Did Early-Modern Men Do ‘Women’s Work’?

It’s one of the great unanswered questions of English History. The theory, at least for early-modern England, was pretty clear. Men were supposed to earn the money, women did the domestic chores and raised the children (and then also earned some money). Not for nothing did a proverb of the time have it that a…

The Real History of Multicultural Britain

We are a nation of migrants. It’s a phrase that gets thrown around a lot these days, and in the wake of yet more divisive rhetoric from Ukip, and as we move into Black History Month, we’re going to hear it more. But is it true? Or is it just a convenient fiction – something…

Seven Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Scotland and England.

As Jockmaggeddon approaches, we are being bombarded with History. Really, really, terrible history – and not all of it the fault of Mel Gibson or the Daily Mail. Here, then, are seven things you’ve probably not been hearing, to bring some historical sanity before the McBreakup happens and we English suddenly have to rebuild Hadrian’s…

Rude Tudors

This Autumn, I’ve got an article out in Northern History, or the ‘Journal in the North’ as it should now be called. It’s about the way neighbourhood worked in the small Northumberland village of Dilston, seen through the eyes of the manor court – the lowest, most localized place of justice in medieval and early-modern…

How to Save the Union (Jack)

So, Alex Salmond won. 71-29 if you believe the Guardian. Come 18 September, Scotland will vote for independence, the United Kingdom of old will never be the same again. I’ve always thought there was quite a strong case for devolution, even independence, in Scotland. I love the place, and I’d be very sad to see…