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Professor Amy Erickson spoke at a history society meeting of the Merchant Taylors’ and the Skinners’ Companies

Robinson's Director of Studies in History, Professor Amy Erickson, spoke last month to a history society meeting of the Merchant Taylors’ and the Skinners’ Companies about women in London’s livery companies in the 18th century. She highlighted the problem of identifying which company women belonged to due to marital name changes and their membership through a husband’s company. We can identify many women’s business cards from the 18th century, and we know that they must have traded under the auspices of one of the livery companies (because that was required by the City), but we cannot tell which because women’s business cards do not identify their husbands.

Professor Amy Erickson

Read Professor Erickson’s open-access publication here:
‘Wealthy businesswomen, marriage and succession in eighteenth-century London’, Business History 66:1 (2024).

Professor Erickson is Professor of Feminist History within the Faculty of History and her research focusses on women’s labour force participation in the pre-census era.  In the absence of systematic employment records, one way to determine women’s participation is through elite female entrepreneurs, many of whom trained apprentices and who employed large numbers of other women to make the products they sold, to staff the shops, and to look after households and families.