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Sorry I missed yesterday. I had a deadline.

Seals have been used on documents and letters for over a thousand years. They were used not only to seal letters, but as signatures on documents. There were two kinds of early seals, the engraved images of coats of arms that we’re used to seeing, but some were also portraits of an individual. Some seals were rings and fobs worn by a person and others, used mostly by governments, were stamps. Personal seals were often representative of the status of a person. Signet rings have been used since at least the 6th Century.

330px-Byzantine_-_Signet_Ring_-_Walters_572104_-_View_A

As you might suppose, the original users of seals were monarchs and bishops, however, by the 13th Century ordinary freemen used seals. Some seals were made of wood, but if the owner could afford it, the seal would be made of metal.

330px-NLW_Penrice_and_Margam_Deeds_2046_(Front)_(8634691430)

For a lot more detail on seals I refer you to the UK National Archives. http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/help-with-your-research/research-guides/seals/

Fob seal

#RegencyTrivia #HistoricalRomance #ReadaRegency

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Your letter has been written, sanded, and now you need to send it off. But during the Regency there are no envelops. They are an 1845 invention. So you had to know how to properly fold a letter before sending it. The illustration below takes you through the steps.

Regency letter folding

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Last time we looked at actually writing the letter. So what did one do before sending the missive? The next step was sanding the letter. This was done by using “pounce”, a sand made from dried and ground cuttlefish bones. Pounce was sprinkled lightly over the paper to dry the ink. Once the ink was dried (about 10 seconds), the remaining pounce was poured back into the container.

Here are some examples of pounce pots. The first image is to give you an idea of the scale of a pounce pot. As you can see, they were quite small and could be as simple or elaborate as one wished.

Pounce pot 2

Pounce potPounce pot owl

#RegencyTrivia #HistoricalRomance #ReadaRegency #Regency

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Hackney Coaches.

If one had to get around Town and couldn’t afford to either keep a town coach or hire one for the Season, hackney coaches (or cabs) were the answer.

Hackney’s had been around since the early 17th century and an owner had to be licenses to operate the coach.

Almost all hackney started out as private town coaches that had been purchased used. They were generally pulled by a pair of horses. Many hackney owners had three horses so that they could be rotated, and so that the owner had a spare horse in the event one horse was injured or died.

By the early 19th century there were over 1000 hackney coaches operating in the London area.

By the mid-1830’s the Handsome cab was invented and began replacing the older hackney coaches.

Much has been made in modern romances of the lack of cleanliness in Hackneys. I am going to hazard a guess that the condition of the coach depended upon which part of London the owner was operating.

If you want to know more, here is an interesting article on hackneys. http://www.georgianindex.net/transportationLondon/Hackney_Coach.html

The first image is of a hackney. The second is a Handsome cab.

Hackney carriage 1

Handsome coach

#RegencyTrivia #Historical #HistoricalRomance #ReadaRegency

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Regency Trivia – Coaches
 
Traveling Coaches
 
Of all the privately owned coaches and carriages these were the largest. Bear in mind that every coach was bespoke. There are accounts of traveling coaches having seats that made in to beds, built in shelves and tables, hidden compartments, holders for hot bricks in the floor, and storage under the seats, just to name a few amenities.
 
A traveling coach was driven by a coachman and would have been powered by a team of four or six horses. If the owner made frequent trips to the same places, they’d post horses along the route in order to ensure they wouldn’t be held up waiting for replacements.
 
The body of the coach was large and enclosed. Glass windows were generally set in the doors and sides of the coach and covered with either leather or cloth shades or curtains. Velvet was a common covering for the benches and cushions, although, leather was also used.
 
Ladies or the most ranking person was seated in the forward facing seat. Gentlemen or lesser ranking persons sat in the backward facing seat. An unmarried lady could not ride alone in a coach with a gentleman who wasn’t either her guardian or a close (brother, father, uncle, grandfather) relative without courting ruin. However, a betrothed lady could ride in one alone with her betrothed for very short distances.
 
If the owner was a peer or a widow of a peer, a crest would be drawn out on the side panels, generally in gold.
Some of these photos are from coaches that were slightly later than the Regency, but the’ll give you and idea.
 
Traveling coach Duke of Northumberland
Traveling coach
coach bed
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I have a cover and a release date (29 February) for Believe in Me!! And it’s on pre-order

Marriage has worked out quite nicely for her older sisters, yet Lady Augusta Vivers is certain it would end her studies in languages and geography, and stop her from travelling. But when her mother thwarts her plan to attend the only university in Europe that accepts women—in Italy—she is forced to agree to one London Season. Spending her time at parties proves an empty diversion—until she encounters the well-traveled Lord Phineas Carter-Wood. Still, Europe awaits . . .

Phineas has studied architecture all over the world, yet Augusta is his most intriguing discovery yet. How can he resist a woman who loves maps and far-off lands? But her longing for all things foreign hinders any hope of courtship. When he learns her cousins have offered a trip to Europe, he secretly arranges to join their party. For he is determined to show Augusta that a real union is a thrilling adventure of its own. And when their journey is beset by dangerous obstacles, he gets far more opportunity than he bargained for . . .

#ReadaRegency #HistoricalRomance #Regency

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Sporting carriages were all the rage during the Regency. Both ladies and gentlemen drove curricles, gigs, and high-perched phaetons.
 
Driving clubs were quite popular and, of course, the domain of men. The first club was the Bensington Driving Club established in 1807.
 
The most famous of all driving clubs was the Four-Horse-Club that required their members to own a certain type of carriage and be able to drive a team (4 horses). The club was not only famous for the competence of its drivers, but for it’s famous “uniform.” In order to attend the meetings, which consisted of gathering a spot in London then driving to an inn to eat, every member had to wear “a drab coat that reaching to the ankles with three tiers of pockets and mother of pearl buttons as large as five shilling pieces. The waistcoat was blue with yellow stripes an inch wide, the breeches of plush with strings and rosettes to each knee. The hat should be 3 1/2 inches deep in the crown.”
 
The dress code was strictly observed, as was the type of carriage, a Vis landau, which seated two (making it more like a barouche) and was painted yellow. The members drove from the box, where a coachman would normally sit. The attempt to force members to all use bays failed.
 
Below is a drawing of a version of the Vis landau.
Vis Barouche
 
If the owner of such a vehicle wished to use it to drive his lady around, he’d have to have a coachman, and a chaperone. Why? Because the gentleman was not busy driving the team.
 
For more information about the four-horse-club, here are two links.
 
 
 
#RegencyTrivia #Historical #ReadaRegency

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