Completely silent ghosts became the norm to a much greater extent over the course of the nineteenth century. Generally ghosts who did speak were wrong-righting ghosts. (Although there were exceptions! In 1706 Mr. Shaw, a fellow of St John’s College, Oxford, chatted with the ghost of a dead colleague for two hours before receiving word of his untimely death.) Murder victims were the most common. Conflicts over inheritance were also a big one: “Mother’s ghost appeared to me and she says I get the antique dining set!”
There were actually a fair number of working class poets in eighteenth-century England, though their work has been excluded from the canon. A few of my personal favorites are:
1. Mary Collier. Wikipedia notes:
“She read Stephen Duck‘s The Thresher’s Labour (1730) and in response to his apparent disdain for labouring-class women, wrote the 246-line poem for which she is mainly remembered, The Woman’s Labour: an Epistle to Mr Stephen Duck. In this piece she catalogues the daily tasks of a working woman, both outside the home and, at the end of the day, within the home as well:
‘You sup, and go to Bed without delay, And rest yourselves till the ensuing Day; While we, alas! but little Sleep can have…'”
I had never heard of box pews until I started writing the Lively St. Lemeston series! However, they were much more common in England during the Regency than bench-style pews. Wikipedia explains:
“Box pews provided privacy and allowed the family to sit together. In the 17th century they could include windows, curtains, tables and even fireplaces, and were treated as personal property that could be willed to legatees. Sometimes the paneling was so high it was difficult to see out, and the privacy was used as a cover for non-devotional activity….By the eighteenth century it became normal to install formal box pews instead of random personal constructions. This provided a more classic line to the church, although Sir Christopher Wren objected to pews in his churches. With the mid-19th century church reforms, box pews were generally swept away and replaced by bench pews. However a number of examples still remain in various churches throughout the United Kingdom.”
Note that part of the church reforms involved changing how clergymen were paid—fees from renting pews provided a good chunk of their salaries previously, so they resisted replacing them with more efficient seating.
What it says on the tin. This journalist’s name kept coming up in my research on early Alexander Hamilton-related US politics (he leaked the original Reynolds documents that led to Hamilton writing the notorious pamphlet, his prosecution for libel by Adams was a major campaign issue in the 1800 presidential election, and he also broke the Sally Hemings story).
I then found out that he conveniently died right around the time Alexander Hamilton would have subpoenaed him to testify against Jefferson in a prominent libel case…