Regency Era Lexicon – And Then We Find “N” and “O”

national school – schools set up by the Church of England’s National Society for Promoting the Education of the Poor in the Principles of the Established Church throughout England and Wales; originally founded in 1811; organized to teach children to read the Bible; eventually became the man source of primary education for the England’s lower classes

navy list – a list of the officers in the navy, as well as their positions/ships

navvy – those who worked on the building of the canals in the early 1800s; they were “inland navigators”

negus  – a popular drink at balls and assemblies; made from sugar mixed with water and wine (sherry and port); credited to Colonel Francis Negus

newel post – the post at the bottom of the stairs; a bannister extended upward from it

Newgate Prison – the main prison in London; site of public executions; connected to the Old Bailey by a passageway; sadistically, the accused was seated beside his coffin in the prison chapel; people were charged a shilling to view the proceedings

Newgate Calendar – a collection of the biographies of some of Newgate Prison’s most notorious inmates

nob – a person with a great deal of social status

nobility – generally used to refer to the peerage

noblesse oblige – a French phrase that means “nobility obliges”; the obligation of honorable, generous, and responsible behavior associated with high rank or birth

nonconformists – the Protestant sects (Quakers, Unitarians, Baptists, and Methodists) who did not conform to the Church of England’s teachings; nonconformists could not hold office in a borough (until 1828), nor could they receive an Oxford or Cambridge degree

Nore Naval Mutiny (May 1797) – near the Thames Estuary, sailors mutinied over the terrible living conditions on board ship and for the low pay; the mutineers blocked the London port; unfortunately, the mutiny failed as a result of deserters and a lack of food

normal school – one that trained teachers

note of hand – a promissory note

nursery – a room set aside for your children (infants to age 4 or 5)

nursery maid – bathed and dressed the children of wealthy women; they entertained their charges during the day

oakum – the tarred strands that make up ropes; in many prisons, the inmates picked oakum apart; then ships were caulked with the oakum substance

oatcakes – the wealthy in Scotland, Ireland, and northern England ate oatcakes, while the poorest classes settled for ones made from corn, barley, and wheat

Octagon Room – in Bath; a central room with a domed roof and walls painted with scenic designs; served as a meeting room and as a music room

offices – the parts of the house where work was conducted (kitchen, stables, etc.)

Old Bailey – the  site of the main criminal court in London

Old Style – the means to reckon dates before 1752, when the English changed out the Julian calendar and replaced it with the Georgian calendar; they permanently “lost” eleven days in the process (Thursday, September 14, 1752 followed Wednesday, September 2, 1752, under the new calendar.)

(taking) orders – becoming a clergyman in the Church of England; the church consisted of three orders: deacons, priests, and bishops

ormolu – from the French word for “gold”; a piece of furniture/clock/ornamentation made to look gold through the use of gold leaf or a substance resembling gold

ottoman – (not a footstool) an upholstered bench, generally with no arms or back used as kind of sofa

About reginajeffers

Regina Jeffers is the award-winning author of Austenesque, Regency and historical romantic suspense.
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