This is the fourth post in a series to mark the publication of my new book, Alehouses and Good Fellowship in Early Modern England. Each post focuses on a character that features in the book, and uses them to highlight some of my key themes and arguments.
The seventeenth-century English alehouse was undoubtedly a male-dominated space. It was certainly not, however, an exclusively male space. For a start, it was common for alehouses to be run by widows, or by the wives of men whose name was actually the one on the license, and many young women would have worked as serving maids in these institutions. But women also represented a significant component of alehouse customers. Indeed, one historian has estimated that as many as 30% of the customers in Essex alehouses in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were women.
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