September 4, 2016

Mewing like cats

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:55 pm by historywardrobe

A fascinating insight into early 19thc life. A big help as I research clothes & crime in the Georgian era


The Infirmary, Great Yarmouth Gaol

May 1837

The Gaoler catches the two young women leaning out of the infirmary window, flirting with the men in the airing yard below. They jump down hastily when he shouts their names.[1]

It’s three weeks since Elizabeth Humphrey complained of being sick and was dispatched to the infirmary room, with Sarah Rands to keep her company. They are enjoying their ruse, with the luxury of sugar to sweeten their tea and oatmeal, and a rush candle to light at night when they sing and tell each other stories in its warm glow. They have been palls since Sarah arrived in January, joining Elizabeth, nearly six months into her sentence.[2]

2 women EH and SC Detail from Mrs Fry Reading to the Prisoners at Newgate, 1816 Jerry Barrett (1863), Courtesy British Museum

Now Elizabeth Humphrey, aged nineteen, says she is in the family way. The matron, wife…

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