Romance of London: St. Margaret’s Painted Window at Westminster

Romance of London: Strange Stories, Scenes And Remarkable Person of the Great Town in 3 Volumes

John Timbs

John Timbs (1801-1875), who also wrote as Horace Welby, was an English author and aficionado of antiquities. Born in Clerkenwell, London, he was apprenticed at 16 to a druggist and printer, where he soon showed great literary promise. At 19, he began to write for Monthly Magazine, and a year later he was made secretary to the magazine’s proprietor and there began his career as a writer, editor, and antiquarian.

This particular book is available at googlebooks for free in ebook form. Or you can buy a print version.


The history of the painted glass cinquecento Window, which, in 1758, was placed in the chancel, over the altar of St. Margaret’s Church, is truly romantic.

Elizabeth of York

Elizabeth of York

This beautiful window (said to have been executed at Gouda, in Holland, and to have occupied five years in the making) was originally intended by the magistrates of Dort as a present to Henry VII., by whom it was intended for his Chapel at Westminster; or as some say, it was ordered by Ferdinand and Isabella on the occasion of Prince Arthur being affianced, in 1499, to the Princess Catherine of Arragon, their portraits being procured for the purpose.

The three middle compartments represent the Crucifixion, with the usual accompaniments of angels receiving in a chalice the blood which drops from the wounds of the Saviour. Over the good thief an angel is represented wafting his soul to Paradise; and over the wicked, the devil in the shape of a dragon carrying his soul to a place of punishment. In the six upper compartments are six angels holding the emblems of crucifixion: the cross, the sponge, the crown of thorns, the hammer, the rods and nails. In the right hand lower compartment is Arthur, Prince of Wales (eldest son of Henry VII); and in the companion or left side, Catherine of Arragon, his bride (afterwards married to his brother Henry VIII., and divorced by him). Over the head of Prince Arthur is a full-length figure of St. George, with the red and white roses of England; and over Catherine of Arragon, a full-length figure of St. Catherine, with the bursting pomegranate, the emblem of the kingdom of Granada.

Prince Arthur died before the window was finished; the King himself before it could be erected. Succeeding events—the marriage of Henry VIII. To the bride or widow of his brother, with the subsequent divorce of Catherine—rendered the window wholly unfit for the place for which it was intended.

The window through the ages

  1. Catherine of Aragon

    Catherine of Aragon

    Henry VIII gave it to Waltham Abbey, Essex.

  2. At the Dissolution, Robert Fuller, the last Abbot, sent it to his private chapel at New Hall, also in Essex.
  3. It was later acquired by the father of Anne Boleyn.
  4. Queen Elizabeth I gave it to Thomas Ratcliff, Earl of Sussex, who was living at New Hall.
  5. It was purchased by Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, favorite of James I.
  6. Its next owner was Oliver Cromwell.
  7. At the Restoration, it reverted to the second Duke of Buckingham.
  8. It was purchased, along with New Hall, to General Monk, Duke of Albermarle. The duke buried it underground to keep it from the Puritans. After the Restoration he returned it to his chapel at New Hall.
  9. After he died and his son as well, the hall became the property of the duchess, and fell into ruin and decay.
  10. John Olmius, Esq., purchased the property and demolished the chapel, preserving the window.
  11. Eventually it was purchased by Mr. Conyers, of Copt Hall, Essex, for 50 guineas, for his own chapel.
  12. Conyers’ son, Mr. John Conyers sold the window in 1758 to the churchwardens of St. Margaret’s Westminster for 400 guineas.
St. Margaret's Church (background)

St. Margaret’s Church (background)

“It is worth the walk”

It is worth a walk to St. Margaret’s to see this window. The late Mr. Winston, the great authority upon glass-painting, says of it: “Though at present much begrimed with London smoke and soot, it may be cited as an example of the pictorial excellence attainable in a glass-painting without any violation of the fundamental rules and conditions of the art. The harmonious arrangement of the coloring is worthy of attention. It is the most beautiful work in this respect that I am acquainted with.”

The church has been in our time, as it was centuries ago in Stow’s time, “in danger of pulling down;” which, if carried into effect, would add another leaf to the history of the St. Margaret’s Painted Window.

Thankfully, this last threat to the location of this window have not come to pass. I’m definitely putting St. Margaret’s on my list for this year’s trip, in August.

