Women and Work in Eighteenth-Century Edinburgh by Elizabeth C. Sanderson

By Elizabeth C. Sanderson

As the 1st in-depth learn of women's event of labor in Scotland earlier than 1800, this e-book attracts on a large choice of hitherto unexplored assets to throw gentle at the daily operating actions of ladies, married and unmarried, profitable and disadvantaged, and their function within the city group. whereas targeting Edinburgh, the capital and most appropriate provider city of Eighteenth-century Scotland, Dr Sanderson's findings are very important within the British context and beyond.

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If such is her practice there is with submission the greater reason for taking cogniscence of her conduct and making her an example. For the law allows no person of whatsoever rank to defame or abuse their neighbours especially with an animus to ruin their credit and vilify their character to the world. The pursuer knows nothing of the practice of Billingsgate in England where the defender says scandal is not actionable. If the defender got her instructions at this school she ought to have given over practice when she came to this country as the subjects of this kingdom are tried by its own laws.

Perhaps pricing played some part in the art of survival. For example a shopkeeper in the Exchange complained to the Master of the Merchant Company that another woman, Janet Williamson, took away a customer from her shop saying that she (Janet) could give her muslin much cheaper than offered by the complainer. 73 However, although many women in the textile trade seem to have survived some women like Mrs Stewart were forced out. the Merchant Company that she was going back into service, 'she having had no encouragement'.

This is revealed in surviving bills which show that the customer was charged separately for the fabric and the making-up. Thus the shopkeepers bought fabrics such as linen, gauze, muslin, lawn, flannel, cambric, crape and persian. Trimmings such as ribbons, braids, lace and swansdown can also be found in bills and were used for decoration. On the whole women tended to stock the finer fabrics for women's accessories and male merchants stocked silks and woollen cloths for garments such as mantuas and men's wear.

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