Burning of the Rumps at Temple Bar - William Hogarth, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Episode 130: Mudlarking – Stuart Finds

In this episode of the London History Podcast, we delve into a truly intriguing aspect of London’s history – the remnants of Stuart life found along the city’s riverbanks through the activity known as mudlarking. Mudlarking, the practice of scavenging along riverbanks, often unearths some fascinating glimpses into the city’s past, and the Stuart era is particularly ripe with discoveries.

Our guest for today is Anna Borzello, a seasoned mudlarker, who will share her insights and findings from the Stuart period. Anna has uncovered a wealth of items from this era, each with its own unique story to tell, giving us an intimate, tangible link to Londoners during the seventeenth century.

And don’t forget, if you have a particular interest in Stuart London, we have many more episodes on this period in our archives.

So, settle comfortably into your seat, adjust your headphones, and ready yourself for an immersive journey back to the era of elaborate frock coats, intricate lace, and the captivating tumult of seventeenth-century London. Embark with us on a voyage through the winding, cobblestone streets of history, where each turn reveals the rich tapestry of a city alive with intrigue, resilience, and the unmistakable pulse of progress. Welcome to a world where the echoes of carriages on stone and the whispers of intrigue fill the air, guiding us through the shadows and lights of London’s storied past.

Anna Borzello Photo credit: Hannah Smiles

Guest: Anna Borzello

Anna Borzello has been mudlarking along the River Thames since 2015. She gives talks about mudlarking in schools and colleges and has shown her finds at three mudlarking exhibitions organised by the Thames Festival Trust. She recently co-curated an exhibition of mudlarking finds on the theme of ‘Women at Work’ with the Thames Discovery Programme. Anna previously spent ten years as a BBC radio correspondent in Uganda and Nigeria.

Listen to our other episode with Anna episode 112: Mudlarking Finds – Georgian London

Instagram @foreshoreseashore | Twitter: @mudlarkanna




Hazel Baker is an active Londoner, a keen theatre-goer and qualified  CIGA London tour guide.

She has won awards for tour guiding and is proud to be involved with some great organisations. She is a freeman of the Worshipful Company of Marketors and am an honorary member of The Leaders Council.

Channel 5’s Walking Wartime Britain(Episode 3) and Yesterday Channel’s The Architecture the Railways Built (Series 3, Episode 7). Het Rampjaar 1672Afl. 2: Vijand Engeland and Arte.fr Invitation au Voyage, À Chelsea, une femme qui trompe énormément.


Useful Links:

Stuart London History

Related London History Podcast Episodes:

Episode 62: James Scott, the First Duke of Monmouth

Episode 39: London’s Frost Fairs

External Links about finds:

Bellamine Jug

Robert Bellarmine

What is Deftware?

Burning the Rumps at Temple Bar

Mummia – How Ground Egyptian Mummy Cured All Ailments & Painted Masterpieces

If-Christ-Had-Not-Died-for-Thee-Thou-Hads’t-Been-Damned Barebone

What is the strange contraption in St Magnus the Martyr church?

Burning of the Rumps at Temple Bar – William Hogarth, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons
Burning the Rumps at Temple Bar –
William Hogarth, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Stuart London – Mudlarking Finds

Today, we are delighted to welcome back Anna Borzello, an experienced mudlarker whose fascinating discoveries along the banks of the Thames have unearthed a treasure trove of artefacts and she will be sharing some from the Stuart period. Anna’s meticulous work provides us with a glimpse into the daily lives and material culture of 17th-century London, offering us a direct and personal connection to the past that is both rare and invaluable.


The Stuart period, was a time of significant social, political, and cultural transformation, a captivating backdrop to Anna’s findings These objects, ranging from personal belongings to remnants of trade and domestic life, not only illustrate the economic and social dynamics of the era but also reveal the personal narratives and experiences of the people who once owned them.


Each artefact, with its own unique story, provides a tangible link to individuals who lived through the tumultuous times of the Stuart monarchy, the English Civil War, the Plague, and the Great Fire of London. These finds allow us to piece together the everyday experiences of 17th-century Londoners, offering insights into their habits, preferences, and the challenges they faced.


So welcome, Anna!

Anna Borzello: Hello. Thank you so much for asking me back. I’m really because when you ask me back, it means I can revisit my finds and re research them, which was very invigorating.

Hazel Baker: Excellent. And it might be worth just introducing people to the world of mudlarking and the requirement for permits. 

Anna Borzello: Ah, yes. It’s very important. So mudlarking, the Victorian era, mudlarks were Scavengers of the foreshore, they were just looking for little lumps of coal or bits of rope that they could sell to survive.

They were on the verges Of the kind of criminal underclass. These days, mudlarks go down to the River Thames when the tide is out, and we scavenge not for items to sell. In fact, it’s illegal to sell the items we find, but for items that tell us stories About London’s history, and that’s because the Thames is at the heart of London. If it wasn’t for the Thames, there would be no London. The Romans wouldn’t have settled here.

And over the last 2000 years, everybody’s dumped their rubbish in there. And what’s rubbish to other people has treasured to us. And actually, occasionally, they Drop in the odd wanted treasure item too. And if you’re lucky enough, you might find that. So the tide goes in and out twice a day, and mudlarks Time their lives, basically.

Someone like me literally times my day around when I can go down to the foreshore at low tide and hunt around in the mud and see what I can find. 

Hazel Baker: And not anybody can do it, can they? 

Anna Borzello: Anyone can do it in the sense that it doesn’t require a specialist skill, really, and you learn on the job, but, actually, you do need a permit to search on the Thames. And about a year and a half ago, the Port of London Authority who issued those permits suspended them. So at the moment, only those people who have permits can search the foreshore.

I think the PLA is reviewing the situation because there was a great Uptake in the number of people mudlocking, particularly over lockdown. So I think they’re just saying how to best manage the numbers, And then we’ll see what happens next. So at the moment, you can only mudlark if you have a licence. Although you can go down if you join groups. The groups like the Thames Discovery Programme and the Thames Explorer Trust run really excellent excursions down to the foreshore.

They’re affordable, and they’re interesting. So I would recommend that to anybody who wants try their hand at my blocky and see what it’s like. 

Hazel Baker: Now you mentioned about learning on the job, Anna. And you’ve gotten your 9 years in. And today, we’re gonna be focusing on finds that you have found that were made or used in the Seventeenth century, which is a big century in London historic terms.

[00:05:20] Anna Borzello: Yeah. It’s really Exciting centuries. So much goes on in this century. It’s crazy. Not only does the population double, there’s a growth of the middle class.

But right at the heart of the century, you’ve got the great fire of London. London falls down, then it’s rebuilt again. It rises from the ashes. There’s the plague years. There’s the fighting between the Protestants and the Catholics, which continues.

