Books Should Be Free is now
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

Fragments of Two Centuries Glimpses of Country Life when George III. was King   By:

Book cover

First Page:

[Frontispiece: King George III.]

FRAGMENTS OF TWO CENTURIES.

GLIMPSES OF COUNTRY LIFE

WHEN

GEORGE III. WAS KING.

ILLUSTRATED.

WITH AN APPENDIX SHOWING THE RISE AND FALL OF THE RURAL POPULATION IN 45 PARISHES IN THE ROYSTON DISTRICT, IN HERTS., CAMBS., AND ESSEX, FROM 1801 TO 1891.

BY

ALFRED KINGSTON.

ROYSTON: WARREN BROTHERS.

1893.

PREFACE.

Though the town of Royston is frequently mentioned in the following pages, it was no part of my task to deal with the general historical associations of the place, with its interesting background of Court life under James I. These belong strictly to local history, and the references to the town and neighbourhood of Royston simply arise from the accidental association with the district of the materials which have come most readily to my hand in glancing back at the life of rural England in the time of the Georges. Indeed, it may be claimed, I think, that although, by reason of being drawn chiefly from local sources, these "Fragments" have received a local habitation and a name, yet they refer to a state of things which was common to all the neighbouring counties, and for the most part, may be taken to stand for the whole of rural England at the time. For the rest, these glimpses of our old country life are now submitted to the indulgent consideration of the reader, who will, I hope, take a lenient view of any shortcomings in the manner of presenting them.

There remains for me only the pleasing duty of acknowledging many instances of courteous assistance received, without which it would have been impossible to have carried out my task. To the proprietors of the Cambridge Chronicle and the Hertsfordshire Mercury for access to the files of those old established papers; to the authorities of the Cambridge University Library; to the Rev. J. G. Hale, rector of Therfield, and the Rev. F. L. Fisher, vicar of Barkway, for access to their interesting old parish papers; to Mr. H. J. Thurnall for access to interesting MS. reminiscences by the late Mr. Henry Thurnall; to the Rev. J. Harrison, vicar of Royston; to Mr. Thos. Shell and Mr. James Smith, for access to Royston parish papers to all of these and to others my warmest thanks are due. All the many persons who have kindly furnished me with personal recollections it would be impossible here to name, but mention must be made of Mr. Henry Fordham, Mr. Hale Wortham, Mr. Frederick N. Fordham, and especially of the late Mr. James Richardson and Mr. James Jacklin, whose interesting chats over bygone times are now very pleasant recollections.

A.K.

CONTENTS.

CHAPTER I. PAGE

Introduction. "The Good Old Times" . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

CHAPTER II.

Getting on Wheels. Old Coaches, Roads and Highwaymen. The Romance of the Road . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

CHAPTER III.

Social and Public Life. Wrestling and Cock Fighting. An Eighteenth Century Debating Club . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

CHAPTER IV.

The Parochial Parliament and the Old Poor Law . . . . . . . 32

CHAPTER V.

Dogberry "On Duty" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47

CHAPTER VI.

The Dark Night of the Eighteenth Century. The Shadow of Napoleon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56

CHAPTER VII.

Domestic Life and the Tax Gatherer. The Doctor and the Body Snatcher . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73

CHAPTER VIII.

Old Pains and Penalties. From the Stocks to the Gallows . . 83

CHAPTER IX.

Old Manners and Customs. Soldiers, Elections and Voters. "Statties," Magic and Spells . . . . . . . . . . . 92

CHAPTER X.

Trade, Agriculture and Market Ordinaries . . . . . . . . . . 103

CHAPTER XI.

Royston in 1800 25. Its Surroundings, its Streets, and its People . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110

CHAPTER XII.

Public Worship and Education. Morals and Music ... Continue reading book >>




eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book



Popular Genres
More Genres
Languages
Paid Books