Skip to content

Welcome to 18th Century Voices

Listening to the Past

The Big Idea

Why did John Goodrich become a privateer? Was Richard Lippincott a murderer? How did Katherine Hopkins cause a minor military crisis? And why was Nicholas Cresswell so worried about the state of his trousers?

Welcome to “18th Century Lives”! Discover the stories of ordinary men and women history has forgotten. This blog explores the everyday struggles and triumps of working people at a pivotal period in modern history.

Through in-depth research, historical anecdotes, and personal narratives, “18th Century Lives” aims to bring the past to life by delving into the lives of everyday people and listening to what they say. 

“18th Century Lives” is a treasure trove of insights into the human experience during this transformative period. Join us as we uncover the fascinating stories of real people who lived during the 18th century and gain a deeper understanding of their hopes, dreams, struggles, and achievements.  

Henry Walton, 1746–1813, British, A Market Girl, between 1776 and 1777, Oil on canvas, Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection, B1981.25.650.
Camping somewhere in Denmark

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Hello, my name is Christopher Sparshott. When I was 12 and struggling to pay attention in class when my teacher suddenly asked me what I wanted to be. I panicked and answered, “A historian.” I was right. For over two decades, I have studied the past and shared my passion for the past with anyone who will listen. I am fascinated by the lives of ordinary people, and one key question: what would I have done? These pages are a chance to introduce you to new characters from and share their journeys.