The tensions continue. There’s the kind of great attempt at Building a republic Mhmm. Behind the middle of the century as well. And then also there’s wonderful magical things like the great frost Fair of 16 83 to 4 when the Thames froze over in the little ice age, and, basically, the whole of London decamped to the ice. They had Affairs on the ice.

It was even meant to be an elephant on the ice. And a lot of these events have left their mark on the Thames and on the objects that we find if we’re lucky enough when we’re mudlarking on the Thames. Fantastic. 

Hazel Baker: So I think it’s worth starting with our first find of the day. And what have you got for us?

[00:06:21] Anna Borzello: 

Okay. So the first find of the day is something that Maybe helps us imagine the mental life of people in the seventeenth century, which was a Time when there were a lot of witches, witch hunts, superstitions. So I’m holding a little bit of pottery, and it’s stoneware, and it’s brown, and it was made in Germany. And it’s Something that all mudlarks hope to find and often do find because they’re not uncommon. And it’s a little face.

I’m gonna hold it up so you can see, Hazel, but I’ll describe it for anyone who has to listen? It’s the neck of the neck of a jar, and it’s got a face imprinted on it. It’s rather a grumpy looking man with a downtown Down turned mouth. He has a bushy beard, thin nose, and eyes. Actually, his eyes, he’s got double eyes on top of each other, And I really liked that when I found it because when I was a child, I had a double vision, but it was a vertical double vision.

So when I pulled this out of the mud, I thought, oh my gosh. It sounds like something from 400 years ago made by a potter who maybe had the same eye condition that I had as a child, Or maybe his mould slipped. I don’t know. So these are called apartment jugs, bearded man jugs. They were made in Rhineland, Germany.

And they began being imported into England actually in the Tudor period, but they were everywhere all throughout the seventeenth century, and they were multipurpose. They’ve got this Kind of slender neck that billows out to this massive fat belly, which sometimes has a coat of arms on it. And they were used Because they’re stoneware, they’re not porous. They were used for carrying water and wine. You might fetch wine from the tavern or ale from the tavern in it.

And you often find I’m smashed on the Thames because they were commonplace. They were not just known as Bartman or Bearded Manjucks. They were also known as Bellamine. 

[00:08:06] Hazel Baker: That’s how that’s the word I know. Yeah.

[00:08:09] Anna Borzello: Is it? Okay. So that’s after, apparently, Roberto Bellamine, who was a Catholic cardinal. He became a cardinal, I think, in about 15 99. He’s Italian.

And, apparently, he was known these were known in England as bellarmine jugs To mock him. Now I don’t know where exactly the mockery lies. I had a look at a picture of him to see if he was maybe extraordinarily fat because these do have big fat belly, and he wasn’t. But he was bearded, so maybe it was just because he looked like that. He was anti protestant, so maybe that’s why people Wanted to mock him, and it’s said that he was particularly anti drinking.

So there could have been some sort of Finger up to him by putting your ale or wine in here. I don’t know if that’s just a folk tale or if it’s true, but it’s along those lines That the people of the seventeenth century decided to call these balamine jugs. So it’s a little bit of entry into their humour, which I quite like. It makes People come alive when you can connect to their humour. There’s something else about this job which is interesting.

[00:09:11] Hazel Baker: Oh god. And that’s probably gonna be my question anyway. So go for it. Yes. 

[00:09:14] Anna Borzello: Do you want to ask what it is?

[00:09:16] Hazel Baker: I was gonna say, now what’s the connection between the Bellarmine jugs and the name witch bottles? 

[00:09:23] Anna Borzello: Oh, exactly. That is exactly what I was going to say. So these are often used as witches’ bottles. So what they are, you find them mainly not on the river.

You’ll find them in houses buried near doors or near fireplaces. That’s because that’s where bad spirits can enter Through those openings, and they’re complete. And inside them is commonly found something sharp like pins Or nails and something that belongs to a particular person like their nail clippings or hair clippings. And often then, it was soaked in urine and then sealed up with cork or wax, and then it was buried. And the idea was it was a protective talisman, really, That if someone was gonna send a spell your way the spell would get a bit confused because there’s a bit of you in the bottle, essentially, and it would go towards the bottle and then get trapped On the pin or the needle kind of poked and secured there.

So it was just people who had that in their house to protect themselves. Now I have only ever heard of 1 being found in the Thames, a witch’s bottle complete with those items inside, And that was in the 19 fifties. I don’t know if any have been found subsequently. I think that’s because the ones that we find in the Thames are probably rubbish That was dumped, from people’s everyday use of these items, and then they got rid of them. And that’s the reason why.

But they did have this wonderful Double life. So that these bottles, these ordinary bottles, were had they were sources of humour, and they were sources of protection as well as having an extremely practical use. So I really love them. And that sort of furniture of everyday seventeenth century life I’m holding in my hand now, and that’s 

[00:11:01] Hazel Baker: why I love them. Fantastic.

And do we know why he’s got double eyes? 

[00:11:06] Anna Borzello: No. I asked so there was unfortunately, it’s very recently closed the Bellamy Museum, and I did ask the Gentleman who runs it, he haven’t seen 1 actually with double eyes. I’ve subsequently seen someone on Instagram who has found 1, which makes me wonder if it was deliberate Rather than a slip is what’s incredible about this. It’s like people.

You know how sometimes you think, isn’t it amazing that we’re all basically the same and yet we all look different? How did anyone manage that? It’s just incredible, and it’s the same with these faces. Mhmm. They’ve got the same basic features, and, yeah, everybody is Every single 1 is slightly different.

Yeah. Grumpy or happy or cheeky or stupid or in this case, double eyed. I like to think, as I said, that it was intentional and he had maybe poor eyesight as opposed to it being a slip of the mould. And I suppose 1 thing against it being a slip of the mould is that it’s Only the eyes are affected of the rest of the place. 

[00:11:57] Hazel Baker: Interesting, isn’t it?

Maybe that could have been a potential maker’s mark or something. That was their Thing, the 

[00:12:03] Anna Borzello: double i’s. Yeah. That’s very true.

[00:12:07] Hazel Baker: Fantastic. So I’m glad that you showed that 1 because it does show that Human connection, isn’t it? It makes sense that the witch’s bottles of melamine jugs that are there to protect a house are On land, it’s very similar to what they were still doing at that time of putting faces outside the windows and the architecture. And you can still see some of those in Buckingham Street or maybe Great Queen’s Gate.

