Press Gangs in the Regency Era | ReginaJeffers’s Blog

Impressment – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Press gangs operated in England from medieval times, but during the war years the “tradition” was increased. In fact, the pressing of free men into military service was considered a roy…

Source: Press Gangs in the Regency Era | ReginaJeffers’s Blog

18th and 19th Century: Fifteen Things a Good Georgian Coachman Would Not Do

Coachmen were the people entrusted with the management of a person’s carriage and horses. It was important they be reliable, honest, and wise, as a traveler’s safety depended on these traits. For instance, when traveling in a coach, loose nuts and bolts was a frequent occurrence, and, “a Careful Coachman” was said to be the person willing to check the coach every fortnight for any possible loose nuts or bolts and then screw them tight but also do it with such “care [as to] not to injure the Paint with the Wrench.”

There were also fifteen things a good Georgian coachman would not do. Here they are in their entirety.

He will not gratify a greedy Innkeeper, Hackney man. Hay Fanner, Coachmaker, Sadler, or other Tradesman, at the expense of his Employer; but, in laying out his Master’s Money, will be as careful as if it was his own.

He will not leave his Master to the care of the…

Source: 18th and 19th Century: Fifteen Things a Good Georgian Coachman Would Not Do.

18th and 19th Century: A Georgian Farting Club

Jonathan Swift

Georgians had numerous clubs. One of the more ridiculous clubs was a club known as the “Farting Club,” and one person said of it, “of all the fantastical Clubs that ever took Pains to make themselves stink in the Nostrils of the Public, [there was no other club that]…ever came up to this windy Society.” Perhaps the club started because of Jonathan Swift. Swift was a master of satire and author of Gulliver’s Travel,who in 1722 also published a pamphlet titled “The Benefit of Farting Explain’d.” In the pamphlet Swift said the fart was “a great Promoter of Mirth.” Whatever brought about the Farting Club, it met weekly “to poison the neighbouring Air with their unsavory Crepitations.”

The Farting Club was established at a Public House in Cripplegate in the 1720s or 30s, where, reputedly, it met in secret for a time. After their meetings became public, the Farting Club began having contests to see…

Source: 18th and 19th Century: A Georgian Farting Club

18th and 19th Century: Nicolas Steinberg and the Murder of a Georgian Family

Originally posted on 18th and 19th Century.

St. James’s Church in 1806

Forty-year-old John Nicolas (or Nicholas) Steinberg was an optician and also a man considered to possess “inventive genius.” This was demonstrated by the fact that he received a patent for inventing a peculiarly constructed whip. But Steinberg’s peculiar whip would not be what he would become known for, rather he became known as a murderer.

On September 9, 1834, Steinberg ordered his fifteen-year-old servant, a girl named Pearson, to “go and fetch a pint of beer and a quartern of gin.” After delivering it to him, Steinberg suggested she stay the night, but she wanted to go home to her mother’s house, so he instructed her to return at six o’clock in the morning. The following morning Pearson returned as she was told to 17 Southampton Street (now Calshot Street), Pentonville. However, after knocking on the door for some time, she received no answer and left.

Between eleven and twelve o’clock, Pearson and her mother returned. They knocked but again there was no answer. Eventually, Pearson and her mother talked to a neighbor, and the neighbor concluded Steinberg and his family had left clandestinely to avoid paying rent, as Steinberg was six months behind, and, then the neighbor sought out Lewis Cuthbert, the landlord.

Cuthbert considered Steinberg a quiet and respectable “tradesmanlike man,” but now he believed Cuthbert had absconded, and, he and the neighbor returned to Steinberg’s house to further…

via 18th and 19th Century: Nicolas Steinberg and the Murder of a Georgian Family.

18th and 19th Century: Cheating Valets and Tricks of the Trade

Originally posted on 18th and 19th Century.

One writer in the early 1830s believed that the moral character of household servants had declined. He claimed that despite there being an unspoken rule that servants could supplement their incomes indirectly from their employers, household domestics took advantage of the situation. One way was by using various tricks to regularly gouging their employers.

One nineteenth century nobleman decried that “there is not such an animal in nature as an honest servant.” Among the servants who reportedly cheated and took tremendous advantage of their employers were valets. One person explained why: “The whimsicalities and extravagances of many masters in high life, together with the total absences of thoughtfulness in some young men of fortune, [throws] wide a door…for the exercise of the tricks and impositions of this species of servant.”

Valets, similar to a household steward, used a variety of tricks to enhance their income. One trick was to complain…

via 18th and 19th Century: Cheating Valets and Tricks of the Trade.

Early Toys: The Jigsaw or Dissected Puzzle

Jane Austen's World

When Fanny Price first arrived at Mansfield Park, her cousins  found her ignorant on many things. “Dear mama, only think, my cousin cannot put the map of Europe together.”  The girls  were referring to dissected geography puzzles, now known as jigsaw puzzles, that had first made their appearance in Europe in the 18th century and were popularized and widely used in England and America in the 19th and 20th centuries. Mansfield Park makes one of the earliest references to this educational way of teaching of geography. While Fanny Price’s cousins teased her for not being familiar with these expensive new schoolroom toys, the truth was that her Portsmouth parents could not afford them.

At the turn of the 18th century,  British companies began to make toys that are still favorites today: toy soldiers, farmyards, wooden building blocks, steam engines, and kaleidoscopes. The toymaking industry began to boom, making mass-produced toys…

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