Category Archives: Early modern history

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Notes from The Many-Headed Hydra – Sailors, Slaves, Commoners, and the Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic

P. 36 Sir Walter Ralegh “developed a historical interpretation of Hercules.. Helped to establish kingship, or political sovereignty, and commerce, under the dominance of a particular ethnic group, the Greeks. He served as a model for the exploration, trade, conquest and plantation of English mercantilism: indeed a cult of Hercules suffused English ruling-class culture in the 17th century.” Some Ralegh noted “apply his works historically to their own conceits”

P. 44 “An Act of Parliament of 1600 made it possible for big shareholders in the fens to suppress the common rights that stood in the way of their drainage schemes… King James organized hundred in the draining and enclosure of parts of Somerset in the early 17th century, turning a commoning economy of fishing, fowling, reed cutting, and peat digging into a capitalist economy of sheep raising…. The ‘battle of the fens’ began in 1605 between capital owners such as Lord Chief Justice Popham (“covetous and bloodie Popham”) and the fowlers, fenmen and commoners. The terms of battle ranged from murder, sabotage and village burning on the one hand to protracted litigation, pampleteering and the advanced science of hydraulics on the other.. Sporadic outbursts of opposition…. Often led by women, attacked workmen, ditches, dikes and tools in Hatfield, on the Isle of Axholme, and elsewhere in the late 1620s and 1630s.”

P. 64 “In 1607 ‘Captain Dorothy’ led 37 women wielding knives and throwing stones against the enclosures of Kirky Malzeard in the North Riding of Yorkshire… Armed women also spearheaded food riots, in 1595 seizing food corn at Wye, in 1605 marching on the Medway ports to prevent the export of grain, and in 1608 going so far as to broad grain ships in Southampton to keep their cargo from being shopped away. During the Western Rising (1629-31) women again led food riots, this time in Berkshire and Essex.”

P. 65 Thomas Edward’s Gangreana describes his “combat against the ‘three bodied Monster Geryon, and the three headed Cerberus,” and “that Hydra also, ready to rise up in their place”.

P. 72 “an extraordinary text about a woman named Francis, a “blackymore maide” who, as a member of a radical religious congregation in Bristol during the 1640s provided leadership especially to the women of the congregation. The text was written by a church elder, Edward Tertill, which means that ours cannot be a simple story.. She was black: he was white. She was a woman: he was a man. She was a sister in the congregation; he was an elder of the church.. Helps to illuminate the dynamics of race, class, and gender in the English Revolution and to show how the radical voices were ultimately silenced. The outcome of the English Revolution might have been dramatically altered: the commons might have been preserved: values other than those of market society and commodity production might have triumphed: work might not have been seen as the condition of human salvation; patriarchy in the family might not have been saved, nor the labor of women devalued; torture and terror might not have survived in the law and its practice; popular assemblies might have proliferated and become open; mutual subsistence rather than individual accumulation might have become the basis of economic activity; and divisions between master and slave might have been abolished.”

P. 82 Francis “asks a sister in the congregation to carry her message to the whole assembly, not to “loose ye glory of God in their families, neighbourhoods or places where God casts them.” She recognises that a neighbourhood may be international, a notion of shipmates, a family of oceanic passages. Francis understands community without propinquity. .. She would have known about slavery and the struggle against slavery. On May Day 1638, for instance, the first African slave rebellion in English history took place in Providence Island. From the wharves, Francis would have brought Atlantic news to her congregation.. We do not know where Francis lived before Bristol.”

P. 112 “On July 7, 1647, a Neopolitan fisherman named Masaniello led a protest by the market women, carters, porters, sailors, fishermen, weavers, silk winders, and all the other poor, or lazzaroni, of the second- or third-largest city in Europe.. Producers rural and urban discovered that the Spanish viceroy had levied a new gabelle, or tax, on the city’s fabled fruit (Goethe believed that the Neapolitans had invented lemonade)… the price of bread fell to rates consistent with a moral economy… Although it lasted only 10 days, the revolt of Naples in July 1647 marked the first time tha the proletariat of any European vity seized power and governed alone… English merchants had recently eclipsed their Italian counterparts in Levant shipping and now sent as many as 120 ships and 3,000 sailors to Naples each year, with attendant desertions and turnovers. Sailors were a major source of information about the the revolt.. In 1649 T.B. published a play entitled The Rebellion of Naples”.

P. 116 “If the Masaniello revolt and the Putney Debates of 1647 represented a high point of revolutionary possibility, the downfall began in 1649…execution of the King and ..

“The execution by firing squad of Robert Lockyer, a soldier, on April 27, originated in the grumblings of unpaid soldiers against what they called the ‘cutthroat expedition’ to Ireland, which escalated into mutiny at Bishopsgate in April … Cromwell, fearing a general rising of ‘discontented persons, servants reformadoes, beggars’ rode to Bishopsgate with Fairfax to lead the suppression of the mutiny, .. When the moment of execution came, Lockyer disdained a blindfold and appealed to his executioners, brother soldiers, to put down their guns. They refused, fire and killed him. Thousands, wearing green (the colour of the Levellers and of Thomas Rainsborough) thronged the streets of London at his funeral.”

