Two elements that made it into the biography I never mentioned here was how I pieced together her family background a bit more through the website Family Search. I found her parents’ marriage in 1712 and her father’s remarriage in 1724 after a little bit of sleuthing. Her mother was born in the same parish in 1681: Elizabet5h was 31 when she wed and not even 35 when she died.
Another fascinating tidbit that I uncovered when I asked myself “why might Mary Broadbent suddenly resort to the workhouse in the winter of 1763?” I stumbled upon mention of a particularly brutal winter which I was able to document by accessing some historical climate data for London preserved at Historical Weather Events. All of northern Europe was afflicted by a terrible cold snap and a poor singlewoman of London such as Mary would have been particularly vulnerable to the winter’s chill.
So go and check out the latest additions to London Lives – there’s a lot of new history that we’re uncovering every day.