Aren’t You Hot in That?

The Curious Archaeologist

It’s a cold wet Sunday (12 degrees outside, in late July!) so I was doing what people have been doing in England (on cold wet Sundays) for more than 250 years, reading about a somewhere warmer. In my case reading Lady Nugent’s Journal of her Residence in Jamaica from 1801 to 1805. A couple of passages struck me.

First, one of the commonest things a re-enactor is asked, when standing on a bright summers day wearing, for example, frock coat, and top hat, is. “Aren’t you feeling hot in that?”, you admit you are, then they wonder how people got on in the past. Disbelieving that they could ever have worn similar garb in the tropics, well of course they did, and got very hot.

Lady Nugent (wife of the Governor of Jamaica)

July 30th 1801

At 5 o’clock we found a numerous party assembled in the drawing-room…

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