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Around London : Streets of Fashion

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From John Britton's The original picture of London, 26th ed. (1826)

From John Britton’s The original picture of London, 26th ed. (1826)

Two years before Burlington Arcade opened, the Gentleman’s Magazine published an article describing some of the reasons for its construction:

It is said that after numerous deliberations, Lord George Cavendish [1st Earl of Burlington] has determined to appropriate a proportion of the grounds connected with Burlington House for the gratification of the publick, and to give employment to industrious females…What first gave birth to the idea was the great annoyance to which the garden is subject from the inhabitants of a neighbouring street throwing oyster-shells, &c., over the wall. The intended erections will prevent these nuisances in future and also block out their view of so delightful a place. (Gentleman’s Magazine, Sept. 1817, p. 272)

Going beyond the fact that Burlington Arcade served Lord Cavendish as a garden fence – a very ornate one, mind you – later visitors understandably commented on its merits as a fashionable, commercial space. In the 1822 edition of Samuel Leigh’s New Picture of London, the author states how Burlington Arcade, ‘is a handsome covered avenue…containing 72 genteel shops’ while during a trip to London, the Polish philosopher, Krystyn Lach-Szyrma (1790–1866) noted how:

High society only frequent places dedicated to fashion…a similar sight can be seen in Burlington Arcade in Bond Street, which is built in the shape of a long gallery lined on both sides with shops…

Both works, however, comment emphatically how the arcade is flanked by two doormen, ‘to keep out improper visitors.’

Turning away from these descriptive sources, the library’s collection of London directories allows a glimpse into who was trading in the arcade. Looking at Robson’s London Commercial Directory…for 1830, for example, we can see most of the shops specialised in the luxury clothing trade: listed were nine hosiers, two ladies shoe makers, eight milliners, two boot makers and one haberdasher. Moreover, although the directory only provides us with a list of names and their trade, one can make cautious, but educated guesses about some of the traders: at No. 15 Burlington Arcade was the hosier David Peden who also had another outlet on 228 Regent St. – presumably quite a successful retailer, while at No. 40 was the milliner Eliza Rainger, whose shop was next door to the jeweller, Frederick Raigner – possibly a late Georgian husband and wife business team?

From a facsimile of the 1812 Langley & Belch New Map of London.

From a facsimile of the 1812 Langley & Belch New Map of London.

Looking beyond Burlington Arcade to the streets to the north, the library’s directories reveal something of the early history of tailoring in Mayfair. Although Savile Row is now synonymous with luxury, bespoke tailoring, this was not always the case. According to Johnstone’s London Commercial Guide for 1817 Savile Row (or Street as it was still known) was the haunt mainly of medical professionals. It was nearby Cork Street where many tailors decided to trade. This trend is confirmed in Pigot’s Directory, 1826-7 and Robson’s London Directory, 1830 and 1835. However one does start to see a rise from 1830 (in 1830 four tailors were based in Savile Row, in 1835 this had risen to seven). Interestingly one of those listed, trading at No. 32 Savile Row was James Poole, whose son, Henry Poole (1814–1876) would go on to mark Savile Row as the destination for luxury tailoring in Victorian Britain and also invent the dinner jacket in 1865 for his friend, Bertie, the Prince of Wales.

Marking this year’s Anglo-American Conference on Fashion History the library has produced a number of other posts and guides: see Alex Zaleski’s entertaining blog post on Fashion in travel writing and Kate Wilcox’s thorough subject guide and accompanying blog post on the largely hidden, but extensive resources the library has on this subject.

Director’s Seminars – Junior Research Fellows, Spring 2015

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The_London_Institution,_Moorfields;_the_interior_of_the_lect_Wellcome_V0013227

This spring we will be holding a series of Extended Director’s Seminars, with papers given by Junior Research Fellows from the Institute. These will be held on Tuesdays, 11am-1pm, on the following dates: 21 April, 28 April, 5 May, 12 May, and 26 May. The full programme is below.

These seminars are an integral element of the Junior Research Fellowships programme at the IHR. They provide our Fellows with the opportunity of presenting before, and discussing their work with, their peers. They also offer the audience the chance of listening to engaging research being undertaken by a new generation of scholars.

We do hope you will be able to attend some of these seminars, which are open to all.

 

Junior Research Fellows’ seminar series

All seminars will be held in Wolfson II, on the lower-ground floor of the IHR. Coffee and tea will be served.