So the spirits who could potentially enter the window would see these scary faces on the outside, very similar to gargoyles, but on a domestic house and decide Not to bother going in. If you think we got dream catchers now, haven’t we? We used to put cats in between The walls to protect the house, bodies of cats, not necessarily dead when they went in and also children’s shoes above the stairwell. So the fairies would take the children’s shoes rather than going up the stairs to take the children. So that whole idea of Fairies and changing children and all the rest of it was very much real for them in their lives.

[00:13:11] Anna Borzello: I’m going to tell you something that’s not relevant to London history, but is relevant to this, which is when I was working in Uganda. I went to this extraordinary conference once in Northern Uganda. There was a war at the time, and it was a conference of priests and nuns, and they were being taught By witch doctors, their tricks so that they could see through them. So these were people who converted to Christianity and then revealed all their tricks. The whole thing is absolutely brilliant.

But 1 of them confessed, and he confessed that he had, on occasion, murdered children And buried their bodies under the front of the doorway as a protection. Mhmm. What I found most Extraordinary about this was somehow in the act of confessing, he was then protected from any form of prosecution somehow by being a Christian that wiped away that sin. But I suppose the reason is that it’s an extreme example, but I did often find it helpful. A lot of my friends in Uganda were using some form of traditional medicine Mhmm.

Or Different sorts of spirituality to make sense of their life. Yeah. And I find that experience today very helpful in connecting with the past as well . These things still happen in other parts of the world. People still think this way. Just because we Think a different way doesn’t mean that everybody does.

No. No. 

[00:14:31] Hazel Baker: Exactly. Still when during the plague years, like you mentioned people would pay both the gris for spells, and you’d have a little piece of paper with Abracadabra written on in a triangle and roll that up, seal that, and have that round your neck, and have that carry that with you as a, a talisman to protect you against the plague and all those side of things. It was all very real then, and it’s still very real for some people now.

[00:14:58] Anna Borzello: wish you hadn’t mentioned that spell around someone’s neck because now I’m just going to be desperate to find something like that. That would be a dream mudlarking find, a piece of paper like that. Oh, you’re not a mess. That really is a dream. I’d love to find something like that.

Yeah. So I’m gonna search for it from now on. There you go. You gotta 

[00:15:15] Hazel Baker: go have to keep your eyes open for a little bottle. If you did find something like that and the quite the obvious answer to this question is how would you know what’s inside?

But would you really would you open it, or would you ask Someone else 

[00:15:31] Anna Borzello: to do 

[00:15:31] Hazel Baker: it, like Museum of London or something. There might not be anything in, but if it’s all properly sealed with wax and everything, then isn’t that just, Um, you gotta know what’s inside, 

[00:15:40] Anna Borzello: haven’t you? I don’t people are always opening things that they find on the Thames, and you get Modern offerings all the times as well and modern spells all the time as well. I’ve ripped it in a plastic bag and all sorts of weird things have come out of it, little Coins and beans and things like that. I think if I found something that beautifully sealed, though, it works.

I definitely would Oh, it’s the Museum of London for help. I think that everyone would be aware that there’s some items that you it’d be better to get expert help. Otherwise, you’re going to just Ruin them. At the moment, what we have to do as mudlarks is we have to report items that are over 300 years old or a treasure And take them to the Museum of London and make sure that they’re recorded if they’re important. So I think something like that would be off straight away, but it would be tempting to know what’s inside.

[00:16:26] Hazel Baker: Oh, that was a great introduction to that 1, Anna. So what else have you got for us? 

[00:16:31] Anna Borzello: So this is a different sort of find. It’s also pottery. So I They’re really great on pottery in the seventeenth century.

So in the Tudor times, I’ve got Tudor pottery, and it’s a little bit I hate to say it’s a little bit same y, but there’s A lot of red and green and browns, and it’s quite sort of utilitarian. It’s not particularly decorated. So it’s nice to find it, and it’s exciting, But it’s not as magically colorful or interesting I find as the pottery in the seventeenth century. So I’m holding here 1 of my favorite finds. In fact, This sort of find is so beloved for me that I actually sometimes buy Tiles like this hold, from auctions and things like that because I really love them.

So this is a section of a Delft tile From around 16 40. And on this section, so it’s about half a centimeter thick, a gray biscuity base. And then on top, there’s a a white glaze, it’s it’s quite thick really, and it’s got a sort of blue tone to it. And then there’s a little man on it. The man is sitting under a bent tree.

He’s leaning forward with his arms outstretched. It’s a perfect little picture. And it it’s suddenly rushed off like it’s a cartoon, which I really love about this style. It’s got such an energy to it. Now the amazing thing about these tiles is that Through the magic of Instagram, I connected with the collect a proper collector of these Yeah.

From Holland. And I could send him these little pictures, Little snippets, and he tells me what the hole was. So No. Apparently, these self tiles were they were very Common to have biblical themes on them. So this, I gotta remember.

I think it’s a lot Elijah being fed by the ravens. I think I’ve got to check that I’ve got the right. I wrote it down actually because I is it Elijah? I think somebody will definitely correct me if I’ve got that wrong. But he’s being fed by the ravens in the desert anyway, and I just find that amazing.

I’ve got other little fragments. I often find feathers, and there’s actually a man who’s on a horse with a feathered cap. But the first time, they showed him a little feather. He went, Somehow on a horse with a leather cap. Your little feet, he seems to know what they are.

I’ve got this wonderful little slightly later 1, which is a collection. It’s manganese, so it’s purple. Little collection of feet in the corner of a tile, and he managed to tell me what that was as well. It’s rather brilliant. These are beautiful tiles.

They appear In London in the seventeenth century, and they originally come from Delft in the Netherlands, which is why they’re called Delft tiles. You also get wonderful ones like this, which is was imported from Holland. Can you see how beautiful that is? It’s called polychrome Delft, and it’s like a riot of beautiful colors. It would have been a small floral.

Isn’t that amazing? Again, That would have been on somebody’s wall. Mhmm. It could have been in a fireplace. It could have been in a kitchen.

Some of them are floor tiles. So you can see that suddenly in this world, if you could afford it, you were having all these beautiful tiles and color in your life. And also, just to mention quickly, the Dutch ones, they really go for little cartoons of everyday life. Mhmm. So there’s I’ve even seen 1.

I’ve got 1 here, which is a whole 1. It’s Which I bought, which is a man holding a child, but I’ve also got sad little cat. And then you get this someone showed me 1 Recently of someone defecating on the ground, and then there’s children playing, and there’s lovers walking along. So there is incredible snapshot of life in this period in Europe. So that’s why everybody loves 

[00:20:02] Hazel Baker: them.

If you’d said, when you show me that tile and said what do you think it would have been? Delfwear wouldn’t have come as 1 of my options because it’s multicolored. Oh, yeah. Yeah. I only have blue Oh, and white in my head for Delftware.

