Posts Tagged ‘Ella Quinn’

High Perched Phaeton
As I mentioned in the last post, both ladies and gentlemen drove sporting carriages. The one thing sporting vehicles all had in common was that they were driven by the lady or gentleman, not by a coachman. Therefore, a lady did not require a groom or other chaperone.
Sporting carriages were divided into two groups, those that were typically driven in the country and those usually driven in Town. We’ll discuss Town carriages first.
The most fashionable, and hardest to drive properly, was the high-perched phaeton. It had no convertible top like many of the other carriages had. The frame was light and hung over two large wheels in the back and two smaller wheels in the front. The distance to the floor of the carriage could easily be five feet. The carriage could be driven by one horse, but if one wished to be known as a “notable whip”, one drove the carriage with a pair. High-perched phaetons were notorious for being easy to tip over, especially when rounding corners.
#RegencyTrivia #Historical #ReadaRegency #RegencyRomance

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During the Regency, the age of majority was one and twenty years old. The only exception was for a reigning monarch. In the case of a king or queen, the age of majority was eighteen. Women who were widowed before they reached the age of twenty-one were considered emancipated.

Why is this important? If one had reached their majority, he or she no longer needed parental permission to wed. Although, families had a great deal of influence whether or not the person was a minor. Still if on decided to marry against the wishes of one’s family, there was no need to fly to Gretna Green to wed. One could marry legally by special or regular license.

Unfortunately, this had no bearing at all on any funds in trust.

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Whether a lady could set up her own household depended upon a number of factors. It also depended on whether she wanted to maintain her friends and be received by Polite Society. Whether she had enough money that anyone would care was certainly an issue, as was age, and which members of her family were still living. I think that by the age of five and thirty, a lady could manage to set up her own household. But again, it depended on the factors involved and she would have to be extremely careful.

The basic rule was that ladies of marriageable age with sufficient wealth did not live separately from her family. This was for her protection (to keep her from being abducted and forced to marry or held for ransom) and to keep her reputation intact. Also, society did not want to encourage women to be independent.

If her parents or grandparents were still alive, there is no way society would accept her living separately from her family.

But let’s say you have a lady who wanted to set up her own household) after her parents and grandparents died), and she did care about what people thought. First, she would have to have an older companion. A lady with enough standing, and gravitas to appear as if she was in control of the younger lady, such as a widowed or spinster aunt. The lady would be required to have a complete household of servants from butler, housekeeper, and lady’s maid to maids and footmen. She’d also better not have anyone in her immediate family complaining about her not living with them. Unless, of course, everyone knew how impossible that person was.

Other women a lady could live with was a sister. Two famous spinster sisters of the Regency era are Mary and Agnes Berry.

Another way a lady could gain some form of independence, if she had sufficient funds, was to continuously visit other family members. She would still have to have an older companion and enough servants to keep her safe.

Lynne Connolly posted an interesting article on the Ladies of Langollen about two 18th century ladies that wanted to live together in an intellectual friendship. Lynne made the point that one of them was almost committed. For a while they were cast out of society, their families refused to see them, however, they eventually became “fashionable.” https://wellcomecollection.org/articles/the-ladies-of-llangollen/

Here is a link to the book. https://www.amazon.com/Ladies-Llangollen-study-Romantic-Friendship-ebook/dp/B005CPHSXA/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=


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On my list of questions, is who were the famous designers of the Regency.

This will most likely come as a shock to you, but the fashionable designers during the Regency were devoted to clothing for gentlemen, not ladies. Gentlemen cared a great deal about their clothing.

A fashionably dressed gentleman patronized Weston, Stultz, Meyer, and Nugee for suits, Schweitzer & Davidson for coats, and Hobby for boots. I have read that it was immediately who made a man’s clothing by the cut and fit of the garments.

Stultz also made riding habits for ladies. Even ladies living out of London would send their old habits to him as a pattern for a new one.

#RegencyTrivia #HistoricalRomance #RegencyRomance

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Clothes Closets.

This is mostly for the North Americans in the group. Clothes closets are a 20th century invention. During the Regency, and, indeed, in many places in Europe (Germany for example) still don’t have clothes closets. The reason for that is many countries tax houses and apartments (flats) by room. Therefore, it was seen as an unnecessary expense to have a small closet just for clothing. So what was and is used. Wardrobes continue to exist today. During the Regency they also used clothes presses, that were had shelves and drawers.

Here is a lovely three door wardrobe.

Here is an example of a clothes press.

#RegencyTrivia #HistoricalRomance #RegencyRomance

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Clothing Hangers.

Although, Thomas Jefferson was said to have created the first clothing hanger, it didn’t catch on. Neither did later attempts at clothing hangers: In 1809, Albert Trou created a wooden frame padded the cotton and covered with wool for Napoleon Bonaparte. Around 1835, the Brontë sisters had wood and wire hangers made by a local carpenter. In 1840, Stanley Fry, a confectioner, designed a set of wire and wood silk covered hangers that were presented to Queen Victoria when she married. All of these hangers (I was unable to find pictures) were made to hang from wooden pegs.

