Words of advice for husbands – from 19th century letters

Married couples often wrote letters to one another while physically apart; reasons for travel were often catalysed by the desire to see family and friends, or travelling for business (often the men in these two denominations). Letters, while limiting and restrictive in copious ways, offer us a small glimpse into the experience, ruminations, and expectations... Continue Reading →

A quick primer on 19th century romance: a tale of two perseverant bachelors

A quick primer on early 19th century romance through the example of two bachelors. Both stubborn, passionate, and persevering towards the objects of their affection. However, one seemed to garner greater success in his relationships than the other. What sets them apart? First, an introduction: Mr C The first, a Congregationalist minister seeks a bride... Continue Reading →

Members of Old Dissent: an introduction

In the 18th and 19th centuries 'Old Dissent' was a term used to describe those congregations who had roots in the 16th and 17th centuries. The following summaries below offers a brief introduction, as a prerequisite to further posts which will incorporate the family/gender dispositions of each group. Congregationalists The eldest members of English 'Old... Continue Reading →

The Roots of our Family-Centred Christmas

  Introduction Although the celebration of Christmas goes back to the Roman times, the current traditions implemented in celebrating this season were largely developed during the Victorian era. During this period, Christmas transitioned from community-centric to family-centric. Previously, Christmas was seen as a celebration between households within the community; in the 19th century its focus... Continue Reading →

What was Strict Communion? (Baptist History)

Up until the mid-19th century Baptist circles, communion was largely only practiced by church members. The prerequisite for church membership, besides publicly sharing their testimony to the satisfaction of incumbent members, was to be baptized by immersion. Therefore, while they were in many ways close to their Congregationalist brothers and sisters, they differed on one... Continue Reading →

Unhappy Marriage in the 18th Century 

In the mid-18th century, a tragic tale of arranged marriage was told - a couple whose marriage was arranged by economic agreement ended tumultuously in misery, adultery, and ultimately - death. Earl Squanderfield, a man with a respectable title, but no fortune – as indicated by his name- tries to remedy this financially dour situation for his... Continue Reading →

Women and novel-reading

Although the value of ‘reading for pleasure' has become part and parcel of contemporary reading culture, this highly proselytized past-time, to children and adults alike, was not always considered so salient. In fact, in the late 18th and 19th centuries - as the novel proliferated - numerous people and groups sought to repress these rising... Continue Reading →

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