Cowkeepers essays: 18thC newspaper cuttings

Some of the newspaper and journal articles I found during my research are a bit too long or wordy to include in the main body of my essay. So I have made them into separate drill-down pages, and introduced some punctuation in my transcript so you don't get too breathless. Any comments are in [blue italics]. Please click any of the links on the left to get back to the essay.

Here is a selection of advertisements and stories from the 18thC newspapers of the Burney Collection - nothing to do with cowkeepers but too good to miss. Here you will find an irritated husband, 5% off frocks, the whipping of an athiest, a runaway, preventive treatment recommended before marriage, an evening's robberies, a horse ride to St Albans, an amorous bricklayer, a kind lady, a horse race, deaths in the week, transportation sentences, a drowned man, storm damage, a job ad, a racy lecture for gentlemen only, a pipe of port, an abortionist and baby-farmer, and a turnpike dispute. I have put a similar collection about cowkeepers in Living in Style.

Daily Courant Thursday April 27th 1704

Don't trust my wife

"Whereas Letticia the Wife of Thomas Atkins of Covent-Garden in the County of Middlesex, Engraver, lately Eloped and went away from her Husband: The said Thomas Atkins doth hereby give notice, That no Person or Persons lend her any Money or give her Trust or Credit for any manner of Goods, Wares or Merchandizes whatever; And doth hereby give further Notice, That he will not pay for or discharge any Goods by her so taken up, or Debts contracted by here, or on her account."

Post Boy Saturday June 21st 1712

I'm still in business!

"GOWNS for Men and Women are still continued to be sold by the same Person who first took the Warehouse (above Baker’s Coffee-House, in Exchange-Ally) and is not remov’d, as is falsely and maliciously published in the News-Papers, where fresh Parcels of choice Gowns of all sorts are daily made up, brought in, and expos’d to Sale, where also Caps, Sashes, and quilted Petticoats, are sold; all which Goods will be sold at low Rates, they really being Goods bought of Persons that fail’d. The Price is set on each Gown. Whoever buys 3 Gowns shall have 5 per Cent allow’d."

Saturday’s Post Saturday March 8th 1718

Whipped for blasphemy

"Yesterday Morning about Eight, Burridge, the Atheist, convicted on Monday last at the Sessions at Hick’s Hall, of Blasphemy, pursuant to his Sentence, was whipt by the Common Hangman from the new Church in the Strand to Charing-cross."

Mist’s Weekly Journal Saturday 10th February 1728

When a girl only had one dress she was easy to find

"Whereas Mary Eades went away from her Master Mr Bonner, Basket-maker, in New-street, Horslydown, Southwark, the 2nd of this Instant Feb, she is round Visag’d, fair Hair, a Scar on her Right Hand, having on a Caliman-doc Gown red and white, with a Stripe of black, a Quilted Petticoat bound with Blue. This is to desire any Person that lights of her, to bring her to her Father Mr John Eades, Butcher, living in the aforesaid Place, or to Mr Bonner aforesaid, shall be very well rewarded, and their Charges paid. NB If the Girl will return to her Father, she will be kindly received."

I later found the death notice for someone whom I think is the same Mr Eades - you will find it in one of the other Ephemera links in the Introduction.

Before marriage, a thoughtful man will...

Daily Journal Saturday April 5th 1729 - a half-column advertisement on the efficacy of mercury in curing venereal disease and how the arrival here of a local practitioner means it is no longer necessary to travel to Montpellier in France to receive the treatment from

"M Chicoyneau, Chancellor of that University, and other Professors of Physick there ... it has become a common Practice in France, particularly in the Southern Parts of it, for all young Gentlemen who have meddled with common Women, tho’ they never receiv’d any visible Damage, to prevent ill Consequences from any latent Poison that may possibly lie undiscover’d in the Body, always to undergo this Operation just before they marry."

Highway robberies

Fog’s Weekly Journal Saturday September 20th 1729

"Robberies. Mr Wright, a Turner in Picadilly, knock’d down and robb’d in Lincolns-inn-Fields. The Northampton Coach robb’d between North Mims and Colney. Two Journeymen one belonging to the Kings Coachmaker, and the other to the Kings Harness maker, attack’d by 3 Highway-men in Vizards, near Deptford, and robb’d of about 9 Guineas. A Gentleman and his Wife attack’d in Stretton Grounds, Westminster, by 4 Fellows; but She screaming they all made off; one of ‘em was secured whose Name is Joseph Taylor. A Tradesman in Whyte Fryars knock’d down in Hanging-Sword-Alley, and robb’d by a Chimney-Sweeper and 3 Women. A Man knock’d down in Shoe-Lane, and robb’d of his Watch. A Snuff-Box-Maker robb’d the lower End of Grays Inn, of his Snuff-Box and 5s in Money. The Henly Stage Coach robb’d on Langley Broom, a little beyond Colebrook, by a Highwayman without Boots, tho’ very Dirty."

