Over at London Lives, my Biography of Mary Broadbent is live and full of the sad details I’ve shared earlier on this blog.
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.
2 responses to “Mary Broadbent: a London Life”
You’re a history sleuth! I hope you have a trenchcoat and sunglasses. You know, for the stake outs. (But seriously, it’s really impressive, J.)
Hee! Trenchcoat and sunglasses are on order.