 Tues 21 April 11am – 1pm

Róisín Watson – Lutheran piety and visual culture in the Duchy of Württemberg, 1534–c.1700

Carolyn Twomey – Living Stone: Early Norman Baptismal Fonts of the Yorkshire East Riding

Tues 28 April 11am – 1pm

Courtney Campbell – ‘The 1954 Miss Universe Pageant, the City of Salvador, and the Tale of the Famous Two Inches’

Jordan Claridge – Managing Milk, Making a Living: Dairying and Dairypeople in Medieval England c.1250–1450

Caroline Nielsen – Disabled by the state: the pensioners of the Chest at Chatham and their communities, 1660–1807

 Tues 5 May 11am – 1pm

David Baillargeon – Slaving on the “Imagined Frontier”: Britain, Burma, and the Political Economy of Empire, 1795–1900

Will Pooley – Magic and the Law in France in the Long 19th Century

Tues 12 May 11am – 1pm

Kate Imy – Spiritual soldiers: masculinity and the body in the British Indian army, 1900–1940

Joshua Bennett – Baron Bunsen as historian

Tues 26 May 11am – 1pm

Catherine Arnold – Objects of charity: Britain and the development of a humanitarian politics, 1680–1748

New Historical Research articles published online

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716px-Sir_Anthony_Van_Dyck_-_Charles_I_(1600-49)_-_Google_Art_Project

 

Recovering Charles I’s art collection: some implications of the 1660 Act of Indemnity and Oblivion. Andrew Barclay

After 1660 Charles II attempted to recover those royal goods which had been sold off by parliament following his father’s execution. The assumption has been that this was straightforward confiscation. The 1660 Act of Indemnity, however, contained a deliberate loophole protecting the rights of royal servants granted goods in lieu of arrears. A review of the legal cases arising from that act confirms that this was understood and accepted at the time. Yet many of those exempted goods are known to have re-entered the Royal Collection, raising the possibility that a significant number of them were returned voluntarily.

‘Such nonsense that it cannot be true’: the Jacobite reaction to George Lockhart of Carnwath’s Memoirs Concerning the Affairs of Scotland. Daniel Szechi

This article is a response to the critique of the Jacobite George Lockhart of Carnwath’s, Memoirs Concerning the Affairs of Scotland published by Christopher Whatley and Derek Patrick in the Journal of Scottish Historical Studies in 2007. Whatley and Patrick argued that Lockhart’s influential account of the Union has for too long been uncritically accepted by historians. This article builds on their use of contemporary whig reactions to its version of events by reviewing the text in light of critical Jacobite sources (Lockhart’s acerbic narrative also antagonized many of his comrades-in-arms). It nonetheless, concludes that neither whig nor Jacobite critics of the Memoirs diminish its usefulness as a source. Ultimately both bodies of criticism focus on particular moments, rather than on the Memoirs as a whole, and far from all the criticisms were valid. Thus if the text is handled according to the regular canons of historical evidence it more than retains its value for the historian.

Notable protests: respectable resistance in occupied northern France, 1914–18. James E. Connolly

This article introduces the notion of ‘respectable resistance’ as a way of conceptualizing French notables’ protests against German policies during the occupation of the département of the Nord in the First World War. It argues that this did constitute a form of resistance that was relatively widespread, occasionally organized, and legalistic. Although this opposition was largely unsuccessful in practical terms, it sometimes worked as a stalling tactic. Its real success was as a performative demonstration of the notables’ defence of compatriots, reinforcing their social/political status, and it was born of patriotism, a sense of duty, but also fears of future judgment.

 

 

Historical Research – Election Special

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singometerNew virtual issue on Elections: a collection of previously published articles from Historical Research and podcasts from the IHR research seminar series. Content freely available until the end of May 2015

Parliamentary Elections in the Reign of Edward I.  J. S. Illsley

 The Coventry Parliament of 1459: a Privy Seal Writ concerning the Election of Knights of the Shire.  S. J. Payling

The Origins of the Nottinghamshire Whigs: an Analysis of the Subscribers to the Election Expenses of Sir Scrope Howe and John White.  P. R. Seddon

Radicalism and Public Opinion in the General Election of 1784
. Paul Kelly

Electoral violence in mid nineteenth-century England and Wales. Justin Wasserman and Edwin Jaggard

Uniting the whole people: proportional representation in Great Britain, 1884–5, reconsidered
. Ted R. Bromund

Joseph Chamberlain, the Conservative party and the Leamington Spa candidature dispute of 1895
. Ian Cawood

The Parliamentary Electoral System, the ‘Fourth’ Reform Act and the Rise of Labour in England and Wales. Duncan Tanner

‘Rival foundlings’: the Ross and Cromarty by-election, 10 February 1936.  Ewen A. Cameron