St. Margaret's Church from the London Eye

St. Margaret’s Church from the London Eye

Amy Rose Bennett: Master of Strathburn (Giveaway)

MasterOfStrathburnFINAL copy 2

The Master of Strathburn is essentially a tale about Robert Grant, a wanted Jacobite. After surviving the Battle of Culloden, he escapes to France and then the Caribbean. However, after a decade of living in exile, he desperately wants to return to Scotland and reconcile with his estranged father, the Earl of Strathburn. The only problem is, there is still a price on his head—he isn’t fortunate enough to have been granted a pardon through the Act of Indemnity in 1747. Not only that, his dissolute half-brother Simon and avaricious step-mother would have him arrested by the British in the blink of an eye to prevent him from reclaiming his birthright. Of course, when Robert returns to Lochrose Castle, his long-lost Highland home, the adventures and the romance begin…

Scotland and its rich history has always fascinated me. The idea for writing a novel set around the time of the second Jacobite Rebellion, the Forty-five, came to me when I was sixteen, after I’d read a short story about Flora MacDonald, the brave young woman who helped Bonnie Prince Charlie—the Pretender to the Scottish throne and indeed, the throne of England—escape the Highlands after the rebellion failed. Of course, I’ve done a lot more research into the period since then. After reading about Culloden—the last battle of the rebellion in which the Jacobite army was resoundingly defeated—I knew I particularly wanted to write about a Jacobite hero who was present at the battle and his struggles dealing with the aftermath following the failed uprising. And hence Robert Grant’s story came to life in my mind.

Culloden Memorial Cairn copy

The Battle of Culloden took place at Drumossie Moor, not far from Inverness in the north-west of Scotland on April 16, 1746. I was fortunate enough to visit the site several years ago; it was actually only a few days after the anniversary of the battle and families who’d lost relatives had laid wreaths against the memorial cairn. The moor is actually classified as a war grave and there are small headstones marking the places where particular clansmen fell. It is estimated that 1500 to 2000 Jacobite soldiers were killed or wounded during the brief battle whereas the British army sustained only fifty casualties. Needless to say, visiting Culloden was a very moving experience.

About Master of Strathburn

A sweeping, sexy Highland romance about a wanted Jacobite with a wounded soul, and a spirited Scottish lass on the run.

Robert Grant has returned home to Lochrose Castle in the Highlands to reconcile with his long-estranged father, the Earl of Strathburn. But there is a price on Robert’s head, and his avaricious younger half-brother, Simon, doesn’t want him reclaiming his birthright. And it’s not only Simon and the redcoats that threaten to destroy Robert’s plans after a flame-haired complication of the feminine kind enters the scene…

Jessie Munroe is forced to flee Lochrose Castle after the dissolute Simon Grant tries to coerce her into becoming his mistress. After a fateful encounter with a mysterious and handsome hunter, Robert, in a remote Highland glen, she throws her lot in with the stranger—even though she suspects he is a fugitive. She soon realizes that this man is dangerous in an entirely different way to Simon…

Despite their searing attraction, Robert and Jessie struggle to trust each other as they both seek a place to call home. The stakes are high and only one thing is certain: Simon Grant is in pursuit of them both…

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In the following excerpt, Robert has just escaped the Battle of Culloden by the skin of his teeth. Or has he?


April 16, 1746

Lochrose Castle, Strathspey, Scotland

‘You’ve got a bloody nerve, Robert.’

‘Aye, I do.’ Robert Grant—the soon-to-be disinherited Master of Strathburn and Viscount Lochrose—squinted through the dark spots clustering his field of vision, trying in vain to focus on his sneering half-brother Simon. The bayonet wound across his shoulder-blade throbbed with such thought-stealing intensity, it was all he could do to stay seated upon his trembling, sweating horse. There was no way he would be able to dismount unassisted. He’d end up with his face firmly planted in the gravel of the forecourt. ‘But for the love of God, Simon …’ he continued, his voice no more than a hoarse rasp. ‘Just help me down. I’m wounded for Christ’s sake …’

He barely recalled the moment the English soldier’s blade had sliced across his back. The horror of everything else that had taken place only hours before on Drumossie Moor flooded his mind. Made the nausea rise in his gullet anew.

Simon snorted. ‘You must’ve had a blow to the head then, or else you would’ve remembered that Father forbade you to come back.’ He glanced past Robert, down the gravel drive toward Lochrose’s gates. ‘You’ve killed them all, haven’t you? It was a rout, just like Father said it would be, wasn’t it?’ His grey gaze, flint-hard with accusation and long-held resentment, returned to Robert. ‘He will never forgive you for this.’

No doubt. Twenty-six Clan Grant men dead. And I was the arrogant young cock who led them all out like lambs to the slaughter.

Robert swallowed down both the bile and bitter self-acrimony burning his throat. ‘I know,’ he croaked. ‘But please … I just need to hide until I can move on … tomorrow.’

Even though he had flagrantly disobeyed their father and had led out the clan at Culloden, Robert prayed that he would be shown a modicum of compassion. That the earl would at least grant his eldest son sanctuary for a single night before he fled Scotland to spend a life in exile in some far-flung place. Robert didn’t want to put his family at risk for harbouring a fugitive, but he just couldn’t go on any farther.

Simon smiled, the sentiment not quite reaching his eyes. ‘Of course, dear brother. I shall have a room prepared for you.’ He gripped Robert’s forearm with one hand at the same time he slapped the blood-soaked plaid sticking to his shoulder.