P. 150 “The expansion of the merchant shipping industry and the Royal Navy during the third quarter of the 17th century posed an enduring dilemma for the maritime state: how to mobilize, organize, maintain and reproduce the sailoring proletariat in a situation of labor scarcity and limited state resources … one result was a fitful but protracted war among rulers, planners, merchants, captains, naval officers, sailors, and other urban workers over the value and purposes of maritime labor. Since conditions aboard ship were harsh and wages often two or three years in arrears, sailors mutinied, deserted, rioted, and altogether resister naval service… the state used violence and terror to man its ships and to man them cheaply.. For sailors, the press-gang represented slavery and death: three out of four pressed men died within two years, with only one in five of the dead expiring in battle. Those lucky enough to survive could not expect to be paid, as it was not uncommon, writes John Ehrman.. For a seaman to be owed a decade’s wages”.

P. 151 “Even though the Navigation Act of 1651 stipulated that three fourths of the crew importing English goods were to be English or Irish… English ships continued to be worked by African, Briton, quashee, Irish and American (not to mention Dutch, Portugese and lascar ) sailors. Ruskin was therefore correct in saying, “The nails that fasten together the planks of the boar’s cow are the rivets of the fellowship of the world.” .. William Petty “Whereas the Employment of other Men is confined to their own Country, that of Seamen is free to the whole world.”

P. 154 “The multilinguality and Atlantic experience common to many Africans was demonstrated by a back man in the Comoros ISlands of the Indian Ocean in 1694, who greeted pirate Captain Henry Avery, the ‘maritime Robin Hood’, in English. The man, as it happened, had lived in Bethnal Green, London.”

p. 228 [In America] “Multiracial mobs helped win numerous victories for the revolutionary movement, especially, as we have seen against impressment. .. In 1765, “Sailors, boys, and Negroes to the number of above Five Hundred” rioted against impressment in Newport, Rogode Island, and in 1767 a mob of “Whites & Blacks all arm’d” attacked Captain Jeremiah Morgan in a press riot in Norfolk… the motley crew led a broad array of people into resistance against the Stamp Act, which taxed the colonists by requiring stamps for the sale and use of various commodities… Boston’s mob took angry action agains the propoerty of stamp distributor Andrew Oliver of August 14, 1765, then 12 days later turned an even fiercer wrath against the house and refined belongings of Thomas Hutchinson, who cried out at the crowd, ‘You are so many Masaniellos!”

P. 232 “I found myself surrounded by a motley crew of wretches, with tethered farments and pallid visages,” wrote Thomas Bring as he began his imprisonment in 1782 anoard the notorious hulk Jersey, a British man-of-war serving as a prison ship in the East River of New York… Amid the hunger, thirst, rot, gore, terror, and violence, and the deaths of seven or eight thousand of their fellow inmates during the war, the prisoners organised themselves according to egalitarian, collectivist, revolutionary principles. What had once functioned as ‘articles’ among seamen and pirates now became ‘a Code of By-Laws… for their own regulation and government.” Equal before the rats, the smallpox, and the guard’s cutlass, they practiced democracy, working to distribute food and clothing fairly, to provide medical care, to bury their dead. On one ship a common sailor spoke between decks on Sundays to honor those who died ‘in vindication of the rights of Man.” A captain who looked back with surprise on the self-organization of the prisoners remarked that the seamen were “of that class.. Who are not easily controlled, and usually not the most ardent supporters of good order.” But the sailors drew on the traditions of hydrarchy as they implemented the order of the day: they governed themselves.”

P. 246 The failure of the motley crew to find a place in the new American nation forced it into broader, more creative forms of identification. One of the phrases often used to capture the unity of the age of revolution was ‘citizen of the world’. J. Philmore described himself this way, as did others, including Thomas Paine. The real citizens of the world, of course, were the sailors and slaves who instructed… the middle- and upper-class revolutionaries. This multiethnic proletariat was ‘cosmopolitan’ in the original meaning of the world. Reminded that he had been sentenced to exile, Dioegenes, the slave philosopher of antiquity, responded by saying that he sentenced his hudges to stay home… The Irshman Oliver Goldsmith published in 1762 a gentle critique of nationalism entitled Citizen of the World featuring characters such as a sailor with a wooden leg and a ragged woman ballad singer… James Howell, historian of the Masaniello Revolt, wrote in the 17th century that ‘every ground may be one’s country – for by birth each man is in this world a cosmopolitan’.

P. 250 “Blake’s ‘Satanic Mills’ were the Albion Mills, the first London steam-powered factory.. Erected in 1791, this flour mill had been burned to the ground that same year, as part of the anonymous, direct resistance to the industrial revolution.”

