Hard Times

Life around these parts was not without its difficulties in times gone by.

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    Following on from my last article about illegitimacy, this piece looks at three cases of illegitimacy within the same family; mother, daughter and granddaughter. Each has a different conclusion.  In the case of the granddaughter, we question how mothers of newborn babies were treated, when they were obviously struggling with what we would see today […]

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    In the course of my research into the servants at Calke Abbey, I have come across numerous cases of illegitimacy. I’m sure we all know about the shame and stigma which was attached to single mothers in Victorian times and beyond, but it wasn’t always the case. Prior to a New Poor Law introduced in […]

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    In 1857 in the early hours of Monday 12th January, on a cold, clear moonlit night, the quiet and peaceful atmosphere of the fields between Calke and Smisby was broken by the shouts, screams and thuds of a fight between about 12 poachers and 7 gamekeepers. Poaching was an almost normal part of rural life […]

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