Welcome! This is the first episode of my new blog series, The Life and Times of Hope for Charity. In this episode, we’ll look at the era in which Hope for Charity my debut novel is set. It’s the first of a three-book Christian Historical Romance novel series. Now join me for our first glance at The Life and Times of Hope for Charity.
The Era: Georgian
Hope for Charity is set the 18th-century in England in 1747. Specifically, the novel begins in a little village named Husthwaite in North Yorkshire, but I digress. Lord willing, we’ll discuss places in the next episode.
One reason I chose the year 1747 is that it isn’t noteworthy in England’s history. Hope for Charity focuses on relationships and I didn’t want major historical events to take over the narrative. However, for our purposes here, I’ll share some of the significant history surrounding Hope for Charity.
Born: November 10, 1683 Germany
Title/Office: king (1727-1760)
Dynasty: House of Hanover
"From the Hanoverian succession to the mid-18th century the texture and quality of life in Britain changed considerably but by no means evenly. Change was far more pronounced in the towns than in the countryside and among the prosperous than among the poor... The peerage, that is, dukes, marquesses, earls, viscounts, or barons... hereditary titles, which could only be granted by the crown, carried with them the right to sit in the House of Lords. In the reigns of George I and George II there were some 170 of these peers. Almost all of them possessed fine houses in London as well as one or more mansions in the counties where their land lay."
The uprising of ‘45 is worth mentioning, as it is the last battle against the Jacobite Rebellion. This battle defeating the Jacobites took place about a year before Hope for Charity begins.
"On April 16, 1746, the duke of Cumberland (George II’s second son) defeated the Jacobite army at Culloden in northern Scotland. This was the last major land battle to occur in Great Britain. The Young Pretender escaped to France and finally died in 1788, sodden with drink and disillusionment." (Jacobite Rebellion)
"Throughout the Georgian period the political rights of ordinary men and women were extremely limited. Only those men with substantial property or wealth were entitled to vote – this amounted to around 200,000 individuals, which was only a tiny fraction of the population. Many Members of Parliament were elected to represent ‘rotten boroughs’ – these were boroughs in which just a handful of voters enjoyed totally disproportionate representation in Parliament...
...Although the majority of the British population had no right to vote, the influence of public opinion was extremely strong. The will of the people was expressed in many different ways. The leading political factions of the period – the Whigs and the Tories – were endlessly bullied and ridiculed in print, for example, and, like today, reputations could rise and fall quickly according to public opinion... there was a huge market for political pamphlets, books, ballads and newspapers...
...Political opinion was also expressed in a more direct manner. Rioting was a familiar feature of daily life in both towns and the countryside, and many people came to fear the power of the ‘mob’. Crowd action was particularly strong in London, where people regularly threw stones at the carriages of leading politicians or booed unpopular ministers. Crowds sometimes forced householders to light their windows in celebration of political or military victories, and massive mobs formed around their political heroes..."
The 1700s saw a huge amount of growth:
"Growing prosperity also increased job opportunities in the leisure and luxury industries. Urban directories show that there were more musicians and music teachers and more dancing masters, booksellers, caterers, and landscape gardeners than in the 17th century. And there were more shops. Shops had expanded even into rural areas by the 1680s, but in the 18th century they proliferated at a much faster rate...
...Many urban merchants, taking advantage of better roads and coach services, went to live in the countryside while maintaining their businesses in town. Lower down the social scale, hawkers and peddlers (itinerant traders) carried town-produced goods into the country areas and sold them there. Conversely, the growing demand for food in urban areas sucked in men and goods from the countryside..."
...Schools grew in number, in both the towns and the surrounding countryside. In just one English county, Northamptonshire, the local newspaper press advertised the establishment of more than 100 new schools between 1720 and 1760..."
Keep in mind, Hope for Charity takes place before the Industrial Revolution.
"But the most dramatic advance in inland communication came in the form of the printed word. London’s first daily newspaper appeared in 1702. In 1695 Parliament passed legislation allowing printing presses to be established freely outside London. Between 1700 and 1750 presses were founded in 57 English provincial towns..."
1727 George I dies, George II becomes king beginning of war with Spain
1729 End of war with Spain
1730 Lord Townshend retires from the ministry to devote himself to agricultural improvement
1733 Excise crisis Walpole must abandon plans to reform customs and excise duties.
1737 Death of Queen Caroline
1738 Lewis Paul's roller-spinning machine invented
1739 Beginning of "War of Jenkin's Ear" Anglo-Spanish naval war
1740 Beginning of the War of the Austrian Succession
1742 Fall of Wallpole
1744 Pelham ministry
1745 Beginning of "The Forty-five" James Edward once again comes to England to reclaim his throne.
1746 End of "The Forty-five" Scottish uprising suppressed, JamesEdward returns to France. Scotsmen now forbidden to wear their national dress.
1748 End of "War of Jenkin's Ear" with Spain End of the War of the Austrian SuccessionPeace of Aix-la-Chapelle
1749 Iron manufactures suppressed in the American colonies
1751 War between British and French in India
1752 Adoption of Gregorian Calendar
1754 War between English and French colonists in America begins Newcastle ministry
Did this glimpse into the Georgian Era in which Hope for Charity is set give you a better understanding of the life and times of those days?
Next time... Places
Next time I plan to talk about some of the places you'll read about in Hope for Charity past and present. If you aren't subscribed, hit that button ⬇️ so you won't miss a thing!