P. 272 “Edward and Catherine Despard reached London in the spring of 1790,… found a country where workers had embraced the cause of abolition. Seven hundred and 69 Sheffield cutlers had petition Parliament in 1789 against the efforts of the pro-slavery lobby. “The cutlery wares made by the freemen .. being sent in considerable quantities to the Coast of Africa, and dis[sed of, in part, as the price of Slaves – your Petitioners may be supposed to be prejudiced in their interests if the said trade in Slaves should be abolished. But your petitioners having always understood that the natives of Africa” – and here they would have remembered Olaudah Equano’s talks with them as he lectured on the abolition circuit- “ have the greatest aversion to foreign Salvery. Claiming to “consider the case of the nations of Africa as their own”, and putting principle before material interest, the cutlers took an unusual public stand against slavery, something no English workers had done in almost a century and a half. Joseph Mather, the poetic annalist of proletarian Sheffield, sand,

As negroes inVirginia,

In Maryland or Guinea,

Like them I must continue – 

To be both bought and sold.

While negro ships are filling

I ne’er can save one shilling,

And must, which is more killing,

A pauper die when old.”

Sheffield was a steel town, manufacturing the sickles and scythes of harvest, the scissors and razors of the export markets, and the pike, implement of the people’s war. The secretary of the workers’ organisation, the Sheffield Constitutional Society (formed in 1791), explained its purpose: “To enlighten the people, to show the people the reason, the ground of all their complaints and sudderings, when a man works for 13 or 14 hours of the day, the week through, and is not able to maintain his family; that is what I understand of it; to show the people the ground of this; why they were not able.” The Constitutional Society also declared itself against slavery, much like the London Corresponding SOciety, which.. Was founded early in 1792 is discussions of ‘having all things in common’ and committed to equality among all, whether ‘back or white, high low low, rich or poor.”

P. 292 “ In the modern era, jubilee was employed by the English revolutionaries of the 1640s, including James Nayler and the early Quakers and Gerard Winstanley and the Diggers, as a means of resisting both expropriation and slavery. It remained a living idea after the revolution, to be carried forward by John Milton, John Bunyan and James Jarrington (Ocean).. In 1782 Thomas Spence wrote “The Jubilee Hymn”… born in 1750 in Newcastle. Growing up on the waterfront as one of 19 children… young Spence joined the congregation of John Glas, a Presbyterian schismatic who followed the tenets of the primitive Christian as he understood them.. The bourgeoisie was then seeking to seel of lease 89 acres of the town common, a plan thwarted by the commoners, who pulled down the lessee’s house and drove his cattled away. Inspired by the victory, Spence in 1775 wrote a lecture that he delivered before the Newcastle Philosophical Society, wherein he proposed the abolition of private property.”

P. 302 “the Spa Field Riots in England were led by Spenceans and waged by canal diggers, porters, coal and ballast heavers, soldiers, sailors, dockworkers and factory workers. Among the leaders was Thomas Preston, a Spencean who had travelled to the West Indies”

P. 305 Lord Byron’s maiden speech in the House of Lords (on February 27, 1812, when he was 24) was on a bill providing the death penalty for Luddites: “You call these men a mob,” he said, “desperate, dangerous and ignorant, and seem to think that the only way to quiet the ‘bellua multorum capitum’ is to lop off a few of its superfluous heads.’ He reminded the peers that those heads were capable of thought. Moreover, “it is the mob that labour in your fields and serve in your houses – that man your navy, and recruit you army – that have enabled you to defy the world, and can also defy you when neglect and calamity have driven them to despair.”

P. 311 “By the end of the Napoleonic Wars, roughly a quarter of the Royal Navy was black, and the proportion was probably only a little smaller in both the English and American merchant shipping industries. John Jea, born in Calabar before being enslaved to a New Yorker, was himself working as a ship’s cook aboard the Isces of Liverpool when it was captured by the French in 1810. The black cook was so common as to become a stereotype in nautical fiction, reaching its apogee in Frederick Marryat’s Mr Midshipman Easy (1836). This figure, who was as important to pan-African communication in the age of sail as the sleeping-car powerer would be in the age of rail, carried the news of jubilee.”

P. 321 [Robert] “Wedderburn’s conception of the proletariat arose from the experiences of a life spent in the port cities of Kingston and London. James Kelley would write in 1838 that in Wedderburn’s native Jamaica ‘sailors and Negroes are ever on the most amicable terms.’// Everyone knew Tom Molyneux, the black American sailor and heavyweight boxing champion. Othellor was performed by African American sailors in Dartmoor Prison in 1814.”

P. 332 “The emphasis in modern labour history on the white, male, skilled, waged, nationalist, propertied artisan/citizen or industrial worker has hidden the history of the Atlantic proletariat of the 17th, 18th and early 19th century. The proletariat was not a monster, it was not a unified cultural class, and it was not a race. This class was anonymous, nameless… was self0active, creative; it was – and is – alive, it is onamove.”

P. 338 Thomas Hardy “On March 8, 1792, he wrote to the Reverend Thomas Bryant of Sheffield, ‘Hearing from Gustavus Vassa that you are a zealous friend for the Abolition of that accursed traffic denominated the Slave TRade I inferred from that that you was a friend to feedom on the broad basis of the Rights of Man for I am pretty perswaded that no Man who is an advocate from principle for liberty for a Black Man but will strenuously promote and support the rights of a White Man & vice versa.” Equiano opened for Hardy the doors to the steel and cutley workers of SHeffield. The Reverend Bryant led a congregation that would soon be labelled the ‘Tom Paine Methodists’ and many of its members were up in arms. In June 1791, 6,000 acres of land in Sheffield and its vicinity had been enclosed by an act of Parliament. The commoners, the colliers and the cutlers reacted in fury, releasing prisoners and burning a magistrate’s barn.. Jonathan Watkinson and the masters of the Culters Company calculated their compensation and decreed that 13 knives henceforth be counted to the dozen, since among the 12 ‘there might be a waste’… The people sang in protest:

The offspring of tyranny, baseness and pride,

Our rights hath invaded and almost destroyed,

May that man be banished who villainy screens:

Or sides with big W__n and his thirteens…

But justice repulsed him and set us all free,

Like bond-slaves of old in the year jubilee,

May those be transported or sent for marines

That works for the big W–n at his thirteens.”

