The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #94959   Message #1843280
Posted By: Blowzabella
25-Sep-06 - 07:52 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: Widdecombe Fair (Show of Hands)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Widdecombe Fair (Show of Hands)
Just as a point of interest - the Countess was saying that the first mention of the song was in 1850 and, I think, intimating that, as that was well into Victoria's reign, spelling should be standardised by then. This was, presumably, referring to Scrump's point that spelling didn't become standardised until the Victorian era.

However, as Scrump went on to say, it was due to the railways, and the need to print train timetables, which contributed greatly to the standardisation of spelling - so it's their arrival which is the key - not the fact that Queen Vic had been on the throne for a few years.

It was the railways which also led to the standardisation of time across the country - prior to that, it wasn't a sticking point - town to town.

I don't know when Devon got its railways, but I know that, in Lancaster, as late as 1866, you had 'town time' (Town Hall clock), Train Time and (due to some research i had to do about a murder I also discovered...) Mill Time (the witnesses statements were very confusing to follow because they all used different clocks as their reference)

It took longer than people might think for these things to bed in