So that is that’s amazing to think we’ve got the multicolored tiles in the home as well for Delftware. 

[00:20:21] Anna Borzello: Yeah. It’s called polychrome Delft, actually, because it’s multicolored. But it’s basically the same as Delft. It’s a tin glaze.

That’s what this color. Now There is something about these something wonderful about these tiles, which I had never thought about. Apparently, from the late medieval period in Europe, People became obsessed with Chinese and Japanese porcelain. They saw it for the first time and they just thought, oh my gosh. I’ve just mentioned that Tudor stuff is lovely, but it’s not the most refined of pottery.

And suddenly, you’re seeing this beautiful, nearly Translucent pottery with these beautiful blue and white designs. It’s like magic, and it’s white. This purity of white. How do they get this? In fact, the quest for getting it settled in people’s head, and it was basically considered white gold.

Sort of alco it was like alchemy. How do you make white gold? Now the amazing thing is that tin glaze, which is what Delft is, this an icing like Covering on top of the biscuit base is the closest anyone had got up to that point of creating white, Which is why it became so popular because you could then afford it if you were in the middle in classes. You had an approximation of white. And if you had white with cobalt blue, which as you pointed out, most of them are white and blue, you’ve got an approximation of that Chinese feel And that Chinese style.

So it’s 1 reason why it just seized everybody’s imagination. So very quickly, in London, you have potteries Bringing up along the Thames. There are very many of them, actually. And at the beginning, they have there’s a very distinctive London delft, And they’re quite high end and colorful and beautiful. As the century goes on and into the next century, they become much more utilitarian and they’re just ordinary little pots You look at the material, and it’s very kind of yellowy biscuity, and the glaze seems to be chipping off quickly, and it’s not so high end.

I think what happens in the eighteenth century is in I think it’s in Germany. At the very beginning of the 17 hundreds, somebody works out how to make, really nice Porcelain style, china. It and then that begins to take precedence. And then at the end of the 17 hundreds, You have the invention of bone china, and that’s basically Delft’s death now because now you’ve got you got white. You don’t, you don’t need Delft anymore.

You’ve got this much better pottery available, and then you have the whole chance will work in Victorian times. And what I find amazing about this is that nowadays so before, White was the dream. This dream from China and Japan, the quest for white, the chasing after white gold. And now it’s like the lowest common denominator of plate. You go into IKEA and, if you just shorten imagination, you’ll get a white plate.

And, actually, if you’re on the foreshore by a pub, sometimes you get a whole white plate smashed on the ground because they really don’t mean anything at all. Mhmm. I know I find that really interesting that it has so much value, this and rarity, and then it becomes available to everybody. And eventually, it you loses its charm. It makes you really hammers home how value isn’t inherent in a thing offered.

It’s Just associated with rarity and how easy it is to get hold of it and how quickly people get bored of things When they’re readily available. In terms of 

[00:23:37] Hazel Baker: the designs on those tiles that you were mentioning about, man holding a child, Such a they’re very domestic, aren’t they? So are these for homes that are not to be seen by anybody that needs to be 

[00:23:51] Anna Borzello: impressed? That’s a very that’s a very good question. First of all, I don’t know.

I always get the impression that the that those domestic Scenes are from Holland. I don’t know if those domestic scenes are made in England, actually. I just I get the impression that they’re not. That is a really good question and I don’t know the answer to it. And I am now gonna try and find out that answer because It makes yes.

It’s a really interesting question. I’m I’m more like to think of people thinking, I’m gonna get a picture of a guy squatting down doing a poo And put him in my house. That’s funny. I know that bemuses me, but you’re absolutely right. Would have would the visiting alderman have thought it was funny?

Maybe not. Yeah. Very that was a very good question. Thank you very much. 

[00:24:32] Hazel Baker: I’m full of them.

I’m sure. Just give me your time. 

[00:24:36] Anna Borzello: That’s your job. 

[00:24:38] Hazel Baker: So what that’s fantastic. So what item third item have we got on the list that you want to share, Anna?

[00:24:46] Anna Borzello: Okay. So this is something very specific to a time and a place. These are coins. Now I’m not 1 of those people who really loves coins. The people who go out, all they want is coins.

Absolutely love them. Often, I think the coins are amazing when you find them, but a little bit samey. But these are really special. These are I found my first 1 right after Brexit, And I was a bit perplexed. Didn’t have a king’s head on it.

On 1 side, there was a shield, and on the other side, there were 2 interlocking shields. And I just couldn’t make sense of it. And so I went and asked someone. And it turns out that these were issued In a very short period of England’s history, and they are Commonwealth coins. So the king has been beheaded, And the coins remove his head as well.

So for the first time, our coinage doesn’t have The king or queen’s head on it. Instead, there’s a shield that represents Saint George. It’s a represents England, And it’s got a laurel and a palm on it, which rep represent parliament’s victory. And on the other side, I think it’s England and Ireland on the shields co joined. So on some of the bigger coins, there’s actually writing as well, which just like king’s head’s not on it.

There’s also this writing is no longer in Latin. It’s in English. A bit, the purity ethos. You want to be able to access things. You don’t need the obscurity of Latin to get there.

And they say the Commonwealth of England on 1 side, and on the other side, it says, God with us. So wits At the time, it was saying that the Commonwealth is on the other side to God, like they’re opposing. I think that was quite funny. And also there were a lot of jokes about how the 2 crossed over shields looked like a little bit like a bum, like a rump, like the rump Parliament. Some bum jokes going on there as well, but I just find it absolutely fascinating partly because there’s not much trace really of the Commonwealth.

It was such a short period. You don’t find much trace on the foreshore. Maybe musket balls further, very much further up stream. But, generally, the battles weren’t fought on the Thames, so there’s not much direct evidence. This is 1 of the few things that we have.

And I believe that when Cromwell formed the protectorate, he was put on some coins as an attempt to hark back To the notion of, the old ways. To give him power because he was losing power, but I’ve never found 1 of those. It’s just these Commonwealth coins, and they just Reflect just such a intriguing bit of English history. The 1 the I’ve got 2, as I said. 1 of them is Pierced.

I don’t know why that is. So it could be. There’s a number of reasons. Apparently, sometimes people pierced coins so that They could string them if they had a few, and they could hide them in their clothes because it was easy to carry. Mhmm.

Otherwise, you might lose them. It’s much more likely that this was Possibly strung by someone who wanted to work to show their support, but much more likely, it was Pierce to destroy it When Charles the second became king, because they removed about 2 thirds of these coins from circulation, And I think it was only the very low denomination coins like the ones I found that sort of remain knocking about. But they might still have been pierced even though they weren’t removed to show that they were just no. They had no merit, no worth. And, also, it could be an expression of anger.

