Monthly Archives: September 2015

‘Straights’, ‘Splitters’ and ‘Plumpers’

No, these are not esoteric sexual orientations; nor are they descriptions of carrots or any other root vegetables. They are the different voting strategies available to eighteenth-century voters throughout most of England. Forget ‘floating voters’ or tactical voting. These are … Continue reading

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Fanny Burney Goes to Windsor, 1785

One of the many joys of a really good second-hand bookstore is coming on something unexpected but fascinating. Last week in one of my favourite Norwich bookstores, I stumbled on a book, published in 1902, called ‘Side-Lights on the Georgian … Continue reading

Posted in Travel | 2 Comments

“You Little Confounded Toad…”

Dr. Messenger Monsey, a True Norfolk Eccentric. In our sad, politically-correct culture, it’s getting harder to find a place for the genuine eccentric: the kind of person who is essentially harmless, but who goes his or her own way and … Continue reading

Posted in C18th Norfolk, Norfolk Eccentrics | 1 Comment

Two More ‘Receipts’ from 1707

Two more ‘receipts’ (recipes) from Katherine Windham, Mistress of Felbrigg Hall, both sounding somewhat off-putting to modern ears![1] To make Almond puddings in Guts To a quart of good Cream boyled, put 3 or 4 Blades of mace & a nutmeg … Continue reading

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Dr. Sylas Neville’s Radical Outlook on Life

In my first set of extracts from Dr. Sylas Neville’s diary, I concentrated on events in his life. While an understanding of his life is necessary as background, I find the most fascinating parts of his diary are his many … Continue reading

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To Roast a Shoulder of Mutton with Oysters (1707)

Here’s a recipe from Katherine Windham’s ‘A Booke of Cookery & Housekeeping’ of 1707. The original was preserved for centuries at Felbrigg Hall and is now in the Norfolk County Archives. Over the past two years, it has been lovingly … Continue reading

Posted in C18th Norfolk | 7 Comments

A Last Visit to the Archives

Many people are still enjoying the holidays and the break from routine. So here is the final visit this summer to the archives and some previous posts you may have missed. Norfolk’s Opposition to the War against the American Colonies … Continue reading

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Action, Thought and History

One or two comments recently have set me thinking about the ways in which we approach the past, whether that’s through factual history or historical fiction. This matters because fashions in presenting historical ideas inevitably condition what will be presented … Continue reading

Posted in Writing | Comments Off on Action, Thought and History