Social

On the Ballot

Before the secret ballot, voting in Britain was a theatrical, violent and public affair. The Act that made democracy private turns 150 this year.

Charity Begins at Home

The ‘emigration’ of thousands of poor London children in the 19th century was seen by its organisers as an act of Christian deliverance, but the experience of the young people sent to Canada tells a different story. 

Take me to the Church

The medieval parish church was the meeting point of many different things, both sacred and secular.

Baby Boom or Bust?

The Covid pandemic seems to have caused a birth dearth. Historically, how have countries responded to falling birthrates?

Meeting an Urgent Need

The First World War threw widows and their brothers-in-law together, but their marriages were considered incestuous. 

All By Myself

Solitude was treated with suspicion in the Middle Ages. For most people it has only been a possibility in recent times.

Abbots Ascendant

William Chester Jordan’s study of one of medieval Europe’s great monastic rivalries suggests that social mobility may have been more common in the Middle Ages than historians previously thought.

Hard Work

The British government’s universal credit scheme seeks solutions to problems that have frustrated politicians for centuries.