Bastard. Agonising, white-hot pain instantly knifed through Robert. Even as black oblivion at last rose up to claim him, he didn’t fail to notice that Simon was still smiling.

Giveaway: For a chance to win a Kindle copy of my Regency noir style romance set in Scotland, just tell me what it is you love about Highland romances.

About the Author

AuthorPic copyAmy Rose Bennett has always wanted to be a writer for as long as she can remember. An avid reader with a particular love for historical romance, it seemed only natural to write stories in her favorite genre. She has a passion for creating emotion-packed—and sometimes a little racy—stories set in the Georgian and Regency periods. Of course, her strong-willed heroines and rakish heroes always find their happily ever after.

Amy is happily married to her own Alpha male hero, has two beautiful daughters, and a rather loopy Rhodesian Ridgeback. She has been a speech pathologist for many years but is currently devoting her time to her one other true calling—writing romance.

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Romance of London: The Lansdowne Family

Romance of London: Strange Stories, Scenes And Remarkable Person of the Great Town in 3 Volumes

John Timbs

John Timbs (1801-1875), who also wrote as Horace Welby, was an English author and aficionado of antiquities. Born in Clerkenwell, London, he was apprenticed at 16 to a druggist and printer, where he soon showed great literary promise. At 19, he began to write for Monthly Magazine, and a year later he was made secretary to the magazine’s proprietor and there began his career as a writer, editor, and antiquarian.

This particular book is available at googlebooks for free in ebook form. Or you can pay for a print version.

William Petty, 1st Marquis Lansdowne

William Petty, 1st Marquis Lansdowne

In 1805 died the second Marquis of Landsdowne, having by this time passed very much out of popular notice, and the principal cause of public regret for his demise was that only a fortnight before his death he had declared his knowledge of the Junius secret [see below], and yet among his papers was to be found no indication that could lead to its discovery. He was succeeded by his eldest son, the Earl of Wycombe, whose first act on coming into possession was to sell almost all of the literary and artistic treasures which his father had accumulated with so much love and labour. The greater part of these were dispersed under the hammer of the auctioneer, many of the pictures going to enrich the Grosvenor, the National, and other galleries; only the Lansdowne MSS. Were kept together, being purchased by the British Museum; while the gallery of antique marbles was the sole portion of the collection for which the Marquis showed any appreciation—his opinion being expressed in the fact that he purchased it from his father’s executors for 6,000l. If, however, this nobleman did not show much respect to his father’s cultivated tastes, he was not without a certain ancestral pride; for he tried to build a vessel on the principle of Sir William Petty’s double-bottomed ship that was to sail against wind and tide—a model of which was then, and is perhaps still, exhibited in the Council-room of the Royal Society. Of nautical habits, he also built near the Southampton Water a marine villa, in which, from dining-hall and private bower to kitchen and scullery, all was utter Gothic, while the gardens belonging to the castle were laid out at Romsey, some ten or twelve miles distant, on a site which formed the original estate of the Petty family.

John Petty, 2nd Marquis of Lansdowne

John Petty, 2nd Marquis of Lansdowne

Here, if not in his yacht voyaging to Ireland or the Continent, he spent most of his time. In London he was a marked man—remarkable for his disregard of dress, and for the pride which he took in appearing on the coldest days in winter without a greatcoat and without gloves. He died in November 1809, and was succeeded by his half-brother, the fourth [third] Marquis, whose first care was to purchase the antique marbles from his sister-in-law, and there at Landsdowne House they may now be seen—some of them, as the youthful Hercules and the Mercury, justly considered the finest statues of the kind that have found their way to this country. As for the pictures, when the Marquis succeeded to the title, in 1809, there was not one in this splendid mansion, with the exception of a few family portraits; but Lord Lansdowne set himself to the formation of a gallery which now comprises nearly 200 pictures of rare interest and value, but miscellaneous in their character, no school nor master predominating unless it be Sir Joshua Reynolds. Some of the portraits in this collection are of great interest. There is the celebrated portrait of Pope by Jervas; Reynolds’s wonderful portrait of Sterne; one of Franklin, by Gainsborough; a beautiful one of Peg Woffington, by Hogarth; Lady Hamilton appears twice—as a bacchante and a gipsy, from the pencil of Romney; Horner, the old college friend of Lord Lansdowne, is not forgotten; but, most interesting of all, there is the lovely portrait of Mrs. Sheridan, as St. Cecilia, painted by Reynolds.

