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Commerce, crime and community in England, 1300–1500
Author: Teresa Phipps

This book explores the legal actions of women living in three English towns – Nottingham, Chester and Winchester – during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. For the first time, it brings together women’s involvement in a wide range of litigation, including pleas of debt and trespass, as well as the actions for which they were punished under local policing and regulations. The book details the multiple reasons that women engaged with the law in their local communities, all arising from their interpersonal relationships and everyday work and trade. Through the examination of thousands of original court cases, it reveals the identities of hundreds of ordinary urban women and the wide range of legal actions that they participated in. This wide-ranging, comparative study examines the differing ways that women’s legal status was defined in multiple towns, and according to different situations and pleas. It pays close attention to the experiences of married women and the complex and malleable nature of coverture, which did not always make them completely invisible. The book offers new perspectives on women’s legal position and engagement with the law, their work and commercial roles, the gendering of violence and honour, and the practical implications of coverture and marital status, highlighting the importance of examining the legal roles and experiences of individual women. Its basis in the records of medieval town courts also offers a valuable insight into the workings of these courts and the lives and identities of those that used them.

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Lloyd George plus Midlands suffragettes
Jill Liddington

forbidding backdrop. And, as the suffragette movement spread, the brutal experience of prison reached far beyond London and big cities. So how did Votes for Women play out in the industrial Midlands? The story is introduced here through the waves that imprisonment sent into one WSPU branch, Nottingham, and on one suffragette there, Helen Watts. From there the narrative spreads out to Leicester and then of course the regional capital, Birmingham (see Map 1). It was here, in Winson Green prison, that the confrontation between suffragettes and the Home Office escalated most

in Vanishing for the vote
Teresa Phipps

course of a year, as part of a fixed regime of inspection and monitoring that took a specific form within each town. In Winchester, where offences were recorded among the pleas of the city court, trading presentments appear more frequently than in Nottingham, where they were reported twice per year, suggesting that these Winchester presentments were made on a somewhat ad hoc basis. The court and its officials appear to have paid more attention to recording a larger range of trading offences over time, with more being documented

in Medieval women and urban justice
John Beckett

provincial towns including Norwich, which was both. The business of writing such histories really took off with the expansion of the new industrial towns, as a group of historian-commentators produced detailed histories of Manchester and Birmingham, Nottingham and Leicester, and smaller centres such as Hinckley. These studies were important not just as histories, but for the contemporary comment and description they included. Hardly surprisingly, the quality varied, and where corporations offered sponsorship there was an obvious tendency for authors to write in a more

in Writing local history
Women and debt litigation
Teresa Phipps

involved a large number of individual men and women, trading partners, as well as married couples. Richard Britnell estimated that in Colchester during the 1370s, there was at least one plea of debt for every eight adult residents of the borough. 9 At Nottingham, where the borough court rolls are most complete, around a third (469) of the number of 1377 Poll Tax payers (1,477) were found in court annually during the 1370s. 10 The majority of suits (72 per cent) were debt pleas. The debts that were the subject of these pleas

in Medieval women and urban justice
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Janice Norwood

Theatre Royal, Nottingham, and Mrs Dean is proprietress of Three Harrows Music Hall, Tunstall.2 Since not all theatre managements are recorded in the adverts and reviews, there were almost certainly other women working in similar capacities at other regional venues at this date.3 The majority of those who were acknowledged in the sample are described as lessees, a finding at odds with Davis’s assertion that in this period remarkably few women worked in this capacity (T. C. Davis, 1996: 114). She outlines the legal and financial accountability of the various managerial

in Victorian touring actresses
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Sweeping back down from Teesside to Thames
Jill Liddington

, and the floor is crowded with sleepers, fully dressed … Their faces are white and drawn with weariness.9 This English journey then proceeds 30 miles further south, to the industrial Midlands, to revisit Nottingham, Helen Watts’s home town. As we know, Helen herself was away, boarding with her schoolmaster brother near Bath – and she complied with the census. Back at Lenton Vicarage, her family also duly completed their schedule, recording the Reverend Alan Watts, his wife Ethelinda, four of their children, plus a cook and housemaid. One of Helen’s sister was a

in Vanishing for the vote
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Telling stories about war differently
Kirsten Forkert, Federico Oliveri, Gargi Bhattacharyya, and Janna Graham

Interlude 4 Telling stories about war differently This interlude includes a fictional, spoof newspaper created by members of the Women’s Cultural Forum during a workshop in Nottingham in 2017. The newspaper is called The Double Standard. Working from headlines, and using social media GIFs that were analysed in the media research phase of our project as source material, the group sought to reveal the double standards applied to migrants and to wealthy individuals and powerful corporations. The first page (figure 7) shadows the ‘World News’ section of mainstream

in How media and conflicts make migrants
Grace Ioppolo

the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. 9 By at least 1572, Walter Devereux (1541–1576), 1st Earl of Essex in the new creation and father of Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, patronised a company of players, commonly called ‘the Earl of Essex’s Men’, performing at least in Bath, Bristol, Gloucester and Nottingham in 1572 and 1573. Significantly, 1572 marks the first year

in Essex
How displaced people are made into ‘migrants’
Kirsten Forkert, Federico Oliveri, Gargi Bhattacharyya, and Janna Graham

deeply emotional experiences of displacement, exile and nostalgia. Although structured as among the most abstract and dehumanising of constructs, the making of the ‘migrant’ also incorporates some aspects of personal narratives and experiences, including tactics developed to cope with a hostile environment. In our interviews held in London, Birmingham and Nottingham in the UK, and in Pisa and Bologna in Italy, we asked people who had been displaced by conflict to reflect critically on how they have been constructed as migrants in their encounters with the state, public

in How media and conflicts make migrants