Showing posts from March, 2010

Political clothing and adornment

I've a new article coming out in the Journal of British Studies in July.

I've been asked by our PR team to write an executive summary of it, so I might as well post this here too. It's designed for the general reader rather than historians, so excuse the somewhat basic nature of it. The full-length article is much more scholarly, though just as fun!

‘“That Sash Will Hang You”: Political Clothing and Adornment in England, 1780–1840’ will be published in the major American history journal, Journal of British Studies, in July 2010.

Main findings:
- Rosettes are not a new way of expressing belonging to a political party: their history stretches way back to the eighteenth century, as do sashes, colours and other forms of material clothing and adornment used as forms of political expression. They enabled the illiterate and those without the vote to express their political views.- Many political symbols still used today have their origins in the eighteenth century, if not before. …
The 'blood protest' in Thailand this week caught the headlines. Commentators have noted the world-wide symbolic and religious origins of such a ritualistic act of protest, although scholars of Thai culture disagree over the exact meaning of using human blood.

For me, it brings me to mind of the food riots in eighteenth and early nineteenth century England. Food riots attempted to assert the 'moral economy' or 'just price' against middlemen dealers in grain or other produce. A key symbol used by the rioters was a loaf of bread dipped in blood, which was placed on a stick and paraded round the market.
The agrarian disturbances in East Anglia in 1816 were known as the 'Bread and Blood' riots. Certain leaders of the Swing rioters in the 1830s identified themselves by wearing a scarf stained with blood.
Later types of protest used the symbol to great effect, such as demonstrations against the New Poor Law of 1834.

More links to history-geography sites

People's Place Names
Manchester creative tourist city guides

Some GIS sites I'm trying to get my head around:

Rubbish video

Here's my first attempt at recreating the route of a procession in Manchester. It's really bad, and I sound like Frank Sidebottom, but I'm just experimenting with the technology and with what works.Click on the thumbnail to stream the video in media player or equivalent.George Leigh Street Ancoats, 16 August 1820

More processions

Here's an interesting snippet from the Manchester procession to celebrate the passing of the 1832 Reform Act. The glassmakers of Messrs Molineaux Webb Ellis and Co processed as follows:

A man bearing a silk flag motto ‘W Rex’; in the reverse, ‘success to the glass trade’. Glass blowers with glass hats decorated with ribbons and appropriate mottoes inscribed with ‘Old England forever’, ‘Abolition of all monopolies’, ‘Success to the town and trade of Manchester’ accoutred with glass swords. Two large goblets carried by men adorned with rich superb spun glass wigs. Fishglobe and bird cage with a canary bird and fish swimming round. Two large globes silvered both ornamented with the Crown and Sceptre.
Other trades included the ‘Gas Men’, who processed with a cannel drawn by horses, a large union flag and the Manchester Arms [ex fume dere lucem]; and a carriage filled up with portable gas filling balloons and ornamented with a gas chandelier. The bakers processed with a ‘large loaf, ni…

more open source georeferencing links


The following is a googlearth - warper mashup using 1794 and 1831 maps of Manchester. I've found warper a quick and easy way of geo referencing old maps - much easier than ArcGIS. The resolution on the maps isn't brilliant, but they are correctly geo-referenced. I'm still working out how to tile the maps and display layers sequentially.