mrs. sheridan

Mrs. Richard Brinsley Sheridan, by Gainsborough

It may recall with some vividness the fashion of those times if we record a little incident connected with this portrait. During the short-lived Ministery of “All the Talents,” the Whig leaders celebrated their return to power by a continual found of festivities, in which Sheridan outside all his colleagues. One Sunday (25th of May 1806) he gave a grand dinner; on the Monday following a supper and ball, at which the dancing was prolonged to past eight o’clock next morning; on the Tuesday, a christening, a masque, and another ball, the Prince being present on each occasion, and the Lord Chancellor Erskine and the young Chanceller of the Exchequer, Henry Petty, being conspicuous among the dancers. On the occasion of the dinner, the portrait of Mrs. Sheridan was redeemed for one night only from the pawnbroker’s, and exhibited in its place in the dining-room; when poor Sheridan died, it was still in possession of the pawnbroker; it then fell into the hands of Sheridan’s solicitor, and from him it was purchased for 600l. By Lord Lansdowne. In this little incident we get some glimpses of that conviviality for which the Whigs were distinguished. “Le Whig est la femme de votre Gouvernement,” says Balzac, and the truth of the remark is especially illustrated in that social influence which the Whigs have always cultivated more than the Tories.*

Lansdowne House (1820)

Lansdowne House (1820)

Lansdowne House was built by Robert Adam for the Marquis of Bute, when minister to George III, and sold by the Marquis before completion to Lord Shelburne, afterwards Marquis of Lansdowne, for 22,000l., which was supposed to be 3,000l. Less than it cost. There is, also, a piece of political scandal—that Lansdowne House was constructed by one Peace (Lord Bute’s, in 1762), and paid for by another (Lord Shelburne’s, in 1783).

*From The Times journal

Lansdowne House was partially demolished in the 1930’s to make room for a new road, and some of its noted interiors located elsewhere.

The dining room from Landsdowne House, now located at the Lloyd's Building

The dining room from Landsdowne House, now located at the Lloyd’s Building


A drawing room now found at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

A drawing room now found at the Philadelphia Museum of Art


Lansdowne House ceiling (Robert Adam)

Lansdowne House ceiling (Robert Adam)


*The Junius Secret

Junius was the pseudonym of a man who wrote letters exposing corruption in government from 1768 to 1772. His identity has never been discovered, but was the source of much speculation. If Lord Lansdowne indeed knew it, he died without revealing the secret.

More information on Wikipedia.

The Secret Revealed of the Authorship of Junius’s Letters

Sarah Waldock: The Advertised Bride

Lady L’s Outrage

“MATRIMONY – A lady of good birth and breeding, and without a stain on her character wishes, for reasons which will be revealed to any successful candidate to MARRY a young man of sufficient fortune and gentility to keep her in the state to which she is accustomed. His age should not exceed thirty years, and he should be of pleasant and amiable disposition. His income not to be less than two hundred guineas per annum. Reply post-paid only, to DC, care of the Landlord, ‘The Bell’, Saxmundham.”

“I ask you, what sort of woman of good birth and breeding writes a letter to the newspaper like that? Of course, once it came out that it was one of those shameless Brandon women, it became quite clear. Did you know the Brandons haven’t been free of scandal since the first Baron ran off with a nun in the fourteenth century? And recently there was that Crim. Con. case brought by the current baron, and his niece went off with one of the most notorious rakes in the land.

51OJbyOGLbL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_But I was telling you about how this shameless hussy somehow managed to entrap the most eligible bachelor of all, the Honourable Mr. Percival Braidwood, whose blond locks gleam like gold and who has the profile of a Greek god. Add that to his fortune, reputed to be a cool ten thousand a year, and that before he inherits the baronetcy, and you can see why it’s just not fair that this nobody second cousin or whatever she is should win him. It was a trick, of that I’m sure. How she got him to answer such an advertisement is beyond me, or maybe she just took advantage of him staying in an inn where she was perusing likely candidates. I am certain she must have managed to arrange for him to compromise her in some way, and he such a gentlemen he had no choice but to offer marriage!

Am I jealous? Of course I’m jealous! I spent the entire season trying to catch Mr. Braidwood’s attention, and I am beautiful and accomplished, and an excellent conversationalist, as well as being fashionably dark. We were a perfect foil, my raven locks and his golden ones. It goes to prove, doesn’t it, that he must have been trapped, because why else would he end up married to a blonde whose hair isn’t even dark enough in colour to call a proper blonde?

Oh, no, I don’t want to give my name; well, if you must, write it down as Lady L. Listen, if you breathe a word to the Honourable Mrs. Eldridge that I spoke about her brother’s bride, I shall find ways to make it very uncomfortable for you. What does she say? Oh, Isolde is putting a brave face on it and declaring it a love match. A love match? Why, she obviously doesn’t know that this chit Diana, or whatever her name is, placed an advertisement in two provincial newspapers, and I found out about it which is why I came to you with the full story. I even found one of her disappointed suitors, whose hand and heart she spurned for greater wealth, despite the poor man being a widower with young children. No of course I wouldn’t marry an impoverished rector with brats, what do you take me for?

There was no call to say that, fellow.”

