Penny Hampson

The Harsh Reality of Life As A Climbing Boy

January 7th, 2020

Join me on The Coffee Pot Book Club Blog today, where I’m taking a look at the harsh reality of life as a climbing boy (Warning! It’s not for the faint-hearted)

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Discover the disease that terrified parents in the early1800s, and the man who argued for inoculation.

December 2nd, 2019

With all the doom and gloom around at the moment, I thought I’d look at what was being reported in The Gentleman’s Magazine for November 1802. Well, it wasn’t better then, much worse in fact, particularly with regard to a disease that we no longer have to contend with… smallpox. I discovered a letter from […]

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Have you got Toothache? Then See a Blacksmith

November 13th, 2019

This week I had to make an emergency visit to the dentist. Fortunately, I didn’t require any major treatment, but I wondered what might have happened, if I’d been living in the early 1800s. At the time, dentistry was not a regulated profession; in rural areas patients would go to the local blacksmith to have […]

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Discover More About Life in Nelson’s Navy

November 1st, 2019

My previous blog post covered only some aspects of life in the Royal Navy at the time of the Napoleonic Wars, so I thought I’d write a bit more about other aspects of life. Being pressed into the navy, didn’t mean one worked for nothing — all members of the crew were paid. From 1797, […]

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Worse Things Happen at Sea? A Look at Life in the Navy of the Napoleonic Wars

October 22nd, 2019

In researching for the latest story in my Gentlemen Series, I’ve been looking at life in the British Royal Navy of the period. I have to say, a lot of it made grim reading. If women had a hard time with lack of independence, and limited means of making a living during the early 1800s, […]

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Tewkesbury – The Town That Bought an Abbey

October 8th, 2019

Last week saw me on my travels again, this time to the historic Cotswold town of Tewkesbury, which lies at the confluence of the rivers Severn and Avon. It was the scene of a decisive battle in 1471, when the House of York defeated the House of Lancaster in the Battle of the Roses. But […]

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Work and Play in Falmouth

September 15th, 2019

Last week I enjoyed a short break in one of my favourite places — Falmouth, Cornwall. Why do I love Falmouth? Lots of reasons, not least the wonderful feeling I get of being somewhere on the edge of an adventure. Falmouth was after all the jumping off point for many people travelling to different parts […]

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A Quick Trip to Mechelen

September 7th, 2019

Just a short post today. Earlier this week I visited Mechelen, a city close to Brussels in the Belgian region of Flanders. Mechelen has also been known as Mechlin (English) and Malines (French). It was just a flying visit as, having set off reasonably early on Tuesday morning to drive there via Eurotunnel, we didn’t […]

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The British Royal Navy and the Peninsular Campaign

September 1st, 2019

A major contributing factor to Wellington’s success in his Peninsular Campaign was the role played by the British Royal Navy. The British economy at the time of the Napoleonic Wars was based on trade, insurance, and financial services. Portugal, and access to its colony of Brazil, was crucial to Britain’s commercial interests. British woollen goods […]

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