Hello I am Ed Pope this is my site . (free information, nothing for sale)
It is a dictionary of biographies of the forgotten.
(rescuing from obscurity interesting individuals and connections)
and part of a project towards the total mapping of the past (see Background Articles - tab at top of this page, Greater Soho, last para). (See also my sister website <mappingthepast.edpopehistory.co.uk> for chronologies of Oxford's Catweazle club 1994 to 2019 and of local direct action in Oxford 1973 to 2023.)
There are currently entries for some 3000 people centred on (but not restricted to) London 1780-1810
See paragraphs below 1.Godwin Diary, 2.Other Datasets, 3.Some abbreviations & sources, 4.Searching this website
At first this site was mainly an appendix of notes to the Godwin Diary website (GD website), which will make more sense to you if you first visit that site <godwindiary.bodleian.ox.ac.uk> where my site is acknowledged on the home page. There are several thousand unidentified persons recorded, mostly just by surname, in the diary (1788-1836) of William Godwin. So far I've made an entry for each of these up to the end of 1810, and I hope to return and complete that work one day. If your interest is in the Godwin Diary, the best way to use my site is to apply the filter for Godwin Diary, have the GD website on another tab and flick back and forth, and if you have access to the Dictionary of National Biography online, have that on a tab too. And see (tab at top of this page) BACKGROUND ARTICLES: William Godwin, The Reveleys and the Jenningses.
I'm currently adding other datasets, you will be able to filter them in A-Z OF NAMES & ADDRESSES, (tab at top of this page, then select from list on right of screen). Some of the datasets will be introduced in various BACKGROUND ARTICLES, some of which are unfinished articles going online as I write them. To run through the datasets quickly, there are two other diaries (Bonney and Crabb Robinson) that intersect with the Godwin Diary. Then there are the Society for Constitutional Information, a club for gentleman radicals 1780-1794, for which full minutes and membership lists survive, and the London Corresponding Society accessed by surname (in LCS and other radicals dataset) and by division of the Society (in LCS division lists dataset), its equivalent for tradesmen. For Swedenborgians see BACKGROUND ARTICLES: Swedenborgians. Artists & Engravers adds to what can be found in dictionaries of artists. Irish is not a separate set, but picks out Irish members of other sets. For Mill Voters 1802 see BACKGROUND ARTICLES: Mill Voters 1802. Greater Soho began as a study of the addresses given in Harris's List of Covent Garden Ladies and in records of prosecutions for 'disorderly houses' and 'houses of ill-fame' (brothels). It will be a complete record of all the householders (and some of the lodgers) in streets where the middling class of prostitutes were concentrated, accessed by surnames (in Greater Soho dataset) and by addresses (in London Addresses dataset). Greater Soho dataset now has Poland Street and Batemans Buildings complete and part of Upper Castle Street. Datasets Society for Constitutional Information and Bonney Diary are complete, and datasets Mill Voters and Swedenborgians are currently complete A to F and I'm working through the alphabet. I've also added datasets John King's Crowd (see BACKGROUND ARTICLES King of the Swindlers), Amendments to Oxford DNB, and My Life (see BACKGROUND ARTICLES of those names). In all the above cases I'm finding out stuff about people without reference to their "importance".
Some abbreviations & sources.
DNB - Dictionary of National Biography. I don't usually repeat information already available in DNB or on GD website, but I give the reference to DNB when referring to someone covered there. DNB is usually available in hardback and online at major public libraries, also remote access online with library ticket.
1796 list - see GD website <godwindiary.bodleian.ox.ac.uk> - and my entry "the 1796 list" - the 1796 list is an important tool for identifying entries in Godwin's diary
adv - Godwin used this (short for Latin advenae) to mean people who happened to turn up somewhere
PCC - Prerogative Court of Canterbury. These wills are indexed online at <national archives.gov.uk> go to Discovery and search for a name and the word prob (as in watts prob). You can read the wills for £3.50 each or free if you go to the National Archives building at Kew or use Ancestry available free in major public libraries. (Warning: it can be hard to read legal scrawl)
Marriages: = means a marriage, otp means of this parish, botp means both of this parish, sp means spinster, bach means bachelor, wid means widow or widower; by lic means by license (as opposed to by banns); wit or wits means witness or witnesses. Most London marriages in this period can be seen in original on Ancestry website (or Westminster ones on FindMyPast), available for free at many public libraries and record offices. Originals are useful for identification as the witnesses are often family members or close friends, and the signatures of bride, groom & witnesses can clinch an identification where the name is common
Sun F means Sun Fire Insurance records, originals at Guildhall Library, but many can be found free online at <nationalarchives.gov.uk> now part of Discovery, Our Catalogue / or on London Lives website which covers different years. Both those searches cover lots of other records as well
SCI & LCS Society for Constitutional Information and London Corresponding Society, two radical societies suppressed by Pitt's government in the 1790s. The SCI was more for gentlemen and the LCS for tradesmen and artisans
Alum Ox & Alum Cantab the volumes which record all the students of Oxford & Cambridge universities. Short for Alumni Oxonienses & Alumni Cantabridgienses (Latin). Available on Ancestry
Abinger Godwin's letters in the Abinger collection were accessible for free on the Bodleian Library website but that doesn't seem to be the case any longer, unless I just don't yet understand their new system.
And see BACKGROUND ARTICLES: Research Tutorial
Searching this website
I recommend you enter a name or any string of text in the search box (top right of the screen). When searching for a person's name it is best to search by surname only (names of entries are in the format Smith, John as in most biographical dictionaries but within the text it would be John Smith and unless you use quote marks as in "John Smith" you may get all instances of John as well as all of Smith). You could also search for a date as a text string, the format I'm using for dates in the text is date.month.year as in 24.7.1795 or 8.11.1797 or 22.12.1809 or 3.5.1762. Another way to search is to click on A-Z of names and addresses above, filter if you wish for different datasets (from list on right of screen), and hone in on what you are looking for by clicking on the first letter of a surname on the "A(62) B(208)" line. I've added entries where Godwin has used a different spelling (as in Hey, see Hay) but where he has abridged the spelling (as in Thelwal for Thelwall), which he very often did, I have generally just used the full spelling.
You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org