On 24th June 1832 Edward and Vidence Smith, Gypsies, baptised a son with the name of Hemlock. It might be supposed that with such an exotic name he would be easy to trace in subsequent census records, but this is not quite the case. Certainly, an article in the Bedfordshire … Continue reading

Francis Proudley

In January 1829 Francis Proudley, “late of Alton in the County of Southampton, but now of Langley in the parish of Fawley in the said County, a licensed hawker,” made two marks on his last will and testament, leaving land both in Langley and Fawley as well as all his … Continue reading

A Stolen Fiddle

In 1875 Mendoza Welch, a Gypsy and a musician, had his fiddle and bow stolen, along with some other items, to the value of £2.6/- The incident, which occurred in Bedfordshire, was reported and Mendoza’s deposition, dated 12th November 1875, which he signed with his mark, as Dozer Welsh (sic) … Continue reading

Umbrella Mender

The pretty church of St Stephen’s in St Albans, Hertfordshire was the setting for the baptism of Jane Smith, daughter of Gypsies Christopher and Priscilla on 3rd February 1811. Christopher Smith and his first wife, Priscilla Shaw, had several children baptised in Hertfordshire, and subsequently Christopher and his second wife, … Continue reading

NEHEMIAH PERRY AND HIS GYPSY BRIDE: Adultery, divorce and homicide in nineteenth-century Strethall by Martin Rose (The Catmere Press 2022 iv+44pp no ISBN) 

£5 +  £1.65 p&p from martin.rose@magd.oxon.org The author’s engagement with this story of the relationship between a wealthy farmer and a Gypsy cannot be faulted for its careful and detailed research into the family lives of both parties, which is revelatory and fascinating in its exploration of social and cultural … Continue reading