Books Early modern history History Women's history

Notes from Queenship at the Renaissance Courts of Britain: Catherine of Aragon and Margaret Tudor: 1503 to 1533 by Michelle L Beer

Page 60  in the summer of 1520 Catherine of Aragon had to navigate one of the most difficult ceremonial events of her political career,  the Field of Cloth of Gold. this famous meeting of the English and French monarchs and their royal Courts in a field in Northern France  was designed by Cardinal Wolsey, Henry VIII’s chief minister, to cement the Anglo-French alliance that formed the heart of his planning for a European-wide peace.  Catherine however the meeting with the French as a threat to English friendship with her own dynasty, headed by her nephew Charles V King of Spain and Holy Roman Emperor.  As queen, she could not publicly oppose her husband’s intentions to meet the French, so she had to work within the ritual framework of court spectacle in order to express her opposition and propose an alternative alliance …  clothing and appearance took on a heightened importance during this event, especially as the French and English courts to outdo each other by displaying their taste, wealth and ingenuity.”

Page 73  Henry VIII and James IV were masters of royal spectacle and the reigns were high points for the participation of women in court entertainment and sociability.  while both promoted royal power through magnificence spectacle and pageantry the most successful expressions of majesty required the Queen to be by their side…..  as young active monarchs both kings were frequently at the centre of these entertainment often featuring in pageants, dances and tournaments designed to exhibit the kings’ own skill as well as  entertain ambassadors and noble visitors at their courts. Catherine and Margaret participated in these revels as the honoured audience for their husbands’ exploits, and the rivers were important in forming a strong royal partnership.

page 74  in May 1517 Katherine and Margaret performed a public and deliberately staged into session before Henry VIII when they pleaded for the lives of a group of London Apprentice Boys who were about to be executed for the part in the evil May Day riots full stop this act may have earned Catherine lasting Fame as a champion of the London poor,  and it was certainly a calculated decision by Catherine and Margaret to adopt a more active role on this occasion. years earlier, Margaret had repeatedly tried to intervene with her husband before the Battle of Flodden, pleading with him not to lead his forces in person. Both Queen’s understood how to modulate their public roles- active and passive –  to suit their own agenda

page 75 the adoption of the Burgundian-style tournaments in England and Scotland  in the later years of the 15th century been became important opportunities for queens like Catherine or Margaret to contribute to the magnificence of their husbands’ monarchy.  in particular, the fashion for a lovely stage tournament requires a new degree of participation by the Queen and her ladies. developed at the courts of Rene of Anjou and the dukes of Burgundy in the fifteenth century,  tournaments featuring a dramatic plot and elaborate costumes were favoured by monarchs across Europe, including Henry VII, Henry VIII and James IV. Above all, these Productions require the presence of a lady (the queen)  in order to fulfill their dramatic plots, which were ‘ a predetermined romantic Saga which was always to find its hero and heroine in the King and his consort’.

page 76  Catherine’s important role is the inspiration and validation of her husband’s chivalric prowess was publicly noted and celebrated at the English court.  a Tudor Carol written in Catherine voice proclaims the Kings prowess in the tournament and demonstrates the relationship between between the Queen and her Lord in the chivalric tradition:…  although the author of the lyrics and the census of its performance is unknown, the addressee of the poem is the King and the speaker is Catherine. the song may have been performed as part of the festivities after the tournament perhaps even by Catherine or,  more likely, buy one of her ladies.”

Page 81  the Queen and her ladies …  it was crucial that they understood how to participate in games of courtly love and chivalric play. … lack of participation in such events,  either through disinterest or misunderstanding, could seriously damage the relationship between the King and his wife. Henry VIII’s marriage to Anne of Cleves got off to a rocky start when he visited her in disguise before the wedding,  and she ignored him. During his marriage to Catherine, Henry frequently wore a mask to hide his identity while participating in court entertainments, and Catherine’s correct identification of him as the king proved his natural superiority.”

Page 100  in pre-modern Europe queens had access to patronage available through their own not in substantial resources and through the relationship with their husbands.  for instance, Anne of Brittany, independent ruler of Brittany and queen consort of France, is an extreme example of the dual opportunities available to Queen’s as patrons,  Esso patronage could be accomplished through the independent Resources as Duchess of Brittany or who royal access as Queen of France…. in the 17th century Henrietta Maria, consort of Charles I of England,  collaborated with her husband over the artistic patronage for which he is famous.

