Inn or Hotel Keeper, Publican

by Sydney Padua (All Rights Reserved - Used with Permission)

by Sydney Padua (All Rights Reserved – Used with Permission)

Considering that we just added our ninth member of The Finch & Pea this week, and that we are ostensibly an online science pub, and that six of our staff are ostensibly female, we thought it would be fitting to commemorate this week with a lovely illustration by my favorite comic artist, Sydney Padua. Sydney has a fondness for historical documents and has currently been working through the Britain’s 1881 Census of Women’s Occupations. The data not only show that a woman’s place has never just been in the home, but that 12,709 British women in 1881 were employed as “Inn or Hotel Keeper, Publican” – a tradition we are proud to keep alive, if only virtually.

I was reminded while singing my daughter a “lullaby” that this employment is also referenced in the classic drinking song The Wild Rover:

I went to an alehouse I used to frequent,
And told the landlady my money was spent.
I asked her for credit. She answered me, “Nay.”
Saying, “Custom like yours I could have any day.”

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