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Random Historical, Social and Cultural Moments

Hail Storm Insurance, Norwich et al, 1865

Oxford Chronicle and Reading Gazette, 4 June 1864, page 3


Bonus 1865


Hail Storm Insurance Society

Established 1843

Head Office – St Giles Street, Norwich

Wheat and other Growing Crops Insured at sixpence per acre.

Without limit as to quantity grown.

Glass in Green Houses &c, from 20s per cent

Bonus to Insurers every three years

Immediate payment in case of loss. Parties renewing their insurances this year will participate in the next division, which will take place in 1865.

Agents wanted

Apply to Chas S Gilman, Secretary

Abingdon – Francis King

Banbury – JG Rusher

Bicester – Wm Palmer

Brailes – Josh Godson

Buckingham – FW Baker

Burford – Thomas Streat

Chipping Norton – J Quatermain

Chipping Campden – Herbert King

Evesham – HW Price

Eynsham – John Ham

Henley – F Paulin

Highworth – JC Salmon

Hungerford – Chas Osmond

Moreton-in-the-March – T Perkins

Northampton – Abel and Sons

Reading – Edw Blackwell

Shipston-on-Stour – Henry Sale

Warwick – John Martetts






Presentation to Mr Paulin, Henley-on-Thames, 1871

Oxford Journal 9 September 1871 page 8

Corporation – at a meeting of the Corporation held on Tuesday last, Alderman Jas H Brooks was elected Mayor for the ensuing year, which commences on the 26th inst. At the same meeting was presented by the Mayor on behalf of the Corporation, to Mr Paulin, who has recently held the office of Treasurer, a copy of a resolution passed at a previous meeting, beautifully illuminated in gold and colours, framed and glazed, in recognition of his long services.  It was as follows: “At a meeting of the Corporation of Henley-on-Thames, held in the Council Chamber on the 15th of August 1871, it was resolved unanimously that this meeting desires to express its sense of valuable services Mr Paulin has rendered to this Corporation and to the town at large, by the very careful and assiduous way in which he has discharged the office of Treasurer of this Corporation and of the greater portion of the Charities under their control, for a period of eleven years. The gratuitous performance of those duties has involved great labour, and at times must have occasioned great anxiety.  In expressing their regret that, owing to failing health, Mr Paulin feels himself compelled to relinquish his onerous office, the Corporation venture to hope that he may be long spared to give his valuable assistance to their deliberations.  Wm T Hews, Mayor.”

Photo copyright Kathleen Paulin
Photo copyright Kathleen Paulin

In Defence of our Libraries, 2017


In Defence of our Libraries…..

The recent furore over the renovations of the Trent University has highlighted the severe disconnect between those who use libraries and those who have been charged to administer and fund them.  Trent will be closing its library building for a much needed renovation, for an entire year. This has brought up two main issues: first what are students to do in the meantime, and second, who will the new library function afterwards.

Mixed up within these issues is the fact that the university officials seem to be oblivious as to how students and staff use these facilities.  As was stated by a number of Trent students and staff in interviews with the media since the story broke, the library stacks are an important way in which they access information.  Sure, the library has an electronic catalogue where users can look up the location of specific books, but ultimately it is the shelf where it is located that informs them of the breadth on the topic.

Computer catalogues are useful tools, of that there is no doubt, but they are not designed for browsing.  The programming is not able to replicate the ways in which individuals locate information.

During the renovations the library seems to be offering an “Amazon” type experience, where the student orders a book, and has it delivered to some location on campus, and then they take it back to wherever to read. It has been pointed out by many that this system ignores the fact that libraries are a place to read books, a quiet place to study with easy access to the important sources of information.

While the renovations to the building were no doubt needed, questions have been raised as to the changes being made to it.  It seems that those who planned it are very keen to build a library of the future.  The thing is we live in the present, and perhaps by looking so far forward they ignore how we currently access, process and use information, and the rate that technological change is actually incorporated into our social and professional lives.

I cannot but think of the sales of digital books.  A few years ago all were touting the benefits and future of digital books.  It was said that their popularity would replace the physical book.  And for a while digital sales were booming.  Digital books currently account for 20% of sales [ ]


The Bata Research & Innovation Cluster will be a part of the changes to the library, and was described as “The funding received from the federal and provincial governments, combined with commitments from the library and generous donors, will revolutionize the research and collaborations that take place at the Bata Library as it becomes a third millennium research, innovation, and entrepreneurship hub.” And while I think the centre sounds like a lovely idea, I am wondering why it needs to be in a library?  Why cannot the library be a place for books and study?


Because to accommodate this new “cluster” the library is having to purge 50% of its collection.  The university assures the public that the 50% being eliminated will be carefully chosen, but such a high number of books being lost cannot but mean that some essentials will be lost.   I am sure the librarian are not making their decisions lightly as to what stays and goes, but there is no one who can convince me that a librarian actually embraces the loss of half of their collection.  There was mention of the increase of digital content which would free up spaces in the library, but there are no guarantees that what you have eliminated in paper will miraculously appear in e-books.  Trent President Leo Groake was quoted in the local Peterborough Examiner as saying libraries cannot just be “museums for old paper” (PE, Oct 12, 2016). []  I cannot even imagine what he was thinking when he said that.  Libraries have never just been “museums for old paper,” but living breathing places of study, knowledge and reflection.


