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Connected histories – the history of Essex


This post was kindly written for us by IHR intern Alex Thompson.

TheWitch-no1Connected Histories is a website made for online research of a variety of different topics ranging between 1500 and 1900. When typing in and searching for a particular topic, the search will include results from many different sources, which means that it’s easy to get a wide range of information. It is also possible to narrow your search to select resources, a particular time period or different source types, making searching for something particular a lot faster and easier.

To try out this website for myself, I searched ‘Essex’ as that is where I live and I was interested to find out some of the history of the county. I managed to get 407,990 matches across 22 resources, which proves how much information is available.

Scrolling through the results, I was interested to find many witch cases from Essex, using the resource Witches in Early Modern England, which contains witchcraft narratives from Early Modern England. This included a woman found guilty of bewitching her own son. It was fascinating to read that this happened in Colchester, a place that I know fairly well.

Results from the History of Parliament Online, which contains detailed biographical entries for members of parliament, also popped up and I discovered that Sir Richard Rich was elected to parliament for Essex twice around the time of 1640.

Furthermore, I discovered from the Old Bailey Online, a website that has accounts of trials held at the Old Bailey in London that a man from Essex was found guilty of stealing a coat and a waistcoat. This surprised me as I would not expect to find that kind of detail, though it could easily be very useful in some research projects.

When typing in Essex, I had to bear in mind that it is a name as well as a place, an obvious one being the Earl of Essex. However, this made the whole experience even more interesting as a result from Queen Victoria’s Journals came up, a website that makes available vast volumes of Queen Victoria’s journals, telling me that Essex lunched with her in October 1832, and so from there I clicked on the Journals and read a few more entries that gave me an in depth and really interesting look into the Queen’s life and what she did with her family and her friends.

I was very impressed how just a simple search with no filters brought up so many fascinating results that I could have spent hours looking at and reading. When using Connected Histories, its great how it can start off with a particular search term but then in a few clicks, you can be looking at something completely different that is still just as interesting. As I am only in my second year of university, I have not yet decided what I would like to do for my dissertation, so with nothing in particular in mind, it was thought-provoking to use Connected Histories to just build up my knowledge of topics that I have a general interest in.


‘War in 1915’ in the Oxford DNB


(c) Julia Rushbury (Mrs Ramos); Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

(c) Julia Rushbury (Mrs Ramos); Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

The latest update to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography—published on Thursday 17 September 2015—adds biographies of 112 men and women active between the thirteenth and the early twenty-first century.

The new update includes a special focus on men and women active during the First World War—in combat and on the home front—with a particular focus on events in 1915. New additions include the physicians Louisa Garrett Anderson and Flora Murray who opened the Endell Street Military Hospital, London, in May 1915; it remains the only British army hospital staffed and run by women. Military inventions from 1915 include the bowl-shaped Brodie helmet (named after its designer John Brodie) which went into production in autumn 1915. Seven million of these helmets were produced by the end of the war. Other war-time lives include the boy soldier Horace Iles (1900-1916) who was killed at the Somme; his biography is now part of school education programmes run by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

September’s update also concludes a three-year research project to extend the ODNB’s coverage of the medieval religious—the abbots, abbesses, priors, and prioresses who ran England’s religious houses until the Reformation. The project has added 56 first-time biographies. To mark the projects’ completion Professor Claire Cross considers the Lives of the Religious for an understanding of medieval monasticism, and how those in office in the 1520s and 1530s responded to the Reformation.

Highlights from the Oxford DNB’s September 2015 update


Making Abolition Brazilian: British Law and Brazilian Abolitionists in Nineteenth-Century Minas Gerais and Pernambuco


Courtney J. Campbell, Past & Present Fellow at the IHR for 2014-15, has had a paper published in the most recent issue of Slavery & Abolition: A Journal of Slave and Post-Slave Studies.


From the abstract:Campbell

This article compares two cases in which Brazilian abolitionists mobilized around a law passed in 1843 to prohibit British subjects, no matter where they resided, from owning slaves. Placing a case against a large British-owned gold mine in Minas Gerais alongside outcry against a Scottish widow who owned two slaves in Recife, the article argues that this law was used as a rhetorical tool to gain support for abolitionism and create public outrage against British slaveholders in Brazil at a moment of expanding public participation in abolitionism as a form of nationalism.

Access the article here.