Page 112  Catherine and Margaret also use gifts of clothing to reward members of their husbands’ households.  Margaret seems to have been particularly fond of William Dunbar, James’s court poet who celebrated her marriage in 1503 with the poem “The Thrissil and the Rois”.   Many of Dunbar’s poems are set in the Queen’s chamber or in the company of the Queen, and they paint a lively picture of life in the Queen’s household. it is therefore unsurprising that Margaret would wish to reward the poet with the gift of a doublet from her Wardrobe.

Page 117 as the New King Henry VIII wrote to his new father-in-law Ferdinand,  it was ‘ very desirable’ to unite English and Spanish families through marriage.  Henry was referring to The Marriage of one of Catherine’s ladies, Ines de Vanegas( sometimes anglicised to Agnes),  who married William Blount, Lord Mountjoy, in 1509.Ines had served Catherine since 1500, and probably knew the Queen for far longer through her mother,  who has been Catherine’s nurse since 1495. … she was likely an asset to Mountjoy in his diplomatic service to Spain.”

Books Early modern history History Women's history

Notes from Women and Liberty 1600-1800: Philosophical Essays

p. 50 Gabrielle Suchon was born in Semur (in Burgundy, not far from Dijon), her parents were of minor gentry and there were numerous jurists in the family. Her father died when she was 13. At a certain point, she entered a convent, and at some other point she left it. Upon leaving the convent, she supported herself as a teacher while living with her mother, and led what has been described as a studious life. She died in 703 at 72…. In each of her major works, she inveighs against the institution of marriage and the harm marriage brings to women, so it might well be that she refused to marry. But she also attacks the oppressive conditions of convents, especially for those without vocation.

p. 51 Such authored two major works: 1 Treatise on Ethics and Politics Divided into Three Parts: Freedom, Knowledge and Authority, where it is shown that person of the [female] sex have a natural capacity that enables them to exercise these three prerogatives now denied them. It was originally published in 1693 under the pseudonym ‘GS Aristophile’ then reprinted in 1694, with a slightly modified title. And 2. On the Celibate Life Freely Chosen, or Life without Commitments was published in 1700 under her own name. The latter work was reviewed in print, and so, we can assume, read by others, if not widely read. Both works are striking in demonstrating a pointed concern with the situation and status of women, even while they aim to develop an ethical and political theory. That is, Suchon’s theoretical aspirations are intimately tied to her concern for liberating – this is, ensuring genuine freedom for – women.”

“… there are unanswered questions about Suchon’s influence on those who followed her. In her The Sex of Knowing, Michele Le Doueff suggested that perhaps Rousseau plagiarized Suchon. There are passages that support this suggestion. In the Treatise on Ethics and Politics, Suchon talks of women as essentially free, but constrained by chains which they have helped to forge by unthinkingly accepting the institutions and conventions which prescribe their conduct. Rousseau’s oft-quoted opening to The Social Contract that ‘man was born free, and he is everywhere in chains’ echoes Suchon’s language. However, Rebecca Wilkin and Sonja Ruud have found no evidence that either Roussea or Madame Duplin, a woman for whom Rousseau served as secretary while she was writing her Ouvrage sur les femmes, concerning the equality of the sexes, reach Suchon… it might be possible for a thinker to have import without there being a well-established direct causal impact.”

p. 86 “In Hamburg, as the impact of the revolution in France led to civil unrest, Elise Reimarus published a pamphlet, Freihart, which was intended to demonstrate that genuine liberty is only available to those subject to civil law. … A little later, in Naples, the journal of the short-lived republican government of 1799, Il Monitore napoletano, edited by Eleanor Fonseca Pimental, declared: “Freedom consist in this, that every citizen can do whatever is not prohibited by law, and which does not harm others.”

p. 109 “Sophie de Grouchy’s 1798 distinction between negative and positive right, which, upon examination, prefigures the famous distinction between positive and negative liberty.”

p.122 “Because Berlin only had an eye for the ‘fathers’ of the tradition, he failed to live up to the inclusive spirit that is characteristic of liberalism at its best. By ignoring De Grouchy, he failed to give the mothers of this tradition – De Grouchy and her friends Olympe de Gouges, Harriet Taylor, and so on – their due. This is not just a matter of accurate record keeping and historical justice. When the sons and daughters of a tradition are told only about the fathers, their (moral) education gives them not only a skewed narrative of reality, it also limits the possibilities available to the play of their imaginations.”

p. 141 Margaret Cavendish “Her natural philosophy shows the same creativity and willingness to go against the grain of her contemporaries’ views. For example, Hobbes, Descartes, Robert Boyle and other natural philosophers of the 17th century conceived of matter as naturally inert, capable of moving only when moved by some external force. In their view, the motions of this matter are governed by various deterministic laws of nature .. the corporeal world is fundamentally law-governed and predictable… For Cavendish, Nature is one fully continuous, infinite entity, composed of three intermixed types, or ‘degrees’ of matter. Two of these – the ‘rational’ matter and the ‘sensitive’ matter – are intrinsically self-moving, which Cavendish claims entails that they are also perceptive and knowing. The third type, ‘dull’ matter, lacks self-motion; it moves only because it is blended with self-moving matter. The three degrees of matter are completely intermixed, so that every part of Nature, no matter how small, will contain all three types of matter.”