Someone might have thought, oh, that was a pretty grim 11 years. I’m gonna stab that coin. But anyway, I for that for those reasons, I find it Fascinating. The other thing is just personal. I’m not a I when Brexit happened, I was rather glum.

Yep. I’m I’m not a supporter of I wasn’t a supporter of the leave campaign, and I was feeling glum when I picked this up. And I just thought, oh, there we go. Look. There’s this huge experiment, political experiment, 300 and maybe 400 years ago.

And life goes on and everything changes. And, just because Brexit’s happened doesn’t mean it will always stay this way. Maybe it’ll roll on and change again. It Suddenly gave me a longer view when you realize that something dramatic happened in the past, and yet time moved on and events changed. So it gave me some solace for some reason of finding this 

[00:29:08] Hazel Baker: Coin.

And just to fill listeners in as well, if you’re not too sure about the rump parliament and that. But Basically, when 16 49 Charles the first is beheaded in January, and the parliamentarians are now ruling. So you’ve got Not so King Oliver Cromwell our great lord protector. And during this time, it had all been a a political farce, really, in order to gain control by the the parliamentarians. And when we’re talking about the rump this was something that you also saw on the streets.

So the Rump Parliament, and we had also butchers shops, and people burning rumps on the street corners around London. And that is wonderfully depicted in a picture called burning the rumps at Temple Bar by William Hogarth. And it’s a row of London butcher shops, and the they were all on fire. But this, political body that was replaced much of the previous the old government during the English Civil War And this protesting historical event was in 16 59, and they just burnt these be from such just on the street, is like political effigies. And so when my aunt is mentioning about the 2 shields looking like little buttocks as well, this is all relating into that.

So I’ll try and find a an image of the Hogarth 1 for you to have a look at if you wanted to Access that in the show 

[00:30:31] Anna Borzello: notes as well. Thank you for that. I what I have I say that I’ve learned about bits of London’s history Through these finds, and it’s true that I have learned about bits of London history, but often it’s just a little door you’ve punched through to see a very partial view. And I’m putting together a patchwork, but they’re huge gaps. So thank you for filling in a bit more for me.

[00:30:53] Hazel Baker: Okay, Anna. Then what’s up 

[00:30:55] Anna Borzello: next? Number 4 to come. Okay. I’m racing through these.

Okay. They so this 1, A small white pot it’s actually Delft. It’s tin glaze as we were talking about before, but English made. So rather than imported. And it’s complete.

I found it on a really low tide, An unexpected low tide. And when I saw it, I was so thrilled because it’s very uncommon to find complete Pottery like this, apparently, only 70 or 80 years ago, they were commonly found. And there is a famous Thames Mudlock, the type famous Murdoch called Ivan O’Hume. And he thought there were so many because People threw them away. They were that common.

But they’re not anymore, so I was thrilled. So this is actually an apothecary pot. And it’s the kind of pot that if you went to the apothecary and said I need a medicine for the my sore arm, Excuse me. They would have put their concoction into a little pot like this And sealed it with material and string and given it to you. Now apothecaries are basically pharmacists.

They live they’re not the sort of high status as doctors. Doctors have university educations and they’re rather posh. They’re above the sort of in the kind of ranking. They’re above the traditional healers or the cunning men and women as they were called, the people who did it spells and also use traditional medicine. They sit between the 2.

They had a guild, so they were taken very seriously in that way, and they had at least 7 years training and would take on an apprenticeship to have that training. And you’d go along, and they would make up these concoctions. So it’s a wonderful bit of England’s medical history in the seventeenth century. But what I love about this, I was like, yeah, I wonder what they put in this. And what kind of ingredients would they use?

I had a little Google. So there’s the sort Standard herbs, minerals, your gemstone, but then they also like quite exotic ingredients like bear fat Or sparrow brain or lion fat. But my favorite ingredient, which again opens up an opens up an idea of how people in this century viewed the world is mamiya, Which I’m sure you’ve heard of Mamiya. Mamiya is what it sounds like. It is mummy.

It is Egyptian mummy. So basically How about Egyptian mummy? And you think, what? I know it sounds really naive, but I hadn’t really thought about people in the seventeenth century even having a notion Of ancient Egypt. Somehow I got stuck with the images of the Victorians and the Edwardians discovering these tombs.

It Hadn’t really occurred to me that people had a much more cosmopolitan view of the world. So they were getting these this mamiya. And apparently, mamiya came to European attention during the crusades. They heard of this amazing substance that came from Egyptian mummies. And the idea is along the way, they confuse the notion of a kind of bitumen that’s used in the process of mummifying with the actual body itself.

So so the people who were talking about the amazing qualities of mamiya were not talking about the same things as the Europeans, Understood, which is actually crumbled body. As a result of this hearing about the qualities of mamiya, people started Bombing mummies from Egypt or raiding tombs. In fact, Egypt got incredibly annoyed about it in about 15 hundreds because, they were just being raided the whole time so the apothecaries in England could have this magical ingredient. Now what’s interesting is about the time in about the 16 hundreds, Mamiya began to get a really bad rep because people knew it was running out. Something called false mamiya came on the market.

And false mamiya is rather unfortunate that if you have an executed body of which there were many at this time Or even a desiccated rat or some other kind of dead body, you could pass that off in powdered form to your apothecary if you were selling to them. And then the the unwitting apothecary will be passing it onto their to their consumers. So around the 16 hundreds, mamiya begins to go out fashion, although it continues to be used into the eighteenth century. But, that’s just fascinating for so many ways. How people Under how people relate and understand other cultures, this idea of a cosmopolitan understanding of the world, the idea of international trade, the idea of People raiding mummies, the idea of tricksters.

I just it just completely altered the way I thought about, Uh, people’s mentality in the seventeenth century. Okay. What else have you got for us? Oh, can I just say that the I haven’t got any particular story associated with this? There’s things I want to research about it, but it’s just such a wonderful find.

I just I picked up this. Can you see it? It is the weeniest little glass bottle from the middle of the seventeenth century. And I’m showing it to you because I picked it up Only about a month ago on a again, on a very low tide. It’s absolutely perfect.

I thought it was an apothecary vial. It might have been. It could have also been on a ladies’ dressing table for some kind of perfume. I just want to I apparently, there’s not much research on it because I did ask a bottle person about it. Such what these were precisely used for.

But they oh, I have to really describe it. It’s a very small, about an inch High, beautiful green bottle with a fat I don’t know how to say it. It’s a fat body and then goes up into briefly into a slender neck, and then it’s got a a very flat top. And it really is perfect. And I found it sideways on the edge of a tide, and it was actually encased In like it had been concreted in over time.