A wild horse ride

St James’s Evening Post Saturday March 31st 1733

"On Saturday Morning, Mr Rhodes, a great Cow-keeper in Gray’s-Inn-Lane, rode his Mare from Gray’s-Inn-Lane Turnpike, to St Alban’s, and back again, for a considerable Wager which with the Betts amounted to near £200. He was allowed three Hours to do it in, but performed it in ten Minutes and a Second less that the Time." [The AA says that the one-way distance is 23 miles and driving time 46 minutes]

A determined suitor

General Evening Post Saturday February 8th 1735

"On Sunday Night last, about 9 o’clock, a Bricklayer, who had work’d some time at Mrs Burton’s a Cow-keeper at Hoxton, attempted to break in at the Top of the House; but the Rafters being narrow, he stuck in the Middle, and could get neither forward or backward, till he was discovered by the Maid, who was going with her Mistress to Bed. He was carried before Justice Chandler the same Night and the Account he gave was that he only intended to lie with the Maid."

Grub Street Journal Thursday May 8th 1735

"Yesterday morning a lady of quality, accompanied by a maid servant went to different jails in this city, and discharged 12 prisoners, for debts not exceeding £30 each."

The cow-keeper's racehorse

London Evening Post Saturday August 14th 1736

"Yesterday five Horses started on the new Course at Highgate, for the £5 Plate, which was won with Ease by Mr Miller the Cow-keeper’s Grey Horse."

London Daily Post 10th July 1739

The lady who served as a soldier

"Last Saturday died at Chelsea, Mrs Christian Davis, in the 59th Year of her Age; in Queen Anne’s War with France she inlisted herself in a Regiment of Dragoons, and served several Campaigns in Flanders, with great Bravery ; but unhappily receiving a Wound in her Body by a Musquet Ball, her Sex was discovered ; and for her Bravery in the said Wars, was allowed the Pension of Chelsea-College, and was well respected by several Persons of Distinction, and General Officers ; and last Night, according to her Desire, her Corpse was interred in the Burial Ground belonging to Chelsea College, and three grand Vollies fired over her Grave."

Deaths this week

General Evening Post Thursday 1st November 1739

"Births and Burials this Week: [cause of death:] Aged: 48; Consumption: 102; Convulsion: 162; Dropsy [mostly connected with heart or kidney failure]: 21; Fever: 44; Small-pox: 38; Stillborn: 14; Teeth: 31; Tissick[consumption]: 8. Christened: Males: 182, Females 166; Buried: Males 250; Females: 290; Increased in the Burials this Week: 28"

The trouble with transportation was that although you were transported at His Majesty's pleasure, you had to make your own way back and of course many people could not.

London Chronicle Thursday 13th January 1763 - drastic sentences were imposed for what we would think of as minor thefts and Transportation was a common one.

"Yesterday at the Old Bailey Sessions, ... Nine were cast for transportation, viz:

"And six were acquitted."

A charge on the parish

Lloyd’s Evening Post Wednesday 7th March 1764 - I have come across this problem before, where residents were unwilling to take a body out of any stream when the water was a parish boundary, since the burial might become an expense on their parish rather than of that on the other bank!

"Yesterday afternoon a man was seen to throw himself from a bank into the water collected in a gravel-pit in a field near Stepney and, before assistance came, was drowned. When the people were got together, no one would attempt to get him out, under a mistaken notion that they must be at the expence of his burial ; till a woman, more resolute than the rest, procured a cloaths-fork, into which she drove a nail, and soon dragged him out. He was decently dressed in a brown coat, black waistcoat, breeches and stockings, and a surtout coat, but had no money in his pockets. He had laid his hat on the bank before he jumped in."

