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EXPLORE OUR STATUS CALCULATOR HERE AND OUR NEW BREAKDOWN OF THE SOCIAL STATUS CATEGORIES OF EARLY MODERN ENGLAND HERE.

Join us to help uncover the untold histories of ordinary men and women from across early modern England.

Middling Culture is a major new Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded project that aims to transform our understanding of how reading, writing, and material culture fitted into the everyday lives of England’s “middling” people—neither the very rich nor the very poor—in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. These were the literate, urban households whose members engaged with a variety of cultural forms for work and beyond.

Listen to project Principle Investigator Prof. Catherine Richardson on why researching early modern england’s middling sort is essential for understanding how creativity and culture affect social mobility:

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Recent Posts

Jamming together: Recreating improvised seventeenth-century musical divisions

We are delighted to host this guest post from Nina Kümin, a PhD candidate in music performance and baroque improvisation at the University of York. The pleasure of your company is requested for a seventeenth-century jam session! One of the main forms of music making for English middling society in the seventeenth century was consort … Continue reading Jamming together: Recreating improvised seventeenth-century musical divisions

The Elizabethan Civil Service, or If at First You Don’t Succeed, Get Up and Petition Again

British bureaucracy is under constant scrutiny, from the public, the press, and even the government itself. Yet administrative paperwork and systems of protocol have a long history that underpins the growth of the modern capitalist economy and the communities who sustained it. The individuals who drove the bureaucratic revolution in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, … Continue reading The Elizabethan Civil Service, or If at First You Don’t Succeed, Get Up and Petition Again

Immigration, Travel, and Social Mobility: TIDE and Middling Culture Case Studies

We are thrilled to host a blog written by members of the TIDE project. TIDE investigates “how mobility in the great age of travel and discovery shaped English perceptions of human identity based on cultural identification and difference.” The following profiles, written by Lauren Working, Emily Stevenson, and Tom Roberts, use our Status Calculator to … Continue reading Immigration, Travel, and Social Mobility: TIDE and Middling Culture Case Studies

Jane Ratcliffe and the life of an ‘upper middling’ woman in seventeenth-century Chester

In our Social Status Calculator Jane Ratcliffe is given as an example of a typical ‘upper middling’ woman. This blog uses the limited surviving source material to further flesh out Jane’s social and cultural life in seventeenth-century Chester. Jane was baptised in 1587, the daughter of John Brerewood, a glover of Chester who also served … Continue reading Jane Ratcliffe and the life of an ‘upper middling’ woman in seventeenth-century Chester

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