City Women: Money, Sex, and the Social Order in Early Modern by Eleanor Hubbard

By Eleanor Hubbard

City Women is an enormous new learn of the lives of normal ladies in 16th- and seventeenth-century London. Drawing on hundreds of thousands of pages of Londoners' depositions for the consistory court docket, it specializes in the demanding situations that preoccupied London ladies as they strove for survival and preferment within the burgeoning city. Balancing new demographic facts with vibrant case stories, Eleanor Hubbard explores the benefits and risks that the town needed to provide, from women's first arrival in London as migrant maidservants, during the vicissitudes of marriage, widowhood, and outdated age.

In early smooth London, women's possibilities have been tightly constrained. still, earlier than 1640 the city's designated demographic conditions supplied strange scope for marital development, and either maids and widows have been fast to exploit this. equally, moments of chance emerged while the strong sexual anxieties that linked women's speech and mobility with free behaviour got here into clash with much more strong anxieties in regards to the financial balance of families and groups. As neighbours and magistrates sought to reconcile their competing priorities in instances of illegitimate being pregnant, marital disputes, operating better halves, remarrying widows, and extra, ladies have been in a position to make the most the ensuing uncertainty to pursue their very own ends. via paying shut consciousness to the aspirations and preoccupations of London ladies themselves, their day-by-day struggles, small triumphs, and family tragedies, City Women presents a worthwhile new point of view at the value and complexity of women's roles within the becoming capital, and at the pragmatic nature of early glossy English society as a complete.

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Similarly, Joan Buck, 21, had lived in Stepney for five years, in Franten, Gloucestershire, for five years before that, and originally in Aylburton, where she had been born. 10 testify in marriage cases over which the ‘alien’ churches lacked jurisdiction, and they sometimes made reference to failed reconciliation efforts by French or Dutch elders. g. Jane Foye c. Peter Foye, 1578 (LMA, DL/C/629, fos. 24–7, 99). 9 The northwest of England suffered disproportionately from want and even starvation in the worst years.

57 On householders, see Jeremy Boulton, ‘Neighbourhood Migration in Early Modern London’, in Peter Clark and David Souden (eds), Migration and Society in Early Modern England (Totowa, NJ, 1987). 58 Joan Clay, 1624 (LMA, DL/C/229, fo. 27); Margaret Newe, 1613 (LMA, DL/C/221, fo. 1434r); Mary Kys, 1610 (LMA, DL/C/219, fo. 60v); and Margaret Griffon, 1594 (LMA, DL/C/ 214, p. 569). 59 Robert Greenapp, 1593 (LMA, DL/C/214, pp. 402–3). 60 They were always alert to possible marriage opportunities. For example, Elizabeth Doughty, 30, a covenanted servant with the Aldeworths, broke her contract to serve William Brown instead in 1572.

Richard Parkinson (Chetham, 1845), 6–7. M. , The countrey lasse (London, 1628). 24 City Women for men and the mid-20s for women, bachelors and maids could not be classified indefinitely as children: only in the most fortunate families could parents be expected to survive and support their offspring for so long. However, contemporaries feared that the worst outrages could be expected when volatile, irresponsible young men and women set up their own disorderly households without the steadying foundations of experience and capital.

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