the women of Victorian England were responsible for a diverse and at times completely unexpected level of deviance. This book takes a closer look at women and crime in the Victorian period. With vivid real-life stories, powerful photos, eye-opening cases and wider discussions that give us an insightful illustration of the lives of the women responsible for them.
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