By Eleanor Hubbard
City Women is a huge new examine of the lives of normal ladies in 16th- and seventeenth-century London. Drawing on millions of pages of Londoners' depositions for the consistory courtroom, it makes a speciality of the demanding situations that preoccupied London ladies as they strove for survival and preferment within the burgeoning city. Balancing new demographic facts with shiny case stories, Eleanor Hubbard explores the benefits and hazards that town needed to provide, from women's first arrival in London as migrant maidservants, during the vicissitudes of marriage, widowhood, and outdated age.
In early glossy London, women's possibilities have been tightly constrained. still, ahead of 1640 the city's targeted demographic situations supplied strange scope for marital development, and either maids and widows have been quickly to exploit this. equally, moments of chance emerged while the robust sexual anxieties that linked women's speech and mobility with unfastened behaviour got here into clash with much more robust anxieties in regards to the monetary balance of families and groups. As neighbours and magistrates sought to reconcile their competing priorities in situations of illegitimate being pregnant, marital disputes, operating better halves, remarrying widows, and extra, ladies have been capable of make the most the ensuing uncertainty to pursue their very own ends. via paying shut awareness to the aspirations and preoccupations of London girls themselves, their day-by-day struggles, small triumphs, and household tragedies, City Women presents a precious new standpoint at the value and complexity of women's roles within the turning out to be capital, and at the pragmatic nature of early sleek English society as a complete.
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Extra info for City Women: Money, Sex, and the Social Order in Early Modern London
Of little credit or account’ who ‘had a bastard thereabouts in Woodford and did penance for the same’. Anne Fulham and John Beckham, 1591 (LMA, DL/C/214, pp. 27–9, 78–9). 53 Margaret Barker, 1629 (LMA, DL/C/231, fo. 115r); Bridget Gibson, 1633 (LMA, DL/C/630, fo. 160); Joyce Mowlso, 1615 (LMA, DL/C/223, fo. 143r). 54 Ben-Amos ﬁnds that Bristol merchants often left legacies to servants, and Capp agrees that ‘employers often gave generous presents when their servants married, or left them bequests’.
1 (2008), 61–88. 27 An analysis of the 1695 returns for the marriage duty tax also shows that single people were more likely to live in the center than in the poor suburbs. 3 (2009), 205–32. 2 2,435 Note: Parishes straddling the boundary between the City and Middlesex have been included under ‘City Without’. These include St Botolph Aldgate, St Andrew Holborn, St Giles Cripplegate, St Dunstan in the West, and St Sepulchre. Finding a service While migrant girls were unlikely to arrive in London before the age of 12 or so, London-born girls could enter service even earlier, around the age of 10.
One day, when the two men and one Thomas Clatterbuck were drinking in an alehouse in the Old Bailey, Elizabeth Aldeworth sat down with them. Then, ‘understanding that the said Rogers was a kinsman of a wench’s whom the said Mr Mortimer had put to the said Mistress Aldeworth to dwell, she did fall in talk with him about the said wench’. She told Rogers ‘that the said maid as yet knew not well the fashions of London because she was brought up in the country’, but went on to say: I have another maid dwelling with me, who is my covenanted servant yet for three quarters of a year to come .
City Women: Money, Sex, and the Social Order in Early Modern London by Eleanor Hubbard