Tag: United Kingdom

17
Apr

Attingham Family Tales, Sophia Dubochet and the 2nd Lord Berwick   By Jane Lark

Jane Lark, whose most recent Regency romance is The Passionate Love of a Rake, was released this past November. Today, Jane tells us about her visit to the grand estate of Attingham, which was the home of Lord Berwick and his young wife, the former courtesan, Sophia Dubochet, in the early years of the nineteenth century. Fortunately, this elegant house is now the property of the National Trust, and is open to visitors. Once you have read Jane’s tale of its history, you may want to see it for yourself.

7
Jan

Lord Nelson’s Pitiable Wife by Cheryl Bolen

In today’s article, award-winning Regency romance author, Cheryl Bolen, whose newest book, Love in the Library, will be released this month, tells us about a woman nearly forgotten by history, the wife of the great naval hero, Admiral Lord Nelson. Even those who have studied the Regency and its denizens for years may have overlooked this unhappy woman who was Nelson’s legal wife. Though Nelson was killed at the Battle of Trafalgar before the Regency began, Lady Nelson survived not only her husband and his infamous mistress, but the Prince Regent as well.

31
Dec

TBM Forum:   Working on the Web Round-Up

This month’s Working on the Web section of the Beau Monde forum features an article which will be of great interest to those researching British history. A web site which is a rich treasure trove of resources on various aspects of the history of the British Isles is reviewed this month. Authors of historical novels set in any period of English history, including the Regency, will certainly want to book mark this site for regular research visits.

This will be the final Working on the Web round-up post at the Beau Monde blog. Beginning in January 2014, posts to the Working on the Web forum will no longer be on a monthly basis, eliminating the need of a round-up post. However, there will still be intermittent posts to that forum for the benefit of our members.

If you are not yet a Beau Monde member, and would like to join us, please visit our Membership page for details.

7
Dec

Where are the Cairngorms?

A cross-post from The Regency Redingote:

Over the years, I have read many Regency novels set in Scotland, or which included Scottish characters. And yet, I have not found any mention of cairngorms in the pages of those novels, despite the fact that they are the very rock of Scotland itself. What happened to the cairngorms?

The stony story of the cairngorms of Scotland …

23
Nov

When Carpets Answered Ceilings

A cross-post from The Regency Redingote:

Though it is seldom, if ever, done today, there was a time when grand rooms in fine homes were designed so that the carpet on the floor mirrored the design painted or carved on the ceiling. This practice had begun in Europe by the mid-seventeenth century, but it reached its peak in England in the late eighteenth century. However, the practice did continue during the Regency, which is, of course, why it finds mention here.

The whys and hows of matching ceilings and carpets …

19
Nov

Cube and Double Cube Rooms:   Harmonics and Agreeables

A cross-post from The Regency Redingote:

How many of us would notice the proportions of any room we might walk into today? Even if the room shouted out its dimensions as we crossed the threshold? If it did, would we care? Yet, many people in the Regency, especially those among the beau monde, would have been well-aware of the proportions of a certain type of room, typically found only in the grand town houses and the great houses on country estates.

The axioms and arithmetic of cube rooms …

16
Sep

Lost in the Regency Mail by Susanna Ives

Today, Susanna Ives, author of Rakes and Radishes, shares the research she did on the British mail delivery system while writing that book. She includes excerpts from several historical works on the subject, as well as some from books published during the period known as the "long Regency." Do you need to know the price of postage for a letter delivered within the British Isles? Or, is you fictional missive to be sent abroad for delivery in a foreign land? Susanna provides postage tables in her article for convenient reference. In her article, you will also find details on which coaches served which cities and the business hours of the London Post Office, among other details of the British postal system.

10
May

Public Spectacles, Amusements, and Objects Deserving Notice, May by Regina Scott

What did our Regency ancestors do in the month of May? Today, Regina Scott, Regency romance author, and Beau Monde Chapter past president, tells us about some of the various activities which took place during the month of May in Regency England. Not all of them may have been the type of activities to which the ton flocked, but there seems little doubt they amused a great many people across Britain during the merry month of May.

6
May

Jane Austen Experience by Jane Lark

A couple of years ago, author Jane Lark and her husband travelled to Warwickshire to visit Stoneleigh Abbey. This lovely country manor was the home of the Leigh family from the 1560s through 1990. The Leigh family were cousins of the Austen family and during Jane Austen’s lifetime, she spent time at this lovely estate. In today’s article, Jane Lark shares her perceptions of the house and the various ways in which it is connected to the works of Jane Austen.

3
May

Dandy Chargers Ride — The 2013 Season

A cross-post from The Regency Redingote:

One of my favorite signs of Spring is the arrival in my email box of the Dandy Chargers annual schedule of appearances. For those of you who may not know, the Dandy Chargers are a group of gentlemen, and ladies, in Britain, who are aficionados of that particularly Regency vehicle, the velocipede. Readers of the works of Georgette Heyer may also know this vehicle as the pedestrian curricle which wreaked such havoc in her novel Frederica. These two-wheeled, pedal-less vehicles were also known as hobby-horses, draisiennes, or dandy-horses, and were very popular for a short period during the Regency.

