Category Archives: History

Distance and Strangeness: the murder of Anne Spencer

I sometimes feel like I’ve spent the last three years trying to figure out my place within history. I still feel like there’s probably a huge mountain of scholarship that I’ve completely missed, but in general I’m starting to work out … Continue reading

Posted in Black Country, Everyday Life, History, Maps, PhD, Sources, Space, Staffordshire, Wolverhampton | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Telling family stories

As part of my research I will inevitably have to tell you some family histories. I say have to – it’s a vital, fascinating and relevant part of my research. But have you ever had someone try to tell you their … Continue reading

Posted in Black Country, History, Irish, Maps, Migration, PhD, Sources, Wolverhampton | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Clay miles: Henry Doulton in the Black Country

On the North Worcestershire Path, not far from Iverley, there is a broken water pipe lying to one side of the track. It’s a bit forlorn, but clearly a very nice thing: it’s glazed, and the makers have taken the trouble … Continue reading

Posted in Birmingham, Black Country, Canal, History, industry, Public Health | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

That particular articulation of social relations which we are at the moment naming as… Doulton Brook

A break from the Irish this week. I’ve been mostly reading Doreen Massey this week – if you’re not familiar with her she’s an urban geographer of major importance, who died earlier in the year (2016 striking again). She was … Continue reading

Posted in Black Country, History, Housing, Space, Stourbridge | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Black Country Irish: Willenhall

The rule of thumb with any sort of migration, especially when looking at the industrial era, is the larger the town, the greater the gravitation pull. Thus, London drew from all over the country, Birmingham pulls mostly from the Midlands counties, and … Continue reading

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Legitimate concerns?

There’s been a lot said in the last few days about migrants – how they should be listed and categorised, how people’s “legitimate concerns” over influxes of labour should be heard, how funding should be changed so we don’t have … Continue reading

Posted in History, Irish, Migration, Wolverhampton | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Coming over here, taking our jobs…

Crowds of miserable Irish darken all our towns. The wild Milesian features, looking false ingenuity, restlessness, unreason, misery and mockery, salute you on all highways and byways… He is the sorest evil this  country has to strive with. So wrote the great crusading reformer … Continue reading

Posted in History, Irish, Politics, Representation | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Touring ’bout my generations: a photo-essay

One of the best bits about a holiday is the journey home. We had a few very happy days in the Lake District last week, camping amidst glorious mountainous scenery, allowing our Patterdale terrier Maude to get overexcited by sheep, … Continue reading

Posted in History, lancashire, Landscape, Picture, Talking bout my generations | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The good death of Lawrence Britcliffe: reflective microhistory

This is a summary of the last five posts on the life and death of Lawrence Britcliffe of Cliviger, Lancashire. You can read about the sources and inspiration for these posts here; about Lawrence’s birth, life and religious trials here; … Continue reading

Posted in History, Talking bout my generations | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

The good death of Lawrence Britcliffe, part two: Lawrence

This is the second in a series about the fall of a long-distanct ancestor of mine, Lawrence Britcliffe. The first part, outlining how we know what we know about him, is here. Old and new religion It’s Boxing Day, 1701, … Continue reading

Posted in History, lancashire, Talking bout my generations | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments