London, Sugar and Slavery

Since 2007 the Museum of London Docklands have had a permanent exhibition that examines London’s involvement with the slave trade. The website is here http://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/Docklands/Whats-on/Galleries/LSS/ and along with may other people Priscilla’s work to highlight this isssue is acknowledged here http://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/Docklands/Whats-on/Galleries/LSS/Map/Resistance/People/102.htm

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Published in: on December 28, 2012 at 8:51 am  Leave a Comment  

Uncovering Priscilla

Internet searching can sometimes reveal information about Priscilla’s writing that has long been concealed.  

Information on the website of the bookshop George Bayntun in Bath suggests that Priscilla wrote the text to the book designed by Alfred Mills.

Pictures of English History, in Miniature

 

Published in: on June 4, 2012 at 5:13 am  Comments (1)  

Dan and Isabella

Dan, Priscilla’s youngest child, married a woman called Isabella Mackay. In 1807 Dan took a case to court in an attempt to nullify the marriage arguing that at the time she used a false name of Isabella Jackson. The case was not sustained. The judgment however provides information about Dan and Isabella and their relationship.  Isabella’s mother was Ann Mackay (Ann Jackson before her marriage) and the father was unknown. As a child she lived in a Roman Catholic boarding school in Hammersmith and in 1794, when she was eight, a man was convicted of sexually assaulting her. Daniel and Isabella intermittently lived together from 1800 when she was about fifteen. They both used a number of assumed names and in 1804 they were married in a Roman Catholic ceremony. The evidence was given to the court that a Mr Baster formed a relationship with Isabella and tried to persuade her to leave Daniel and marry him. It appears that she had greatly embellished the circumstances of her background. On 29th of May 1805 Dan and Isabella were married in the Church of St James, Clerkenwell with Isabella using the name of Jackson. A name that the court concluded had not been false.

Source : 161 Eng. Rep. 593 1752-1865.

Published in: on April 29, 2012 at 11:20 am  Leave a Comment  

Religion

Bell, Priscilla’s daughter Isabella, married Quaker Joshua Head in 1799. He was a brewer and the couple lived at Woodbridge near Ipswich. Little of the detail of Bell’s life is known but the obituary of her daughter Lucy provides a glimpse. It states that Lucy was ‘granddaughter to Priscilla Wakefield, the writer and philanthropist, and daughter to one who for many years was the foremost in all religious and philanthropic work in Ipswich’. The obituary goes on to state that ‘at the age of 16 [Lucy] followed her mother, who had received baptism a few years previously under deep spiritual convictions into the Church of England’.

Lucy was born in 1803 and would have been 16 years old in 1819 which means that Bell probably changed her religious affiliation at the time the aging Priscilla was living with her.

Source : ‘In Memoriam : Mrs Vincent Stanton’,  The Ipswich Journal, Issue 8069, 9 Jan 1883.

Published in: on April 29, 2012 at 9:21 am  Leave a Comment  

Early London days

The information in the birth and death certificates of Edward and Priscilla’s children give the place of abode of the couple. Edward was a merchant in Lad Lane and in the early 1770’s was in partnership with several other men. In 1772 their place of abode was Lad Lane, St Lawrence and by 1775 it is given as Clements Court, Milk Street. These two streets were very close to each other and intersect. Following is a link to a 1775 map of the area http://mapco.net/bowles1775/bowles07_01.htm#image

Unfortunately in 1775 the business was burgled and in 1779 it went into  bankruptcy.

See the following :

 http://www.oldbaileyonline.org/browse.jsp?id=t17751206-45&div=t17751206-45 and http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/a2a/records.aspx?cat=074-acc0953&cid=1-2#1-2

Published in: on March 31, 2012 at 7:46 am  Leave a Comment  

Amanuensis

An amanuensis is ‘a literary assistant, especially one who writes from dictation’. The Ladies Museum Monthly (see below) states that Priscilla’s final three books were written by an amanuensis.

The last three of Priscilla’s books were An Introduction to the Natural History and Classification of Insect, 1816, A Brief Memoir of the life of William Penn, 1816 and Traveller in Asia, 1817. However this may not reflect the actual time they were written.

But, reading Priscilla’s books chronologically it is clear that a change is taking place in the writing style.  The Traveller in Africa, 1814 possibly being a critical point in that transition. By the end of the book gone is the sparkle and freshness of The Juvenile Travellers and Excursions in North America.  One  telling aspect is the apparent careless abandonment of the character of Sancho who was separated from his friend Arthur in Africa and not referred to again. The critical question is who may have been the literary assistant and where was the line drawn between dictation and writing?  Was it daughter Bell or granddaughter Catherine or another family member?

Published in: on February 26, 2012 at 6:36 am  Comments (1)  

Ipswich

In the years following 1810 Priscilla’s physical health began to decline. She seems to have experienced problems with her legs that, according to Philip Temple in A Sort of Conscience, resulted in her being confined to a wheelchair. In 1813 with the assistance of Kitty (Catherine Wakefield) she left her home in Tottenham to live in Ipswich near her daughter Bell.

Published in: on February 6, 2012 at 8:07 am  Leave a Comment  

The Ladies’ Monthly Museum

In the following publication, at pages 61-64, is a portrait and biography of Mrs Priscilla Wakefield dated August 1818.

The Ladies’ Monthly Museum ; or, Polite Repository of Amusement and Instruction ; Being an Assemblage of Whatever can Tend to Please the Fancy, Interest the Mind, or Exalt the Character of The British Fair, Vol VIII, Improved Series, London: Dean and Munday, 1818.

It is available on Google Books here

This source was referenced in an article by Alison E. Martin published by the Journal of Literature and Science, see the post on Botany

Published in: on January 23, 2012 at 9:06 am  Leave a Comment  

1798 – 1799

For a transcript of Priscilla’s journal for the years 1798 – 1799 see the following: http://pw1751journal.wordpress.com/2011/12/31/the-journals-of-priscilla-wakefield-1798-1799/

Published in: on January 6, 2012 at 6:51 am  Leave a Comment  

Editions, editions, editions

The following publication gives an interesting indication of the number of editions of Priscilla’s books that were published to the year 1867. See pages 848-851 for the listing. Also note the publications of Priscilla’s sons and grandson.

See : Descriptive Catalogue of Friends’ Books

Full title is: ‘A Descriptive Catalogue of Friends’ Books. or Books Written by Members of the Society of Friends, Commonly called Quakers, From their First Rise to the Present Time, Intersperced with Remarks, and Occasional Biographical Notices, and Including all Writings by Authors before Joining, and by those After Having Left the Society, Whether Adverse or Not, as Far as Known.’ By Joseph Smith, Vol II, London: Joseph Smith, 1867.

Published in: on December 22, 2011 at 8:25 am  Leave a Comment