Author Archives: William Savage

About William Savage

Independent researcher and author of mystery stories set in Georgian Norfolk.

Working for the Georgian Customs

It wasn’t job you could just walk into. Before you became a Customs officer you had to embark on six months training. This took place at some of the more important ports in the country, including Yarmouth and Lynn in … Continue reading

Posted in Crime, Keeping the Peace

A Hiatus in Posting

There will be fewer posts over the next few months. I am immersed in completing the sixth Adam Bascom mystery and that must have priority. It picks up Adam’s life after he has married Lady Alice and been made a … Continue reading

Posted in Writing | 4 Comments

Eighteenth-century City Streets

What would it have been like for my character Ashmole Foxe to have walked through the streets of 18th-century Norwich? Probably more akin to today than you would imagine, minus the motor vehicles, the asphalt and most of the pavements. … Continue reading

Posted in Georgian Society | 1 Comment

Stannard & Taylor: A Lesson from History

How the collapse of a Norwich cloth merchant through rash over-expansion and foreign adventures helped trigger the decline of the trade in Norwich “Stuffs” (fine worsted fabrics), which was further accelerated by changing technology and new materials. Philip Stannard was … Continue reading

Posted in Commerce, Textiles

Norfolk Fends off Napoleon

Fears of a French invasion were not new to late-eighteenth century Englishmen. There had been at least three credible invasion threats between 1744 and 1783, and various steps to counter invasion had been taken. How likely Norfolk was as a … Continue reading

Posted in C18th Norfolk, Military | 3 Comments

Uses and Abuses of the Press Gang

The purpose of the Impress Service, as the Press Gang was called officially, was to secure the men needed to keep the Royal Navy’s ships at proper fighting strength. Given the conditions on board, and the chances of dying from … Continue reading

Posted in Keeping the Peace, Military | 2 Comments

Georgian Ghosts

With Halloween approaching, I thought it might be interesting to look at the rise of the ghost story in Georgian England. The nineteenth century marked the summit of popular interest in ghosts and spirits, thanks to the advent of photography. … Continue reading

Posted in C18th Norfolk | 4 Comments

“If You Want A Job Done Properly …”

Turning once again to the pages of the Ipswich Journal for April 15th, 1721, we find this fascinating report of a criminal trial held in Edinburgh, at which one James Campbell of Burbank, “late of the Stores in Edinburgh Castle”, … Continue reading

Posted in Crime

“Great Cry and Little Wooll …”

One of the joys of looking through editions of early eighteenth-century newspapers is finding the unexpected. Only last week, I was browsing through the pages of the Ipswich Journal for April 15th, 1721, when I came across this gem: the … Continue reading

Posted in Theatre, Tid-bits | 2 Comments

Georgian Household Goods

Much of what we can see today of the contents of a Georgian house is based on the largest and grandest properties of the time, since those are the ones preserved. It’s also inevitable that much of what was there … Continue reading

Posted in Georgian Society