Rethinking a progressive moment: the Liberal and Labour parties in the 1945 general election. Peter Sloman

Voluntary Action History podcastCampaigning the vote.  Elizabeth Crawford (Voluntary Action History podcast)

 

IHR Friends Film Evening – Henry V (1944)

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Professor Anne Curry_V1

Professor Anne Curry

2015 seems to be a year marking many notable anniversaries: 800 years since Magna Carta; 750 years since the first elected Parliament representing all of England; 200 years since the Battle of Waterloo; 50 years since the death of Sir Winston Churchill; and the First World War centenary remembrances continue.  This year also represents another momentous anniversary—600 years since the Battle of Agincourt.  To commemorate this milestone of the Hundred Years’ War, the Friends of the IHR are hosting a film evening on 16 March, showing Laurence Olivier’s acclaimed film, Henry V.  The evening will feature a guest lecture from Professor Anne Curry, an expert on medieval history and a prolific author on the Hundred Years’ War.

Agincourt-Henry V publicity poster_WikiCommons

Henry V Film Poster (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Henry_V_%E2%80% 93_1944_UK_film_poster.jpg)

Crafted in 1944, The Chronicle History of King Henry the Fift with His Battell Fought at Agincourt in France, directed by and starring Olivier, is widely regarded as the first motion picture to successfully adapt Shakespeare from the stage to the screen.  In homage to the Bard, the movie opens with a production of Henry V at the Globe Theatre, and slowly transforms into a cinematic spectacle.  The viewer is then treated to a masterful mix of action—following the King’s campaign to Agincourt—and romance—as Henry attempts to court the French princess.  The action returns to the Globe as this Academy Award-winning film draws to a close.

The Friends of the IHR have been very loyal supporters of the Institute.  The funding they provide is integral to increasing the capacity of the IHR to promote and enhance the study of history in Britain.  As part of the mission to extend the reach of the IHR’s resources, charitable donations from the Friends have funded bursaries for many PhD students who are based outside London to access the Institute and undertake excellent research.  In addition, the Friends have subsidised numerous outstanding speakers to present insightful seminars, provided vital capital for the recently completed redevelopment, and delivered cornerstone funding for the IHR Library’s new Conservation Fund.  All of these help ensure that the IHR is able to offer the highest quality scholarship and resources.

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Battle of Agincourt (http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Schlacht_von _Azincourt.jpg)

Much more than just financial supporters, however, the Friends form a social community of academics and all with a shared interest in history.  As such, the film evenings are a highlight of the Friends’ calendar.  These events offer a chance to engage with history through a medium other than books, to hear from experts in the field, and to partake in a critical discussion of the subject and an exchange of ideas.  Perhaps just as importantly, these events provide an opportunity to have a good time with like-minded people, enjoy some food and drink, and perhaps make some friends among the Friends. For information on how to join the Friends, please follow this link.

The event is open to all, but you are encouraged to book soon, as spaces are limited and going fast.  In addition to the film and lecture, there will be wine throughout and light supper to follow.

Venue: Wolfson Conference Suite, IHR, Senate House, Malet Street, London, WC1E 7HU

Talk/Screening: 5:30 pm

Light supper from: 8:00 pm

Tickets: £20 / £10 (students)

For information on how to register and to see the event poster, please click here.

Annual Pollard Prize 2015

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Entries are invited for this year’s Pollard Prize (sponsored by Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.) awarded for the best paper presented at an IHR seminar 2014-15 by a postgraduate student or by a researcher within one year of completing the PhD.1096214263368_PXYJwtsF_l

First prize

Fast track publication in the prestigious IHR journal, Historical Research, and £200 of Blackwell books.

Runner up prizes

Publication in Historical Research, and a selection of Blackwell books.

Application

Applicants are required to have delivered a paper during the academic year in which the award is made. Submissions should be supported by a reference from a convenor of the appropriate seminar. Papers should be fully footnoted, although it is not necessary at this stage to follow Historical Research house style. All papers submitted must be eligible for publication.

The closing date for submissions is  30 May 2015

Enquiries and submissions should be directed to the Executive Editor, Historical Research (Jane.Winters@sas.ac.uk).

Witchcraft and Medicine in Modern France

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Will Pooley is a Past & Present Junior Research Fellow at the Institute of Historical Research. He blogs at https://williamgpooley.wordpress.com and you can follow him on Twitter @willpooley.

I’m not the first person to point out that witchcraft exerted a fascination over doctors and physicians. Historians of early-modern Europe have long argued that separating the science from the supernatural in medical writings is impossible.

