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Friday, 21 July 2017

Mourning Customs

My latest feature for Jane Austen's Regency World magazine (the bicentenary issue) is on mourning customs in late Georgian times.

Because mortality rates were much higher than today, people were used to seeing processions of funeral vehicles every day.

When a young girl died, one pretty custom in some counties like Derbyshire and Hampshire was the carrying of a ‘maiden’s garland’ or ‘virgin’s crown’ (‘crants’) by girls dressed in white, as part of the funeral procession.

There are still lots of events ongoing to commemorate the bicentenary of Jane Austen's death, and there's a round-up here on the Jane Austen 200 website. 

A maiden’s garland at Holy Trinity church, Ashford-in-the-Water. © Sue Wilkes.

Princess Charlotte’s funeral procession. Memoirs of her late Royal Highness Charlotte Augusta, Henry Fisher, c.1818.