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Monday, 28 March 2016

Women's work in the Middle Ages

In Saxon Times life for women was hard, rough and usually short. Upper class Saxon women had considerable freedom. Saxon women were allowed to own and inherit property and to make contracts. However most Saxon women had to work hard spinning and weaving, preparing food and drink and performing other tasks.

In the Middle Ages women spun wool and they did cooking and cleaning. Women washed clothes, baked bread, milked cows, fed animals, brewed beer and collected firewood! In the Middle Ages it was not unusual for middle class women to run their own businesses. In England the mystic Margery Kempe ran a brewery and later a horse mill, using horses to grind corn.

Some women became nuns but they too had to work hard. At least they did if they were from poor families. Class distinctions still applied in nunneries. Nuns from rich families were given the easiest work such as spinning wool and embroidery. www.localhistories.org/middle 

Friday, 25 March 2016

History of Easter

The name Easter comes from the Anglo-Saxon name for April, Eostermunath. It means the month of beginnings. In the early years of Christianity there was a dispute over the date of Easter. In 325 the Nicean Council decided it should be on the first Sunday after the full moon after the Spring Equinox. That is why the date of Easter changes each year.
Friday is the day of the week when Jesus was crucified. It is called Good Friday because good meant holy. On that day we eat hot cross buns. The origins of hot cross buns are obscure but in pagan times people baked buns and offered them to the gods. Cross buns with the cross representing the cross of Jesus were first mentioned in the 18th century. In the early 19th century people sold hot cross buns in the street from stalls and so they became known as 'hot' cross buns.


Thursday, 24 March 2016

Ancient Egyptian Women

In Ancient Egypt women had a great deal of freedom. They could come and go as they pleased. They could own property and they could sign contracts. However most women worked in the home. There was a great deal of work to do as most homes were largely self-sufficient. The woman made the families clothes and prepared food such as grinding grain to flour to make bread. In a rich family the woman was kept busy organizing the slaves.

The Egyptians had a goddess of reading and writing called Seshat.

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Roman women's jobs

Roman women were allowed to own and inherit property and some ran businesses. (In the New Testament there is a woman named Lydia who sold purple cloth). In certain trades some women helped their husbands, especially in luxury trades like perfumery. Furthermore some women were priestesses or worked as midwives or hairdressers.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Womens jobs in the 16th century

In 1562 a law, the Statute of Artificers, made it illegal to employ a man or a woman in a trade unless they had served a 7 year apprenticeship. However in the case of women the law was often not enforced. Very often the guilds (who regulated trade) let male members employ their wives or daughters in their workshops. Furthermore if a craftsman died his widow often carried on his trade.

In the 16th century some women worked spinning cloth. Women were also tailors, milliners, dyers, shoemakers and embroiderers. There were also washerwomen.
Some women worked in food preparation such as brewers, bakers or confectioners. Women also sold foodstuffs in the streets. Furthermore a very common job for women in the 16th century was domestic servant. Other women were midwives.

However most women were housewives and they were kept very busy. Most men could not run a farm or a business without their wife's help.

Monday, 21 March 2016

Women in the Ancient World


Women's work in the 19th century

In early 19th century Britain working conditions were often appalling but parliament passed laws to protect women and children. In 1842 a law banned women and boys under 10 from working underground. Then in 1847 a Factory Act said that women and children could only work 10 hours a day in textile factories. In 1867 the law was extended to all factories. (A factory was defined as a place where more than 50 people were employed in a manufacturing process). An act of 1878 said women in any factories could not work more than 56 hours a week.
Meanwhile in the 19th century being a domestic servant was a common job for women.

In 1874 the first successful typewriter went on sale and the telephone was invented in 1876. These two new inventions meant more job opportunities for women. In the late 19th century new technology created more jobs for women. Ultimately technological and economic change transformed the lives of women.
In Britain the first woman to qualify as a dentist was Lilian Lindsay in 1895. The first woman to qualify as an architect in Britain was Ethel Charles in 1898.

Two famous women of the 19th century were Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole. They reformed nursing. In the early 19th century Elizabeth Fry did much to reform prisons.

There were also many famous women writers in the 19th century. Among them were Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters, Elizabeth Gaskell and George Eliot (Mary Anne Evans).

Friday, 18 March 2016

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

International Women's Day

 For International Women's Day here is my video about famous women in history https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=grmTVzb5PCc

Queen Anne

On 8 March 1702 Queen Anne became queen of England and Wales, Scotland and Ireland. She was the first woman to rule Britain.

Saturday, 5 March 2016

Friday, 4 March 2016

Lifeboats

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution was founded 4 march 1824. Thank you Lionel Lukin, the man who invented the lifeboat in 1785. www.localhistories.org/transport