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Finding non-elite Londoners: writers, workers, wanderers.

Venue: Birkbeck 43 Gordon Square

Please join usto explore finding the non-elite in London’s archives. Papers will explore non-elite writers, but also traders, women immigrants and shipworkers – and how to find them. Our main focus will be on the period 1550-1720 and do join us to share your thoughts, tips and questions on how to find and think about these people and the records they left. This is an afternoon colloquium with six papers and discussion.It is jointly organised by the London Renaissance Seminar and the Written Worlds project.


2.00-3.30pm Panel 1: guilds, women, work

2.00pm Tracey Hill, ' “Fawcon outragious”: livery company lives in early modern London’ 

2.20pm Laura Gowing, ‘Finding women at work in London’s records’

2.40pm Vanessa Harding, ‘Parallel Londoners: Richard Smyth and Nehemiah Wallington’

3.00pm Discussion

3.30-3.45pm TEA

3.45-5.00pm Panel 2: chronicles, migrants, seafarers

3.45pm-4.00pm Sarah Kent, ‘“Popular” History in London: Reconstructing Londoners interest in the history of the city, 1580-1640’

4.00-4.15pm Daniel Rafiqi, ‘Empowering Narratives: Huguenot Refugees’ Autobiographical Writings and Broader Processes of Coping’

4.15-.4.30pm Michael Powell-Davies, ‘The Literate Lives of the Middling Sort in Early
 Modern Maritime London’

4.30-5 Discussion.

The London Renaissance Seminar is a forum for the discussion of all aspects of early modern history, literature, and culture. It meets regularly at Birkbeck. Anyone with a serious interest in the Renaissance is welcome and no registration is necessary. Organisers 2022 Eva Lauenstein, Sue Wiseman
For further information about LRS, contact Sue Wiseman ( be placed on the LRS mailing list, contact Tom Healy (

Contact name:

  • Daniel Rafiqi -

    Daniel Rafiqi is working on early modern refugees and migrants.

  • Laura Gowing -

    Laura Gowing is an expert in women's work, lives and guild connections in sixteenth and seventeenth century London.

  • Michael Powell-Davies -

    Michael Powell-Davies is working on London's seafaring parishes and communities.

  • Sarah Kent -

    Sarah Kent is working on sixteenth- and seventeenth-century histories of London.

  • Tracey Hill -

    Tracey Hill is an expert on the archives and performances of London's civic drama.

  • Vanessa Harding