A lucky find: April 2015

The wonderful thing about history is that there’s always, always more for a researcher to discover!

One morning, during a coffee break two months after my book had been published, I tried some new research criteria and a small but interesting story about Georgiana’s father popped up in the list of hits. It tells us more about his place in the local community and how much he wanted to be accepted as a local benefactor after moving into the village of Crosby.

In 1807, the year the family moved into his newly-built ‘seat’, Crosby Lodge, David Kennedy and the local vicar were the major financers in the building of a village school house. Previously, school had been taught in the church ‘using the altar as a desk’. Georgiana’s father and Dr Lowry (whose son was later briefly engaged to Georgiana’s younger sister, Mary) also paid for an extension to the church to house two ‘handsome pews’ with seats behind them for the servants ‘attached to their houses at Crosby’. Family pews at that time were a considerable expense, separated by high wooden dividers to provide an enclosed space for those who could afford the luxury of privacy – even during church services.
Source text: ‘The Diocese of Carlisle 1814-1855’: Chancellor Walter Fletcher’s ‘Diocesan Book’ reproduced by Jane Platt in a Boydell & Brewer Ltd publication February 2015