Each year, the Dandy Chargers make appearances through the spring and summer at various venues across Britain, in full Regency costume, riding their hobby-horses. For those of you who live in Britain, or will be spending time there during the next few months, I offer the 2013 schedule of the Dandy Chargers appearances for your perusal and edification.

4
Apr

Mutant Regency Squirrels!

A cross-post from The Regency Redingote:

Or not?      Mostly, not.

This past weekend, I read the fourth or fifth Regency novel in the last few years in which a scratching or rustling noise intrudes upon a clandestine meeting or stealthy activity in which the hero and heroine are engaged. The sounds come from the ground, in the dark of night, and in each case this disturbance is ascribed to squirrels.    Impossible!

The facts about squirrels in Regency England …

25
Mar

The Last Revolution in England: The Pentrich Rebellion of 1817 by Regan Walker

Pentrich Rebellion memorialOn June 9, 1817, a group of village men from Pentrich in Derbyshire rose up in rebellion against the Crown. It was dubbed “the Last Revolution in England,” though it might have more accurately been called a government-inspired provocation to action, designed to justify repression. Why did the villages engage in such a futile action and what happened to them?

After the war with France ended in 1814, England suffered from great social, economic and political problems. Many of the major issues were the direct result of the war, but others were the necessary product of the changes occurring throughout society, some of which had begun earlier. Some had occurred in the few years before with the imposition of the Corn Laws that kept food prices high and the very bad weather that destroyed crops. And machines were replacing workers. The discontent that these occurrences brought, and the distress in the lives of the working people, culminated in the series of events that occurred between 1811-1819, including the Pentrich Rebellion in 1817.

The uprising of the common people in the Midlands in 1817 was just what the leaders of the British government needed to justify sending a strong signal to the masses that no rebellion, such as occurred in France, would be tolerated in England. The hundreds of villagers who rose up with the pikes and crude weapons (though a few had pistols) to march to Nottingham (with view toward reaching London) were ignorant of the true facts—that the government itself had stirred their rebellion. In truth, they fought “against the wind,” wherefrom I took the title for my Regency romance that features this little known event in England’s history.

Derbyshire Derbyshire

The year 1817 began with a rally held in London in January, perhaps inspired by the Hampden Clubs, political clubs that advocated the vote for all men. The mood of the masses was rebellious and ended with stones thrown at the Prince Regent’s carriage as he left Parliament. While the Prince wasn’t harmed, with memories of the French Revolution still vivid in their minds, and the political clubs becoming more and more popular, especially in the Midlands and the North, the House of Lords adopted a spate of laws designed to control the stirrings of rebellion. The government suspended Habeas Corpus, and passed the infamous Gagging Acts. All public meetings were forbidden, except under license from local magistrates. Pubs and coffee houses, as especially notorious places for radical gatherings, were covered by the Acts, as were all public places. Sedition, that is to say opposition to the government, whether by speech or written word, was severely punished.

Of special concern to the authorities were the political writings of William Cobbett and his journal the Political Register. Cobbett wrote in a conversational style, and as most workers could not read, crowds would gather in meeting places to hear public readings of the radical newspapers.

In March, there was a protest by thousands of depressed Manchester workers. With a view to descending on London to petition the Prince Regent to do something to relieve their economic depression, they marched peacefully carrying blankets to sleep in. Thus, it became known as the March of the Blanketeers. It rained violently on the day the march began. As five hundred of the men marched towards Derby, they found the Hanging Bridge over the River Dove at Ashbourne occupied by masses of troops who were expecting an army of 30,000 rebels. Most of the Blanketeers were turned away, but twenty-five were arrested. Only a few got to Derby and only one marcher reached London to present his petition. However, the Manchester expression of discontent served to keep alive the government’s fear of revolution.

15th Regiment King Hussar 1812 15th Regiment King Hussar 1812

Concerned about the growing unrest, Lord Sidmouth, the Home Secretary sent spies throughout England, including the Midlands, to keep watch on the centers of discontent. Since these spies were informers paid by results, they quickly became agents provocateur, stirring rebellion where there was none so they would be paid. Among the spies was one William Richards, better known as William Oliver, or “Oliver the spy,” who incited open rebellion in the Midlands.

Oliver traveled to Pentrich in Derbyshire, disguised as a depressed worker (he had previously been in Fleet Prison), and encouraged the villagers to armed rebellion. He assured them there were thousands in London ready to join them in rising against the Crown. The villagers, in their ignorance, believed him. They were simple men who thought they were joining a great cause for democracy where every man would have a vote. They would soon learn they were wrong. At the same time that Oliver was making arrangements with the villagers for an armed march to air their discontent, he informed the local militia of the planned uprising, even giving them the date. Because of Oliver’s lies, the hundreds who marched on that rainy night in June had no idea they stood not a chance of accomplishing their objective. When the dawn came, the men faced a regiment of the King’s Own Dragoons and were soon scattered or captured.

