Princes & Paupers – Inherited Learning

Chelsea Pensioners reading the Waterloo Dispatch

Digital Archives, Built by Students, For Students

Leaving learning resources richer than when we found them.

About this Project

PrincesAndPaupersStudents contributed to two structured datasets based on two different primary sources. The first was the medical examination registers of demobilised soldiers arriving at Chelsea Hospital seeking a pension in 1792 (TNA – WO116). The second was the daily menu of food served in the Royal Household at Kew Palace in 1789 (LS 9/226). Students were given a dataset from a previous module (Digital History Workshop), asked to take at least two pages from each source, transcribe, structure, and add value to the records, which were input into a template in spreadsheet format. The students were asked in their formal assignments to use the datasets as the basis for independent research and critical analysis.

Module Aims

What was it like to be the Queen of England in the Georgian era? What was it like to be a pauper? This module explores the two extremes of experience in Britain during the reign of George III (1760-1820). Students work with a wide range of sources that provide insight into the private lives of the rich and the poor. These might include primary sources from the royal household, contrasted with those of the bleakest workhouses that housed the nation’s very poorest souls. These sources build our understanding of lived experience in an era when some lived lives of opulence, while others begged, borrowed, and stole in an attempt to stay alive on London’s cruel streets.

Project Aims

  • Become aware of structured data in primary sources related to the topics you are studying.
  • Learn about strategies for creating reusable structured data from digitised manuscript sources
  • Learn to integrate data analysis of primary sources in your research essays.

Project Outputs

Software and Primary Sources

Studends used MS Excel or Open Access to work with the primary sources, and the resultant datasets were published on Google Sheets.

Student Contributors

The following students made contributions to the archive (some students opted to stay anonymous):


  • James Parrett
  • Leah Kulkhanjian
  • Jessica Thomas
  • Jemma Mouratsing
  • Joel Sorby
  • Tayla Gilbert
  • Joshua Draper
  • Sheldon Pollard
  • Sharna Hylton


  • Gabriella Thurbin
  • Richard Brickwood
  • Jonathan Loughlin
  • Robert Saunders
  • Luke Blower
  • Cameron Neate
  • Seb Jones
  • Alisha Mehta
  • Bradley Melton
  • HW
  • Alfie Staples
  • Salma Latifi

Project Team

Please direct any correspondence, including takedown requests, to Adam Crymble (

Adam Crymble
Dr Adam Crymble
Princes & Paupers Project Director, 2019-Present
Senior Lecturer of History
University of Hertfordshire.
Katrina Navickas
Dr Katrina Navickas
Princes & Paupers Project Director, 2018
Reader of History
University of Hertfordshire.
Ms Keavy Hunnigal-Gaw
Teaching & Learning Assistant
University of Hertfordshire