potted history

Women working in the furniture trade in early modern London

Submitted by Laurie Lindey on Wed, 24/07/2019 - 12:07

Early modern London gave birth to opportunities for middle class women to work beyond the domestic sphere. Single women were employed in service industries such as coffee houses and inns, and as shopkeepers, while married women often worked side-by-side in business with their husbands, buying and selling and managing company affairs. In order to work in a skilled occupation or trade in London, however, membership in a City livery company was required. The most common method of gaining this was through apprenticeship or patrimony, both of which were mostly in the reserve of men.