The Advertised Bride

The Advertised Bride was written with much input from my mother, who died while I was writing it, and I want to dedicate it not only to her, but to all women who have escaped from abusive families.  As well as having escaped an abusive father, my mother helped set up a local women’s refuge.  I hope Dinah’s escape will be inspirational for other women who feel trapped.



“Dinah, such a long face! Surely you do not long for a husband to argue comparisons over?”

“No, and that’s the problem!” cried Dinah. “I am to be married after Christmas, and to a horrid old man who leered at me, and he has sweaty hands, and skin like mahogany, all wrinkled like a walnut, and Papa is not to be argued with over it. Indeed, I am afraid he will take me away, for Uncle Adam put him in a passion, criticising Marjorie’s husband.”

“Oh dear,” said Imogen. “Well, there is nothing else for it; you will have to get married before the end of the holidays. Have you any beaux?”

“No, I have never even been to a dance. I’m only sixteen and Mama said I should come out when I was seventeen. I shan’t be seventeen until April and that will be too late, and besides, Papa will say that coming out is unnecessary as he has found me a husband.”

“I can only see one course open to you, then, as I do not think you could manage to run away as I did without help,” said Imogen.

“You must think me very poor spirited,” said Dinah.

“No, my dear, I think you very much downtrodden, like a governess to horrible children, only your father is more childish than the most horrible child I have ever heard of,” said Imogen. “Fancy not being able to control his temper at his age!”

“I don’t think he ever had to,” said Dinah. “What idea did you have?”

“Why, insert an advertisement in the Ipswich Journal and the Norfolk Chronicle that you are looking for a husband, and then marry the one you like the most,” said Imogen. “I will help you to interview those who take your interest from their letters.”

“But Imogen, Papa might see the advertisement!” cried Dinah.

“Silly, you do not put it in your name,” said Imogen. “You write something like ‘Young lady seeks matrimony with a man of sufficient means and gentility to support a wife of breeding, no older than thirty. Send post-paid envelope to … oh, to some inn.”

 About the Author 

sarahwaldockSarah Waldock grew up in Suffolk and still resides there, in charge of a husband, and under the ownership of sundry cats. All Sarah’s cats are rescue cats and many of them have special needs. They like to help her write and may be found engaging in such helpful pastimes as turning the screen display upside-down, or typing random messages in kittycode into her computer.

Sarah claims to be an artist who writes. Her degree is in art, and she got her best marks writing essays for it. She writes largely historical novels, in order to retain some hold on sanity in an increasingly insane world. There are some writers who claim to write because they have some control over their fictional worlds, but Sarah admits to being thoroughly bullied by her characters who do their own thing and often refuse to comply with her ideas. It makes life more interesting, and she enjoys the surprises they spring on her. Her characters’ surprises are usually less messy [and much less noisy] than the surprises her cats spring.

Sarah has tried most of the crafts and avocations which she mentions in her books, on the principle that it is easier to write about what you know. She does not ride horses, since the Good Lord in his mercy saw fit to invent Gottleib Daimler to save her from that experience; and she has not tried blacksmithing. She would like to wave cheerily at anyone in any security services who wonder about middle aged women who read up about making gunpowder and poisonous plants.

Sarah’s History Place BlogSarah’s Cats Blog

Romance of London: Comments on Hogarth’s “Industrious and Idle Apprentices”

Romance of London: Strange Stories, Scenes And Remarkable Person of the Great Town in 3 Volumes

John Timbs

John Timbs (1801-1875), who also wrote as Horace Welby, was an English author and aficionado of antiquities. Born in Clerkenwell, London, he was apprenticed at 16 to a druggist and printer, where he soon showed great literary promise. At 19, he began to write for Monthly Magazine, and a year later he was made secretary to the magazine’s proprietor and there began his career as a writer, editor, and antiquarian.

This particular book is available at googlebooks for free in ebook form. Or you can pay for a print version.

Comments on Hogarth’s “Industrious and Idle Apprentices”

William Makepeace Thackeray

William Makepeace Thackeray

Mr. Thackeray, in his Lectures on the English Humorists, thus vividly paints the scenes of Hogarth’s masterpieces; at the same time he very ingeniously contrasts the past with the present—one of the more immediate benefits of the Lecture: the past is generally interesting, but it chiefly becomes instructive when brought under the powerful focus of the present. His account of Hogarth’s “Apprentices” is a masterpiece in this way:


William_Hogarth-Industry and Idleness, Plate 1; The Fellow ‘Prentices at their Looms

Fair-haired Frank Goodchild smiles at his work, whilst naughty Tom Idle snores over his loom. Frank reads the edifying ballads of Whittington and the London ‘Prentice: whilst that reprobate Tom Idle prefers Moll Flanders, and drinks hugely of beer.


William Hogarth-industry and idleness plate 2 the industrious prentice_performing the duty of a Christian

Frank goes to church on a Sunday, and warbles hymns from the gallery; while Tom lies on a tomb-stone outside playing at halfpenny-under-the-hat, and with street blackguards, and deservedly caned by the beadle.


william hogarth -industry and idleness plate 3 the idle prentice at play in the church yard during divine service

Frank is made overseer of the business; whilst Tom is sent to sea.


