Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could hear the voices of our ancestors? Not just second hand through the anecdotes told about them by subsequent generations, but first hand, just as they spoke? Sadly, despite a longish history of sound recording stretching back to the 1860s, recorded evidence of the voices of our ordinary ancestors is most unlikely to exist before the last decades of the 20th century.
When we look back at the origins of the Labour Party and the struggles of its founders, we can see how in many ways it was Britain’s very own way of enfranchising the working class, ensuring that there was a peaceful transition of power away from the upper-class elites, who had held power and sway in Britain for generations, to all of the country’s citizens, lest a bloody revolution like the kind which had broken out in 18th century France should ensue.
The Gilliat family can trace their origins back to France from where they escaped in 1685 after the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes. This was at a time when many such Protestant Huguenots took refuge in England. Searching for information on the linage of the Gilliats we can turn first to an entry in Burke’s Landed Gentry 1914 Part 1 in TheGenealogist’s National Peerage, Gentry & Royalty collection.
Clothing etymology can be complex and the familiar garment combining body/bodice and skirt has been called variously a gown, kirtle, dress and frock. By the early-Middle Ages the word ‘gown’ (from Latin gunna) denoted a T-shaped garment usually worn to the knee by labouring men, longer by women. The medieval upper classes displayed their wealth and status in a sweeping floor-length gown or ‘kirtle’ (from Old English cyrtel) of costly fabric and fur. Male gowns were worn in Tudor England over doublet and hose, but from the late 1500s disappeared from regular daywear, a long, stately gown thereafter becoming an archaic garment representing members of the Church, academia, the professions and offices of state.
Modern Cambridgeshire was formed in 1974 from the historic counties of Cambridgeshire, Huntingdonshire, the Isle of Ely and the Soke of Peterborough (the latter was traditionally part of Northamptonshire). It was recorded in the Domesday Book as ‘Grantbridgeshire’ (after the River Granta).
In time for the snap general election, TheGenealogist.co.uk has added to its Polls and Electoral records by publishing online a new collection of poll books ranging from the late 19th century to the early 20th century.</p> <p>Voting by ballot at an election, from TheGenealogist’s Image archive
Somewhat eclipsed in the wider story of his family, the Honourable Clement Mitford had been a brave career army officer who had fought in the Boer War, been wounded several times, mentioned in despatches and decorated with the DSO. Yet if you mention the name ‘Mitford’, most people will automatically associate it with the famous Mitford sisters – the daughters of David Freeman-Mitford, 2nd Baron Redesdale. The six girls lived controversial but stylish lives as young people and notoriously held very different political beliefs ranging across the spectrum from communism to fascism. Their privileged background came to them as daughters of a peer of the realm with extensive lands. Their father’s title and estates, however, had only been inherited as a result of fate – the First World War death of his elder brother Clement.
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