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The Roots of our Family-Centred Christmas

  Introduction Although the celebration of Christmas goes back to the Roman times, the current traditions implemented in celebrating this season were largely developed during the Victorian era. During this period, Christmas transitioned from community-centric to family-centric. Previously, Christmas was seen as a celebration between households within the community; in the 19th century its focus... Continue Reading →

What was Strict Communion? (Baptist History)

Up until the mid-19th century Baptist circles, communion was largely only practiced by church members. The prerequisite for church membership, besides publicly sharing their testimony to the satisfaction of incumbent members, was to be baptized by immersion. Therefore, while they were in many ways close to their Congregationalist brothers and sisters, they differed on one... Continue Reading →

Unhappy Marriage in the 18th Century 

In the mid-18th century, a tragic tale of arranged marriage was told - a couple whose marriage was arranged by economic agreement ended tumultuously in misery, adultery, and ultimately - death. Earl Squanderfield, a man with a respectable title, but no fortune – as indicated by his name- tries to remedy this financially dour situation for his... Continue Reading →

Women and novel-reading

Although the value of ‘reading for pleasure' has become part and parcel of contemporary reading culture, this highly proselytized past-time, to children and adults alike, was not always considered so salient. In fact, in the late 18th and 19th centuries - as the novel proliferated - numerous people and groups sought to repress these rising... Continue Reading →

Expulsion in the 19th century Baptist Church

Discipline was part and parcel of the 19th century Baptist experience. Misbehaviour which was judged incongruent with the church's understanding of Christian life would be grounds for expulsion from the church membership - even if only on a temporary basis. What did expulsion entail in the 19th century? Read onwards to find out! John Gill,... Continue Reading →

The roots of homesickness

The word “homesick” first entered common parlance in the late 18th century. It accompanied a rising feeling of nostalgia for the home as it transitioned; no longer a place of residence or the locus of one’s business, it became a symbolic emblem of family, safety and love. The age of industrialisation gave cause for rising... Continue Reading →

A Domestic Cat-astrophy

On Tuesday, 21 May  1867 a peculiar case was presented to the Lewes Petty Sessions. A case of nuisance was brought against a Mr Robert Dennis Chantrell, a resident in Rottingdean. The complaint concerned Chantrell's residence, which was so inundated with animals, especially those of the feline persuasion, that it causing ill health on the... Continue Reading →

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