William_Hogarth Industry and Idleness, Plate 4; The Industrious ‘Prentice a Favourite, and entrusted by his Master



william hogarth – industry and idleness plate 5 the idle prentice turnd away and sent to sea

Frank is taken into partnership, and marries his master’s daughter, sends out broken victuals to the poor, and listens in his night-cap and gown with the lovely Mrs. Goodchild by his side, to the nuptial music of the city bands and the marrow-bones and cleavers; whilst idle Tom, returned from sea, shudders in a garret lest the officers are coming to take him for picking pockets.


william hogarth – industry and idleness plate 6 the industrious prentice out of his time married to his masters daughter


william hogarth – industry and idleness plate 7 the idle prentice returnd from sea in a garret with common prostitute

The Worshipful Francis Goodchild, Esq., becomes Sheriff of London, and partakes of the most splendid dinners which money can purchase or alderman devour; whilst poor Tom is taken up in a night cellar, with that one-eyed and disreputable accomplice who first taught him to play chuck-farthing on a Sunday.


william hogarth – industry and idleness plate 8 the industrious prentice grown right sheriff of london

What happens next? Tom is brought up before the justice of his county, in the person of Mr. Alderman Goodchild, who weeps as he recognizes his old brother ‘prentice, as Tom’s one-eyed friend peaches on him, as the clerk makes out the poor rogue’s ticket for Newgate.


william hogarth – industry and idleness plate 9 the idle prentice betrayed and taken in a night-cellar with his accomplice



william hogarth -industry and idleness plate 10 the industrious prentice alderman of_london the idle on brought before him impreachd by his accomplice

Then the end comes. Tom goes to Tyburn in a cart with a coffin in it; whilst the right Honorable Francis Goodchild, Lord Mayor of London, proceeds to his Mansion House, in his gilt coach, with four footmen and a sword-bearer, whilst the companies of London march in the august procession, whilst the train-bands of the city fire their pieces and get drunk in his honor; and oh, crowning delight and glory of all, whilst his majesty the king looks out of his royal balcony, with his ribbon on his breast, and his queen and his star by his side at the corner house of St. Paul’s Church-yard, where the toy-shop is now.


william_hogarth- industry and idleness plate 11 the idle prentice executed at tyburn



william_hogarth -industry and idleness plate 12 the industrious prentice ord-mayor of london

How the times have changed! The new Post-office now not disadvantageously occupies that spot where the scaffolding is on the picture, where the tipsy trainband-man is lurching against the post, with his wig over one eye, and the ‘prentice-boy is trying to kiss the pretty girl in the gallery. Past away ‘prentice boy and pretty girl! Past away tipsy trainband-man with wig and bandolier! On the spot where Tom Idle (for whom I have an unaffected pity) made his exit from this wicked world, and where you see the hangman smoking his pipe, as he reclines on the gibbet, and views the hills of Harrow on Hampstead beyond—a splendid marble arch, a vast and modern city—clean, airy, painted drab, populous with nursery-maids and children, the abodes of wealth and comfort—the elegant, the prosperous, the polite Tyburnia rises, the most respectable district in the habitable globe!

In that last plate of the London Apprentices, in which the apotheosis of the Right Honorable Francis Goodchild is drawn, a ragged fellow is represented in the corner of the simple kindly piece, offering for sale a broadside, purporting to contain an account of the appearance of the ghost of Tom Idle, executed at Tyburn. Could Tom’s ghost have made its appearance in 1847, and not in 1747, what changes would have been remarked by that astonished escaped criminal! Over that road which the hangman used to travel constantly, and the Oxford stage twice a week, go ten thousand carriages every day; over yonder road, by which Dick Turpin fled to Windsor, and Squire Western journeyed into town, when he came to take up his quarters at the Hercules Pillars not he outskirts of London, what a rush of civilization and order flows now! What armies of gentlemen with umbrellas march to banks, and chambers, and counting-houses! What regiments of nursery-maids and pretty infantry: what peaceful processions of policemen, what light broughams and what gay carriages, what swarms of busy apprentices and artificers, riding on omnibus-roofs, pass daily and hourly! Tom Idle’s times are quite changed; many of the institutions gone into disuse which were admired in his day. There’s more pity and kindness, and a better chance for poor Tom’s successors now than at that simpler period, when Fielding hanged him, and Hogarth drew him.

One hundred and fifty years after Thackeray’s assertions that the world is a kinder place toward kids like Idle Tom, I’m not so certain I can say the same. As a former teacher, it seems to me that the system is still stacked against kids who “dance to a different drum” or who are raised in poverty and/or by indifferent parents. And I’ll be damned if I know how to change that. What do you think?