But it wasn’t until 1869 that O.A. North of Connecticut, USA patented a wire coat hanger.

So what would our Regency ladies and gentlemen have used? Pegs or hooks for hanging clothing. What wasn’t hung was laid flat and stored. More work for lady’s maids and valets.

This is a photo of the first patented coat hanger.

#RegencyTrivia #HistoricalRomance #RegencyRomance

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Modern day scones. Before the invention of baking powder in the mid-19th century, scones (pronounced to rhyme with gone or tone depending on where you lived) were a yeast bread made with oats, fashioned into a large flat, plate like shape and cooked on a griddle. They were then cut into triangles for serving. There is a great deal of debate as to whether they were first invented in Scotland or Northern England.  Nevertheless, unless one lived in northern England, it is unlikely that scones were consumed by the haut ton during the Regency.

Before the development of baking powder, sour milk was frequent used as a leavening with mixed results. It didn’t have the ability to hold the bubbles in the bread long enough for it to bake. Other variants were sold as leavening, but nothing actually worked on a consistent basis. It wasn’t until 1843, when English chemist and food manufacturer Alfred Bird invented baking powder that enabled the sponge to rise higher in cakes that the modern scone, and, indeed, all quick breads, were able to be made. The sponge Bird originally made was named Victoria sponge.

Baking powder is another invention that didn’t cross the water. It wasn’t until the 1860’s that it was developed in Germany, and a few years later it was again invented in the US.

#RegencyTrivia #HistoricalRomance #RegencyRomance




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The next few posts will be on things that didn’t exist during the Regency and some things I forgot.

Doorknobs that turned did not exist during the Regency. It was not until June 8, 1878 that American Osbourn Dorsey filed the patent for a turning doorknob, called a Door-Holding Device. That did not mean there were no non-moving round door knobs, they as well as lever and oval shapes in all sorts of materials were very popular.










Here are some latches.

Before then locks and keys were used to secure a room. By the Regency, one could use a latch to keep a door closed. The only catch was that locks were expensive.



So, what did one use if one couldn’t afford a lock and key? A latch-string. That worked by making a small hole in the door, running a string, or leather piece through the whole to a wooden bar. When on pulled on the string, the door opened. At night, the string would be pulled inside.

Here is a video showing how one works. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cz7bbZfvS8M

As you might have guessed, I’m a little obsessed by details. When I lived in England we owned a house that had started bring built in the late 15th century. It even had carved wooden beam that we’d been told were original to the house. The previous owner decorated the poor house in the Victoria style, even going so far as to cut off the bullnose bottom step so that her carpet would fit. I took every room of the house back to it’s original period. That required a lot of research. Two books that were of enormous help were Period Details, and More Period Details by Judith Miller.

#RegencyTrivia #HistoricalRomance #RegencyRegency

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House parties were Polite Society’s entertaining themselves when not in Town for a Season. They were usually held in the summer and winter. They could be as short or long as the hostess wished. Although, a house party would probably not be shorter than a week or two if only because people had to travel, sometimes great distances, to get there.

Only the imagination limited what kind of house party it would be. There were hunting parties, parties where a mother or guardian would not wish a young lady to attend, house parties to which young ladies and eligible gentlemen were invited. There would almost always be an equal number of ladies and gentlemen. A single gentleman could only give a house party (or any entertainment) of gently bred mixed company (as opposed to a more ribald party of mixed company) if he had a hostess. The hostess could be his mother, sister, sister-in-law, aunt, grandmother, etc.

Arrangements would have to be made for the servants who accompanied the guests. They would vary in number but would most likely include, coachman, groom, outriders, valet and/or lady’s maid. Children in the schoolroom or nursery were not invited unless the lady hosting the party had children and wanted to make a point of getting them together. For example, a family gathering.

The hostess would arrange entertainment for her guests. Some of what could be offered depended on the season or what features the estate had to offer. Options included, rowing, fishing, shooting, archery, visits to historical sites, riding, visiting the nearest town or village, card and other games and a lot I’ve forgotten. For entertainments such as a ball or dances, the hostess would most likely invite any of the surrounding gentry or aristocrats.

House parties were known for people sneaking around during the night to someone else’s bedchamber. A mother of a young lady would have to be very vigilant.


#RegencyTrivia #Regency #HistoricalRomance #RegencyRomance

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There were several options for the education of boys. Some attended public schools such as Eton, Harrow, or Rugby, some were sent to a small school for boys, some were educated by the local clergyman, and others (many of them heirs to a title, but not all by any means) were educated at home by a tutor. A tutor took over from a governess when a boy was about 8 years of age and would be responsible for the child’s education until the boy was deemed educated enough or through the preparation for university examination. It’s important to note that a university education was not considered as necessary to a male’s education as it is now.

Tutors were always male and university educated. Many of them had studied to be clergymen. They would be well versed in Greek, Latin, French, German, and possibly Italian, higher maths, history, politics, geography, literature, philosophy, and religion.

Tutors were generally well-paid and respected.

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