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This paper focuses on women's businesses in the fashion trades, exploring their roles as linen drapers, milliners, mercers, haberdashers, and hosiers in seventeenth and eighteenth-century London and Westminster. Using a wide variety of sources including livery company records, probate inventories, insurance policy registers, and wills, it illuminates the lives of women in business, working both independently and as part of much wider socio-economic networks.

Dr Sarah Birt is a recent graduate of Birkbeck, University of London. Her thesis explored the agency of women in business in London and she is currently working on a postdoctoral project 'Shops on the Strand: women in business in early modern Westminster, 1600-1740', funded by the Women's History Network.


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