But France makes a bit of an odd case. The medical fascination with witchcraft had largely dissipated in other European countries by the nineteenth century, yet in France this period saw a boom in serious medical writings about possession, sorcery, and alternative healing practices. The interest may have waned as the twentieth century progressed, but French doctors have continued to occasionally publish investigations of magical practices and epidemics of ‘demonopathy’ up until very recently.

(One of the many medical theses written about ‘superstitions’ and witchcraft. See http://gallica.bnf.fr)

(One of the many medical theses written about ‘superstitions’ and witchcraft. See http://gallica.bnf.fr)

This raises two questions:

  • why this continuing interest?
  • why should historians care?

At this stage in my research, it is easier for me to answer the second question than the first, although I do have some working hypotheses for why not only doctors, but also psychologists and veterinary professionals in France took such a pronounced interest in sorcery.

For a start, there was a lot of it.

My research uses newspaper reports to trace criminal cases involving witchcraft from the 1790s to the 1930s, and even at this early stage it is apparent that crimes related to witchcraft were prosecuted with depressing regularity across this period. In the secondary literature alone I have identified 15 cases of people who were murdered for being witches in this period. There were many more cases of attempted murder or assault which were not reported so widely in the newspapers, not to mention a multitude of prosecutions for fraud and illegal medical practice. Sometimes, men and women sued their neighbours for defaming them as witches. What all of this suggests is that witchcraft beliefs, fears, and fantasies were surprisingly widespread in France during this period.

And perhaps this is partly related to the other key explanation for why doctors and scientists took such an interest in sorcery: the tumultuous religious history of France during this period. The struggle between the Catholic Church and secularists inspired by Voltaire and the French Revolution had two contradictory effects on French culture.

On the one hand, there was an apparent hardening of boundaries, especially during periods when regime changes abruptly shifted the balance of power between the scientific establishment and the Church. The struggle over Bernadette Soubirous’ visions at Lourdes would be just the most obvious example of a case where Church and Doctor faced off over an issue of national importance and supernatural significance.

will2

(Bernadette Soubirous, the visionary of Lourdes. See: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c6/Bernadette_Soubirous_en_1861_photo_Bernadou_4.jpg)

Yet on the other hand, I think a strong case could be made for seeing this as a period when a cultural vacuum opened up. The very intensity of the public conflict between scientific secularists and defenders of the Church led to a willingness, at least among some elements, to court public opinion, to take seriously the feelings and beliefs of ordinary people such as the visionary Bernadette, or the many people who flocked to witness the miracles of Lourdes.

Many within the Church might have felt that condemning the ‘superstitions’ of the population was a slippery slope. Priests, too, read Voltaire and they were only too aware that condemning a belief in the supernatural powers of black masses and ringing church bells could seem inconsistent with the claims the Church made for the supernatural efficacy of its key rites.

And scientists also had to court public opinion. What use were immunization or pasteurization if the people could not be persuaded that they worked? Promoting professional midwifery, or psychology, or veterinary medicine partly depended on proving to a population that was predominantly rural that these new methods and theories were more than simply a way to interfere, charge higher fees, and defraud the paysans.

will3

(Léon-Augustin Lhermitte, ‘La paye des moissoneurs’. The rural population were not always known for their approachability… See: http://www.histoire-image.org/site/oeuvre/analyse.php?i=43)

This brings me on to my second question: why historians should care about all of this? It might be weird that French doctors were so interested in sorcery, and it is equally odd that witchcraft seems to have been so important to so many people among the general population, but why does it matter?

The answer, I argue, has to do with what a remarkable case study this odd convergence makes for ‘history from below’. I have been strongly influenced by historians such as Andy Wood, Guy Beiner, Katrina Navickas, David Hopkin, and by the Many-Headed-Monster blog symposium from last year on revisiting ‘history from below’ (see: http://bit.ly/17h9jmV).

These historians, I think, have developed incredibly subtle understandings of concepts such as ‘popular culture’, ‘social class’, and ‘resistance’. We recognize that such terms are always problematic, and we recognize how hard it can be to recover the ‘voices’ of the people history too often forgets, but we maintain that there is still value in trying (http://wp.me/p3QdQ9-2E).

And it seems to me that the point where medicine and witchcraft met in France is a particularly rich example for pursuing the kinds of complicated questions of cultural repression, resistance, and agency that the new history from below addresses. Yes, doctors and other scientific ‘experts’ attempted to impose their understandings of causality, the human body, and illness onto the general population. But ordinary people took these ideas and refashioned them to fit what was important to their lives, forcing the ‘experts’ to deal in the languages of possession and malevolence.