Books Early modern history Women's history

Notes from A Day At Home in Early Modern England: Material Culture and Domestic Life 1500-1700

p 76 “The house in Stratford-upon-Avon where Tomas Hicox lived with his wife, Elizabeth, in 1611 epitomises the most striking trend in town … Here, cooking took place in the hall, and the buttery was for messier domestic tasks requiring more space. Elizabeth’s working morning might have begun at the ‘newe building’ at the back of their reasonably well-appointed house in Henley Street.. where firewood was stored for the kiln (for malt-making) and there was an ‘utinge vate’ for soaking barley for malt. From here she might have gone to the buttery, but rather than finding pewter or other items for serving food there she would have found the large open vessels for washing and brewing and some spinning-wheels in addition to her frying pan. She would have to take the pan into the hall, where her other pots and posnets (small metal cooking pots), kettles and dabnets (cooking utensils) were kept, around the only source of heat in the house. Here she could prepare a meal, using perhaps the Martinmas beed and the six flitches (sides) of bacon, smoking above the fire in preparation for winter.”

p. 78-9 “From the second half of the 18th century and through the 17th century, the variety of cooking and dining vessels increased as ranges of high-quality vehicles intended for cooking, serving and storage were produced by English potteries … types of object that had always been available to the elite in metal, and were now manufacturer in pottery for the first time, such as posset pots and large flanged dishes. The main innovations were in decorative wares, and the most rapid specialisation was in smaller cooking vessels, such as pipkins and skillets, or chafing dishes, which gave a gentle heat suitable for delicate dishes, and permitted cooking without lighting a main fire. All show a rapid process of specialisation that marks this period out as unique… distinctions of social practice could be made with new goods.

p.84 “Harvest failures were a feature of the 1590s and the first half of the 17th century was characterised by ‘sharp shocks of cereal shortages’ ‘that came cyclically, every seven years or so … had two other important knock-on effects on the production of meals: the consumption of many more vegetables, and the preservation of foodstuffs for much longer periods of time… Richard Gardiner, a burgess and dryer of Shrewsbury, who wrote Profitable instructions for the manuring, sowing, and planting of kitchin gardens. Very profitable for the commonwealth and grealy for the helpe and comfort of poore people, published in London in 1599. Addressing his fellow townspeople, Gardiner expresses his hope that the ‘vaine, fruitless and superfluous things may be taken out of good Gardens and sundry good commodities, to pleasure the poor planted therein’ – the commendatory poem lists these as carrots, cabbages, parnsips, turnips, lettuce, beans, onions, cucumbers, artichokes and radish, along with herbs…. This kind of extra growing space was crucial to provide food security and to develop the palate for savoury items that was emerging across the period. … meat and fish had always been preserved, new and improved techniques were being extended to fruit and vegetables.”

p 143 “Any early modern account book reveals a complementary pragmatic attention paid to locks and keys .. John Hayne, who kept a book detailing his household expenses and some elements of his business as an Exeter cloth merchant … when he began to make improvements to his new accommodation … an immediate priority was to regulate the movement between spaces … for the outside, he paid for two iron bays and stays to the courtilage (or courtyard) door and the ‘pack door’ (perhaps the door through which packs entered and left the premises) and a spring catch to the latch on the fore door (the door to the street). Inside, he paid for a new lock and key to the chamber door and for mending its patch, for a lock and key to the parlour chamber, and for a Dutch lock and key and two hasps for the great press there, presumably with his valuables in it. Finally, he paid to mend the lock of the closet… His servants were apparently able to move freely between commercial and shared domestic spaces.”

p. 154 “From the 1580s onwards, nests or frames of boxes began to appear in inventories… highly literate men had a professional need for such items of furniture, but the inventories such the developing textual elements of business transactions obliged some merchants and traders to think in the same terms … also apparently retained, in smaller numbers, admittedly, by wives carring on their husband’s business in some form or another… Joan Crisp of Sandwich, landlady to the various occupants of the house next door to the Three Kings, for instance, kept a nest of boxes in the chamber over her parlour.”

p. 159 “In Warwick in 1604, for example, around 20 different trades were being pursued in the town, but a petition of 1694, following a significant fire, listed nearly 50 different occupations, and they are ones that show the influence of the gentry tastes that sustained them: watchmaker, stationer, bookseller, confectioner, smiths, a clockmaker and a mimner”

p’ 159 “Joan Thirsk, in her pioneering book on import substitutes, has shown how locally manufacturer objects before Elizabeth’s reign were of a quality suitable only to serve local needs, so that more discerning customers looked abroad for domestic goods. By the end of the 17th century … the projects that had become established local industries included many key domestic manufeatures such as cooking pots, frying pans, knives, nails, pins, glass bottles, earthern pots and copperwares. Studying the imports of drinking-glasses into London, Godfrey argues that, after 1630 – the moment at which he says drinking-glasses became common in middling-status inventories – ‘English-made glass supplied the market entirely.’”