So it dropped in and then being concreted in, and the tide was coming in, and I couldn’t get it out. And there’s some parts of the northern shore that you’re only allowed to search by eye. You’re not allowed to use a trout. You’re not allowed to dig. Only a few people have a license to do that.

And luckily, there was a gentleman there who does have that license. I called him over. He’s called Guy. So I shout out, Guy. And people thought I was shouting out Guy.

So there was a bit of over to see what he was doing. He was like, I was calling everyone over. And he very kindly used the end of his trout to get it out. And we had the water lapping at our feet, and he eventually extracted it from me. And it was a really thrilling Seventeenth century find.

I don’t know why it’s in the water, but I’m very glad I got it out. It’s not usual to find these, and it was a treat. So I’d say that not to tell you about this seventeenth century, but to tell you that there are delightful finds from the seventeenth century, and this particular 1 gave me great pleasure. It really 

[00:37:48] Hazel Baker: is quite beautiful, isn’t it? It’s amazing.

[00:37:51] Anna Borzello: Oh, yeah. It’s it really is very beautiful. Oh, gosh. I’m holding up to the light now. I’m still very excited by it.

I’m still gonna get buzzed. So I’m gonna move on to a different sort of find now, if that’s okay. Actually, this is an eighteenth century find, but it relates to the seventeenth century. So I picked this little button up a few years ago. I only discovered yesterday it was silver.

It was tarnished, and I bought some I don’t know what that is. It never occurred to me it was actually silver, but I rubbed it with a bit of tinfoil. And if it’s silver, it gives off a very strong whiff of sulfur, and that is exactly what happened. So it’s a silver button, and it says on it, Phoenix I think it’s Phoenix fire office or, yeah, Phoenix fire service. So this is and it’s got as an image Phoenix rising from the ashes.

So this is a button that would have been on the uniform of 1 of the private fire insurance Companies operated in London from the seventeenth century right up until Victorian times. Now the reason that’s relevant is because These companies formed as a direct result of the Great Fire of London. So London was 3 quarters burned to the ground, And some canny businessmen thought there’s an opportunity to make money here. Apparently, the idea had been knocking around for a couple of decades before. They thought, why don’t we start A fire insurance company.

So the first 1 was started by a gentleman. I’ve actually had to write down his name because it’s so brilliant. He was born with the name let me just see if I can find it here. Oh, here we go. He was born with the name, Hath Christ not died for thee, thou wouldn’t be damned Barebone. Barebone being his last name, but he later changed his name to Nicholas Barban For obvious reasons what brilliant name is that? He had a very fiery father, apparently, who was in the parliament. And he started the first fire insurance company in 16 80, which was called the fire office. Now I actually thought that this Phoenix fire ban related that originally because he’s it became the Phoenix company, and he had this emblem.

And that seems to be the general view. But I got down a rabbit hole of fire insurance documents and ended up reading that, in fact, his company had collapsed, and this company had Started about 80 years later in Georgian times. But there were a whole load of fire insurance companies that started. There was, like, Sunfire Insurance Company, I think there’s a friend’s is it the friend’s office, the fire office, Sunfire Alliance hand in hand? They had little Tin signs that they put on their wall to show that the buildings were covered by that particular fire insurance company.

And they didn’t just pay out money. They actually had little private firefighters. So and each insurance company had their Group of firefighters who would wear a little uniform. Their uniforms were distinct, beautifully buttoned, which is why this I have such a beautiful button here marked out in red and with, lovely piping. And what’s interesting is that they were actually recruited largely from Thames Waterman, which I hadn’t known till recently, and that’s partly because Thames Waterman could zip up and down the river.

And it was the most effective way of getting around if there was a fire, rather than trying to Move around London’s busy streets. And the great advantage for the Thames Waterman was because of an act of parliament at the end of the seventeenth century. If you signed up to be a firefighter in this 1 of 1 of these insurance companies, you were exempt from being press gagged into joining the navy. So that was a real incentive to join. Anyway, the these fire insurance companies continued throughout the eighteenth century.

There’s a myth that, if someone from the Sun Alliance company saw somebody from the Hand in Hand company saw a Property from the hand and hand company burning, they wouldn’t put it that fire out. But, actually, that wasn’t the case because, obviously, if the hand in the hand company Had a building burning, and it was next to a sunroom. Everyone’s gonna be affected. So they were very quickly cooperating, working out deals between each other. And, eventually, that corporation Ended up with a big, metropolitan fire company big started in Victorian times in London.

But the origins of that were from the Great Fire of London, and this badge is, 1 of the steps along the way that show how we ended up with a fire service. 

[00:42:09] Hazel Baker: And if our listeners are anywhere near Magnus the Martyr church at any point, then have a little look in because there is a strange contraption, which is 1 of the earliest fire engines that we have in London. And I’ll put a link to a blog post that we have as well. 

[00:42:26] Anna Borzello: There’s 1 other fire related to the object I found. I just it’s not it doesn’t look very interesting, but this when I found I don’t know what’s wrong with me sometimes.

I picked this up and I thought, oh, it’s a bit of leather with a lot of studs in. And my mind, for example, My mind I don’t know why my mind did this. It went immediately to some sort of nefarious use. I thought it was some sort of sex toy, a sort of Awful strap. Of course, it’s not.

It’s used to secure a leather bucket that you would you I wear them. There’s an example in the fire. And they used to be the London Museum of London. So they did have that. That was a kind of tool they’d use, a fire like this.

They had quite basic tools. They use basically our poles to bring down buildings to stop them burning. But, yes, that fire alarm that fire engine is in That wonderful church along with that amazing model of the of London Bridge, which is just like you can stand there dreaming for ages as you watch All these little tiny figures on the old London Bridge living their life, living their good life. Alright. 

[00:43:24] Hazel Baker: So we have had the witch bottle, we’ve had the Delft tile, the beautiful coin the complete pottery, Um, and a silver button.

Have you got anything else for 

[00:43:39] Anna Borzello: us? I have another coin, but it’s very special. Actually, the Commonwealth coin was quite special, but these are really magic because they connect you not with a king or with a period of history, but with an actual person. So I’m holding it up so you can see, Hazel. It’s a little round disc like any coin.

It’s actually very thin. It’s copper alloy. It looks like it’s gold, but that’s deceiving. Oh. That’s called Thames gilding because when Certain materials go in the Thames.

They get this they come out with this wonderful golden color that can really trick you the first few times you see it. Very excited and think you found gold, but it’s still, nonetheless, absolutely magical find. Beautiful. It is beautiful. On 1 side of this coin, There at the center, there’s it has p h e written in a triangle, the letters.