Sherry Ewing: Hearts Across Time Box Set (Giveaway)

I’d like to thank Susana for allowing me the opportunity to showcase my first box set. I’m Sherry Ewing and I write historical and time travel romances to awaken the soul one heart at a time.

Today I’d like to tell you about this special edition box set entitled Hearts Across Time: The Knights of Berwyck, A Quest Through Time Novel (Books One & Two) that released April 17, 2016. It contains my full-length novels For All of Ever and Only For You. Katherine and Riorden just happen to be my favorite characters I’ve created so far.

Attachment-1Originally, I had no plans to write a time travel. In fact, after I had finished my debut medieval romance, If My Heart Could See You (which is a free eBook by the way), I had every intention of writing about the youngest sister Lynet (A Knight To Call My Own). If you’re a writer, then you know how our characters have a mind of their own and will tell you the direction their lives will go. If you’re a reader, well…let me tell you its true…authors really do have voices inside their heads!

So Katherine and Riorden were “born,” so to speak, along with Katherine’s thee other friends who slipped through time in a turret at Bamburgh castle. I had so much fun writing these books that it spun a whole series and the next book, To Follow My Heart, will release this summer. I continue to be amazed at the amount of research that is available to authors these days and if you haven’t visited Bamburgh’s site, and love castles, don’t miss out! It’s very interactive with a video fly by, rooms to see, and lots of historical information on its origins dating back to its first recorded history in 547AD. And if that’s not enough, be sure to open some of the books in the “library”.

I’d like to show of a painting that a friend of my daughter, Kimberly King, did for me. Originally it was going to be my cover but timing being what it was for the both of us, it just didn’t work out. But I still wanted to have this beautiful piece a part of my book so I put it on the back cover of the print version. Kim took everything I wanted to depict a scene where Katherine see’s Riorden in a painting for the very first time when she at last learns his name. It’s still one of my favorite scenes in the book.

Since Susana and I are part of the Bluestocking Belles, I’d like to do a giveaway of my upcoming release Under the Mistletoe, that was originally part of the Belles’ box set Mistletoe, Marriage, & Mayhem. It will be available for just $0.99 on May 8th.

For a chance to win an eCopy of Under the Mistletoe, tell me the first historical romance you ever read and why it’s stuck with you all these years. I’ll choose a random comment as the winner.

About Hearts Across Time: The Knights of Berwick, A Quest Through Time Novel (Books One & Two)

Sometimes all you need is to just believe…

For All of Ever: Katherine Wakefield has dreamed and written of her knight in shining armor all her life. Yet, how could she have known that when she and her three closest friends take a dream vacation to England that they’d find themselves thrown back more than eight hundred years into the past? Riorden de Deveraux travels to Bamburgh answering the summons of King Henry II. But nothing prepares him for the beautiful vision of a strangely clad ghost who first appears in his chamber. Centuries are keeping them apart until Time gives them a chance at finding love. Will the past of one consume what their future may hold, or will Time take the decision from them and hurdle Katherine forward to where she truly belongs?

Only For You: Katherine de Deveraux has it all but settling into her duties at Warkworth Castle is not easy and downright dangerous to her well-being. Consumed with memories of his father, Riorden must deal with his sire’s widow. Yet how could he know how far Marguerite will go to have the life she feels they were meant to live? Torn apart, Time becomes their true enemy while Marguerite continues her ploy to keep Riorden at her side. With all hope lost, will Katherine & Riorden find a way to save their marriage?

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She needed fresh air…that’s what she needed. Turning into the Great Hall to catch up with her friends, she found herself riveted to the floor. Even if she’d wanted to move, she couldn’t have. Hardly believing what she was seeing, she became mesmerized when the tourists milling around the chamber slowly vanished before her eyes.

box set pic from FBOnly one man was left standing at the far end of the room, or rather, one knight. He had been reaching for something on a table when Katherine saw his shoulders flinch. His red cape swirled around his legs when he turned to face her. Their eyes locked and Katherine’s breath left her at the intensity reflected in his face. Shock, intermingled with excitement, rushed through her. Her whole body began to tingle. Good God, it’s him! Her mind screamed. He stood there with such a commanding presence about him that she had no recourse but to move in his direction.

Inch by inch, the distance between them lessened as he, too, moved swiftly across the floor. Her arm extended, she reached for him, and yet their meeting was not to be. He quickly vanished, passing right through her. Her body lurched from the contact when the wispy vapor that had been him disintegrated upon their meeting. A soft cry of distress escaped her lips. How could fate be so cruel as to take him from her before they could speak even one word together?

Modern surroundings returned, and Katherine became disorientated when she was rudely bumped by some jerk, who didn’t even mutter an apology. She swiveled around, trying to see if her knight was maybe still lurking in the hall, but there was no trace of him.

