Economic History Society

Women's Committee 24th Annual Workshop: Single people and the world of goods

The Women’s Committee workshop held on Saturday 9 November 2013 sought to examine how singleness was experienced and expressed through material culture. 

The central focus of the workshop was on consumption, economic independence, and material culture relating to spinsters, bachelors and the widowed between the 17th and 19th centuries.


  • Amy Louise Erickson (Cambridge University) - 'Capital acquisition by apprentices in the London clothing trades c.1700'
  • Jane Hamlett (Royal Holloway University of London) - '"None of That Rotten Effeminate Stuff Here"? Domesticity and Material Culture in English Public Schools, 1840-1918'
  • Judith Spicksley (University of York) -  'Ribbons, curls and a coach: the importance of appearance for the gentle spinster in seventeenth century Hereford'
  • Diana Russell (Bath Spa University) -  ‘"Location and Relocation" Bath’s Female Run Businesses c1800-1851'
  • Derek Janes (University of Exeter) - 'John Nisbet of Gunsgreen House and his housekeeper Janet Ferguson'
  • Britt Denis (University of Antwerp) - 'Singled out (in) the ideal of domesticity? 19th century homemakers in Antwerp and Ghent'
  • Professor Pam Sharpe (University of Tasmania) - 'The world of Hester Pinney c.1680-1740: problems and progress'

View the workshop abstracts.

Image: William Redmore Bigg, 1793, A Cottage Interior: An Old Woman Preparing Tea  ©V&A

Further information 

Please contact Margaret Ponsonby, David Hussey or Karin Dannehl.