And around it, it says, at ye with horse Tavern. And on the reverse, there’s an image in the center of a running horse. And around it, it says, In Fridaye Street with an e on the end. Now this is a traders token. Now, Basically, for years, people struggle with the fact that there was no small change because our coins were silver and gold.

And if you wanna get an egg and you’ve only got a silver coin, you’re gonna be a bit stuffed if you wanna get changed. So people found all sorts of ways to get around that. They’d cut the coin into half or into quarters. But, you can’t cut it into an eighth to get your egg. You’re gonna lose it.

These coins are tiny. So for centuries, people have been using these lead Tokens. So if you were a business, you might have these crude lead tokens maybe with a little cross on it or a picture of a Very roughly cast picture of a wine glass, and someone would come in to buy their ale with their coin, and you might give them a load of tokens back. Because they live locally, they could keep using those tokens when they came in on the understanding that at some point, they could actually, if they wanted to, trade all the tokens in and get their coin back. So that was how it worked for ages.

It was a sort of unofficial economy that was necessary because the Royal Mint wasn’t giving people any other options. Now after Charles the first was executed, parliament said, do you know what, folks? You can mint your own Traders tokens. They can’t be made out of silver or gold. They have to be made out of a base metal, but you could knock yourself out.

Go and make yourself really high quality tokens, And people did. They did it from 16 49 right up to about 1673. So there’s a quite a short period of flourishing of about 4000 coins. And these points were issued by Individuals and individual businesses.

So for example, I’ve described this coin to you, and I can tell you that HPE is actually Henry Petty or Pettit and his wife, Elizabeth. And they lived on Friday Street in the late 16 fifties, early 16 sixties. He was a wine merchant, a vintner operating out of Whitehorse Tavern. I don’t know if Owned the White Horse Tavern or he operated out of it. I’m not sure.

But certainly, he was involved in wine, worked there. By 16 63, he had at least 2 children. He was a local boy. He was born in the same parish, a parish of Saint Margaret Moses in the city. The church was at the end of the street.

Unfortunately for him, the church, the street, everything was burned down in the great fire because he lived just a stone’s throw from Pudding Lane where the great fire started. So you get quite a lot of these on the foreshore, and I expect a lot of them fell out of people’s pockets as they were running first towards the foreshore to try and get boats Across the river during the great fire. Some people headed out of the city on horses and carts with their belongings. Other people Crushed down towards the river and items fell out of their pocket, and you find quite a lot of these. I imagine that they also lost their value after 16 73 because they were no longer you were no longer allowed to use this.

The the government of the time instead started issuing copper coins and tried to solve the problem of lack of change themselves. Anyway, it’s remarkable that on this coin, I’ve pulled Henry and his wife Out of obscurity. So I’ve literally dragged them back into living memory. Like raising Lazarus. It’s extraordinary.

And I think that’s why people love these traders tokens. I’ve got a few of them. I’ve got another 1. I’ve got a John Fielder He was married to Anna. He had 6 kids.

He lived kingston, Upon Thames. I’m not sure what he did for a job because the symbol On the coin is a bit confusing. It looks like maybe it was something to do with wheat. I’m not sure.

But his father was a candle maker, And he was a Quaker, and he I found out because of that he was fined for his beliefs. He refused to take a oath of allegiance, so he was fined. And then the Quakers record what happens to their membership in the sufferings of the Quakers. So I also know that he was imprisoned in 16 67 for refusing to swear an oath. So I know that about this.

Otherwise, For all I know, unremarkable man, an ordinary person has been revived just by finding these coins. And, of course, they, Historically, they’re really interesting as well because you suddenly have really detailed information about 4000 businesses, and a lot of the coins relate to London and particularly The city of London. And 1 of the things I find really interesting is that women in general tend to be invisible. Men it’s as if the world is populated only by men because they are the only ones who appear in the record doing anything. But actually, women were working too, And huge numbers of women in the seventeenth century weren’t married and had to make their own way anyway.

And about 3 percent, which is about a hundred and 40 of these coins relate 2 women. They are women owned more businesses. In fact, some of the coins say on them his half penny, but you get the odd few that say her half penny, Which is wonderful. And these women were tavern owners, for example, or tailors. And you can suddenly they come out of the shadows, these women, and you realize that they were there.

They were doing things that they were probably working alongside their Husbands in the apothecaries, they knew just as much as their husband did, but they weren’t given official status, and so they weren’t being entered into records. So Mhmm. I think information like that you can glean from this coin is just really important not just for making sure that women are acknowledged in history, but just because it gives you a fuller picture of individuals And what life was in my mental image of that period, suddenly put I popped back in all these women. I put back in the women running the pubs and the Women next to the head and the apothecaries, they are there when formerly they’re invisible. So these are Yeah.

These are like they’re like magic beans. These trade. And as I said, they were stopped in 16 73. The people weren’t allowed to use them anymore, and that’s when the government said, okay. We’re just gonna mint copper coins.

We’re gonna stop doing just silver and gold. We’re gonna have to bring the value coins and stamp the king’s head on it. So tokens eventually fall out of favor, but it’s just really intriguing. 

[00:50:54] Hazel Baker: It’s it’s intriguing on a number of levels because also we’re talking about a local currency. You can use them to create basically a directory of businesses where you wouldn’t have had the yellow pages.

So this is helping us put together. Last year, I read an interesting book actually about tokens during the time of Samuel Pepys. It was written by George Berry, as in blackberry, taverns and tokens of Pepys’s London. And I thought that was very interesting, and he explains how they were used. I don’t know if you know Anything about the White Hart on Friday Street?

Should I tell you a little bit Oh, 

[00:51:32] Anna Borzello: my gosh. Do you know about the White Hart? Yes. 

[00:51:36] Hazel Baker: Oh. I really like old pubs, , but also, of course the streets on London.

It’s called Friday Street because that’s where you would go on Friday to buy your fish. Because you weren’t allowed to eat meat. So this is a very smelly, fishy street. We’ve also got Fish Street Hill as well. But the white horse on Friday Street , destroyed during the great fire.

It was rebuilt, And it was added on, etcetera, all the way to and it actually eventually closed till the at About 19 31 when it was then later demolished. 

[00:52:09] Anna Borzello: How amazing. I’ve got another 1 actually from the oh, I haven’t got the I can’t I’ve got my glasses, so I can’t read the location. I’m gonna send it to you afterwards, but it’s a cock a hoo, a cock and a hoo. And it’s tavern.

But it’s not the 1 on Fleet Street. It seems to be adjacent to it, and I just can’t find any details of it. So I’m gonna send you What I do have a maybe in your magical mind, you’ll be able to give me more information because I was very thrilled by this traders token as well. 

[00:52:38] Hazel Baker: Oh, it’s fantastic, isn’t it? Because it just gives you a little bit of a insight into how businesses were having to do everything themselves, having to produce their own Disney 

[00:52:49] Anna Borzello: money.


