Monday, October 1, 2018

18th century Passports



For my next book, The Baron’s Daughter, I have been researching passports. Why, you ask? Excellent question.

During the 18th century, British passports were mainly for diplomats, officials or professionals such as merchants. Tourists were not common and only the affluent traveler were able to obtain a passport. The document cost about 6 pounds, 7 shillings and 6 pence in 1778. It was not a cheap expense!

Granting travel documents to British citizens was tasked by the Privy Council of England from 1540 to the late 18th century. In 1794, issuing British passports became the job of the Office of the Secretary of State. Most foreigners entering Britain had to obtain a passport. From the beginning of the war with France in 1793, it became necessary for these foreigners to acquire a new passport when changing the place or the usual residence. This new passport was issued by the mayor of a town. Foreign merchants were excluded. They had full liberties to pass and repass within the country.

Examples of 18th century passports:




We, John Earl Russel, Viscount Amberley, a Peer of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, a Member of Her Britannic Majesty’s Most Honourable Privy Council, Mer majesty’s Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, requests and requires in the name of Her Majesty all those whom it may concern to allow Mrs Elizabeth Gaskell (British subject) accompanied by four daughters travelling un the Continent with a maid servant, to pass freely without let or hindrance and to afford then every assistance and protection of which them may stand in need.


*For more information- http://regency-explorer.net/passport/

Monday, September 24, 2018

Now Available for Pre-Order



Hiding from the horrors of her past, Miss Martha Haskett is content living her days serving as a lady's maid to her friend Eliza, the Marchioness of Lansdowne. But then her father, the new Earl of Waterford, shows up, with the shocking news that she is now a titled lady. Further turning her life upside down, he proposes a bargain. She will have a single Season in London, and if she does not marry by the end of the Season, she will be gifted with her dowry and a small estate. Despite her mistrust of her father, Martha accepts his offer, but can’t seem to let go of the anger that has been festering inside of her, or her discomfort with a position in Society where she feels she does not belong.
Dr. Emmett Maddix is tired of the frivolity of the ton and spends his time atoning for his past sins by providing medical care to the poor. His life takes an unexpected turn when he is recruited to be an agent of the Crown. He is assigned to run a charity hospital as a front to collect information about a vicious band of smugglers known as The Cursed Lot, who have managed to overtake the entire town of Gravesend with a reign of murder and oppression.
As Emmett delves further into The Cursed Lot’s domain, he quickly discovers that not everything is what it seems, and it will take far more than one new agent to take down this ruthless gang. While the tangled web of intrigue begins to unravel, Martha and Emmett battle an undeniable but unspoken attraction that grows between them. But before either can be ready to share their hearts, they must overcome their past mistakes, and find their own reasons to keep fighting. With more than just their hearts at stake, surviving the mission will be more difficult than either of them could ever imagine.

AVAILABLE ON OCT 1st!

Monday, August 13, 2018

Kate Warne- First Female P.I.

Not much is known about Kate Warne prior to the day she walked into the Pinkerton National Detective Agency in 1856.

Answering an ad in a local newspaper, Warne went to Pinkerton's Chicago office and asked to see Allan Pinkerton about a job. There is still debate whether or not she intended to become a detective or a secretary. There were no women detectives until well after the Civil War. Pinkerton himself claimed that she demanded to become a detective.
According to Pinkerton's records, he was surprised to learn Kate was not looking for clerical work, but was actually answering an advertisement for detectives he had placed in a Chicago newspaper. Pinkerton said, 'It is not the custom to employ women detectives.' Kate argued eloquently that women could be 'most useful in worming out secrets in many places which would be impossible for a male detective.' A woman would be able to befriend the wives and girlfriends of suspected criminals and gain their confidence.
Her argument impressed Pinkerton and on August 23, 1856, he employed Kate Warne, over the strong objections of his brother Robert who was also his partner in the business. According to Pinkerton family history, Allan was smitten with the woman; she became his mistress and traveled with him. (He had a wife and children at home.) This caused problems when his brother questioned some of the expenses she turned in to the agency.
Thus, Warne became the first female private detective in the United States. Moreover, Pinkerton soon hired other females. Their ranks grew, Kate having shown Pinkerton their intrinsic value to his organization, and he appointed Warne Supervisor of Female Detectives.
Warne became a very good private investigator and acted undercover, infiltrating social events and gathering information no man could have obtained. She wore disguises, changed her accent at will and became a huge asset to the Agency.


