By Eleanor Hubbard
City Women is a massive new research of the lives of normal girls in 16th- and seventeenth-century London. Drawing on millions of pages of Londoners' depositions for the consistory courtroom, it specializes in the demanding situations that preoccupied London girls as they strove for survival and preferment within the burgeoning city. Balancing new demographic facts with brilliant case reviews, Eleanor Hubbard explores the benefits and hazards that the town needed to supply, from women's first arrival in London as migrant maidservants, during the vicissitudes of marriage, widowhood, and outdated age.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, ahead of 1640 the city's precise demographic conditions supplied strange scope for marital development, and either maids and widows have been quickly to exploit this. equally, moments of chance emerged whilst the robust sexual anxieties that linked women's speech and mobility with free behaviour got here into clash with much more strong anxieties concerning the monetary balance of families and groups. As neighbours and magistrates sought to reconcile their competing priorities in circumstances of illegitimate being pregnant, marital disputes, operating other halves, remarrying widows, and extra, ladies have been in a position to make the most the ensuing uncertainty to pursue their very own ends. by way of paying shut consciousness to the aspirations and preoccupations of London girls themselves, their day-by-day struggles, small triumphs, and family tragedies, City Women presents a precious new point of view at the value and complexity of women's roles within the starting to be capital, and at the pragmatic nature of early glossy English society as an entire.
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Extra resources for City Women: Money, Sex, and the Social Order in Early Modern London
8. Hampshire, Sussex, Isle of Wight. D thesis, Cambridge (1978), 158–67. 7 Some of the difference may result from the exclusion of sailors from apprenticeship rolls: since sailors often came from ports like Bristol and Newcastle, the apprenticeship data for those regions is not representative of the male migrant population of London. See Peter Earle, A City Full of People: Men and Women of London, 1650–1750 (London, 1994), 75–6. 8 Members of the French and Dutch Churches in London solved their neighborhood disputes internally rather than go to the Anglican consistory court.
They had little neighborhood credit. When Magdalen Morton cursed Mary Paine as they were leaving church, accusing her of having caused Magdalen’s husband’s death, the neighbors ‘willed [Mary Paine] not to be dismayed’, explaining that no one would believe Magdalen’s accusation because she ‘was an evil liver and kept many wenches in her house under the pretence of getting them services, and suffered them to be incontinent in her house and was for gain consenting to their incontinence and that she kept a bawdy house’.
In 1572, ‘Mr Mortimer having put a wench of a friend of his to [Elizabeth Aldeworth] to dwell, and understanding she did use the said wench very evil and did beat her about the shoulders with a ladle till she was both black and blue . . ’ Sometimes public rebukes over beatings developed into wider quarrels.
City Women: Money, Sex, and the Social Order in Early Modern London by Eleanor Hubbard