Lady Lewson, “remarkable for her age and peculiarities”

“Lady Lewson”, born Jane Vaughan (1700 – 1816) was one of 18th century London’s more colourful characters, and the probable inspiration for Dickens’ famed eccentric spinster, Miss Havisham from Great Expectations. Jane had the good fortune of marrying a rich, elderly merchant . She herself was just nineteen. She moved to his stately home in […]

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England’s “Black” Queens

2019 Note: Comments are turned off site-wide due to the frankly disgusting onslaught of racist (both leanings) messages I receive on this post almost on a daily basis. I am happy to leave the post up as when I wrote it I believed (and still do) that’s it’s an interesting little topic. Take it, or […]

The Hammersmith Ghost

  As the year 1803 came to a close, a number of people came forward to claim that they had seen – and in some instances, been attacked – by a ghost in the area around Hammersmith churchyard, in West London. Some claimed it was the unhappy spirit of a local man who had committed […]

Hidden historical heroines (#15: Elizabeth Siddal)

  Elizabeth Eleanor Siddal (25 July 1829 – 11 February 1862) was a celebrated artists’ model – as well as being a poet and artist in her own right – who was used extensively by the Pre-Raphaelites.   Named for her mother, “Lizzie” Siddal was born in the summer of 1829, in the family home […]

Hidden historical heroines (#04: Peg Woffington)

  Margaret “Peg” Woffington (18 October 1720 – 28 March 1760) was a celebrated Irish-born actress during Georgian times.   Peg was born in Dublin in 1720. Her father – a bricklayer – died when she was young, leaving her family penniless and destitute . Her mother took in laundry, while little Peg sold watercress […]