William Bates

  • South Derbyshire Farmers and their Secrets, 1790-1820

    South Derbyshire Farmers and their Secrets, 1790-1820

    Farmers work the land we see through a speeding car window. Their homes and barns pass quickly by us, the secrets of their way of life a blur.

  • No Man’s Heath: Aggressive Sport in the 1830s

    No Man’s Heath: Aggressive Sport in the 1830s

    No Man’s Heath gained a reputation for fighting. Land disputes shook it in the 1790s. Later it hosted bare knuckle boxing. And people linked it with law breaking. In 1828, for example, labourers uncovered a woman’s skeleton in a shallow…

  • John Prior and Leicestershire: Pleasing Rewards for Labour?

    John Prior and Leicestershire: Pleasing Rewards for Labour?

    Fruits of labour nourish us – a nice idea, but does it happen? For John Prior of Leicestershire, his efforts held promise. Modestly ambitious, he found employment that suited his talents. He aspired to a good reputation and a comfortable…

  • Anne Moore of Tutbury: a Fraud with Strong Feelings

    Anne Moore of Tutbury: a Fraud with Strong Feelings

    Anne Moore told a tall tale. She exaggerated her illness, and clung to her story. At first, this won her few friends. But between 1809 and 1813 her fame grew. Many believed her. Hundreds came to see her at Tutbury,…