Saturday, January 24, 2015

Reading Records

It's odd what catches the eye.  I should have counted how many people are listed as "idiots" in the records.  Meanwhile, this caught my eye.  I think she's the wife of this guy, and the daughter of you know who.  I didn't realize Philip Sidney had kids, though.  She's not listed there in the wikipedia entry for Sir Philip.  But she is listed as the daughter of Frances Walsingham in her entry.  But that entry says she died in 1614.  This seems to say that she died in on the 1st of September, 10 James, which I think would be 1613? 


  1. I just got a copy of *A Handbook of Dates* and learned how to look at dates, and they've got it right, and I was wrong. So much to learn!

  2. Isn't the Handbook of Dates great? And are. You reading probate records?

  3. Yes! I love it! Thank you for suggesting it!

    I was reading the Sussex Record Society's digitalization of their 1912 transcript of post-mortem inquisitions. I started because I thought they'd be inquiring into causes of death and stuff (because I'm not a historian), and then I just read through hoping to get a sense of if anything astounding seemed to happen in 1614, and because I kept running across stuff that made me wonder or think.

    So, in short, I've learned something more about just how little I know. And, I've suddenly started to wonder at how many people are declared "idiots" and such. LOTS more than I'd expect.

    I'm curious about what other sorts of records there might be that I could look at if I went there? And what sort of handwriting are they likely to use? (I don't read chancery, but can do secretary when I practice.)

  4. Depends: chancery for the formal records (so maybe the IPM would be in chancery, but I've never worked with them). Also, as I recall, things like Kings Bench are in a chancery hand. I can do chancery, but oh, I'd much rather secretary!

    Of course you're getting idiots because their property is an issue. . . so probably the concentration is heavier than in the normal population.

    For causes of death, you'd need Inquests, which are usually part of assize records. And they don't survive well.