Category Archives: Tid-bits

An 18th-century Domestic Fire Engine

The picture above shows the 18th-century Newsham domestic fire engine which today stands in a corridor at Felbrigg Hall, Norfolk (NT). Fire was a constant threat in Georgian mansions, especially given the number of candles, the flammable fabrics of curtains … Continue reading

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Cat Epitaphs

From the middle of the century, epitaphs for pet cats, usually in the form of poems, begin to appear in various newspapers and magazines. Here are some lines from one published anonymously in the London Magazine of 1733, obviously by a … Continue reading

Posted in Textiles, Tid-bits | 7 Comments

Eighteenth-Century Literary Cats

  The eighteenth century is often counted as the beginning of the modern era. Many attitudes and customs, associated with the Middle Ages, were replaced by approaches that we recognise as closely akin to our modern ways of doing things. … Continue reading

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John Money: Despair and Rescue

We left Major John Money, the balloonist, on Saturday, July 23rd, 1785, up to his waist in water and convinced it was only a matter of time before his balloon sank and he would be drowned. At first, he seemed … Continue reading

Posted in C18th Norfolk, Tid-bits | 4 Comments

John Money Aloft

In the first instalment of balloonist Major John Money’s story, I dealt with the background and the arrangements made in Norwich for the balloon to take off. You will recall, that Money was to have gone up with two other … Continue reading

Posted in C18th Norfolk, Tid-bits

The Georgian Ship’s Cat

Cats have been taken aboard ship since at least Viking times and possibly well before that. It was not unusual for ships to be infested with rats and mice, causing obvious problems to on-board supplies of food. The ship’s cat … Continue reading

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Don’t Mess with Eighteenth-Century Doctors!

Here’s a delightful story from The Norfolk Chronicle of 26th March, 1796, concerning a quarrel between a doctor and an army officer over the officer’s demand that the doctor should play his flute when he didn’t want to. Since it’s … Continue reading

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