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Art supplies in London: the colour shops of Elizabeth Moseley and Anna Barnes

Painting in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries required the careful preparation of tools and materials. Pigments were ground and mixed with oils or other mediums such as gum arabic to create a wide array of colours for painting. But what was a Colour Maker or Seller? It is worth quoting the entry in Joseph Collyer’sContinue reading “Art supplies in London: the colour shops of Elizabeth Moseley and Anna Barnes”

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Mary Pyke (fl. 1669 – 1709)

Mary Pyke was a silkwoman and milliner on the Royal Exchange in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. Mary Pyke was married to a Citizen and Skinner named William Pyke (d. 1674). In all, eleven young women were bound apprentice to either William or Mary Pyke through the Skinners’ Company between 1669 and 1695.Continue reading “Mary Pyke (fl. 1669 – 1709)”

A Hosier near Hungerford Market: Ann Hodgson and her Partnership in Trade

On 15 October 1718, Ann Hodgson ‘next the one Ton Tavern near Hungerford Market in the Strand’ took out an insurance policy for her goods and merchandise as a hosier.[1] No specific value for her stock was recorded but Sun Fire Office insurance policies usually covered goods worth up to £500 in this period (theContinue reading “A Hosier near Hungerford Market: Ann Hodgson and her Partnership in Trade”

Rhoda Moreland (fl. 1721 – 1736)

Rhoda Moreland was a milliner on Leadenhall Street and freemen of the Painter-Stainers’ Company. Moreland was admitted to the Painter-Stainers’ Company by patrimony on 2 December 1724.[1] She was described as a ‘Milliner in Leadenhall Street’ in the company’s court minutes and this is corroborated by a Sun Fire Office insurance policy that she tookContinue reading “Rhoda Moreland (fl. 1721 – 1736)”

Judith Gresham the younger (1662 – 1728)

Judith Gresham the younger was a freemen of the Painter-Stainers’ Company and milliner on the Royal Exchange. Baptised on 25 November 1662 in the parish of St Peter le Poer, she was the daughter of Judith Beckingham and Seliard Gresham.[1] She worked with her mother and sister Mary at their shop on the Royal ExchangeContinue reading “Judith Gresham the younger (1662 – 1728)”

Mary Gresham (1668 – 1726)

Mary Gresham was a milliner and freemen of the Painter-Stainers’ Company working on the Royal Exchange in London. The daughter of Judith and Seliard Gresham, Mary Gresham was baptised on 6 December 1668 and she worked with her mother and her sister Judith in their shop at the north end of the upper pawn ofContinue reading “Mary Gresham (1668 – 1726)”

Judith Gresham the elder (1632 – 1694)

Judith Gresham was a milliner on the Royal Exchange in the late seventeenth century. Judith Beckingham and Seliard Gresham were married on 26 February 1660 and thereafter had five children.[1] They were long-standing tenants of the Royal Exchange and Seliard Gresham bound at least three apprentices – Mary Cox, Thomas Marshall, and Edward Pettit – beforeContinue reading “Judith Gresham the elder (1632 – 1694)”

Dorothy Kidley (fl. 1646 – 1690)

Dorothy Kidley was a Merchant Taylors’ Company apprentice and hoodseller working on Cheapside in the 1660s and 1670s. Dorothy Kidley was baptised in Little Birch, Herefordshire on 5 January 1646, the daughter of Bridget and John Kidley, a gentleman.[1] Aged around 15 years old, she migrated to London and was bound apprentice to John Adams,Continue reading “Dorothy Kidley (fl. 1646 – 1690)”

*NEW* research project – Shops on the Strand

I am delighted to announce that I have been offered a Women’s History Network Fellowship for Early Career Researchers for the academic year 2020-2021. This fellowship will fund an exciting new project that I will be undertaking over the next twelve months entitled ‘Shops on the Strand: women in business in early modern Westminster, 1600-1740’.Continue reading “*NEW* research project – Shops on the Strand”

Fact or fiction? Amy Hussey (fl. 1740s)

Such charms are there in affability, and so sure is it to attract the praises of all kinds of people. It may indeed be compared to the celebrated Mrs Hussey.* It is equally sure to set off every female perfection to the highest advantage, and to palliate and conceal every defect […]. * A celebratedContinue reading “Fact or fiction? Amy Hussey (fl. 1740s)”

Rachel Erskin (fl. 1658 – 1718)

Rachel Erskin was a seamstress working on the Royal Exchange for more than fifty years in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. Erskin was the middle of three daughters of William Erskin, a Doctor of Divinity. He died in Norfolk in 1657, bequeathing her £150 and a ‘parcell of rings and Jewells as theyContinue reading “Rachel Erskin (fl. 1658 – 1718)”

Ellen Searle (d. 1721)

Ellen Searle was a seamstress and tea seller working on London Bridge in the early eighteenth century. View of old London Bridge, the buildings and shops across the bridge still in place, 1723-4 ‘Old’ London Bridge was a vital thoroughfare and vibrant, thriving site of trade for hundreds of years, as revealed by a recentContinue reading “Ellen Searle (d. 1721)”

Ann Collard (c. 1726 – 1778)

Ann Collard née Jacques was a haberdasher and milliner who worked on Bishopsgate Street in London in the eighteenth century. In 1747, aged around 21 years old, Ann married George Collard, a freemen of the Merchant Taylors’ Company, and the table below details the female apprentices bound to the Collard household between 1750 and 1773.[1] GeorgeContinue reading “Ann Collard (c. 1726 – 1778)”

Mantua of the Month – May 2020

This mantua and petticoat dates from the 1760s. It is shaped from French silk, and features an undulating ermine motif. The design mimics the ermine fur trim, which is often seen in royal portraiture. Ermine have a white winter coat apart from their tails, which retain a dark hue. Real fur ermine tails are interspersedContinue reading “Mantua of the Month – May 2020”

How much is your ‘Wearing Apparel’ worth? and other miscellany

Insurance policy registers are one of my favourite sources. Whilst conducting research for my PhD, I mined the earliest registers of the Sun Fire Office Insurance Company to locate women in business in London (and the wider metropolis) from 1710 onwards. Yet, I’ve also found other policies that have struck me as interesting little snippetsContinue reading “How much is your ‘Wearing Apparel’ worth? and other miscellany”