[00:52:50] Hazel Baker: If we think about individual business owners like myself now, and you think about you got to be Your own accountant and your own marketer and your own admin and this, that, and the other, but at least I don’t have to print my own money. 

[00:53:01] Anna Borzello: Printing your own money would be pretty fun, Actually, I think they’ve done a really good job. These trade tokens are really attractive.

I love the little horse running. He’s got these little sheaves, and I don’t know. I think I’d feel really chuffed if I have my own coin. 

[00:53:15] Hazel Baker: I know exactly what I’d how I’d look if I put myself on a coin. Hold on a second.

Just for numbers. 

[00:53:21] Anna Borzello: How about that? You look very regal. It’s got a very Tudor air to it. Fantastic.

That’s what 

[00:53:27] Hazel Baker: I thought as well. You said, I’ve Listen, I bought I treated myself at Christmas, and I bought myself a little headband that looks like a French hood during Anne Boleyn’s time. Oh, goodness. Okay. 

[00:53:37] Anna Borzello: Bells and all.

Very impressive. Oh, I actually yes. I think I’ve I think I don’t want to go on and on. I think that those are I hope those finds give you some idea of why I find sixteenth century objects on the foreshore so exciting and What a revelation they are when it comes to understanding the period. I have other finds.

They’re all I have these little agolites, for example, Which are lace shapes. In the seventeenth century, everybody loved having these. They used them to seal the whenever they had dangling bits of Lace or ties, they put these on the end to help them thread, and you find these all the time amidst the pins. And I’ve got a seal matrix with a dove and a Holding a olive branch in his beak that I always imagine that this was dropped by someone escaping the Great Fire of London. It seems the kind of thing you’d slip into your pocket and would you know?

Yeah. It would fall out quite easily and buckles, that would have been on knee breeches. Maybe they also as people climbed into boats. And then, of course, the ubiquitous rose farthing, Which are these tiny little copper coins with a brass insert to stop counterfeiting that a lot of us think were Maybe used for ferry fares because they’re so very common. They were private issued before the tokens, actually, But they were commonly used.

But I have quite a lot of old finds, but the ones I’ve talked about, I think, are the ones that are most exciting. Oh, there’s 1 last thing that I can show you, actually, if you don’t mind. No. Of course not. Actually, it’s actually visual, which is annoying.

But when we talked last time, we were talking about clay pipes and how Oh, yeah. Came to England in the 15 eighties. And this is a period the 16 hundreds is when tobacco is spreading. And clay pipes are becoming more and more popular. People are smoking the whole time.

I was thinking what a good story it would have been for me if the great fire started with a dropped clay pipe rather than a bakery, it would have been such a good narrative when you’re talking about clear pipes, but that isn’t what happened. But this I have with me a little tiny clear pipe I just picked up the other Now it’s so tiny that would have been made around a 16 10, I think. I don’t know how big that is. It’s about a third of the size of the bigger ones in the June period, and this is because as we talked about, the Ford Tobacco is Really expensive at this time. What I hadn’t realized is I thought that the price of tobacco came down only because of the slaves.

But actually before the slaves in the 1600s, there were a lot of indentured servants. So there are a lot of people going out from England voluntarily with this weird contract where they basically worked out Servitude for a certain number of years, and they were given passage, and then they were Mhmm. Became free. And those were the people that were providing the tobacco before the slaves were introduced. But, anyway, it called me that little tiny clay pipe, which is evidence of just as people were beginning to smoke on the streets of London.

They had little weeny clay pipes. This is when tobacco was still a novelty, and you do find very many seventeenth century clay pipes On the foreshore. Just the other day, there was a very low tide, and I think I picked up just in an hour about 15, seventeenth century clay pipes. So Wow. So they really were everywhere.

People were smoking them. So when you think about them in the seventeenth century, you also have to think about them smoking. 

[00:56:52] Hazel Baker: Yes. Yeah. We forget that, don’t we?

Yeah. So if anybody wants to listen to the earlier episode that Anna kindly did, It is episode number 112, and I will put a link to that in the show notes as well. And you will learn plenty more about clay pipes but also, you’ll get to know why Anna has so many pins in her 

[00:57:14] Anna Borzello: house. You were because I’m a little bit obsessive. And that’s why I have so many as opposed to why they’re on the bullshit.

Yeah. I would look for the little bit guilty. I think, who am I? 

[00:57:28] Hazel Baker: Who have I become? Why am I a middle aged woman picking pins out 

[00:57:32] Anna Borzello: of mud?

There we go. Often you get that existential doubt on the brochure. What am I doing here? Why am I here? And yet I come back because I love it.

I think all mother lovers come back because they love it. 

[00:57:44] Hazel Baker: And I think it’s absolutely fascinating how all those things that you’ve just highlighted today, The artifacts themselves, but also then the connection to the stories of the people that would have used them and would have been there everyday kind of thing. It highlights to us how life would have been so similar and also how different as well with certain aspects as well and how much Even over the centuries, humans really, we haven’t changed 

[00:58:10] Anna Borzello: that much. That is absolutely true. Very true indeed.

I’m so glad That through mudlarking, I’ve been able to regain a sense of people’s humanity in the past because Before I mudlocked, I the past just seemed rigid and black and white, not filled with real people, not people with hearts or feelings, Just stiff figures moving around a page. And these everyday items just as have re peopled my imagination and re peopled the past for me. And, actually, I think as more people learn about mudlarking and hear these sort of stories, I think It has I think it captures people’s imagination for that very reason. I think it’s helped lots of people, understand, gosh, These people were pinned together. They were smoking pipes.

They were drinking out of these jugs. It helps with your imagination. It makes you really Look closely actually at historical paintings now, which I never used to do. But when I go to galleries now, I’m always peering and I think, oh, there’s a pipe and There’s an Agla, and look over there. She’s got a coral bead like I’ve got at home.

So Yeah. Yeah. That’s really gratifying too. Makes it 

[00:59:15] Hazel Baker: all very much more real, doesn’t it? It does.

Brilliant. Anna, thank you so much. That has been 

[00:59:21] Anna Borzello: amazing. Thank you. I’ve really enjoyed it.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity To relearn about my own objects. 

[00:59:28] Hazel Baker: And if anybody wants to follow Anna on Twitter, for example, then I’ll put all the details in the show notes as well so you can follow, and you can learn as Anna does as well while she’s 

[00:59:37] Anna Borzello: mudlarking. 

[00:59:38] Hazel Baker: That’s all for now. Don’t forget you can hear Anna’s previous episode about Mudlarking Finds From Georgian London, episode 112. 

Until next time!


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