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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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You can find out more about the project and its rationale in our opening blog series, HERE.

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Header Base Image: © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Recent Posts

Strangeness, Jacobean Drama, and Chester

On 23 April 1610, the city of Chester in the north-west of England inaugurated its new St George’s Day horse races on the surrounding fields known as the Roodee—a tradition that endures today.  To celebrate the occasion, a raft of pageants and activities unfolded all over the city and its environs.  The festivities were recounted in a … Continue reading Strangeness, Jacobean Drama, and Chester

Lettice Greene of Stratford-upon-Avon and her World

Lettice Greene, like the majority of women in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, led a life in which her social status was determined by her male relatives. The life of her husband, Thomas Greene, was very well documented, particularly during the period 1602-1617, when he was town clerk and then steward of Stratford-upon-Avon. Lettice emerges … Continue reading Lettice Greene of Stratford-upon-Avon and her World

The Cally Family: Chester’s Early Modern Music Scene

This document details a rather formal conclusion to a brotherly quarrel. Dated 1599, it’s preserved as part of a manuscript “anthology” of copied and original documents from Chester’s administrative past by early antiquarian, Randle Holme II. The brothers in question, Robert and George Cally, were both musicians, and they seem not to have been able … Continue reading The Cally Family: Chester’s Early Modern Music Scene

WFH 2: Tradesmen and Tools for Working from Home, Chapter 1

For this second instalment of ‘Working from Home’ in early modern England, I’m going to take a look at some of the tools and materials urban individuals used as part of their trade in two posts. The first looks at the wider uses of tools and the second studies joiners. The chisel in the image … Continue reading WFH 2: Tradesmen and Tools for Working from Home, Chapter 1

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