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Welcome to my web page where I hope you will find helpful information that is also interesting. Please return from time to time to see what we have added. I have been collecting information on the Regency period for many years so it will take some time to get it all on line.

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About how long would it take to travel from London to Edinburgh in Regency England? And would it be an expensive journey?



Edinburgh is 380-395 miles from London depending on the route taken. The Great North road was the quickest route. One of the fastest stages left London  at 6:30 AM and arrived in Edinburgh the 4th afternoon later at three.

The fare didn't include meals. If one traveled in private coaches or by post chaise the price would be higher. Horses had to be changed about every twenty miles and a fee had to be paid--they were leased to carriage owner for the next twenty miles and came with a postilion.

In a book I just read, it was stated that servants were not allowed to marry. I saw something similar in a Marion Chesney book. But it seems like more books do have married servants. Were servants allowed to marry in the 19th century? I find it hard to believe that could be true.


Upper servants such as a butler and a housekeeper were often married. Samuel and Sarah Adams who wrote a book about the Complete Servant were married. However, the woman was usually beyond the age of child bearing  when both were employed.In their case, I think she stayed home and raised the children while he continued as a butler until the children were out on their own and then she  went to work with him.

Though we like to read and write about long term servants, most only worked for long enough to get money to do something else. It was harder n the female servants and more of them ended up unmarried.

Employers didn't want pregnant servants nor crying babies, not their own, around to distract the servants.

A male servant could more often be married, even if he only got home a couple  days a month. A good employer might give him more days off but  most wanted the whole attention of a servant while he was on duty.

Outdoor servants were more often married.

Quite a few footmen left domestic service to go into business in inns or pubs or obtained positions in a hotel in a large urban area where their training as a footman came in handy. During the years he worked as a footman, a clever man could save his wages and the vails he received and use them to set himself up in business or to marry and find employment elsewhere.Quite often he married a woman who had been in service as a cook or maid.

There have always been a percentage of men and women who prefer not to marry.


I have read a good deal of novels dealing with entails and the phrase "cutting off the entail" occurs sometimes. I was reading about Lady Mary Wortley Montagu's family and it seems the phrase means bringing it to an end, but it requires the agreement of the next in entail. On the other hand, Lady Mary's brother refused to do so, fearing his father would waste the property. How close am I to correct about the meaning of the term?


Barring the entail involved a legal fiction court case with which the current occupant of the property and his oldest son, who has  to be over 21 years old,   agree. A third person is the one who makes it happen.

If the adult son refuses, it can't be done.

It wasn't done very often. When successful, it did end the entail on the property.

Quite often, when done, the current holder would sell off part to pay bills  or establish dowries for daughters and then buy more property and entail it. The oldest son often insisted on that.

In some cases the debts were such that all was lost or father and son were both so loose with money that the son inherits little beside the title.


Who are the highest in Rank Soliciters or Barristers and could some one from the Aristocracy become one. I mean a younger son or could an illegitimate son of a Duke or Marquis become one?

Barristers are higher is precedence and social levels than solicitors.
Judges were higher than both. The main judges were made peers and some of their sons went into law, as well.

By the time of the  Regency, there was no bar to an illegitimate man entering the church or the law. Younger sons of peers could enter the law though not many did. It might have been the study required or some other cause but not many did choose the law. It was more traditional for younger sons to go into the church. It might be that a peer quite often had livings which he could give to a son.

If a widow with children re-married and then died, who has rights to/the responsibility of the children from her first marriage? Does the step-father have rights to them? Is he obligated to support them? Do they go to a different relative, if there are any?


Stepfathers had no responsibility under law to support the step-children The mother couldn't  even name him a guardian. The  first husband  was  responsible  for supporting his own children.

Of course,  in many cases the step-father would  continue to act as a guardian and have the children live with him.   Unless someone  brings the case to the Court of Chancery,   most people would just accept it.

If he didn't want to care for the children, he would have to find one of their relatives to  take them. He could apply to the  court of Chancery to be guardian. if the children were over 14 they would  have a voice in the  naming of a guardian.

  Could a man annul a marriage by proxy where he was married to the wrong woman?

English law did not provide for marriages by proxy in England, so the question is moot. Now whether a man could annul a marriage in which he married the wrong woman is a different and more complex question. First of all, the court would want to know why he didn't know the face and the name of the person he was marrying. Why didn't he speak out when the name was wrong? If the bride used the name of the other woman- a matter of stolen identity-- , yes, the marriage could probably be annulled, but still questions would be asked why he didn't know the difference before the vows were said.

If he married by license and said his vows, the wrong name wouldn't matter as much as a wrong name would by banns.

Really, any man who paid so little attention to the woman he was marrying, deserves to be stuck with her.

Travel abroad: what sort of identification did a person need to travel abroad? Were to return to England? Did they have passports in the early nineteen hundreds?  

They did have passports. All visitors to UK had to show a visa as they came off the ship. Then they had to visit the passport office after they had been in the country  a period of time. 