p. 173-4 “Boarding out was often part of the lifecycle of the middling identity, in which, first as an apprentice or a schoolboy, later in retirement or semi-retirement, a man might live in the houses of others. Giles Pooley, a London wholesaler, for example, ‘ broke up howse keeping’ in April 1653 and went to live with a business associate, Robert Carter, paying £20 a year for food and lodging and £8 for clothes. His daughter, his apprentice and his horses were also boarded out in different places across the city. John Gerrard of the parish of St Helen in Worcester, gentleman, 58 years old, states in his deposition about a will-making that at his wife’s decease he gave all his goods to his daughter so that he now lives only by his pen. Living in part of a house was also common for female relatives after the death of the head of the household.”

p. 175 “The silence and darkness of a space recently deserted [the shop] as activity moves towards the kitchen and parlour gives opportunity for those wishinhg to be alone.. [Burlingham, Worcestershire] “a smith’s shop hear the churchyard. Hulett, “drawing neare unto the sayd shop heard a great bustlinge and puffing and bloweinge” of a couple .. one of whom was Treble’s servant. John junior suggests the permeability of the space to sound by adding what Hulett heard next: ‘when the plaintiff had done what he could he asked her how shee liked it and [she] answeared ‘well yenoughe’.” [[Hardly a ringing endorsement!]]

p. 193 “small purchases of good form a kind of recreation – a series of what we would see as ‘snacks’ bought and consumed with friends… the majority of these purchases are of preserved fruit and confectionary: the most significant categories are figs and raisins, followed by comfits, cakes and marchpane… Cocks may well have bought these foods from street vendors, and the dried fruit from local grocers, whom we know he patronised for other goods, or purchased them from the inns whence the wine came. Their high sugar content suggests an expansion into leisure activities of the sweetness of middling meals.”

Books Early modern history Feminism Women's history

Notes from Women and the Pamphlet Culture of Revolutionary England 1640-1660 by Marcus Nevitt

p. 36 Katherine Chidley desired “to develop a much more finely nuanced view of the reciprocal dynamics of pamphlet controversy than Edwards and other polemicists of the period: she eschews the annihilative rhetoric and rhetorical dead ends of textualized violence. Thus her own texts do not feature as ‘gloves’ thrown scornfully in the face of an implacable opponent, but betray, as will be shown, a pacifistically dialogical perception of the pamphlet form and the agency involved in early modern pamphlet exchange. Thus in entitling her response to Antapologia as A New Yeares Gift .. To Mr Thomas Edwards; That he may breake off his old sins in the old yeare, and begin the New yeare, with new fruits of Love, she binds herself not to a masculinist rhetorical system of incisive printed assertion and its counter, but to a very different series of reciprocal obligations, as inherent in gift exchange…

p. 37 “inevitably going to be perceived as disruptive and transgressive. However, the sheer violence of the responses from the likes of Woodward and Goodwin, men who were, relatively speaking, her religious allies, requires further explanation. … some women could write controversial religious literature in this period that was met (at least initially) with praise rather than opprobrium. However, the prophetic modes of writing by women like Anna Trapnel, Elizabeth Poole or Mary Cary afford them protection which is denied Chidley because of her generic choices … Chidley writes animadversion… an extremely common form of pamphlet writing which proceeds through the absorption, reconfiguration and rebutal of other printed texts and images.”

p. 41 “her inclusive manipulation of animadversion’s and humanism’s first principles (that truth must be attained through dialogue) actually has its roots in a pro-toleration position which was daringly egalitarian and sought to uphold the fundamental democratic rights of virtually all citizens and believers irrespective of wealth and social status … While Chidley was as virulently anti-Catholic as the next 17th-century puritan, she was, nonetheless, relatively unusual in her persistent assertion that: “Jews and Anabaptists may have a toleration also”.

p. 45 “Agency for Chidley, as it was indeed for Trapnel, is thus fundamentally dependent on a willingness to stress the presence of others in the creative process. Her animadversions open up the confines of the genre by downplaying the importance of the individual, combative author-hero in favour of a complex exploration of the multiple agencies required to make pamphlet dialogue and (as importantly) religious toleration work.”

p. 59 “Women’s weeping has become a symptom of, as well as an appropriate reaction to, the current crisis… 17th-century parliamentarians and republicans were not slow to notice that women formed an integral part of the royalist symbolic economy at the time of the regicide, and they were quick to accord them a passive status in their own political world. Alongside republican masculinism, many male-authored, non-royalist pamphlets discuss the nature of the trial and execution of Charles in terms whereby anti-monarchism and antifeminism appear to be almost synonymous. Thus, according to Milton, those who mourned the death of the king were not only the ‘blockish vulger’ of ‘the Common sort’, but were also predominately female. Hence he draws parallels with the Iliad’s ‘captive women’ who ‘bewailed the death of Patroclus in outward show’ but were actually grieving for their own enslaved condition.”

p. 93 “Elizabeth Alkin, or ‘Parliament Joan’ as she was frequently labelled by male contemporaries, is one woman who significantly problematizes the prevalent notion of an all-male civil war news press. … p. 1010 “in the climactic year of 1649, at about the same time as Elizabeth Poole was making her appearances before the General Council of the Army, Alkin .. became a book trade informant, searching out unlicensed or seditious presses for the authorities. In July of that year, A Perfect Diurnall, makes reference to ‘one Jone (a clamerous woman) whose husband was hang’d at Oxford for a spire, & she sometimes employed in finding out the presses of scandalous pamphlets’.

