World volumes

In course of preparation for publishing. In this four-volume edition by Margaret Bird the books may be purchased separately or as a set of four.

The publication date and prices will be announced here, and on the publishers’ website Burnham Press, when they are known. By June 2016 three of the four volumes had been completed.

All are hardback, and every volume has a bibliography and index. Further information about the contents can be found on the links below:

Knapped flint, Coltishall

Flint and brick, the local building materials, are used at the former brewery of Rose Ives (d.1780), one of William Hardy’s rivals at Coltishall

Volume 1 ·  A working family

Volume 2 ·  Barley, beer and the working year

Volume 3 ·  Spiritual and social forces 

Volume 4 ·  Under sail and under arms




Family trees

There are a great number of maps, tables and graphs. The family trees display the extended family of the diarists Mary Hardy and Henry Raven. Volume 2 contains the family trees of four other Norfolk brewing dynasties: Brereton, Browne, Ives and Wells.

Some of the themes of this study

The former Coltishall Free School

The school at Coltishall attended by Mary Hardy’s sons. Spirited, mercurial William, aged 9, held his own against the master and was supported in this by his parents

The World volumes have a series of themes running through them. These include:

  • Mutual respect and interdependence within the family unit. Women and children were valued for their contribution to the success of the family concern. Widows like Rose Ives and even some married women actively ran businesses
  • Consequent lack of respect for academic education. The master of Coltishall Free School, and teachers elsewhere, had tussles with the Hardys and other parents
  • Mobility. The Hardys, their circle and their workforce were often on the move in their daily routines
  • The transcendence of the immediate confines of their lives. Relations with suppliers and customers and local papers’ provision of world news fostered outward-looking attitudes
  • Long working hours. The working day, week and year were all very long. The Hardys adjusted their mealtimes to suit working people: dinner at midday, and very late suppers
  • The change from customary relationships at work to capitalist. Financial pressures meant that time-wasting was not permitted
  • The constant threat of debt and bankruptcy, affecting all the trades and professions recorded by Mary Hardy
  • Religious vitality, and the vigour of the pursuit of self-fulfilment