More from Madeleine Pelling
Selling a Duchess in Eighteenth-Century Whitehall
In 1786, the bon ton flocked to Privy Gardens in Whitehall to attend a vast auction of curiosities, art works and antiquities owned by the deceased Duchess of Portland
Sir Ashton Lever’s Lost Museum
In the eighteenth century, Leicester House was transformed to a since-lost museum. Among its curiosities was a stuffed Hippopotamus and objects brought to Britain by the colonist Captain James Cook.
Discovering Historical Graffiti at the Tower of London
In 1791, workmen at the Tower of London discovered extensive historical graffiti left by prisoners – including the ill-fated Lady Jane Grey – centuries earlier.
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Agnes Wellis: When you kiss someone one time and they think you’re getting married.
If you were sure you had married someone but they didn’t agree, the London consistory court was the place to be. Here, ecclesiastical judges heard contested marriage cases. Disgruntled non-couple couples brought all kinds of evidence: gifts, exchanges of vows, sexual relationships. But for one woman, denying marriage was as simple as admitting that they had made out a couple of times but she had never intended to marry him.
Shannon McSheffrey, Marriage, Sex, and Civic Culture in Late Medieval London (Philadelphia, 2006)