Broadstairs disaster

Public Advertiser Wednesday 26th October 1768 - A half-column appeal for £2,000 from the citizens of Broadstairs for

"Ninety Families of industrious People, chiefly employed in the Iceland Cod Fishery, for funds to rebuild the timber and earth Harbour wall normally maintained by the local people but recently much damaged by the storm of January 1767, which has rendered it useless and the fisherman who will [otherwise] of necessity disperse, to the Ruin of the Place, and of many honest useful Families."

Smallpox-free work environment?

Daily Advertiser Thursday 3rd August 1775

"WANTED a strong healthy Boy as an Apprentice to a Timber-Yard and Sawyer, on reasonable terms, must have had the Small Pox. Enquire for W J at the Red Lion, in Charles-street, Long-Acre, from Ten to One."

A lad's night out?

London Courant Friday 7th September 1781 - and for men only, it says

"TEMPLE OF HEALTH AND OF HYMEN, PALL MALL At the earnest desire of many of the Nobility and Gentry, who were disappointed of hearing the LECTURE by the croudedness of the Rooms the last week of the Exhibition, the celebrated Lecture to Gentlemen alone, will be repeated, this and every evening exactly at Nine-o’clock. The TEMPLE will be opened again this evening, with music and grand illuminations; and Dr GRAHAM will deliver a lecture on the Art of exalting, and rendering permanent, the Joys of the Marriage Bed ; - producing a numerous, healthy, and beautiful Offspring ; and preserving, even to good old age, that sound vigour, that full-toned virility, which speaks so cordially and so effectually home to the female heart. The whole will be interspersed with reflections moral and philosophical and with precepts for the preservation and exaltation of personal beauty and loveliness. Admittance at night, Five shillings; In the day, Half-a-Crown." [I wondered about the lower price for daytime admission, since the lecture did not start until 9pm, then I remembered noticing earlier adverts, where theatres advertised that servants being sent to hold seats should be in place by 5pm.]

A hogshead of claret

Morning Post Thursday 5th September 1793

"Messrs PITT and DUNDAS are gone to Walmer Castle, attended by Mr LONG. There was only a pipe of Port provided for the excursion, as they do not intend to sojourn there longer than a week." [I investigated - a pipe of port contained 550 litres = 120 Imperial gallons = 968 pints!]

In December 1795 “Mr Pitt” imposed an import duty of £20 per pipe on Port Wine. In June 1796 he increased the duty by a further £20. The newspaper reporter points out that the 50,000 pipes imported “since December last, is infinitely greater than the annual consumption” and was solely the result of the export price falling by £5 per pipe due to an abundant vintage. In 1796 the market price for a pipe of Red Port was £50-60. A hogshead of claret would contain 46 Imperial gallons but a hogshead of port would contain 57 gallons.

A 'morning after' pill? and discrete service if it doesn't work

Oracle Monday 26th May 1794 - in which Mr and Mrs White advertise their Salo Pills - which sound like a 'morning after' pill to me. If the Salo Pill didn't work they would arrange for the resulting baby to be put out to a baby farm - but probably not with anyone as kind as Little Buttercup.

"PREGNANT LADIES, WHOSE situation require a temporary Retirement, may be accommodated with APARTMENTS to LIE-IN, agreeably to their circumstances, and depend on being treated with honour, attention, and secresy; their Infants put out to Nurse and humanely taken care of, by applying to Mr WHITE, Surgeon and man-Midwife, or Mrs WHITE, Midwife, at No 2 in London-house-yard, the North side of St Paul’s Church-yard. Where may be had The Restorative Salo Pills, at £1 2s per Box ; an effectual remedy to remove all obstructions or irregularities. Also, Mr White’s Address to the Community, respecting concealed Pregnancy, well worth the attention of Pregnant in every situation of life, price 1s."

Turnpike toll exception

Public Advertiser Monday 22nd February 1796

HARRISON V BRUFF: This was an action brought by the Plaintiff, a Cow-keeper, in Gray’s Inn-lane, against the Renter of the Turnpike at Battle-Bridge, in order to determine whether, under the Turnpike Act, he has a right to send a man on horseback, toll free, to fetch up his cattle from the fields. It seems that he has long claimed and exercised that privilege, under the exception contained in the Act, but the Renter of the Turnpike has lately thought proper to dispute it, and accordingly stopped the man and pounded the horse. Two witnesses having proved that the man was bona fide going on that service, a verdict was given for the Plaintiff, subject to the opinion of the Court on the point of law. Damages ten shillings, to cover the three halfpence toll and eight and sixpence paid to take the horse out of the pound.

Copyright © Marion Hearfield 2009/12