I am not trying to pick on Trent University specifically, although I call on them to rethink what they are doing to their library, and how they are handicapping their students by limiting their access to a well-stocked research library.  I will say that this is part of a worrying trend, where people who clearly do not actually use libraries decide to limit or eliminate libraries and their collections.  Books are the window to our world, the past, the present and the future.  Paper books are still the most favoured way to access information, and while I believe that libraries should embrace new technologies, they shouldn’t eliminate the old ones in a bid to appear modern or on-trend.


Please read Neil Gaiman’s words about the importance of libraries here:

Advice on talking to ladies, 19C

Gentlewomen Aim to Please: Edited from Victorian Manuels of Etiquette, Jerrard Tickell, London: George Routledge & Sons, 1933.


Do not use a classical quotation in the presence of ladies without apologizing for it, translating it.  Even this should only been done when no other phrase would so aptly express your meaning.  Whether in the presence of ladies or gentlemen, much display of learning is pedantic and out of place.

A Great Day at BIFHSGO – Cuddy’s a-plenty

Today I had the privilege to present a talk at the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa on John Patrick Cuddy, my two-times Great-Grandfather.  It went very well, and there was a good audience, and some really good questions afterwards.  My cousin Lynn came to the presentation from Toronto, she is JPC’s great granddaughter.  It was great to share the story of his varied life,  with all.  But I must say  what was very cool was meeting some more Cuddy relatives.

A group of descendants of John Patrick’s brother James came for the presentation from Montreal and Owen Sound.  How awesome is that? They had connected from my blog and posts I had made about James, such as his obituary which I posted a while ago.

So once again I am seriously grateful for this blog and of course those who read it.  Happy Day – had to share.


News from Quebec, 1794

Kentish Weekly Post or Canterbury Journal, 22 July 1794, p 2

Quebec, May 24 – Lord Dorchester has given orders for embodying a part of the Canadian Militia; but it is to many years since they were called out, that the inhabitants grumble exceedingly at the idea of serving, and some parishes are become extremely refractory.  This is the consequence of the extraordinary indulgence which they have long been accumulated to receive from the mild government of England. The penalties in the militia bill for refusing or neglecting to be enrolled; are only five shillings; so that there may probably be a difficulty in getting husbandmen to serve.

Governor Simcoe has lately gone from Niagara to Detroit, to put that place in a better state of defence.  Lord Dorchester also intends making an excursion to some of the outposts during the present summer.  His brother, Major General Carleton is now here; he arrived in the beginning of March, having travelled on snow shoes for the greatest part of the way from New Brunswick.

There has lately been a great fire at Montreal, which has consumed the distillery there, together with a large house near it, in which the assemblies were held.

What to wear on your honeymoon, 19C

Gentlewomen Aim to Please: Edited from Victorian Manuels of Etiquette, Jerrard Tickell, London: George Routledge & Sons, 1933.


The dress of the bride during the honeymoon should be characterized by modesty, an attractive simplicity, and scrupulous neatness.  The slightest approach to slatternliness in costume, when all should be exquisitely trim from chevelure to chassure, would be an abomination, and assuredly beget a most unpleasant impression on the susceptible feelings of the husband.

[Because on your honeymoon it would be very bad to hurt the susceptible feelings of your husband with immodesty – after all honeymoons are all about being modest!]


Count de Puisaye’s settlement in Canada, 1798

Kentish Gazette, 10 August 1798, p 3

The Count de Puisaye has at last left England in quest of new adventures.  Government has granted him land of a considerable extent in Canada, in the environs of Montreal, and has supplied him with the necessary money and other articles for cultivating the ground.  He sailed last week with a colony of 36 Emigrants, to take possession of his new estate.

From DCB -
From DCB –


For more information see here  and here.

Funding Montreal’s Protestant Episcopal Church, 1806

Public Ledger and Daily Advertiser 14 March 1806, p3

City Business

A Court of Common Council was held yesterday at Guildhall, at which the minutes of the last Court were read and confirmed.  After which the Lord Mayor laid before the Court a letter he had received from Capt Sir TM Hardy, Bart, in answer to the Thanks voted to him by the Court, expressing his gratitude on receiving such a high testimony of the good opinion of the Metropolis of his Country; and stating that he would use his utmost endeavour to merit the same.

The Court voted the sum of 200£ to be paid out of the City’s cash towards the expense of building a Protestant Episcopal Church in the City of Montreal, in Canada.

The Court also voted the sum of 500£ in aid of the funds of the Society for Educating the Deaf and Dumb Children of the Poor.

The Protestant Episcopal Parish Church of Montreal. Completed 1821. Anonyme - Anonymous 1822, 19th century Ink on paper - Etching 41 x 22 cm Gift of Mr. David Ross McCord M1242 © McCord Museum
The Protestant Episcopal Parish Church of Montreal. Completed 1821.
Anonyme – Anonymous
1822, 19th century
Ink on paper – Etching
41 x 22 cm
Gift of Mr. David Ross McCord
© McCord Museum

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