New Historical Research articles published online



This article attempts a reassessment of Clan Donald’s activities and their relations with the Scottish and English crowns in 1461–3. There are two objectives: first, to review the nature and significance of the MacDonald alliance with Yorkist England and the identities and roles of its leading advocates; and second, to establish how far, if at all, the raids conducted by the MacDonalds in these years can be linked with the development of this entente. The exercise necessitates a review of background themes, at first seemingly distinct from each other, but which coalesce in 1460–1 to create a dynamic out of which the alliance was born and, arguably, MacDonald military activity encouraged.

Tenure and property in medieval England. Susan Reynolds

This article argues that the use of the word ‘tenure’ instead of ‘property’ in discussions of medieval English property law impedes the understanding of that law and makes it harder to compare it either with modern law or with the law of other parts of medieval Europe. Its use derives not from the vocabulary or content of medieval English law, but from the effort of seventeenth-century antiquaries to connect medieval English law with the academic law that French scholars had derived from the twelfth-century Italian Libri Feudorum.

Announcing the 2015-16 IHR Junior Research Fellows!


IHR direction signAfter a highly competitive process, the Institute is delighted to have appointed eighteen Junior Research Fellows for the 2015-16 year. We received a record number of applications for Junior Fellowships this year, and panels found it challenging to select the successful candidates from a range of excellent submissions. Thank you to everyone who took the time to apply.

We greatly look forward to welcoming the new cohort in October, and will be sharing more details and news of them in the coming months. In the meantime, you can get a sense of their areas of interest from the list below.

Do remember to check back for the programme of Director’s Seminars. At these seminars the Junior Fellows will present their research. These will be held on Wednesday afternoons, 2-4pm, from 7 October – 2 December (except one on the Thursday, 26 November), in Wolfson II at the IHR.

Economic History Society Fellows

Alice Dolan (UCL) 1 year
Re-Fashioning the Working Class: Mechanisation and Materiality in England 1800-1856

Paul Kreitman (SOAS) 1 year
Economic and Social Dimensions of Sovereignty in the North Pacific, 1861-1965

John Morgan (Exeter) 1 year
Financing flood security in eastern England, 1567-1826 Warwick

Judy Stephenson (Cambridge) 1 year
Occupation and Labour market institutions in London 1600 – 1800 LSE

Jacobite Studies Trust Fellow

Mindaugas Sapoka (Aberdeen) 1 year
Poland-Lithuania and Jacobitism c. 1714 – c. 1750

Past & Present Fellows

Jennifer Keating (UCL) 1 year
Images in crisis: Landscapes of disorder in Russian Central Asia, 1915-1924

Roel Konijnendijk (UCL) 1 year
Courage and Skill: A Hierarchy of Virtue in Greek Thought

Tehila Sasson (UC Berkeley) 1 year
In the Name of Humanity: Britain and the Rise of Global Humanitarianism

Junqing Wu (Exeter) 1 year
Anticlerical erotica in China and France: a cross-cultural analysis Nottingham

Pearsall Fellow

Ben Thomas (Aberdeen) 1 year
The Royal Naval Reserve in rural Scotland and Wales, c. 1900-1939

IHR Doctoral Fellows – Royal Historical Society

Lucy Hennings (Oxford) 1 year P.J. Marshall Fellow
England in Europe during the Reign of Henry III, 1216-1272

Sarah Ward (Oxford) 1 year Centenary Fellow
Royalism, Religion, and Revolution: The Gentry of North-East Wales, 1640-88

IHR Doctoral Fellows – Scouloudi Fellows

Will Eves (St Andrews) 6 months
The Assize of Mort d’Ancestor: From 1176 to 1230

Felicity Hill (UEA) 1 year
Excommunication and Politics in thirteenth-century England

Julia Leikin (UCL) 1 year
Prize law, maritime neutrality, and the law of nations in Imperial Russia, 1768-1856

James Norrie (Oxford) 6 months
Property and Religious Change in the Diocese of Milan, c.990-1140

Joan Redmond (Cambridge) 6 months
Popular religious violence in Ireland, 1641-1660

IHR Doctoral Fellows – Thornley Fellow

Cécile Bushidi (SOAS) 1 year
Dance, socio-cultural change, and politics among the Gĩkũyũ people of Kenya, 1880s-1963

We would also like to announce that Jacob Currie (Cambridge) was awarded a six-month Scouloudi Fellowship, which has been deferred to 2016-17.