All those who visited France and stayed in a hotel had  to be  reported to the local authorities.

Most people had letters of credit and  letters of introduction as well.

How long would a gentleman mourn his deceased wife? And when would he be allowed to remarry?  

A man could mourn his deceased wife five minutes or five decades. Some remarried within six months and others only after a decade or so. There was no law saying how long he had to mourn or stay unmarried.

 If  a man had young children society rather approved of him marrying fairly quickly -- that is before the year was up or shortly after a year was up.


  How soon after birth was a baby typically christened in the Church of England?

Church law suggested the child be baptized the Sunday after birth or the Sunday after that but many preferred to have it when the child was a month to six weeks old. However, I have seen a record where five children in one family aged 2 to 11 were baptized on the same day. I know that a duke's son was baptized five months after birth. As that baptism took place in an excessively cold January, they could not have delayed for better weather.


Sometimes they waited for the mother to recover from confinement, sometimes for better weather, and sometimes in order for the chosen godparents to be present.


A female child was supposed to have 2 female godparents and one male and a male child have 2 male god parents and one female.

The godparents had to have recently taken Communion. They were the ones to answer and make the promises for the child and not the parents. It wasn't necessary for the mother to be present when the child was baptized so soon after birth and she often wasn't.

She had to be churched before attending services again and that usually took place after a month.

It is difficult to know exactly how long after birth the baptism took place as birth dates are rarely included in the baptismal registry.

I'd like to know more about Barristers and how they are different than lawyers. How did a man become one, what did they do, did they work in London or could they work in the country?  

Barristers are lawyers and were lawyers. One might call them trial lawyers. Barristers went to university and then to one of the inns of court. The inns of court were like law schools except that they didn't have a curriculum of  required law classes.

The barristers to be had to  "eat their dinners." That means they attended a certain number of dinner meetings where the already qualified might set up a lecture or  a moot court.  A man was also supposed to read law books and law cases.  Some studied under a barrister who was willing to take them on as trainees.

After the men had eaten their dinners-- and the number of years they had to do this varied according to whether or not the men had degrees from university-- the  senior men of their inn of court decided who could be called to the bar. The bar was a railing separating the lawyers from the others in the court room.

The barristers  had to wait until some solicitor came and offered them a brief( a case). Barristers could not seek out clients themselves. They did not charge fees but the clerk of chambers told the solicitor how much gratuity to pay.
The solicitor was the one who dealt with the client.

Most barristers were in London because the high courts were there. They went out with the judges in the circuits for the assize.

When a man became well known as a barrister, he might be made a King's counsel ( KC or QC when a queen reigned) This meant he could wear a silk gown and could act as counsel for the king. About the only restriction was that he could not take any cases in opposition to the crown .

Judges of the important courts were usually named from the KCs.

The barristers were under the control and the rule of their inns of court. The inns decided who could practice and who must be disciplined.

  What are the ramifications if a Regency gentleman begs off an engagement?

A man was not supposed to break an engagement because it often left the woman with a stain on her reputation. Also, it was considered a matter of honour because she had no recourse at law against him.

She could not, usually, sue for breach of promise until he married another.  It would be best if he immediately married another.  I hate to say it, but the ramifications would often depend on who she was and who he was.  If he was the darling of the Ton and matrons had been wondering what he saw in her to make him propose, then  a jilt would not count much against the man. If the young lady were a society favorite, he would be lucky to escape with intact skin. 

He could expect to be left off some guest lists.  Some real sticklers  among men might turn a cold shoulder to him-- again depending on what the circumstances appeared to be. If he just dropped her and acted as though nothing was wrong, he could be attacked by her father or brother and shunned by men and women for callous treatment of a lady. Her father might try to make him marry her. Some mothers might put him on a list of those they want to stay away from their daughters, but others would be certain to blame the female, especially if he were good-looking, with wealth and a title.

A man of honour usually felt obligated to marry  a woman to whom he once proposed, even if she turned him down at first.  Others felt that a few months of being a social outcaste was not too much a price to pay to avoid a marriage a man  knew he no longer wanted.

A good-looking or even passable man with a decent fortune could usually overcome such a scandal to marry well in the future. The poor female was likely to have people wondering what was wrong with her that made him back off.


I have often seen references to strawberry leaves. What significance did strawberry leaves have?

The coronets  of earls, marquesses and dukes bear a likeness of a leaf that has come to be called a strawberry leaf. One who aspires to strawberry leaves wants to be an earl, marquess, or duke. Ladies could want to be countess, marchioness, or duchess. These coronets  are worn only for coronations.

Related Links:
Coronets on Wikipedia

Coronets Of Peers And Peeresses

  I'm wondering what happens when widows remarry. If a widow has two daughters, one 20 and one 14 when she remarries, does either one take her new husband's surname? Or just the younger one?

Neither child takes the  step-father's surname. That was not usually  done.


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