Digging up the Detail – 19th Century burial fees

My current work in progress, The Shackletons of Whitehaven, has a scene where a mother and daughter - Dolly and Becky - discuss the cost of burial in Whitehaven. The customary fee for a four foot grave was a shilling (1/-) because the gravediggers only had to go down four feet. After that it was… Continue reading Digging up the Detail – 19th Century burial fees

Compulsory Cow Pox Vaccination in 1853

In Whitehaven in 1853, the year before the setting of my novel "New Beginnings on Vancouver Island", the Clerk to the Guardians, Christopher Hodgkin issued a proclamation to parents and their guardians that all children must be vaccinated BY ORDER against Cow Pox. Medical practitioners were authorised to vaccinate all persons resident within the appointed… Continue reading Compulsory Cow Pox Vaccination in 1853

Tracing Mr Whittle of 87 Church Street, Whitehaven.

This receipt is an original one made out to John Whittle of 87 Queen Street, Whitehaven, on July 4th, 1854, in payment of a lamp and paving rate. I assume it's a local lighting and street tax akin to our commercial rates. I thought I would spend a a short while seeing if I could… Continue reading Tracing Mr Whittle of 87 Church Street, Whitehaven.

Looking Down on Whitehaven

My protagonist, Stag Liddell, has a problem to solve. He's walking down the cliff after his stint at the Wellington pit and pauses to survey the town spread out beneath him. He sees the slate roofs, the ships being serviced in the harbour, the sailors and townsfolk going about their business, just as they always… Continue reading Looking Down on Whitehaven

Some Whitehaven Citizens in 1847

I’ve chosen these more or less at random from the Miscellany section of “History, Gazetteer and Directory of Cumberland – 1847".*  The miscellany is sub-titled “Comprising the addresses of Clergy, Gentry, Partners in firms, and others not arranged under the Classifications of Professions and Trades.” I assume this means they were regarded as the "great… Continue reading Some Whitehaven Citizens in 1847