Monday, July 30, 2018

Please use caution when running at night





Jogging can be very dangerous... even at low speeds. 
Please use caution when you decide to be an idiot.


Here is my true story... In a successful attempt to avoid our children, my sister and I decided to go eat delicious Mexican food. After sharing a scrumptious plate of carnitas tacos, we did some light shopping before arriving home around 8pm. The sun was starting to set, but I felt like a 3-mile run would be the perfect way to end a wonderful day.

I threw on my running clothes, put my music on, and I started running down the asphalt road. While I was jogging (and I use that term loosely), I started outlining a book that I am collaborating with many other fantastic authors. After achieving a speedy 10 minute mile average, I had just started the final leg of my jog when a pothole came out from nowhere. Sadly, my ankle was not having it and gave out on me. 

As I sat on the side of the road, a nice older man offered to give me a ride home. Yes, I had to accept a ride from a stranger; Yes, I went to the emergency room because I thought I had broken my ankle again. (Yes, again)  

 Luckily, it is only a sprain, but I learned a few life lessons:

1.  Do not start a run when it is already dark outside 

     
     2.  While running on neglected city streets, do not start acting out scenes in your head

    

  3. Wearing flimsy running shorts to an emergency room might not be the best choice in wardrobe selection



4. It might be best for me to bring along a partner when jog because I appear to be accident prone. Perhaps I should request an ambulance to trail behind me

5. The nurse at the ER told me that I am not a "young buck" anymore and I should develop a new workout strategy. (Maybe liposuction????)










  

Monday, July 16, 2018

A Cheat Sheet for Regency Era Carriage Types

Are you trying to keep track of all the wide varieties of conveyances used in the Regency Era. If so, this cheat sheet should help you immensely. My list is complied of the most commonly used carriage types. Enjoy!


Regency Era Carriage Types Cheat Sheet


Buggy light, un-hooded, one-horsed vehicles with two wheels– carried a single passenger.

Carriages- A carriage usually refers to any private, four-wheeled passenger vehicle drawn by two or more horses.

Cart- Typically a two-wheeled wagon with no suspension, a cart was maneuverable and drawn by a single horse. It was a general-purpose trade or farm vehicle.


Chaise

A chaise was a pleasure or traveling carriage that was usually open and low with four wheels and drawn by one or two ponies. Often referred to as “a yellow bounder”, a hired Post Chaise were always painted bright yellow and a postillion riding one of the rented horses controlled the vehicle.




Regency Era Carriage: coach
 



Coach



Coaches were stately carriages with four wheels and windows on all sides. The curved underbody and seating for four passengers were also characteristic. A Town Coach was massive and often drawn by up to six horses and usually sported a coat of arms painted on the doors.


Regency Era Carriage: curricle

Curricle

Curricles were light, two-wheeled vehicles pulled by a pair of horses that were used for short trips. This was the only two-wheeled vehicle to be drawn by a pair of horses and a steel bar, attached with pads to the horses’ backs, supported the weight of the pole.

 





Regency Era Carriage: coach


Gig

Gigs were light, two-wheeled, one-horsed vehicles for two passengers. This was the most common vehicle on the road.

 



Now for Specific Vehicles Names:


Regency Era Carriage: barouche


Barouche

The barouche had a collapsible hood over the back and was considered a summer vehicle used for driving in the great parks. It was drawn by a pair of high quality horses to complement the expensive and fashionable vehicle.

 

Hackney

These were coaches or carriages for hire. The name comes from the French term haquenée meaning horse for hire. Often these coaches had been discarded by the nobility and were looked down upon because of their shabby, dirty interiors.


Landau

A landau was a four-wheeled carriage with a folding two-part hood. The front and rear halves could be raised and lowered independently.


Mail CoachRegency Era Carriage: mailcoach

The official mail coaches, which followed fixed routes, carried mail and passengers to specific coaching inns and followed a strict schedule. Usually pulled by six horses changed out at regular post stops, these coaches could therefore run all the way.


PhaetonRegency Era Carriage: phaeton

A phaeton refers to a light and usually low-slung, four-wheeled open carriage drawn by a pair of horses.