She had taken no more than a few short steps, when a voice whispered inside her head. Katherine…come back to me, my love.

sherryAbout the Author

Sherry Ewing picked up her first historical romance when she was a teenager and has been hooked ever since. A bestselling author, she writes historical & time travel romances to awaken the soul one heart at a time. Always wanting to write a novel but busy raising her children, she finally took the plunge in 2008 and wrote her first Regency. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, The Beau Monde & The Bluestocking Belles. Sherry is currently working on her next novel and when not writing, she can be found in the San Francisco area at her day job as an Information Technology Specialist.

Sherry enjoys interacting with her readers.

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Romance of London: The Bluestocking and the Sweeps’ Holiday

Romance of London: Strange Stories, Scenes And Remarkable Person of the Great Town in 3 Volumes

John Timbs

John Timbs (1801-1875), who also wrote as Horace Welby, was an English author and aficionado of antiquities. Born in Clerkenwell, London, he was apprenticed at 16 to a druggist and printer, where he soon showed great literary promise. At 19, he began to write for Monthly Magazine, and a year later he was made secretary to the magazine’s proprietor and there began his career as a writer, editor, and antiquarian.

This particular book is available at googlebooks for free in ebook form. Or you can pay for a print version.

Montague House, Portman Square

Montague House, Portman Square

Elizabeth Montague’s Bluestocking Parties

At the north-west angle of Portman Square is Montague House, built for Mrs. Elizabeth Montague, authoress of the Vindication of Shakespeare against Voltaire. She had often been a guest at the second Lord Oxford’s, the resort of Pope and his contemporaries; she was the intimate friend of Pulteney and Littleton; and she survived to entertain Johnson, Goldsmith, Burke, and Reynolds, to their respective deaths. Dr. Beattie was among her visitors; and Mrs. Carter, the translator of Epictetus, was her intimate friend, correspondent, and visitor. At Montague House Mrs. Montague had her blue stocking parties; and here she gave on the first of May, “Sweeps’ Holiday,” which originated in the discovery among the fraternity of chimney-sweeps, of the eccentric Edward Wortley Montague, ‘son of the famous Lady Mary Wortley Montague, by her husband, Edward Wortley.’

Lady Mary Wortley Montagu with Her Son Edward. Lady Mary was the first to bring smallpox inoculation to Western medicine after her experiences in the Ottoman Empire.

Lady Mary Wortley Montagu with Her Son Edward. Lady Mary was the first to bring smallpox inoculation to Western medicine after her experiences in the Ottoman Empire.

Edward Wortley Montague

This hopeful boy was born at Wharncliffe Lodge, in Yorkshire, about the year 1714; he was sent to Westminster School, whence he ran away, and was more than a year apprentice to a fisherman at Blackwall; he was sent back to Westminster, again ran away, and bound himself to the master of an Oporto vessel, a Quaker, from whom he escaped immediately on landing. In one of these flights, he changed clothes with a chimney-sweep, and for some time followed that occupation. After a long and anxious search, he was discovered by his friends, and restored to his parents, on the first of May, at the family mansion in Portman Square.


A 1775 portrait of Edward Wortley Montagu by Matthew William Peters

He had also served an apprenticeship among a traveling troop of showmen, who were distinguished by their skill in horsemanship; then worked in the fields in Holland as a day-laborer; next hired himself as a postillion; he then assumed the attire of an abbot, and passed for one at Rome. He next then passed for a Lutheran preacher at Hamburg, and was universally popular! He subsequently embraced the Mahomedan religion, and conformed to all Turkish habits, even to chewing opium and sitting cross-legged on the floor! With the Hebrew, Arabic, the Persian, and the Chadic he was as well acquainted as his native tongue. He at one time returned to England, and acted more comformably to his rank, and was returned as a member in two successive parliaments… But Montague’s profuse expenses soon compelled him to quit his native country, and he again assumed his wandering habits, and eventually died at Padua, at the age of sixty-two years.

The First of May: A Day for Chimney Sweeps

CHIMNEY SWEEP. A chimney sweep and his young helper. Line engraving, English, 18th century.

CHIMNEY SWEEP. A chimney sweep and his young helper. Line engraving, English, 18th century.

To commemorate the restoration of the truant to his family, in the grounds attached to Montague House, his relative, Mrs. Elizabeth Montague, for many years feasted the chimney-sweeps of London, on the first of May, with roast-beef and plum-pudding, “so that they might enjoy one happy day in the year.” And this special treat is said to have given rise to the general sweeps’ holiday. Mrs. Montague died in the year 1800, in her 80th year.

Portrait of Elizabeth_Montagu (1718-1800) by Allan Ramsay (1713-1784) in 1762

Portrait of Elizabeth Montagu (1718-1800) by Allan Ramsay (1713-1784) in 1762


Incidentally, chimney sweeps’ cancer is the first industrially-related cancer to be found (1775).


In honor of Sweeps’ Holiday:

Name any works of art, literature, movies, etc. that prominently feature chimney sweeps.