Friends of the IHR Summer Outing: Sutton House and St Augustine’s Tower


This post was kindly written by Kelly Spring, a Committee Member of the Friends of the IHR and a PhD Candidate at the University of Manchester.


Sutton House

Sutton House © House_1.jpg?uselang=en-gb

During the long, warm days of July, our thoughts at the IHR turn to the annual Friends’ outing.  In years past, the Friends of the Institute have ventured to William Morris’s house in Walthamstow and Kenwood House in Hampstead Heath.  This year, on Monday, 6 July, we travelled to Hackney to explore Sutton House and St Augustine’s Tower.

Sir Ralph Sadleir, a courtier to Henry VIII and man whom our guide described as “the servant of the servant of the King,” built the house in 1535, and it stands as a visible reminder of Tudor architecture, albeit with some modifications and additions from later owners.  Occupants of the house have ranged from merchants to, in the 1980s, squatters, all of whom have left an indelible mark on the house, inside and out.

Great Hall

Great Hall

Outing participants were treated to a tour of the house by medieval historian and archaeologist Dr Nick Holder, of Regent’s University of London.  Nick began the tour outside the house to give everyone an overview of the history and architecture of the building.  He then led us through the four floors, including the basement.  The house boasts an impressive array of rooms, including the oak-panelled parlour and great hall.  Throughout the tour of the house, Nick provided Friends with in-depth information about each room’s original use and its architectural attributes.  He even pulled up floorboards and allowed us to peak behind panels to see sixteenth century building materials and design.

After viewing the house, Friends were invited to take lunch at Sutton House’s garden café, where we ate some excellent homemade soup followed by tea and Victoria sponge.  While the first tour group had their meal, Nick took a second group of Friends around the house, and repeated his extensive tour of the premises.  Following a quick cup of tea and slice of cake, Nick took the groups for an inside view of St Augustine’s Tower in the St John’s Church Gardens, just a short stroll from Sutton House.

St Augustine’s Tower

St Augustine’s Tower

St Augustine’s Tower was erected in the early sixteenth century as part of the building of the Hackney parish church, St Augustine’s, which replaced an earlier thirteenth century church on the same spot.  Today, the tower is all that remains of the church.  Boasting a Grade I listing, it is the oldest building in Hackney.  The clock in the tower was installed around the early 1600s and remains in working order to this day.  Normally closed, except on the last Sunday of each month, Friends were treated to a private tour of the tower’s floors, allowing visitors to view the clock works, ring the bell, and get a bird’s-eye view of London from atop the building.

Turkish café

Turkish café

While many returned home after the tour of the tower, others continued socialising over coffee and pastries at the Turkish café in the gardens adjacent to the tower.  Everyone agreed that it was a fantastic day out.

Professor Nigel Saul

Professor Nigel Saul ©

Other excellent Friend’s events are planned for this autumn, including the Annual General Meeting which will be held on Monday, 19 October.  This year, we are fortunate to have Professor Nigel Saul of Royal Holloway University of London, who will deliver the Annual Friends’ Lecture following the AGM.  He will be speaking on Magna Carta.  For further details about upcoming Friends’ events, or on how to become a Friend of the IHR, please visit the Institute’s website ( or speak to Mark Lawmon in the Development Office by phone (020 7862 8791) or by email (


All photos © James Dixon, unless otherwise noted.

Latest issue of Historical Research, lxxxviii, no. 241 (August 2015)




Royal and non-royal forests and chases in England and Wales. John Langton

The seditious murder of Thomas of Sibthorpe and the Great Statute of Treasons, 1351–2. David Crook

Mercantile conflict resolution and the role of the language of trust: a Danzig case in the middle of the sixteenth century. Justyna Wubs-Mrozewicz

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

Local initiative, central oversight, provincial perspective: governing police forces in nineteenth-century Leeds. David Churchill

Liberal Unionism and political representation in Wales, c.1886–1893. Naomi Lloyd-Jones

Courting public favour: the Boy Scout movement and the accident of internationalism, 1907−29. Scott Johnston

Ballot papers and the practice of elections: Britain, France and the United States of America, c.1500–2000. Malcolm Crook and Tom Crook


Around London : Streets of Fashion


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



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






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.



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