Years after the events, in a letter written in 1831, Lord Melbourne, a former Home Secretary, recalled that there was “much reason to suspect that the rising in Derbyshire…was stimulated, if not produced, by the artifices of Oliver, a spy employed by the Government of that day.”

Jeremiah Brandreth Jeremiah Brandreth

Notwithstanding the circumstances of the uprising and the involvement of the British government, the powers in London decided to make an example of the rebels. Forty-five men were tried for high treason by Special Commission. Three were hanged, including Jeremiah Brandreth, Isaac Ludlam and William Turner, the “ringleaders”—all characters in my novel. Fourteen were sentenced to transportation to Australia.

In examining the causes for the uprising in the Midlands, one cannot discount that the people had been through much hardship, and by 1817, were hungry and tired of laws and taxes imposed by a nobility that had little understanding of their needs. We, who enjoy democracy, might say their desire to rise against such hardship was not unreasonable. The motive of the government, of course, was to crush the yearnings for democracy and the vote that were so strong among the common people, and to prevent a revolution like the one that occurred in France.

Article contributed by Regan Walker, http://www.reganwalkerauthor.com.

10
Mar

The Great Love Story of Llangollen   By Susanna Ives

On a recent trip to the British Isles, Susanna Ives, Regency romance author, had the good fortune to travel to Wales. While there, she took her landlord’s recommendation to visit Llangollen, the home of a pair of quite eccentric ladies during the Regency. Today’s article is the post she filed from Wales after her tour.

20
Feb

The Pantiles or Where the Duke Slipped ……..   By Michele Ann Young

Today, in the follow-up post to her article on Royal Tunbridge Wells, Regency romance author, Michele Ann Young, aka Ann Lethbridge, shares her knowledge of Pantiles, a unique feature of that spa town. If you have never been to Royal Tunbridge Wells, you may be quite unaware of the existence of this historic item with multiple royal connections. Here is your chance to learn all about them.

17
Feb

Royal Tunbridge Wells   By Michele Ann Young

Today’s article is by Michele Ann Young, aka Ann Lethbridge, Regency romance author and one-time resident of the famous spa town of Royal Tunbridge Wells. More recently, she spent some time there on a research trip and provides us with a series of questions and answers regarding the history of this charming town in western Kent. She also explains why the town should never be called "Royal" in any stories set there during the Regency.

And so, the answers to your questions about Tunbridge Wells …

26
Nov

The Two Wives of George IV   By Cheryl Bolen

During the so-called "Delicate Investigation," Caroline, Princess of Wales, was asked if she had ever committed adultery after she had come to England and married George, Prince of Wales. She replied that indeed she had, but only with the husband of Mrs. Fitzherbert. In today’s article, Cheryl Bolen provides the salient details of the curious relationship between the Prince Regent and his pair of wives.

13
Oct

"Marriage Lines" really are lines!

A cross-post from The Regency Redingote:

The phrase "marriage lines" is listed in the entry for marriage in the Oxford English Dictionary Online (paid subscription required). The phrase is characterized as a colloquial term for a marriage certificate, expecially that held by a bride. The first documented use of this phrase in print was in The Times on 25 March 1818.

As "marriage lines" is considered a colloquialism, it is not surprising that it is not found in written or printed form until 1818. In fact, it is a mark of its pervasiveness in the language by this time that it did find its way into print. A colloquialism is, by definition, an expression which is not typically used in formal speech or writing. But it is a common part of informal speech, the daily conversation of regular people. So, it is clear that "marriage lines" was used in daily speech by ordinary people for many years before its first appearance in The Times in 1818.

"Marriage lines" is also an idiom, as it seems quite clear it is peculiar to the English speakers of the British Isles. There is no evidence this phrase was commonly used by the populations of any of the countries of the European Continent, or even in America or Canada, except by native British speakers.

So what is the origin of this charming expression for a marriage certificate? And why were the "marriage lines" so important to the women who possessed them?

10
Oct

Courting and Marriage in the Regency   by Cheryl Bolen

Are you planning a big wedding scene in your next Regency novel, the bride in a brand-new white wedding gown and veil, a flock of bridesmaids in matching gowns, and a church-ful of guests throwing rose petals as the happy couple leaves the church? You may want to re-think all of that after you read the article Cheryl Bolen has for us today.

How couples really courted and married in Regency days …

7
Oct

God in Regency England ~ by Regan Walker

My purpose in writing this article is to supply Regency authors with a deeper understanding of what was in the heart of the men and women living at that time and how their view of God affected their lives. I begin with the century before this period and the time following the slim slice of history that was the Regency in order to understand the sweeping changes that occurred in the 18th and 19th centuries that bracket the Regency.

The full article, including a list sources and articles and books of interest, is available to Beau Monde members at the TBM File Library, which is part of the myRWA site. (Member login is required.)

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