Author Archives: Sharon Howard

Five Reasons for Historians to Learn R

In which I do some cheerleading for the R Project for Statistical Computing. 1. You’re almost certain to find it worth the effort Often, in the endless “should academics learn to code” debate, it’s not clear to newcomers what you … Continue reading

Posted in Digital History, Resources | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Defendants’ voices and silences in the Old Bailey courtroom, 1781-1880

This is a version of the paper I gave at the Digital Panopticon launch conference at Liverpool in September 2017. In the interests of fostering reproducible research in the humanities, I’ve put all the data and R code underlying this … Continue reading

Posted in Academic Work, Crime/Law, Digital History, Digital Panopticon, Old Bailey Online | Leave a comment

Settlement and Removal: Poor Relief and Exclusion in 18th-century London

From the Act for the Relief of the Poor of 1662, or so-called “Settlement Act” onwards, various pieces of 17th- and 18th- century legislation formally codified entitlement to parochial poor relief by “settlement“. The main ways of gaining a settlement … Continue reading

Posted in Early Modern, London Lives Paupers, Plebeian Lives, Women/Gender | 1 Comment

Women’s History Month 2017: Afterthoughts

To wrap up this month, this post is just a few notes – half-formed thoughts, not ‘conclusions’ – on some recurring themes that struck me as I was writing and researching posts (and shaped some of my choices as the … Continue reading

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Women Petitioners: Belinda Sutton, an ex-slave in Massachusetts

In February 1783, Belinda Sutton petitioned the Massachusetts General Court for a pension from the estate of Isaac Royall Jr, her late master. (In this petition she names herself simply ‘Belinda, an Affrican’, but in later documents she gave the … Continue reading

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Women Petitioners: London Servants

I’m going to round off WHM2017 with a couple of posts indulging my current interests in petitions. Today I have two petitions from the London Lives Petitions Project: both are from working women who petitioned London magistrates for help after … Continue reading

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The Journey of Sarah Knight (1666-1727)

In October 1704, Sarah Knight left her home town of Boston, MA, for a five-month journey on horseback to New York, which she recorded in a travel diary which is memorable for its descriptions of the perils and people she … Continue reading

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Mary Saxby (1738-1801), an 18th-century vagrant and memoirist

Mary Saxby’s Memoirs of a Female Vagrant was published posthumously, with the twin goals of raising some money for impoverished relatives and ‘prompting the active beneficence of the present age, to regard the wandering classes of the poor, with that attention … Continue reading

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