Far from being a simple case of ‘superstition’ swept away by reason, witchcraft and medicine in France during this period is a much more interesting story of accommodation and cultural negotiation, and one that puts working men and women into the spotlight as often as middle-class doctors and scientists.

What is more, this was not unique to medicine. As I have mentioned, the related disciplines of psychology, psychiatry, and veterinary science were also caught up in witchcraft debates. But sorcery also touched even wider domains. Victims and suspected witches related their experiences to new technologies and the ‘modern wonders’ that Bernard Rieger has studied, and addressed new theories of radiation, ions, and the laws of physics. They also argued about the law, challenging the basis for criminal and civil prosecutions, and provoking a series of legal theorists to address the problem of witchcraft in the same period.

This is why I have found that the more I study the witches and their accusers, the less drawn I am to the early-modern parallels that at first appear so obvious. Witchcraft was modern, and has a lot to tell historians about the agency and constraints of ordinary people grappling with new authorities in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

New reviews: Lincoln and Latin America, English clergy, Louis XIV and the Indian Army

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lincolndouglasWe start this week with Slavery, Race and Conquest in the Tropics : Lincoln, Douglas, and the Future of Latin America by Robert E. May. Phillip Magness and the author debate a book which gives us a Civil War that was both the product of international affairs, and a shaping force on their subsequent course (no. 1717, with response here).

Then we turn to Hugh M. Thomas’s The Secular Clergy in England, 1066-1216, and Katherine Harvey and the author discuss a book which is surely destined to become one of the definitive works in the field for many years to come (no. 1716, with response here).

Next up is Status Interaction During the Reign of Louis XIV by Giora Sternberg. Linda Kiernan believes this book presents historians of the court with a vigorous model to test (no. 1715).

Finally we have George Morton-Jack’s The Indian Army on the Western Front: India’s Expeditionary Force to France and Belgium in the First World War. Adam Prime finds this to be an extremely stimulating book, which should appeal to academics and enthusiasts alike (no. 1714).

Research training at the IHR

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Dr Simon Trafford, head of research training at the IHR, in his natural environment

Dr Simon Trafford, head of research training at the IHR, in his natural environment

Training in research skills for young and aspiring researchers has been central to the IHR’s remit since its foundation in 1921. In recent years, the training programme has expanded and diversified, reflecting both a great broadening in the scope of historical enquiry and also the increasing prevalence of highly specialised approaches that require of their practitioners detailed technical knowledge or computing skills. In the 2014-15 programme, which has just been announced, we have courses covering every aspect of current historical practice, ranging from the very traditional skills of archival use and analysis of written sources through to the currently burgeoning area of historical GIS.

Taught by University of London historians and other expert practitioners from national institutions, the programme has been designed to help students to acquire all the techniques necessary to their research quickly and inexpensively. The Institute’s training will also be of interest to those already established in an academic career but wishing to acquire or renew skills in particular types of specialist analysis. New courses will be announced throughout the year, but please see here for a complete listing of the current programme.

New issue of Historical Research

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Historical Research – November 2014 (vol. 87, no. 238)

HR

Contents:

Articles

Toward a historical dialectic of culinary styles (pages 581–590)

Ken Albala

Episcopal emotions: tears in the life of the medieval bishop (pages 591–610)

Katherine Harvey

Licit medicine or ‘Pythagorean necromancy’? The ‘Sphere of Life and Death’ in late medieval England (pages 611–632)

Joanne Edge

The Elizabethan succession question in Roger Edwardes’s ‘Castra Regia’ (1569) and ‘Cista Pacis Anglie’ (1576) (pages 633–654)

Victoria Smith

The harassment of Isaac Allen: puritanism, parochial politics and Prestwich’s troubles during the first English civil war (pages 655–678)

James Mawdesley

‘Britons, strike home’: politics, patriotism and popular song in British culture, c.1695–1900 (pages 679–702)

Martha Vandrei

‘The other boys of Kilmichael’: No. 2 Section, ‘C’ Company, Auxiliary Division Royal Irish Constabulary, 28 November 1920 (pages 703–722)

Andrew Nelson

‘For the freedom of captive European nations’: east European exiles in the Cold War (pages 723–741)

Martin Nekola

Notes and Documents

John of Oxnead, chronicler of St. Benet’s Holm (pages 742–743)

Julian Luxford

Robert Bale’s chronicle and the second battle of St. Albans (pages 744–750)

Hannes Kleineke

The Essex inquisitions of 1556: the Colchester certificate (pages 751–763)

P. R. Cavill

 

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