p. 105 “between 21 June 1650 and 30 September 1651 Alkin involved herself in the publication of ten issues of different newsbooks.”

p. 121 “On the Sunday morning of 17 July 1652 at a chapel in Whitehall not far from the tavern which was the scene for Anna Trapnel’s The Cry of a Stone, Oliver Cromwell’s chaplain, Peter Sterry, ascended the pulpit to begin his weekly sermon before a congregation packed with dignitaries, soldiers and statesmen. .. I saw at one end of the Chappell a great disturbance among the people … in the midst of a crowd a Woman … continually withholds the unspeakable horror, the ‘monstrousness’ of a solitary, semi-naked ‘mad’ woman in a chapel full of armed guards. The newsbooks of the following week were quick to recycle the incident … all other newsbook accounts corroborate the woman’s nudity but flesh it out with various other details . A Perfect Account therefor informed its readers not only that a woman ‘stripped herself quite out of her cloathes in Church’ but also that she ‘cried out, Resurrection I am ready for thee’ and was accordingly ‘committed to custody’. The woman’s direct speech and the authorities ‘examination and exemplary punishment’ of her are also recorded in .. The Faithful Scout, and Mercurius Britannicus confirms the woman’s words but concludes its coverage of the event with a lamentation of the fact that the woman escaped ‘without any known Mulct [punishment]” … a London-based Scottish writing master called David Brown.. outraged at the possibility that the incident might have gone unpunished, penned a scurrilous pamphlet inveighing against the actions of the woman and any who might be inclined to sympathize or support her … the only further clues that the pamphlet provides as to the woman’s identity is the single statement that she is ‘a bold woman of about 30 years old, sober in her speech.”



Books Early modern history History

From “Religious Refugees in the Early Modern World” by Nicholas Terpstra

p. 140-142 Al-Hasan Ibn Muhammad al-Wazan al-Fasi (c. 1494-1554)
“He was born in Granada shortly after the Spanish conquest, and by some accounts his mother was a Jewish convert to Islam. The family soon joined the diaspora that saw many thousands of Granadan Muslims cross to North Africa. They relocated to Fez, where an uncle served in the sultan’s court. His uncle’s influence secured a university education and a place in court for al-Hasan al-Wazan and when barely a teenager he travelled with the uncle on diplomatic missions into the Maghreb to Timbuktu. At 21 he went on his own to the Ottoman court in Istanbul. He witnessed the Ottoman conquest of Mamluk Egypt in 1517 and travelled further into Egypt in 1517, and into Arabia before returning home in 1518. He never arrived. Catholic corsair pirates working with the crusading order of St John out of the island of Rhodes seized the ship and imprisoned the passengers. When they realised that the 24-year-old boy was a university-educated diplomat from a prominent Moorish family they bundled him off to Rome where, after a short stay in the papal prison of Castel San Angelo he was presented to Pope Leo X… In 1520 al-Hazan al-Wazan converted to Catholicism and was baptized by Pope Leo X himself with the Latin name of Joannes Leo de Medici; most people in Rome referred to him simply as Giovanni Leone… he was a potential intelligence asset at a time when the pope feared the Ottomans would attack Italy from their new territories along the North African coast … He translated the epistles of St Paul into Arabic, in 1521, although his later writings and actions make it clear that his ‘conversion’ was a strategic and not a spiritual act. …It also set the stage for his most famous work, The Description of Africa, whose popularity led many to call him ‘Leo Africanus’. … {he] wrote this after a few years travelling around Italy during which he lived with a family of Jewish Iberian exiles in Bologna and wrote some other works on Arabic medicine and grammar … Al-Hasan al-Wazan disappeared just before some of Charles V’s unpaid and restless Germany mercenaries sacked Rome in 1527 … he most likely returned to Tunis and Islam. He may have journeyed to Fez, although there is no record of him in either place, or anywhere else for that matter. He seems not to have realised his oft-stated goal of writing an account of Europe for Muslims.”

p. 147 “Elizabeth Dirks was a Frisian girl sent to a convent by her noble family. Hearing of the execution of a local Anabaptist, she began studying the Latin New Testament and was drawn to radicalism. A year in convent prison failed to shake her convictions, and she fled disguised as a milkmaid, taking shelter with an Anabaptist family. She worked and taught with Menno Smons, and may have been the first Mennonite deaconess; those who captured her in January 1549 took her to be Menno’s wife. The arrest launched months of investigation. As reported in The Bloody Theater or Martyr’s Mirror (1660) Elizabeth parried firmly and intelligently with her interrogators, and their exchanges show a woman with a sure grasp of scripture ad doctrine, calmly confident, firmly pacifist, and not in the least intimidated by their power and authority. … they turned to torture in order to get the names of her accomplices,… but she never betrayed her faith or fellow believers. After two months she was executed in the fashion that some authorities reserved for these radicals, like Elizabeth, who had been rebaptized; she was sewn alive into a sack and thrown into the river – the so-called third baptism of drowning.”