Curious Historical Fact

Edward Hyde, 1st Earl of Clarendon. Clarendon ...
Edward Hyde, 1st Earl of Clarendon. Clarendon is dressed in the garb of the Lord Chancellor, a position he held 1658-1667. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


I love going through very old books and documents.  I escape this world, it seems, while I immerse myself in words written so long ago.  I read the French and the English, though it can seem like a new language — the words used in different ways than I’m used to.


Today I read Vol. 1, No. 1, December 1838, a monthly magazine published in Montreal called The Literary Garland.  Following is an article called “Curious Historical Fact”:


“During the troubles in the reign of King Charles I, a country girl came up to London in search of a place as a servant maid; but not succeeding, she applied herself to carrying out the beer from a brew-house, and was one of those then called tub-women.  The brewer observing a well-looking girl in this low occupation, took her into his family as a servant, and after a while, she behaving herself with so much prudence and decorum, he married her; but he died when she was yet a young woman, and left her a large fortune.  The business of the brewery was dropped, and the young woman was recommended to Mr. Hyde, as a Gentleman of skill in the law, to settle her affairs.  Hyde (who was afterwards the great Earl of Clarendon) finding the widow’s fortune very considerable, married her.  Of this marriage there was no other issue than a daughter who was afterwards the wife of James II, and mother of Mary and Anne, queen of England.”


Okay, so I looked up “tub-woman” to see if I could get a definition.  At I was given this: “A drawer of beer at a country public-house.”  It’s the only definition I’ve been able to find so far.


Next, I wanted to find out who the great Earl of Clarendon was.  Well, it was  a title that has been created twice in British history, in 1661 and 1776.  To read more about him, I suggest a quick read at Wikipedia.


I hope you’ve enjoyed yourself in my second post of the day!



  1. I think the Earl took advantage of the tub-woman. The first story is like a Cinderella Story, the second one, hmmm… what happened to this married. To be continued?


    • In history, there’s always a “to be continued”! In royalty there are always heirs …. To be continued! That this woman became a part of the royal family, despite her humble beginnings, is interesting to me … And in some small part, offers hope for even the poorest of a “better” life …I’m rambling again … 🙂


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