The study of women’s history is generally hampered by a lack of data, particularly in official documents relating to trade crafts and town governance, but the development of searchable databases has given the potential for analysing large amounts of material, with the potential to make women’s lives more visible. Cheryl will use the examples of the lives of three Southampton women of ‘the middling sort’ to illustrate what can be discovered about the lived experience of sixteenth century women based on the Southampton Tudor People Project which created a searchable and freely accessible database of every person known to have lived in Southampton between the years 1485 and 1603. This has become a way of testing assumptions about the lives of people in early modern people Southampton and to reflect whether the Southampton model could provide wider evidence of experiences in the country as a whole.
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